Tips to Cosplay on a Budget
Home My CosBuilder Blog Cosplay 101 Tips to Cosplay on a Budget

Tips to Cosplay on a Budget

Oct. 1, 2020, 10:05 a.m.

tips to cosplay on budget

The beauty of cosplay has always been individual creativity and ingenuity when building the perfect costume for a convention.

You might think a good costume requires a lot of money. You’d be wrong!

We’ve got several tips to create cheap cosplay that looks great.

# 1 - Set a Budget

If you know how much you are willing to spend, it helps you stay focused.

Staying on a budget doesn’t always mean cutting corners.

Cosplay is a labor of love. The more work you are willing to put in, the less budget you need to finish your look.

#2 - Make It Your Own

Your costume doesn’t have to be an exact replica.

A lot of cosplayers interpret their own design or do a mashup between 2 costumes.

Keep in mind, cosplay is about being creative and having fun.

Play to your strengths. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Sometimes “happy accidents” can lead to great cosplay.

View this post on Instagram

CAROLE BASKIN ROBBINS Also who else is hooked on “Tiger King” on @netflix??? I’m TRANSFIXED 🐅🐆🦁 (swipe through to see my cosplay without the pun!) . . . . . . #netflix #netflixtigerking #tigerking #tigerkingnetflix #tigerkingdoc #tigerkingdocumentary #tigerkingcosplay #netflixcosplay #cosplay #homecosplay #cosplayonabudget #cosplay #cosplayersofinstagram #cosplayer #baskinrobbins #baskinrobbinsicecream

A post shared by Kelsey Walmer (@van_kelsing) on

#3 - Materials are Everywhere

Do you need some material to make your costume? Look no further than your own house!

Some things around the house that might be useful:

#4 - Alter It

Find a lot of materials but none look like a costume? No problem. A little ingenuity will take you a long way.

Cardboard and construction paper can be cut and formed into various shapes. Add a little paint, and you'd never know that you started with an Amazon box.

View this post on Instagram

What is everyone's plans this weekend? Tell me in the comments below! 📸 by @mloertscher #beelickcosplay #cosplay #cosplayer #cosplayguy #soundwave #decepticon #decepticons #lazerbeak #blaster #autobot #ratbat #g1 #transformers #g1transformers #hasbro #transformerscosplay #soundwavecosplay #cardboard #cardboardcostume #cardboardcosplay

A post shared by Ryan Bielik (@moody_kittens) on

Check out your local craft store to find a multitude of ways to alter cloth. Some items you'll find:

And don't forget about your trusty bleach.

If you are still hurting for material or need something you just don’t think you can make on your own, like a dress coat, look for local garage sales and thrift stores.

#5 - You Don’t Need Expensive Machinery

Many avid cosplayers use sewing machines, Cricut machines, 3D Printers, or even laser cutters, which can cost a pretty penny.

True, these are typically one-time purchases, but if you don’t think you will get your money’s worth, hot glue and safety pins go a long way and are only a fraction of the cost.

View this post on Instagram

And it’s done! After a week of being sick, I finally got to finishing Ciri’s belt!!! . . . Follow me to see the progress of this cosplay!!! . . . . . . #ciricosplay #ciri #ciriwitcher #witcher3cosplay #witchercosplay #WIP #cosplaywip #HotGlueCosplay #cosplay #cosplayer #floridacosplayer #Witcher #Witcher3 #videogamecosplay #videogames #femalecosplayer #budgetcosplay #workinprogress #costume #ciribelt #Finished #evafoam

A post shared by Tiffany (@onesmoltiff) on

#6 - Cheap Costume Options

As a last resort, or maybe after just a lot of frustration, there is no shame in buying cheap costumes to complete a look.

There are some cheap online costume shops like Costume Pub that offer discounted prices on costumes year-round.

Hopefully, you found these tips helpful in cosplaying on a budget, and remember to use MyCosBuilder.com to help you plan and budget your next costume!

Share via

Return to Cosplay 101