I am still working on my Yuuko cosplay - I bet you are all bored, so let me update you on another project I am working. It is not cosplay related but it is fun.
Have you heard of the Kotatsu? A kotatsu is a low, wooden table frame covered by a futon(heavy blanket) upon which a table top sits. It is quite popular in Japanese homes where central heating is not common (usually this is the case for younger people who are poor, or folks who live in the country.) Anyway, the walls of most homes in Japan are quite thin and the winters there are fierce. If you watch a lot of anime you may have seen characters enjoying time with friends and family whilst sitting at a kotatsu. Last year my landlord wasn’t being very great with heat so I decided this year to remedy the situation with my own DIY kotatsu.
You will need:
1x LACK table from IKEA (I used the 30x30 size since that is a common size in Japan for a small kotatsu)
1x kotatsu heater (I got mine from ebay for $80)
4x screws that fit your L brackets
4x L brackets (to mount heater under table)
8x washers (I think this is optional but I got em anyway for screwing the kotatsu into the brackets)
1x hook type bracket.. you’ll see below There are two other misc. things I used but I don’t remember the names - just go by the pictures and wing it with what you find in your hardware store.
First, I had a friend of mine who is a carpenter, trim down the legs of the IKEA LACK table because a traditional kotatsu is about 14 inches in height. For taller folks, you may not need to trim down the LACK legs and you might like the height as is. I did not. The LACK table is great because you can use the bottom shelf as the second table top over your blanket.
You then go and buy a heater. Mine came from a Japanese seller on Ebay.
The one above is the cheapest model by METRO and is intended for a 30x30 table. It will work with a US outlet without a stepdown converter. I’ve actually read arguments against buying one because supposedly step down converters can shorten the life of the product. I also read that the voltage is usually an estimate because at any given place in Japan (or even in the US) the voltage going into someone’s home may be different by a range of 20-100v.
The heater came with it’s own screws. So I just screwed the L brackets onto the kotatsu heater as you see here.
Do some measuring and center the heater under the table.
After screwing it down, you may want to have something to stop the cord from dangling. So go install one of those circle things (what is it called? jeez I forget.)
My heater came with that metal clip - so now I have a place to hang the wire.
I wanted the wire to lead straight to one of the legs, so like a traditional kotatsu, I installed a hook.
I didn’t screw it in tightly so it swivels around :)
I didn’t take pictures with the kotatsu fully done - with the blanket and table top on… because I’m currently using the second table top as a flat surface to lean on while I paint my Yuuko kimono, haha.
For the futon I purchased a blanket from Ikea 200cm x 200cm which seems to be the normal size for a futon intended for a 30x30 table. You can use any size IKEA LACK table (there is the super small one for ten, but that would only fit one person… and what if you want to use your laptop and eat dinner at the same time? or do homework? the smallest size has no room for any of that!)
Anyway, for under $200 dollars you can DIY using mostly IKEA stuff and random things from the hardware store. :)