Between the Spider-Verse comic crossover and the webhead’s triumphant homecoming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man character cosplays are all the rage at comic conventions lately (like my friends the Web-Warriors). It’s easy to see why, there are plenty of webslingers to choose from and they’re not difficult to procure and wear. A decent Spidey/Silk/Gwen suit costs less than $100. Every spider needs a pair of web shooters though, and today I’m going to show you how to make a cheap and easy pair in just a few hours.
Materials and Tools
The materials you’ll need for this project can be gathered up for less than $30, and all can be purchased at your local Jo-Ann Fabrics or Michaels. The tools are more expensive if you don’t already have them, but all used are worthwhile investments for future cosplay projects.
- One sheet of 5mm or 6mm EVA foam
- Two parachute buckles with reflector
- Black 2in x 2yd elastic
- One pack of 20mm googly eyes (seriously)
- One sheet of cardstock paper
- One plastic tote
- Spraypaint color of your choice (pick one that matches your color, such as red for the classic red and blue spidey suit or white for Spider-Gwen).
- Black Plastidip
- Dremel tool with a cutting bit and an engraving bit
- Hot glue gun
- Heat gun (I used an open fire but I do not recommend this)
- Protective gloves
- Craft knife
- Tape measurer
- A pen or sharpee
Step 1: Buttons
Spray paint takes a few hours to dry, so it’s best to do this step first. Detach the reflectors from the buckles by prying them off and grab two googly eyes. Spraypaint them and set them out to dry. This may take multiple coats
Step 2: The ‘Arm’
Next, it’s time to create the template of the web shooters’ ‘arm’. Use this PDF as a starting place, but it will require some modification for the length of your hand and wrist and any shape changes you’d like. Draw it onto the cardstock paper. There needs to be a designated place to set the button (represented by the ring) along with two accent lines down the arm. The arm template needs to be long enough to go from your wrist to the middle of your hand, plus an extra inch, and wide enough to fit into the buckle.
After drawing the template, cut it out with your craft knife. You’ll probably need to test a few templates with the buckle to figure out the perfect shape.
Once you’re happy with the template shape, trace it twice onto the foam sheet and the plastic (cut a section out of the tote with the dremel). Use the craft knife to cut out the foam pieces and the dremel to cut the plastic pieces.
After the pieces are all cut out, use the hot glue gun to attach the foam pieces to the plastic pieces.
Replace the cutting bit of the dremel with the engraving bit. Use the dremel to give the arms a beveled edge then engrave the accent lines of the arms. Use the lowest power setting. Be very careful and deliberate with this step, it’s easy to completely mess up the foam.
Step 3: Distort and Dip
Now it’s time to heat things up. Grab your heat gun and put on your gloves. Use your heat gun to heat up the arms then bend them to fit the curvature of your hand.
After that, grab your plastidip and spray the arms. This gives the arms the texture of plastic rather instead of the texture of EVA foam. Because of the shape, you’ll have to spray the top, wait for it to dry, then turn it over and spray the other side.
Step 4: The Buckle
While the plastidip is drying, turn your attention to the buckle, which will form the ‘body’ of the web shooters. First things first, fasten the buckle. Fire up the dremel tool and cut off the edges of the male end of the buckle, along the edge of the female end. In the picture below, I’ve made a red outline of where you need to cut. I apologize for the watermarked image, I didn’t get a good picture of this step.
Next, use the tape measurer to measure the diameter of your wrist and add an extra quarter inch to account for your Spidey suit. Cut the elastic to this length. Use the hot glue gun to attach the elastic to the bottom of the buckle. It should be tight enough to sit comfortably on your wrist but not move.
You can either use your costume or a spandex shirt to make sure it will fit you in costume. This may require multiple attempts to get the correct length, but hey, that’s why you have six feet of elastic.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
Once the spraypaint on the buttons and plastidip on the arms dry, we reach the final leg of this journey. Next, hot glue the now-painted reflector to the place it sat before. Glue the buttons to the head of the arms.
Take the arms and wedge them into the open end of the buckle. Because of the thickness of the foam, it will fit in quite nicely and not move around. You may discover the arm is too long. If this is the case, use the dremel to cut it to fit. Use this picture as a reference for how the placement should look.
How do I shot web?
Now you have yourself some handy web shooters for your cosplay. Because of the cheapness of the materials, it’s easy to create more if you feel like you didn’t do so hot the first time. Now get out there and rep the heroes of the Spider-Verse!
As a bonus, here’s a little preview of my next spider-cosplay project.