Downtown Coolsville

7 Ways to Save Money on Cosplay

There is no denying that cosplay is an expensive hobby, but there are ways to bring the costs down. Below are a just a few methods that I have found worked for myself and friends as well as some of examples.

1. Go simple. While you want to have a new costume, there are times where you’ll have to put aside the big dreams and settle on something smaller. For example, Tsukimi from Princess Jellyfish’s everyday clothes(top) would be easy to pull together, but her kimono(bottom center) would take more time and money.

2. Work with what you have. Sometimes you have all or most of of the materials you need already. Before you begin, check your closet and supplies for materials before you go out and buy more. It also doesn’t hurt to ask family members or roommates if they have anything to get rid of. For example, when I made my Esmeralda cosplay, the only fabric I had to buy was for the purple skirt. I had everything else.

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3. Shop around. Don’t restrict yourself to major fabric and craft stores. Online stores and small businesses not only open you up to great variety, but can also save you money. I also cannot tell you how many cosplay supplies of mine came from WalMart. Keep your options open.

This also goes for sections within the stores! Explore your options before settling on a certain material. The fabric for my Giselle dress was found on the red tag rack(which should never be left out) at a JoAnns for about $2/yd!

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4. Ebay and thrift stores are your friends. This one is pretty much the same as #3. Both sell items that are often in good condition and lightly used. You can find clothing articles, wigs, and fabric at these places. I’ve even heard of people finding entire costume in thrift stores!

5. Coupons, discounts, and sales. A number of stores including JoAnn Fabrics and Micheal’s offer coupons available in the mail or online. All you have to do is ask for a simple form to fill out and you’ll get coupons and notifications of sales on a regular basis. JoAnn Fabrics also offers a student discount program, so you can save 10% on every purchase.

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6. Strike deals. Suppose you’re really good at sewing costumes, but poor at styling wigs. Now say you have a friend who’s the opposite. Instead of spending extra money to commission someone, you can help each other with the costumes. This is also very helpful for groups!

7. Improvise. Sometimes the cheapest route isn’t always the most obvious one. Use your imagination to come up with cost-costuming solutions. For instance, when I made my Camie shirt, I used t-shirts instead of expensive knit materials along with some heat-and-bond I already had and it turned out great.

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And there you have it! If you have any more tips, I’d love to hear them and then add them to this post~

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