resources ::

[+] Special Resource: The Art of War: San Diego Comic-Con Edition: e-book (PDF download) comprehensive guide to attending SDCC
*** Buy the updated and massively expanded version on Etsy! ***

[+] Want to know how I make things? Tutorials I've written:
@Instructables: make felt Adventure Time ornaments // horns, silk painting, armor and more: Orlouge walkthrough // no-sew giant decorative bows

[+] Want to know the tools/materials I can't live without?

[+] Want to know where I buy supplies?
where I buy: plush supplies
where I buy: fabric
where I buy: cosplay/costume/prop supplies
where I buy: puppet supplies

Plush Supplies

CR's Crafts: the best selection and prices on safety eyes, including eyes with clear irises for painting. Also tons of other supplies including joints, stuffing, pellets for weighting, and all kinds of other items for doll making, bear making, and general crafts.

Enami Eyes on Etsy / their site: Artist-painted eyes, great colors and selection.

6060 on Etsy: Some artist-painted eyes, including zombie eyes, and commercial eyes in bright colors. Also carries small bulk quantities of black safety eyes for a good price should CR's be out.

Distinctive Fabric: fake fur, velboa, velvet, pleathers and vinyls. Selection frequently changes, so they often have clearance sales on fabrics. Also carries a wide variety of fashion fabrics. All 1 yard minimum cuts.

Mendel's Fabrics: fake fur of various lengths, Minky in many colors, lots of weird stuff; available in 1/2yd minimum. Physical store in San Francisco.

Misc. Fabric

Vogue Fabrics: independent fabric store, for those looking to explore fabrics besides fleece. Some of their selection now online. Good Minky and fur-type fabrics, plus quality vinyl, pleather, and fake suede. Good collection of silks and wools for speciality stuff too.

Spandex House: if it stretches, they have it. Any type of spandex blend you could ever want, as well as fishnet, t-shirt fabrics in all kinds of prints, and some things you have no use for but will want anyway. I actually use stretch fabrics in plushing; they take a bit of skill, but you can get great effects.

MJ Trims: When it comes to trims (ribbon, lace, leather, fringe...) if they haven't got it, you're unlikely to find it. They carry vareties of studs I haven't found anywhere else. The physical store in NYC is best (if you have access to it).

Cosplay/Costume, Textile Arts and Misc. Crafting Supplies

Dharma Trading Co.: for everything related to dyeing, fabric painting, and related, including dyes and paints, tools, books, fabrics, and extensive information. Some of the best online pages on different painting and dyeing techniques and the fabrics they work on are here.

Bokunan-do: most complete selection of Japanese clothing items online. Based in Japan but they offer EMS and airmail. If you cannot find what you need, they are willing to track it down. Excellent customer service.

Fire Mountain Gems: Comprehensive source for jewelry supplies of all types. Their "all assortable" discount pricing can knock a good chunk off your bill if you're buying multiple things.

Dreamtime Creations: very good prices on rhinestones of all types, as well as some cabochons.

Kit Kraft: If someone was designing a craft supply for people who make weird stuff, this would be it. Sculpting materials, chain, molding and casting, sculpting supply (I usually purchase Magic Sculpt from here), excellent selection of studs, and all kinds of miscellany. They have a physical store in Los Angeles.

The Compleat Sculptor: aimed at artists, but they also work with set and prop builders etc. Good selection of resin clays, molding and casting supplies, wires and mesh for frameworks, and tools.

Douglas & Sturgess: third option for odd sculpting, molding, and casting supplies. Also a good source, with a number of thermoplastics difficult to find elsewhere.

Cosplay Supplies.com: run by an acquaintance from back in the day. The easiest place to get Wonderflex and Fosshape, and also has very helpful tutorials.

Zack White Leather: Great selection, prices, and fast shipping on any leatherworking supplies you could want. Veg-tanned hides, dyes, tools, buckles, and rivets. They'll help you on the phone if you don't know what to order for your project, and have gone out of their way to help me out in the past.

Wow Wigs: prices can be higher than some sites, but they stock a wide variety of good quality costume wigs, and affordable everyday wigs. They also have great customer service.

Snaz75 Shoes: good selection of heels and boots, including men's sizes, nicely organized. They're a "stripper supply" type focus, but they also carry Demonia boots. The prices are "good average", but keep a look out for great deals in Clearance. Customer service was fully responsive when I had a problem, which is good to know.

The Feather Place: *Much* better prices for small to medium numbers of feathers than your craft store; I saved a ton on peacock feathers. Fast shipping. Also, you know you want a wig made out of feathers.

W.W. Swalef & Son: if your idea of "I need a lot of feathers" can be measured in pounds, this is your place. They ONLY sell wholesale, but they will sell to individuals. They came through for me with a rush order of several pounds of very unusual feathers once, and it didn't cost me several limbs.

Cool Neon: there are several other good EL wire suppliers, but this is my personal favorite. There are a few places that will sell you cheapie, poor quality wire without saying so, so be careful.

Puppet-building Supplies

I'm new to foam puppet building but will expand this section as I learn. A surprising number of puppet supplies can be acquired offline in your area. Most hardware stores carry piano wire (for hand rods), even though they don't usually know it. For basic foam puppets, upholstery foam is fine. You can often find a local foam supplier who can hook you up with other types, or cheaper than from a fabric store. Wal-Mart and Target both carry foam golf balls and ping-pong balls (for eyes). Hardware stores and JoAnn carry Super 77 spray glue. Ace Hardware carries gasket rubber (for fancier mouth-plates). Doll joints are sold at Hobby Lobby (and sometimes at Michael's & Super JoAnn).

Project Puppet: go-to site for puppet patterns, used by many semi-professional puppeteers. Great if you just want to get to building without making your own patterns. They also have some great tips and reticulated foam.

Puppet Mart: carries stuff you might have trouble finding: Antron fleece, large eyes of various types, and miscellany. Small operation so things are not always in stock, but friendly customer service.

See Also: Mendel's and Distinctive Fabric for monster fur, puppet hair