The first thing to consider when building a Cosplay is, obviously, whom you would like to portray. Never just pick a character because you have a slight interest in them, pick one you truly wish to represent. That way you will be more passionate about the entire project, and this will often lead to a better Cosplay.
Once you have decided upon your character, the next step is to create a budget. Never plan something that will send you to the poorhouse, but at the same time, never let the apparent cost of a Cosplay discourage you from attempting it; there are always ways to make things cheaper. So, set yourself an amount of money you are willing to spend, and then begin researching what you need.
You can usually find the pieces of your intended Cosplay online, but that isn’t the most cost effective method to acquire them. One caveat of this is that you need to be at least marginally artistically inclined in order to make your own costume; otherwise, you may need to resign yourself to purchasing the different parts of your costume. Being able to sew is also incredibly helpful in Cosplay creation.
If you are entirely lacking in artistic skill, there are some websites that you can use to try and find parts for your Cosplay. Etsy, a site where people sell hand-made products, is an incredibly helpful place to buy Cosplay supplies. Depending on the intricacy of your Cosplay, however, you can really start spending quite a bit of money if you buy everything online.
If you’re creative enough, many household objects can be used as parts of a Cosplay. Yardsticks, soda cans, loose pieces of fabric – really anything can be used in a Cosplay, if you can find a way.
Thrift stores are a fantastic location to purchase materials for your Cosplay. Often you can get materials or pieces of clothing that match what you need perfectly, and cost barely anything.
Part of your budget will most likely go towards paints and other artistic supplies, so you should always plan for that. Try to find supplies that are the right color for whatever you’re trying to create, in order to cut down on costs. The less you have to color or paint, the better.
Cosplay can be an incredibly rewarding hobby, but you need to be prepared to spend some money if you want to make a good one. However, using household supplies and smart budgeting, you can often find ways to make a Cosplay much cheaper than it could be. Never let the cost discourage you; it’s an incredibly fun way to spend time. So go out there, budget, and Cosplay!