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Category: Cosplay Soiree (Page 2 of 2)

Making a Mallet for Harley Quinn

Making the Perfect Mallet

The character uses a baseball bat in Suicide Squad, but when Trinity decided to cosplay as Harley Quinn for Anime Midwest, she wanted a mallet. Not just any mallet, a big honking mallet that a strong man would swing around with glee and wild abandon.

Unfortunately, Trinity weighs slightly more than a strong man could bench press with one hand. Building this prop required materials that would be large enough to make a statement and light enough for a wisp of teenager to comfortably carry for a few hours around a convention floor.

We searched the Internet for help and found We took it from there ourselves.


Building this prop required:

  • 1&1/2″ PVC pipe cut to a six-foot length
  • Two 1&1/2″ PVC pipe caps
  • 1/2″ wooden dowel cut into two six-inch lengths
  • 12″ cylinder concrete form cut to four feet
  • Box cutter
  • Duct tape
  • Drill with a 1/2″ bit
  • Glue
  • Tape measure
  • Paint and brushes

The Plans

To build the mallet:

  • Drill two 1/2″ holes through the PVC pipe, at one end, just far enough apart to fit inside the concrete form;
  • Cut two 1&1/2″  holes in the center of concrete form, opposite each other;
  • Insert the PVC pipe through the holes in the concrete form;
  • Thread the dowels through the PVC. Secure the dowels to the interior of the concrete form with glue and duct tape;
  • Cover the ends of concrete form with duct  tape;
  • Hammer the PVC caps onto the ends of the pipe; and
  • Paint.

Building the Mallet, in Pictures!


Iron Man + Bondo + Paint = Deathstroke!

I am blessed with a child who enjoys cosplay. For Anime Midwest 2014, we decided on going as a father/child pair. After looking at a few options, we decided to go as Deathstroke and his daughter, Ravager, from DC Comics. I knew that if I could get the mask right for Deathstroke, I would be in good shape for the costume.

After cruising through the wealth of information YouTube offers on cosplay, I decided to build out the mask using a plastic Iron Man costume piece as a base. I planned to take the mask, use Bondo to mold it the shape I wanted, sand it down, and then paint it up. In this case, the simplicity of the execution actually matched the design. I couldn’t argue with the cost, either. Excluding the Dremel tool, construction of the mask cost less than $30US.

To make this Deathstroke mask, I used:

  • Marvel Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mask
  • Bondo All Purpose General Putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper, medium and fine grade (a Dremel tool can help with sanding, a lot)
  • Masking tape
  • Paper, pencils, and scotch tape for stencils
  • Black elastic, ¾” wide x 12″
  • Spray paint: Safety orange, flat black
  • Modeling paint: Flat white
  • Screen repair kit
  • 2″ x 2″ slip of cardstock
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Plastic bag
  • Scissors

Before jumping into the process, I want to note a few things about working with Bondo. Bondo is a product line of putties and fillers created by 3M. Originally used to repair cars, the brand has expanded to a multitude of uses: wood filler, fiberglass, and adhesives. I used Bondo All Purpose General Putty for the mask. It hardens to a very paintable gray color and was easy to shape and sand.

Bondo gives off some heavy fumes. I recommend working in a well ventilated area while using the putty. A pair of latex gloves will prevent the material from sticking to fingers. How long Bondo takes to harden depends on the temperature and humidity of the workplace. I had much more time to fill gaps and holes on a hot, sticky day than on a cool summer’s evening in my garage.


I started the project with an Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mask.Marvel-Iron-Man-3-ARC-FX-1024x1024 After snipping of the red elastic from the back, I used Bondo to fill out the nooks and crannies on both sides to get a more rounded shape. To fill in the right eye socket, I attached a slip of cardstock to the interior of the eye with hot glue before pouring in the putty. The Bondo would settle a little as it dried and required multiple applications.

I allowed the putty to dry 48 hours before settling down with my Dremel tool to sand out the bumps and ridges. The Dremel saved me hours of work in smoothing out the mask. I used a rough grain bit to get the shape I wanted, then completed the work with some fine grain sandpaper.

Before painting, I cut out a section from a screen repair kit to fit in the left eye and attached it to the back of the eye opening with hot glue. Mesh over the eye hole makes it more difficult to discern the color of an iris and the skin underneath, creating a more dramatic effect.

Once satisfied with the shape and smoothness of the mask, I started painting. I taped off half the surface, covering one side with a plastic grocery bag.


I cut out a paisley shape to cover the right eye. I pained the black half first before attaching the paisley stencil to the mask and spaying the orange.


A few coats of white paint to fill out the paisley and a black border nearly finished the mask.


Once I re-threaded some black elastic though the loops at the side, it was complete.


A balaclava, black technical shirt, tactical vest and pants, some paintball gloves, and a pair of knee high DocMartins rounded out the costume. My daughter’s cosplay took some more serious work, but we were very pleased with the results.



This article was previously published on Geek Bar DLC. All the content it mine, even with the watermarks.

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