Below is a list of some of the resources and tools that I use currently or have used in the past. I’ve done a lot of trial and error so hopefully this helps you cut to the chase and get creating faster!
Please note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Read the full disclosure.
Websites and Hosting
- Website Domain and Hosting: When you’re starting a website from scratch, you’ll need to set up your domain (i.e. www.mywebsite.com) and hosting (where all the images, text, and data is stored). A company like SiteGround can help you with both your domain and hosting.
Building a Website
- Shopify – Online Store: If you’re selling a product, take a look at Shopify as an e-commerce solution for building your online store. You can use your existing domain (ie. www.mywebsite.com) and Shopify has all the tools to set up your product pages, payments, and shipping options. They can also handle your domain and hosting if you’d like it all in one place.
- WordPress.org: To build a basic website, I typically direct people to use WordPress, a free, open-source platform. If you’ve set up your domain and hosting with SiteGround, look for the option in your control panel to install WordPress. If you already have a domain and hosting with another provider, install WordPress, then look for a theme with templates that fit your brand. See my next bullets for theme ideas.
- Divi – WordPress Theme: After you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll need a template or theme. Divi from Elegant Themes is very robust and has a visual builder. Follow their instructions for installation.
- Make – WordPress Theme: Make from the Theme Foundry is another useful theme that has a basic free option if you’re just starting out. Follow their instructions for installation.
- Squarespace: If you don’t feel up to the task of building a website with WordPress, Squarespace can handle your hosting and has easy-to-use templates.
- Wix: Free, basic websites; great if you’re just starting out.
- Mailchimp: Email marketing (FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers)
Invoicing and Accounting
- Freshbooks: Online invoicing, time-tracking, and expense tracking.
Printing and On-Demand Products
Business Cards, Postcards, etc.
It always depends on a few factors like quantity and how quickly you need it. I use these printers most frequently:
- Full Color Professional Printing: local pickup in Dallas, TX and online
- PrintPlace: local pickup in Arlington, TX. Select “Will Call”
Photo Books, Greeting Cards, Photo Prints, Art Prints
On-Demand Printed Products
- Redbubble: This is where many of my art products are made! (Leggings, shirts, tote bags, art prints, phone cases, and more)
- Printful: On-demand apparel and accessories with drop shipping. It can sync with Shopify, Etsy, and other e-commerce platforms. This is where my betta fish fashion apparel is made.
Body and Face Painting, Special Effects and Makeup Supplies, and Training
- Stan Winston School: Online special effects learning from the pros. In each class, they also tell you the names of the products/tools and where to buy them, so it’s worth taking a class just to get that info!
- Brick In The Yard Mold Supply: (Dallas, TX and online)
- Reynolds Advanced Materials: (Dallas, TX and online)
- Evil Ted Smith’s Youtube Channel
- Kamui Cosplay: video tutorials and cosplay how-to books
- Brick in the Yard Mold Supply: (Dallas, TX and online) BITY is a supplier of Polytek materials.
- Reynolds Advanced Materials: (Dallas, TX and online) Reynolds is a supplier of SmoothOn materials.
Body Paint, Special Effects Makeup, Theater Makeup, Eco-Friendly Makeup
- Norcostco Theatrical Supply: (Dallas, TX and online)
- Camera Ready Cosmetics: (Dallas, TX and online)
- Credo: (Plano, TX and online) For eco-friendly and organic makeup and recycling empty cosmetics (you’ll earn points towards future purchases!)
- Your Enchanted Face: (Dallas, TX) Contact Sharon Hodges for Mehron Makeup supplies.
- Jenny Beauty Supply: (Dallas, TX) Wigs and hair extensions (some brightly colored wigs), eyelashes (mostly black), wig caps, hair styling tools and accessories, and styrofoam wig heads.
- Rockstar Wigs
- Arda Wigs
- Electrique Boutique: (Dallas, TX) Colored and shiny lashes, plus black light reactive lashes.
- Jenny Beauty Supply: (Dallas, TX) Mostly natural-colored lashes
- Local pop-up Halloween stores (especially after Halloween)
Costume and Prop Supplies
- TNT Cosplay Supply: (Dallas, TX and online)
- Amazon – Interlocking Anti-fatigue EVA Foam Floor Mat
- Harbor Freight: (Dallas, TX and online) They have both interlocking mats and rolls.
Contact Cement for Foam
- Barge Cement: online or available in Dallas, TX at TNT Cosplay Supply or Tandy Leather
- Dap 00107 3-Ounce Weldwood Contact Cement
Jacquard Fabric Paints
- Bal Togs Adult Mock Neck Long Sleeve Unitard
- Superfan Suits: Lots of options, including open-face and gloved unitards.
- Harbor Freight Tools: Chip brushes, paint brushes, buckets, hot glue sticks, heat guns, nitrile gloves, work gloves, respirators, utility knife replacement blades, protective eyewear, etc.
- Michael’s: A good alternative for art supplies in a pinch, especially when you have coupons.
|Airbrush – Iwata Eclipse Gravity-feed
NOTE: If this is your first airbrush, you might consider ordering a kit that includes a compressor and hose. This Iwata kit is a nice option for getting started. I saw it on Craig Fraser’s airbrush tutorial on Stan Winston School.
|Iwata-Medea Air Hose|
|Badger Air-Brush Co. TC910 Aspire Pro Compressor: I like that this compressor has an air storage tank and a case around it for my airbrush holder.|
|Master Airbrush® Brand Universal Clamp-on Airbrush Holder. Holds up to 6 Airbrushes|
|Fiskars 18×24 Inch Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat|
|Sewing Machine – Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW: A good, basic sewing machine. This one has a lot of plastic parts that could potentially break. But for the cost, this is a great machine to get you up and running quickly.|
|Serger – Baby Lock BL450: Baby Lock doesn’t sell their sergers online, so find a retailer, such as JoAnn’s. I bought this machine in 2006 and it’s still going strong.|
|Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool Kit:|
|Dremel 225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment|
|Xacto X7747 Board Cutter: For cutting angled edges on EVA foam.|