• Character: Monika
  • Series: Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Worn at: Crunchyroll Expo 2018, Fanime 2019, Anime Expo 2019
  • Estimated build duration: 2 weeks pulling for basic items, 2 weeks in building pen, heart sign and acrylic sign

Who could not love a character determined to be the main character in her life?? Monika in this free-to-play horror game was relegated to the “best friend” side character, but tried her best to learn programming, and change her life to pursue her goals.

Monika is a kind, nurturing person, who loves her friends, and gives great advice to help you in your life. (For those who played the game, see “Monika Talk”, which addresses being an introvert/extrovert, disappointment, depression, and love). Who wouldn’t want to cosplay this wonderful character??

Acrylic signs recreating light novel signs, in-game dialogue laser-etched, and painted over

While the garment was simple, this build let me dive deeper in propwork, from dyeing plastic, carving hearts, and recreating the literal text box from the game.

Media/Materials used

  • Faux-velvet jacket, thrift-store found. Surprisingly difficult to find, as other cosplayers can attest.
  • Pulled vest and blue skirt, from Amazon
  • Daiso heart pen
  • Pink thick Sharpie
  • Adobe illustrator, for tracing,
  • Heart sign:
    • Wood, CNC carved
    • Vinyl to cover the wooden heart
    • CNC machine, Carvey
  • Light novel signs:
    • acrylic sheet
    • acrylic paint
    • laser cutter

Construction Notes/WIP

Photos of different acrylic plates, with different paints depths and fonts.

While the garment was mostly pulled, this project let me explore propwork. I got a chance to incorporate Illustrator and carve signs!

I have tried painting the signs in different ways, but the way I want to refine is the acrylic/laser cutter variant. I initially tried painting on top of wood, which required sanding. I got so tired of hand-sanding the initial wood heart that I just painted the white parts, and just made a red skin made of a vinyl sticker. It works!⁠

After that, I thought to explore how can I use the laser cutter. Acrylic plastic comes with a paper cover. The laser can etch any part that needs paint, and once the paint is applied, you can peel off the paper cover for a clean finish.


Best versions of signs, using a laser cutter/acrylic technique.

I truly enjoyed developing an acrylic paint-laser cutting technique that allows us to etch what we want, and paint however we like. It lets me be as precise as I want with the tools, and makes it easier for me to paint. I will continue to refine this technique to help others paint and etch more precisely, and share my love of these tools!

As for the cosplay, while I used minimal pieces like the bow and styling, it is one of my favorite comfortable costumes to date. There is no other cosplay where I would get cries of both adoration (“JUST MONIKA!” and “BEST GIRL!”) and disgruntlement (“YURI (another girl) IS BEST GIRL!”).

Image gallery