There’s no doubt that cosplaying is a very fun and creative pastime that anyone can enjoy, but it can also be expensive if you get carried away. If you’re looking to get a handle on your cosplay costume expenditure and keep costs down, take a look at our 8 tips below…
1) Plan Well in Advance
The best way to be fully in control of your expenditure and ensure you get the best value for money is to plan your costumes well in advance. In general, most of the big events are in the summer, however, everyone tends to have their own cosplaying calendar.
So, whenever you need to be ready by, give yourself at least a couple of months to prepare.
List the costume that you want to create, its props, materials, and everything else you need to pull it off. Now you have time to get everything together.
2) Itemized Budget
Like all solid financial planning, you are going to have to budget. The best way to do this for cosplaying is to itemize everything. This will help you keep track of everything you need for the costume and how much it will cost you. If you need to cut costs, it will also help you see where those cuts can most efficiently be made.
You’ll need reference images and photos of other cosplayer’s build to determine all the elements needed to complete the project.
At first, you might estimate the price and then go on to confirm exactly how much each element will cost.
If you do go over budget, you can always obtain a $1,000 loan online to keep your hobby afloat for the next year.
3) Taxable Deductions
If you in anyway make money from cosplaying (modeling, selling creations, or internet based monetization), don’t forget that you can make tax deductions for the cost of your costume and travel to events, because these are key aspects of your business.
4) Sales and Coupons
Before you dive in and begin making purchases, don’t forget to hunt for sales and discount coupons, to knock down the price. If you plan well enough in advance, you are more likely to benefit from such discounts.
Also, if you are a regular cosplayer and make several costumes a year, buy what you can in bulk to get a cheaper overall price.
The best way to stay informed about discounts and deals is to follow the stores and suppliers you like the most on social media and sign up for their newsletters.
5) Consider Your Materials and Fabrics
Some cosplay materials will cost much more than others and while it’s nice to splash out on something luxury, you can save considerable money by using something cheaper. And, just because the material is cheaper, doesn’t necessarily mean the costume will look cheap.
If you’re not bothered by the elitism of making your costume ‘from scratch’ from a fabric roll, you can also save a tonne of money by reworking old prom dresses and other outfits from the thrift store. And, this doesn’t mean you’re stifling your creativity. By using them as a base, you can still create something unique and impressive.
6) Reuse and Repurpose
Once you’ve spent some time cosplaying, you will invariably end up with old costumes cluttering your wardrobe that you might not ever wear again. Why not reuse the material or repurpose the costume into something new?
Following on from the above point, there is also a growing marketplace of cosplayers that trade their past costumes and materials to save money. This process itself is a lot of fun and has a certain community spirit to it. You never know what you might stumble upon.
Another concept is trading skills. Maybe you’re really good at sewing but your friend is great at props. Agree on a trade and you both benefit.
8) Buy Props
There’s no shame in buying your props and they often work out cheaper than making them yourself, thanks to the economies of scale the mass producers benefit from. So, before you get chiseling Thor’s Hammer or papier-mâchéing a Stormtrooper helmet, get online and see what’s already been produced.
Many people avoid cosplaying because they worry about the cost, but by taking on board the above tips, there’s no reason why such costumes should break your bank balance.