Cosplay has grown in popularity over recent times. Fans of all things sci-fi, anime or the fantasy world are dressing up as their all-time favourite characters. Whilst there are plenty of costumes on the market, creating your own costume can make it just that little bit more special and exciting. It allows fans to personalise and customise their outfit according to how they would like. Even combining a store-bought costume with personalised touches will help to bring your character to life. So, keep reading for tips on how to create the perfect cosplay costume for your next themed party or cosplay event.

Selecting your character

The first step in creating your costume is obviously picking the character that you would like to dress up as. Browsing through your favourite sci-fi comics or watching your much-loved fantasy shows will help to give you inspiration. You may even want to create a collage of images or a mood board to help you finalise your character choice. Once you have made a decision, collecting images will give you an idea of what you will need for the costume. Based on how crafty and artistic you are, you may decide to select another character if the costume will require too much work or detail. One option in this case would be to purchase a store-made costume and then add additional personalised touches to this. An easy way to do this would be to purchase coloured contact lenses too match your character of choice. This requires minimal artistic ability and will add to the overall effect of your costume.

Plan out what you will need 

Have a think about what you will require and make a plan for what you will need to purchase or create. Make sure to think through everything you will need thoroughly, including materials or accessories such as coloured contacts or coloured wigs. Think about the things that you already have and that you may be able to use such as belts, stockings or shoes. It’s always better to work with what you already have and then plan around this. You don’t want to be spending an insane amount of money on a costume that you will likely wear once.

Grab some sewing patterns 

Making your own costume at home will call for various forms of sewing to complete the finished look. If you are creating your outfit completely from scratch, then you will definitely need a sewing pattern to create your costume. There are many patterns that can be downloaded online, or alternatively several sewing books come with complimentary patterns that you could use. Don’t make the mistake of trying to sew your costume without a pattern, otherwise you may be left with wasted materials and be throwing your money away completely.

costume design

Pick out your materials 

Choose materials that are relatively easy to work with. There is nothing worse than trying to work with a stretchy fabric or an extremely delicate material. A stretchy fabric, while it may sound appealing and comfortable, is one of the most difficult materials to work with as it is extremely hard to sew in a straight line. Very delicate material, on the other hand, is tough to work with as it can easily tear. Fabrics that are popular with cosplay fans include Buckram, which is usually used to create masks, capes and hats.

Make sure you have the correct tools 

Glue guns, sewing needles, a sewing machine, safety equipment, epoxy glue and scissors are all just a few tools that you may need along the way to be able to execute your design plan. A sewing machine will help to speed up the costume making process, however, it is not completely necessary and sewing it by hand will also work; it will just take you a lot longer. Other tools that you will need may include an iron and ironing board to get all of the creases out once you have finished sewing. If you don’t have any of these items yourself, you may be able to ask your friends or family to borrow them if possible. If you can’t find anyone to borrow from,  you may be able to purchase second hand items at a reasonable price. You will find a lot of these items at garage sales, for sale online or at second-hand shops.

Add something unique 

Adding an element that is completely unique to your costume will help you to stand out from the rest. Cosplay contact lenses are available in many party and dress up stores, as well as online. These small details will really help to bring your character to life and make you stand out in the crowd of cosplay fanatics. Other props such as swords, fake tattoos, wands or cigars can also be used. You don’t need to be Cuban cigar expert, or even fan, but adding this as a prop to your outfit can make it just that much more special. There are many places to purchase cigars online so that your costume is the total package.

Make sure you have fun

Above all else, it is important to remember to make sure that you have fun along the way. Don’t get caught up in the stress of making mistakes when sewing your pattern, adding your accessories, finding your materials or sewing on your buttons. It is meant to be fun! If all else fails, you can go and purchase a cosplay costume online if you are struggling with your artistic and creative abilities. Working together with friends on your outfits can help to reduce the stress of it all and make it far more entertaining and sociable. You may even want to plan a costume making night, where you have your popcorn and snacks ready to go. Planning and making your cosplay costume can be nearly as fun as your cosplay event. So, next time you have an event scheduled, make sure to use some of these tips when creating your perfect cosplay costume.