I know its always exciting to see your favorite character come to life before your eyes.
That guy looks and acts just like Tony Stark.
That Belle is breathtaking in her ball gown.
Or, what about that really tall and intimidating Thanos lumbering towards you.
Cosplay is exciting and fun to engage in at local conventions. But, the world has changed since the golden age of social media along with several advances in crafting technology.
So, if you’re thinking about joining the costumed society, here are a few things to consider.
While you may be eager to get that Bumblebee mech build going in your backyard, it’s best to start small.
A good rule of thumb is to pick a character from your favorite show or what have you, and make sure they only have 4 to 5 items that make up their outfit.
Breakdown their outfit as follows:
From there, you can also include accessories and simple props. Like a plushie Pokemon or a sonic screwdriver.
Just remember, for more realistic looking props such as knives, swords, or guns; Stick to plastic or nerf versions for safety. Also, read up on convention rules about their Weapons Policy.
Try to keep it to things easily found in a thrift store/clothing store.
I would suggest going through a mini list of shows you’re currently digging this year. Take note of the character’s outfit and color scheme.
Give Yourself time and have some patience.
Do you work often or very little?
Do you have the attention span of a goldfish or a librarian when it comes to learning a new skill?
Cosplay construction can be very time intensive and sewing heavy if the character chosen has a lot of layers to them.
For a beginner, it’s recommended to either commision your first costume, buy a pre-made costume online (Yes, it still counts as cosplay even if bought.) or source pieces from your own closet.
This cuts down cost (sometimes) and gives you a taste of what it takes to get a costume together for your chosen character.
However, there are free sewing and crafting classes provided sometimes by big box stores such as Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics. Check online for class schedules or call your nearest store for more info.
If you think you’re ready to invest in these tools, taking classes in how to maintain and use a sewing machine is worth it.
Later on, you can look into 3D modeling for beginners. Those cute, little printers are slowly coming down on price, but you’ll be hard pressed to find any under $300. Be prepared to wait a few days for those pieces to complete.
Get a friend or a group together to cosplay with you.
Any hobby is more fun when you have a friend to do it with.
Don’t have a friend or group to dress up with?
Join a local Cosplay Community. Try searching by major city and add ”cosplay group” or ”cosplay community” and your bound to find a few.
After joining, you may find out more about cosplay crafting tricks and hear about the occasional meet-up or even genre themed photoshoots.
Capture your new costume in some memorable poses or reenact scenes from your favorite show.
Save, save, save.
It’s tempting to buy all 10 yards of that pleather fabric that just went on sale at Joann’s. But, hold out for the discounts just a tad bit longer.
Cosplay can get expensive rather quickly.
So, try to pinch those pennies where you can.
Don’t, I repeat, DON’T PUT OFF MAJOR BILLS FOR A COSTUME.
That includes paying your rent on time, paying a car bill, getting groceries, paying for electric…You know, the necessities of daily living.
Unless you’re in high school or still living with parents that might not be your problem. But, you would be surprised at how many people do forgo paying these things just build a $3000 costume.
It’s never worth putting yourself out of a home for a costume that could’ve been built over years. That would be a cooler story to say it took you ”X” amount of years to finish that detailed Velociraptor.
But most importantly…
Just remember to have fun and give yourself time to grow within your new community of masked and semi-spandex clad group.
Anyone can participate regardless of age, gender, race, weight and more.
At the end of the day, we’re all still weirdos in costumes.
We’re so happy your here.