Monday, October 12, 2015

Thrift Cosplay Tips: 10 ways to help reduce cosplay expenses

Let's face it, no matter how much you raid that closet or do everything yourself, chances are you are still gonna spend and you're going to spend a lot. Wigs, contact lenses, fabrics, tools, costume/props commissions, make up, conventions... *sigh* If you are seriously considering this hobby, please be aware of the amount of expenses that comes along with it.

However, one should never feel like they are being robbed dry just by doing something they love. Some of you are probably wondering how some cosplayers are able to afford all those cosplays. The answer might either be because they're rich and rolling in dough or they are probably just like the rest of us...but masters in the art of economizing. While I am no master myself, in order to keep up with my hobby, I've managed to teach myself ways that helped me greatly in cutting off excess cosplay expenses and listed them below.

Before proceeding into the list, please keep in mind that cosplay should never get in the way of your basic necessities. No matter how passionate you are, by the end of the day, it will still be just a hobby and it should never ruin your life. Cosplay can wait but your bill will definitely haunt you to the ends of earth. Lastly, be responsible. With that said, hope this list will help you in your future cosplay endeavors.

1. Plan ahead

Always give yourself more than enough time to prepare for a cosplay. Rushing a cosplay always results in more spending. If you are in a hurry to finish that costume in time for con/photoshoot/event, you are more inclined to buy a ready made product to save time and it's going to cost you more. Not to mention the blow your wallet's going to receive for loosing all those cash in one go.

2. Budgetting

The more you keep track of your cosplay expenses, the less chances of spending unnecessarily.

Set a budget limit for every character that you're gonna cosplay. If you feel like you're already spending too much on a particular piece/s of costume, try thinking of cheaper alternatives. However, don't sell yourself too short or you'll end up with a costume falling apart before your very eyes. Budgeting takes skills. Don't worry about not getting the proper estimates in the first few times of trying but don't forget to take notes, keep those receipts and learn from mistakes. You'll be a veteran in no time.

3. If you can DIY, DIY it

Cut off that additional labor cost if you know you can do it yourself. Inexperienced? That's where online tutorials come in. Not only will it up your skill level, it keeps you from getting bored too.

Don't be lazy. You'll never know how much you can do unless you try.

4. Scavenger Hunt

Your house holds untold treasures. Before you go out and buy materials for your cosplay, check every nook and cranny of your house first. You might be surprised by the things you can find there that will help you greatly in building your cosplay. Base shoes for a boot cover? Your mom/dad might have something lying around unused. Casual crossplaying? Ask your siblings, they might have something that fits. Props? Check that garage or the basement, you are bound to come accross something. Styrofoam, cardboards, tools...unleash your inner child and set out on an adventure to unearth cosplay treasures.

5. Check your old cosplays

Don't always buy for costume parts. Check the other characters you already cosplayed and see if there are any similarities to your current project. Common stuff like gloves, shoes(especially on uniform cosplays), socks or a wig. When you know you can reuse parts from old cosplays, then there's no need to spend buying new ones.

6. Don't always rely on a single source

When buying cosplay stuff, don't always be contented on getting everything from the same provider. Check other shops that sells the same items you are looking for, you might be surprised by the significance in price difference.

7. Be creative

If you aren't keen on sewing/prop-making from scratch but also doesn't want to spend too much by commissioning, then thrift shops are your best friends. You might not get what you exactly wanted but that's where your creative skill is going to be put on use. Modify old clothes, recycle patterns, customize. Don't worry about being a total noob. You'll grow as you learn.

8. Be alert

Like a Meerkat on guard duty, be on the lookout for discount coupons and holiday sales. Even if they aren't necessary now but you know you'll be using in the future, haul it. It will help you save in the long run.

9. Economize

1. spend less; reduce one's expenses.
2. to practice economy; avoid waste or extravagance.

This doesn't just apply to cosplay but to your everyday life as well.
Friendly reminder though, it's okay to be extravagant every once in a while. Treat yourself, you deserve it but don't forget to set your priorities straight.

10. Save

No matter the season, always set aside a percentage of your earnings/allowance to your cosplay expenses. Even if con season is still far off, Always remember to stash some cash.

Have fun! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment