8 Ways To Save Money For A Low Budget Cosplay

Cosplaying is not as expensive as many make it to be. It really depends on your budget and how you work with it. Instead of giving up cosplaying altogether, here are some tips you can count on when cosplaying on a limited budget, aka Low Budget Cosplay.

Plan ahead

First and foremost, planning is the most important regardless of whether you have a small or large budget. As long as you have a loose idea of when and which character you want to cosplay, you can plan your budget and take advantage of any sales way before the day of debut. By planning each and every part of your cosplay, you can slowly buy different parts of it, hence stretching out your budget a little more. 


Don’t just plan it in your head. Put it down on paper, together with photos or sketches as reference. List down the different parts you need, so that once you’ve found that particular part, you can keep track of the price and tick it off once you’ve obtained it. This is to ensure you keep within your budget and not accidentally blowing it on one product and having not enough for another. 

Check your closet 

Before you start putting together your costume, you should ransack your closet - and maybe your family and friends’ too. By choosing and putting together some street wear or casual clothes for your character, you can save quite a large chunk of money on costume and instead spend what little you have on a decent cosplay wig instead.


For instance, you can spend on a Vocaloid Hatsune Miku wig, and put together a casual outfit from whatever you can dig out from your closet. Since there are many variations of Hatsune Miku, you can keep reusing the wig too!


Some characters have pretty general looking costumes so you might find what you need in your closet, such as The Joker, or one of the characters from Land of Lustrous. And if you need a very specific pattern on the costume, you can use paint or dye to create the pattern, or put together scraps to modify your clothing.


Choose characters with no props

Although having props looks cool, it is not very cost effective. Therefore, if you want to cut down on your budget, you should choose a character that doesn’t have any props. Even if you do feel the need to hold a prop, you could choose something that is easy to obtain or already in your possession, such as a basketball for any of Kuroko no Basket characters or a volleyball for Haikyuu characters.


Even without a prop, you can still do a good cosplay. Not every character has props or weapons in hand. You just need to perfect the pose of your character to make it stand out. Just like how characters from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime and Dead or Alive game characters - they all have their own distinct poses.


Reuse your wigs

In order to make full use of your wigs, you should compile a few cosplays that use the same wig. Not only can you cosplay the same character in different costume versions such as Elsa from Frozen using the same princess wigs, you can also plan different characters that use a similar wig. All you need to do is just to style it without cutting.


For example, the wig for Jabami Yumeko from Kakegurui can also be used for Inuyasha’s Kikyo, Jigoku Shoujo’s Ai Enma, popular game Onmyoji’s Enenra, and with just two hairpins and twin braids, you can transform into Tsukimi Kurashita from Princess Jellyfish.

Use craft foam and cardboard

Instead of going for the expensive materials to make props and accessories such as leather, you should go for craft foam and cardboard whenever possible. With the right finishing, cheap materials like these can look just like the real thing. There are many tutorial videos you can find online that teaches you how to work with cheaper materials. This will really help in achieving low budget cosplay!


Cosplay accessories such as the headgear for Maleficent, hair band of Darling in the Franxx’s Zero Two, the crown of Shiro from No Game No Life, or even the shield for Captain America can be made using craft foam and cardboard. 

Image by DaliLomo

Modify, modify, modify!

Modification is the key to saving money. Instead of creating from scratch and spending on many different raw materials, you can sometimes find toys and modify from it. Usually props such as guns like those used by Black Widow are the best to use as the base for modifications since you would need some practical skill to build a gun prop from scratch.


Not only can you modify toys for props, you can modify parts of your wardrobe to costume accessories. With some glue and recycled materials such as cloth and leather scraps, rhinestones, hooks and metal findings, you can piece together a pretty good accessory.


Buy second-hand

There are some cosplayers who tend to cosplay characters for a short while only, sometimes only wearing their costumes once or twice. This is good news for you as you can then just buy a second-hand costume at a relatively cheaper price and make minor alterations to compensate for your size. Some second-hand costumes even come with wigs, and even if they don’t, you would’ve already saved quite a decent amount from buying pre-loved costumes. 

Learn how to sew

Another way where most of the enthusiastic did to achieve low budget cosplay is to sew the costumes by themselves. There are some cosplayers who tend to cosplay characters for a short while only, sometimes only wearing their costumes once or twice. This is good news for you as you can then just buy a second-hand costume at a relatively cheaper price and make minor alterations to compensate for your size. Some second-hand costumes even come with wigs, and even if they don’t, you would’ve already saved quite a decent amount from buying pre-loved costumes. 

You don’t need the skills of a tailor, but learning how to sew will save quite a bit of money. With a little hard work and effort, you can increase your proficiency enough to even sew costumes. However, not everyone has the dexterity or interest to learn to that level, so if sewing and drawing patterns is not your cup of tea, you can still learn the basic skill to sew small things. By learning how to sew, you can make your own hair accessories, plush toy props for characters like One Piece’s Perona, and sewing on appliques, patterns and accents to your costume without having to pay extra for a professional to do it. 

Here's another good news! To save time and get your cosplay costume, wigs and accessories at pocket-friendly prices, check out our latest collections at our one-stop online store. If you’re shopping for Christmas party, we stock Christmas costumes here too. More bargains and deals only at Animee-Cosplay.

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