Cosplay Materials: How to Get Them Cheap
Guest Post By Claudia Thursfield
Cosplay is incredible. It’s like having several Halloweens a year. You get to be whoever you want to be, and if you’re at the right convention, you might even win a prize for it. Few things are more rewarding for the proud nerd than taking a favorite character and turning that character into a walking, talking reality. The only problem is that cosplay can get shockingly expensive. If you don’t want to keep recycling the same outfits or skipping out on conventions you’d otherwise love to go to, it’s time to get smart about how you buy your cosplay materials.
Stock Up Around Halloween
Discount retailers (and even dollar stores) get tons of costume supplies around Halloween. If you know what you’d like your next few cosplays to be, October is the perfect month to start stocking up. It also helps to pick up a few generic pieces (like weapons or wigs) that you can modify later. Chances are slim to none that you’ll be able to easily find these materials at any other time of the year. Since you’ll be able to see them in person and you won’t have to pay shipping, you should take advantage while you can.
Make Them Yourself
Cardboard, foam board, polymer clay, and plastic tubing can look like whatever you need them to look like. All that matters is how well you paint and stylize them. If you’re crafty enough to give it a shot, there are virtually millions of cosplay tutorials on the internet. If you’re trying to do something you’ve never seen done before, test out a few different methods. Plastic spoons become scales. Bubble wrap becomes warts. It’s all about disguising the cheap material underneath by putting hard work on top of it.
Have you ever walked into a thrift store and thought “Why would anyone in their right mind buy even a small fraction of this garbage?” It might be time to get out of your right mind. Thrift stores are full of really cheap building materials. Shoes you can paint, old picture frames you can take apart and use or wood, pillows you can tear apart to stuff bulky costumes for a better fit – you name it. Thrift stores are often like junkyards, but their junk can be your treasure if you’re willing to look at it in an innovative way.
Get a 3D Printer
Small household 3D printers aren’t nearly as expensive as they used to be, and purchasing the plastic for your 3D printer is infinitely cheaper than purchasing ink for a regular printer. For just a few cents, you can print all sorts of small accessories. Crowns, jewelry, buttons, brooches, and even palm-sized weapons are easy to create. Invest in the 3D printer once, and any other small custom piece you need costs the fraction of a price of a bottle of water.
Doctor Up Some Imports
Most people avoid buying cosplay materials that are made overseas and sold on auction or wholesale websites. Sure, they’re cheap, but they never look real. If you want to go the semi-homemade route, you can buy these knockoff pieces and improve them once you get them. This is a better alternative than creating a piece from the ground up in terms of both time and budget. As long as your expectations aren’t too high about what you’re going to receive, you’re likely to get a great starting point.
Cosplay doesn’t need to break the bank if you’re imaginative enough. Sure, you might spend months building a costume, but in the end, you’ll be a lot more proud than you would if you’d purchased a packaged costume.
Claudia Thursfield is a Content Creator at BizDb.co.uk. She is a writer with a passion and loves to share her ideas and thoughts with other people of similar interests. Creating cosplays from a scratch is her hobby as well as sewing clothes and creating various clothing accessories.