Costume Inventory Store – Credit Card Payments

This week I have made some adjustments to the store – – and you can now pay easily with a credit card (without having to hunt for the option) !

On the Order Summary Page you can now select from:  PayPal, Call and Credit Card.










On the Order Summary page look for the Payment Options.  Look for Credit Card – it is the last one in the list.  Enter your credit card information and click on “Place Order” !

If you have any questions or problems, please let me know.

Thanks !

Host your Inventory Database on the Web – Now !

For over the last 2 years I have been working to bring the Costume Inventory Database to the web. I have tested many different online database options and found them all lacking.  I am good at writing databases but learning all the many layers of programming code to create a functional online database with the features that everyone is used to became an a a nearly impossible task for me.  But – the world is moving away from desktop and local area network software and on to the web – so I had to figure a way to do it.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Introducing the Costume Inventory Resources Dedicated Server !

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????For the last few months I have been working with some very smart and dedicated network hosting engineers at We have set up a dedicated Citrix Server..  It is a powerful, fast and reliable server that will host your database and allow access to it from any device (PC, Mac, iPad, Android) through the Internet.  In the early testing that we have done the performance of the database on the Dedicated Server is better than I have on my desktop. (Tablets are a bit slower but we are working on that!)



We will copy your Theatre Inventory Database (we need to upgrade your current database to the newest version) or your Lighting or Sound/Media Equipment database and all your data and photos to your own secure folder.

This will take your database off your own network or local computer so your IT Staff will not have to monitor and support it.   You will get a simple to use FTP app to upload your photos to your folder as you create them.  The database and photos are backed up every night.

CitrixReceiverIntallYou will sign up for a hosting plan and add users.  Then you and your staff will have access to the database from any location and any device !   Each device will need to download the free Citrix Receiver software to their device and so a quick installation.  (Note:  The Theatre Inventory Database is a bit large to work on an iPad or tablet at the moment but we will be publishing a smaller app to access the data very soon).

Click here to see the Dedicated Server page on the website with links to more information.

Costs for the hosting plans start at $50 / month.

Contact us to see a demo of the Theatre Inventory Database on the server.  This is a great solution to keep your database accessible to all members of your staff – where ever they may be.


Theatre Inventory Database 5-1 !

The Costume Inventory Database has evolved quite a bit in the last few years and tracks more than just costumes (Props, Scripts, etc).  Many customers who had both the Costume Inventory Database and the Pattern database wanted to connect their costume records with the pattern records.  So to make the title of the database more accurate and to make the updates to the databases more consistent and timely I have upgraded the Costume Inventory Database – Elite into the Theatre Inventory Database.

StartupThere are many new features but the four most important are:

1)  The Theatre Inventory Database has modules that can be installed or un-installed as you decide what you want.  The database comes with the following modules installed:

Costume Pieces – Individual costume piece records.  The costume piece records are much the same as before but can be linked to one or more productions.  This option is in addition to the Performance Management / Ensembles feature that links Ensembles to Productions.

Performance Management – This was the Ensembles records but now includes the Production/Performance features that link Roles to Ensembles and Performers.

Props – This is the same props module as before but with a few more features.

Patterns – This module will track your pattern collection and link the costume and pattern records together. The Pattern Inventory Database is paid for separately from the Theatre Inventory Database.

Scripts/Scores – this module allows you to check out scripts, scores, and books to students / performers.

When you purchase your software the Software Registration Key will install the modules you have paid for.

All versions include the Productions and Rentals / Checkout modules.  The different versions are:

Elite:  Costume Pieces, Performance Management, Props, Scripts

Standard:  Costume Pieces, Props

Props:  Props

Patterns:   this can be a Stand-alone database or installed in the Theatre Inventory Database.


LogIn2) You can set up a Log-in / User Security system.  If you choose to turn on the Log-in feature everyone using the database will need to have a username and password set up by the database administrator.  There are 3 levels of database access:  Administrator (can do everything); Data Entry / Staff (can add / edit / delete costume/prop etc records but not update the users or utilities; and Read-only (these users can view data, do searches and print reports but not edit any data or utilities).

3)  The database is split into two files – one for the data and one for the forms and reports.  This setup will make the database much easier to administer on networks where there are multiple people using the database at the same time.  It will also make it much easier for you to upgrade to a new version as they become available as the data will remain the same and the new forms / reports file will just link to your data.

PhotoGalleryCostumes4)  The search results for Costumes, Ensembles, Props and Patterns can now be viewed as a Photo Gallery.  You can see a photo from each record – 16 to a page.  Each photo is identified by Tag ID/Pattern number.




The database is available to download now from the Costume & Theatre Inventory Resources website.  Your data will need to be imported into this current version but that is easy to do – just contact me for assistance.

One other new update is that the User Guide is now in an online – searchable format.  It is not complete but the costume chapters are mostly complete.  Check it out here 

Here is the full list of the new features:

New Features for Version 5

1) The Theatre Inventory Database comes with 5 modules: the Costume Pieces, Performance Management (Ensembles), Props, Sewing Patterns and Scripts modules. You can select which module to add/use/un-install. Simply purchase the modules you want, enter the Software Reg Key and get to work. The “Productions” and “Check-out/Rental” features are included for all modules.  You will notice that the menus are cleaner with fewer options and that there are more menus. This was done to make it easier to accommodate having the modules (that could be installed and uninstalled) and allow for future versions of the database to add new modules without having to redesign the opening screens each time.

2) User Log-in / Security – The database administrator has the option to turn on security so users will have to log-in with a username and password. Users can have one of 3 levels of security: Admin (can do anything), Staff (can enter data but not update Utilities), and Read Only (view records, do searches, print reports). To turn this feature on, go to the Utilities/Company Information screen.

3) Photo Gallery – One of the options on the Search Results form is to view the photos of the selected records in a gallery format.

4) Spell Check – If your installation has the full version of MS Office (Access and Word) you can turn on the Spell check function. On the Costume Piece and Props screens you will see a small button to do a spell check on the page. If you are using the MS Access Runtime, the Spell check will not work. To turn this feature on, go to the Utilities/Company Information screen.

5) Database is split into two files – called a front end and a back end. The database front end has the forms, reports and programing code to make the application work. The database back end is a file that only includes the tables. The two files are linked. There are several advantages to having the database split: 1) The database will work much better in multi-user environments on networks, 2) It will allow for easier updates to newer versions (only the front end will need to be replaced), 3) It will allow for new versions – such as the multi-language version or specialty versions (TV Presenters, Photo Studio, etc) to be introduced in the future. The data tables in the back end can be imported to a MS SQL Server database and linked to the front end easily if your organization’s IT staff wish to do so. Contact us for more information.

6) Tag ID’s Sorting improved. Tag ID’s with letters, symbols and numbers have always been difficult to sort correctly. A new sorting algorithm has been created to sort the Costume and Props tag ID’s more accurately. If you change the TagID for a costume or prop you will be instructed to go to the Costume / Props Utilities Menu. Look for the option “Update Costume/Prop Sorting “. Click on that option and the Tag sorting will be updated.

7) Pattern Inventory Module now integrated with the Costume Piece Module. If you choose to purchase/install the Pattern Inventory Module you can link pattern records to the costume pieces that were made from the patterns.

8) New options to select costumes and props for the Theatre Inventory Connect! website. The Theatre Inventory Connect! site ( is a place to advertise you costumes and props for rent. The site will hold many collections – not just yours. The records are searchable by many fields include Country, State, Costume Type, Color, Size, Time Period, and Production. You can select which records from your Theatre Inventory Database to publish to the site. Contact Costume and Theatre Inventory Resources for more information.

9) New fields: Costume Pieces: Condition, Design Style (casual, formal, etc), Fabric Pattern (solid, plaid, floral, etc). These fields are drop downs and based on a table that can be updated in the Utilities menu. The fields can be searched on.

10) Exact match: In the Search screens for Costumes and Props you can turn on the Exact Match option for Costume/Prop name and Size. For example: if you wanted to search for size “S” you could turn on exact match and only see the records were “S” not “XS”, “S/M”.

11) Costume Pieces can be assigned to one or more Productions without being part of an Ensemble and assigned to a Role. This is the same functionality as is in the “Standard” version. Now it is available in the all versions.

12) New fields and reports for Productions / Performance Management: The Performers record now has a field for “Dressing Room”. There is a new report under the Performance Reports that will allow you to print a list of dressing rooms and all the performers assigned to it. There is also a “Ditty Bag” report. This report is a list of all the costume pieces that belong to an Ensemble that has been assigned to a performer in a role in a production – plus a photo. The report is designed to fit on the “Ultimate Ditty Bag” which is available from Costume Inventory Resources.

Take a look at the new version and the User Guide and let me know what you think !

(Since there are so many updates to this version I am offering 5 $25 gift certificates to the first five people who find a bug in the Theatre Inventory Database !  I hope I won’t have to pay out but I usually miss something !  Thanks for your help !)



The Ultimate Ditty Bag !

Costume & Theatre Inventory Resources is now offering the Ultimate Ditty Bag !

I originally made one for my son (college student majoring in Theatre) but once my customers saw it – they all wanted a dozen !  So I have found a wonderful seamstress to cut and sew these custom bags.

The Ultimate Ditty Bag is designed to identify your performer’s costume pieces and hold small items, undergarments and shoes in the dressing room during a production.


✓ Large, 19″ x 40″, bag with pockets made of 7.5 oz cotton/polyester twill fabric. It is designed to hang over a heavy duty hanger. Durable enough to last for many years of productions – even with the most rambunctious actors. Hand made in the USA.
✓ Easily readable ID number – each bag will have a number on the bag itself and the detachable laundry bag. When you order the bag – please tell us what numbers to use (# 1-99).







✓ Vinyl pocket to hold a ‘Ditty Bag Card’ printed from the Theatre Inventory Database (Productions Reports / Performance Management). The card will have the assigned ID number, performer’s name, the role name, all the costume pieces that belong to the Ensemble plus a photo from the Ensemble record.
✓ Small mesh pocket – for small items like jewelry, bow tie, handkerchiefs, etc. There is a snap in the middle to secure it.

✓ Large fabric pocket – for belts, ties, clean socks, clean t-shirt, etc.

✓ Large, detachable mesh laundry bag to hold dirty socks, undergarments, etc. It is fastened with snaps so it can be removed and the contents washed and dried in the bag. Once the bag is out of the laundry it can be re-attached to the correct Ditty Bag as it has the same number.
✓ Shoe pockets – for 2 pairs of shoes.DSF-06338-Ditty_Bag





✓ The back has a slit opening so a performer can hang their street clothes inside.





DSF-06352-Ditty_Bag✓ A “Property Of …” tag on the back where your school/theatre name, phone # or website can be printed. (Give us printing instructions with your order.)



✓ Easy-to-clean bag – just Hand or Machine Wash – Gentle with Cold Water and line dry on the hanger. Remember, the vinyl pocket can’t handle the dryer heat!

When ordering please include the numbers you want on the bags (i.e. 1 – 12, etc) and the name of the school / theatre to go on the property tag.

Cost:  $65 each (free shipping)

Accessories: (not included)

Hanger: We recommend the Walmart Heavyweight Plastic hangers (5 hangers for $2). We do not recommend a standard plastic hanger as they will break and metal hangers can bend.

Wardrobe bag: (to cover the Ditty Bag while traveling to competitions) Look for a heavy vinyl or fabric bag that is at least 21″ wide and 42 or more inches long. Walmart has one for under $10 which will hold two Ditty Bags or a Ditty Bag and a costume. You can print large numbers on Avery labels #6572 from the Theatre Inventory Database to match the Wardrobe Bag with the Ditty Bag.(See website for details.)







Costume Inventory DB 4-8 ready

The lastest version of the Costume Inventory Database – Version 4-8 is ready for download.  This is the last update before the database application goes modular.  This version has the Costume Pieces, Ensembles, Props and Scripts. 
 New features include :

1) New fields for Costume Pieces (Color Pattern (i.e.Plaid, Stripes), Design Style (Casual, Formal, etc) and Condition. New Search options as well.
2) A ‘Copy Production’ feature which allows you to copy a production and roles and ensembles.
3) New “Current” field for Productions and Individuals which allows you to mark the records as “not current ” so the records will fall to the bottom of the lookup lists.
4) New Brief / Summary Rental Receipts for Organization rentals. The new reports have much less data and require less paper to print.
5) Bug fix – the problem with the database crashing if you had a blank Storage Location record has been fixed.

As a reminder – the Professional Versions have been discontinued and all the Inventory Databases are the ‘Elite” version with linked (not embedded photos).

If none of these problems is concerning your costume shop, then you can stay with your current version.  If you want to upgrade, let me know.

Professional Versions Discontinued (but still supported !)

The Professional  (embedded photos) version of the Costume, Props and Pattern Inventory Databases have been discontinued for all future upgrades of the databases. Don’t worry – the Professional versions will be supported for as long as you want to use your database.   The new versions of all the Inventory Databases will have linked (not embedded) photos.

If your Professional version of the software is still working well you don’t need to change anything.  We will continue to support all Professional versions of the software for as long as you use them.  But … if you would like to upgrade to the Elite (linked photos) and have all your data and photos transferred to the new version, please contact us.

The reasons behind this move was

1)  Many customers had over 5,000 costume records with embedded photos and the databases were getting close to or exceeding the maximum size of the database (2GB). The issue was not the number of costume/prop/pattern records but the size of the photos. By extracting the photos and linking them to the Costume/Prop/Pattern records the database drops to about 70 MB – which is very small for a database and much, much faster to work with.

2)  There are many customers who are wanting to move to an online version of the database.  The On-line version only works with linked photos so to make it easier for customers to move from the desktop to online versions it is best to extract the photos now and make the database easier to upgrade to the Online version.

Please contact Margaret (855-468-8247 or  if you have any questions or would like to move your photos from the Pro to the Elite version. There will be no charge for the upgrade (to the non-modular version (v4-8) until Dec 31st.

Spring Newsletter – USITT !

USITT 2014 – Fort Worth, TX – March 26th – 29th   USITT is this week !! Stop by Booth 1540 to try the desktop and online database applications and pick up sample custom printed tags for costumes and labels for props, lighting and other equipment. New this year we will have samples of a heat-tolerant label. We also have a small model of the “Stage-In-A-Box” set-design tool.

 10% off coupon – just for stopping by

$25 off coupon for trying either database application

 April Keith, of Sam Houston State University, and I will be giving a presentation on Wednesday, March 26th on “The Advantages of Creating a Costume/Prop Inventory”, It will be in Room 200 (near the Ballroom) at 2:30pm. The presentation will include a hands-on session photographing costumes, applying tags, and entering data.

If you are in the Fort Worth / Dallas area and just want to visit the Stage Expo – click here  and enter my Code: CI1540 to get a free pass for all 3 days to the Stage Expo.   Contact me if you have any questions.

Friday morning I will be doing a demo at 10:00 am during the PowerHour session.  Stop by the booth on Thursday for an invitation or register with the link above for the free Expo Pass and get an invitation automatically. (The PowerHour is an invitation-only time 1 hour before the Expo Opens).

All the handouts that I will be giving out during the presentation and the Powerhour will be on my website on the USITT page for you to download.

I hope you will stop by the booth or attend one of the presentations.

The Costume Inventory Database – Standard has been updated and renamed to the Costume Inventory Database – Standard/Rental.  The database has been updated and streamlined for use by costume houses that want to rent individual costume pieces – rather than ensembles.  It still includes the Props module for adding Props/Sets records, doing searches and rentals.

New Inventory Tag Printer !

I have upgraded my Inventory Tag printer for Iron-on tags which will allow me to print higher quality graphics and barcodes.  If you would like to see a sample, please let me know.

EdTA – Educational Theatre Association National Conference “Theatre at the Core” is in July this year.  I will be in Cincinnati on July 24th – 26th.

Costume Inventory Resources will be closed  the following dates:

Tuesday – Friday, March 25th – 28th – USITT Conference.  I will be available by EMail.  I will try to return calls as I am able.

Thanks !


Online Costume Inventory Database !!

Online Costume Inventory Database project !!!  Finally !

After working for over a year trying many different approaches to creating an online / internet available application we have a working sample.  The Online Costume Inventory Database is created in a web database application generator from  This is a work-in-progress so many features from the desktop version of the Costume Inventory Database are not included in the Online version yet.  The sample Online version is linked to my website but customers who purchase the application will embed a link in their own website to the site where their application will reside.  Each customer will have their own copy of the application in their own account on Zoho.

The Online Costume Inventory Database includes these features:

1)  Online access from any computer (PC or Mac), smartphone or tablet (note some smartphones will not display the entire screen as the webpages are rather wide).  No additional software is needed.

2)  Add, edit, copy, delete Costume Piece records with photos.

3)  Photos can be linked to database from

4)  Search for costume records on any field and print results.

5)  Costume Rentals – this module needs a lot of work but we have the basic parts of the Rental transaction working.

6)  Reports of All Costumes, Costumes by Costume Type, Costumes by Storage Location, Costumes that Need Repair.

7) Utilities – you can update any of the lookup tables to customize your database.

A brief User Guide is available from the website for you to download as well as a Resource Guide which outlines the differences between the Desktop and Online versions.  Click here to take look. 

Also – if you are interested in the Online Costume Inventory Database – please take the online survey here.  It will help me keep in touch with everyone who is interested in putting their data on the web!


Thanks !


Inventory Databases updated to Version 4-0

The Costume Inventory Database (Pro and Elite), the Properties Inventory Database (Pro and Elite), the Scripts Inventory Database and the Sound/Media Equipment Inventory Database have all been updated to version 4-0.

The main improvements to the Costume and Props Inventory Databases are:

  • All have been upgraded to dbPix 3-0 – the latest version of the image processing software.  The advantages of DBPix 3-0 is that in the Elite version long reports with lots of photos will print better.  Also a toolbar appears above the photo image field that can be used in the Professional (not Elite) to load or copy a photo.  The Elite version shows the toolbar but it will not save the link to the photos.  For the Elite version you need to use the “Load Image” button like before.
  • New search features for costumes and props – You can search for costumes and Props by the date the item was entered in the database.  This is good to track how many costumes were entered on a work day or to find something you remember entering but can’t seem to find it.  Also the Search screen allows you to search with or without the Production information showing.  If an item is linked to more than one Production then the record would show up once for each Production causing some confusion.  If you want to include the Production name (and role) you can but if you want to display the records only once then you can exclude that field.
  • New Discard fields and reports to track costumes and props that are removed from the collection.  The Discard field has been expanded to include Date of Discard, Discard Reason, Value at the time of Discard.  A new report is available to print all items discarded during a selected time period.
  • The Checkout/Rental screens have had a slight re-design.  The forms to view/edit the Individuals and Organizations who rent costumes and props are on their own tab.
  • New fields for the Checkout and Rental which include Time due back, taxes, late fees and damage fees.  The Payment Info tab now has a full accounting of all fees to make it easier to see how the Balance Due is calculated.
  • New summary reports for Check-outs and Rentals which list the customers who still have items check-out and those customers with a Balance Due.
  • The Lighting Inventory Database will be updated in February.

Contact me if you have any questions or would like to upgrade to the latest version.

Costume Inventory Database Pro/Elite 3-11 Available

The latest version – 3-11 – of the Costume Inventory Database – Professional and Elite is now available for download from the website (

The new features in this version are:

1)  There are new ‘GoTo’ buttons on the Costume Pieces, Ensembles, Props screens. The screens have a “First” and “Last” buttons to move to the first and last records in the collection.  If the records are sorted by “Name” – the “Last” button will take you to the last record in alphabetical order.  If the records are sorted by “ID”, it will take you to the highest number.

2)  The Copy feature on the Costume Pieces and Props form will now check the number of copies you are making.  If you enter 50 or more for the number of copies it will stop you and ask if you really want to make that many copies.  If you say “Yes”, you will get the requested number of copies.  If you say “No” because you really didn’t want to make that many copies it will take you back to the “Copy” form to let you enter a different number.  If you do make too many copies you can delete the extras but it can take a lot of time.

3)  The forms and reports for the Check-out / Rentals screens have be modified so that the fields and the layout are more similar.  I realized that there was enough difference between the two screens that it was a bit confusing.  I hope the screens will be easier to work with now.  There are a few new reports as well.

4)  New fields have been added to the Check-out / Rentals screens.  You can now calculate sales tax (if you enter the Sales Tax % on the Company Info screen).  The new fields are:

  • Sales Tax
  • Late Fee
  • Cleaning or Damage Fee
  • Return Due Time
  • an “On Approval” check box
  • Shop Staff (to enter the name of the person checking out the costumes).

5)  On the Check-out / Rental screen there is also a new tab to show all the fees and calculations for the Balance Due.

6)  The Checkout/Rental receipts now have the new fields plus a footer which allows you to write a “Rental Agreement” phrase and have a place for the customer to sign the receipt.  You can update the text in the Rental Agreement from the Utilities menu.  If you wish to not have any Rental Agreement text at the bottom of the receipts – just delete the text from the “Rental Agreement” form.

7)  The Props module has been renamed to be Props / Scenery.  The forms and reports have been modified slightly to allow you to enter data and print report for flats and drops.

8)  There were some other minor bug fixes and form enhancements.

The Costume Inventory Database – Inventory Owner, the Properties Inventory Databases and the Costume Inventory Database – Standard will be updated soon to bring in these enhancements.  The User Guide will be updated in a few weeks.

As always, if you have any questions about updating to the new version or concerns – please give me a call or email.



855-468-8247 –


Costume Inventory Resources’ Customers are all over the world !

CustomerMap11-2013Ok – not quite all over the world but we now have customers in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, and Switzerland. 

Click here to see where the databases are used.

Click here to see where all our customers are – whether they have databases, tags, rack dividers or tutu coats!.