Cosplaying without a budget is like eating a three pound bag of gummy bears in one session. Fun in the moment, but ultimately there will be consequences. In cosplaying without a budget’s case, the consequences are usually looking at your bank account and seeing a negative sign. This is why setting a budget when cosplaying is key.
In the beginning planning stages of creating a costume one of the first things I determine is what I will need and how much I’m willing to spend. When creating a cosplay I analyze what I will need first and foremost. This includes: Deciding if I can make certain items, if I can find them in a thrift store, and deciding how much I’m willing to pay for expensive items. The most expensive items in a cosplay tend to be those you cannot create yourself. I.E. wig, contacts, certain weaponry.
Wig and Contacts
For wig and contacts find out where is the best deal with the least amount of sacrifice. For my wigs I usually turn to ebay. With the various shops with a wide range of reviews it can often be confusing. One of my my favorite shops to turn to is jcpunk. They offer a wide variety of wigs at an affordable cost. Their quality tends to be on the higher end and their prices range from 15-30USD.
The next step is buying building blocks. When I say building blocks I’m talking about the items that you’ll use to create the pieces on your own. Worbla, craft foam, posterboard, and hot glue will be some of your best building block choices. Now most of these items can be picked up fairly inexpensively at your local craft store. With one exception, Worbla. Worbla is thermoplastic modeling and molding sheet used for creating accessories, armor, weapons, and other assorted pieces. It is particularly useful due to it being able to take a hold shape, but still being flexible. The downside to worbla is that it’s not easy to find in stores and can be expensive. The much cheaper but less durable alternative is craft foam. So when in a pinch craft foam is a cheap switch to Worbla.
Another man’s trash is your treasure. When thinking about the base of a cosplay it is often simple items you think of. A black dress, a blue skirt, a red top. Rather than paying for an exact replica, these are the items you raid the thrift store for. No one notices if the base items aren’t an exact replica if they are similar enough the character you’re cosplaying. Someone’s old red sweater can become the base for your next Harley Quinn cosplay. An old corduroy blazer becomes the base for your Doctor cosplay. Never be afraid to thrift for your items.
Lastly, in the creation of your cosplay it is extremely important to stick to your budget. Look for good deals in strange places. Often times you’ll find some of the best things come from the strangest places. Plan, research, and enact your plans with confidence. Never forget, confidence is the ultimate key to creating a great cosplay.
Happy Cosplaying Friends!
Lucy Heartfilia Cosplay- Budget:$30, Spent:$25, Ebay List Price: $49.99