Cosplay 101: Planning And Budgeting Your Costume

It can seem a little daunting to begin cosplaying, but with the proper planning, it’s easier to see how the costume will come together. We added budgeting your costume to this, since they do go hand in hand.


If you’re not an organizing junkie, this might be a bit difficult, but do try! Planning is helpful for so many reasons.
First of all, it can help you determine how the costume will come together. It would be awful to spend weeks on the costume then realize at the end that you can’t finish a major piece in time for the con! Instead, planning helps you determine not only WHAT you need to do, but WHEN you need to do it. Planning is also useful for figuring out HOW you are going to make specific pieces.


Since no one is made of an infinite supplies of money, we have to space out our cosplay so we’re not spending huge chunks of money at once. That may mean that one month you can buy a wig and supplies to style it, the next, fabric and materials for a garment, and the next, work on a prop. With a basic idea of how much each component will cost, we can buy strategically to ensure that we don’t strain our wallet. Planning the expenses, along with determining how long something will take to arrive or make, helps plan WHEN to work on which piece of the costume.
Of course, not everyone is a fan of budgeting, but we find that it works well to keep cosplay balanced with the other parts of your life, like your job or school.

Working out your costume

  1. Gather reference images and determine what pieces you will need. Even a simpler costume can have lots of pieces! Write down everything you will need.
  2. On your list, indicate: make, buy, or modify. You might be able to use things you already have at home, or you may need to buy or make things yourself.
  3. Research, research, research! This is where you will decide specifics. What material is best for your budget? Can you commission a tricky piece? How long will this method take versus that method? This is where you’ll scout for items you’ll need to purchase online, like wigs, contact lenses, and specific clothing pieces. You don’t need to buy anything yet! This will just help you figure out exactly how much work you have ahead of you.
  4. Based on this information, decide what takes priority. Items that take longer to make or that ship from overseas usually take priority  – that ensures that you get these pieces before the deadline, if you have one. You might knock out all the easier stuff first, or go by how expensive things will be. It’s all up to you!
  5. Take action! You’re done with planning – now it’s time to get to work!

Do you have more tips to plan out your cosplay costume? Let us know in the comments below!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s