New to cosplaying? Read this costume-making guide

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New to cosplaying and want to nail your next comic or pop culture convention costume? You’ve come to the right place. Our costume making guide will help you craft your superhero or anime outfit. 

Cosplaying is fun, but it’s also complicated. It sounds simple on the surface – you like a character, and you want to dress up like them. Yet, cosplaying involves a head-to-toe transformation, from wigs, hair dye, skincare, makeup to sewing, making, or buying a costume. What’s more, nailing a cosplay costume is all about the details of your character’s costume, from hair to shoes. 

Choose your character

The starting point of any cosplay outfit is to choose the character you want to cosplay. Depending on how experienced you are with crafting, you may want to avoid choosing anything that will require a lot of small details that make the outfit. For example, costumes that involve leotards and catsuits tend to be easier to make. 

Also, if you are a beginner, we recommend you to choose a character whose costume naturally complements your look and build. It’s going to be a lot easier to cosplay since you don’t have to add extra details to your costume to make it suitable for your body shape and size. 

Figure out what you need

The next step for building a great costume is to figure out what you need to build it. Take a good look at the costume of the character you have chosen and figure out what you’re going to need for each element. 

Pro tip: don’t forget to look in your closet to see if you already have something that closely matches some elements of the costume. Maybe you have a pair of boots, a belt, or buckles that work perfectly for the outfit you want to build. In that case, you’ll save some money and work less for creating the costume. 

Making/ buying a costume

If you want to cosplay your favorite character, you have two options, you either buy or make your own costume. 

Sewing can be frustrating, you may lack time to invest in making the costume, and if the costume is extremely detailed or wildly fantastical, you may invest a lot in the elements you need to make it. So, buying the costume is definitely the easy way out. Yet, there’s a certain satisfaction you get when you build your own costume. It may take time, sweat, and nerves, but if you’re passionate about it, you won’t even feel the hard work. 

Buying costume tips

If you’ve decided that you don’t have the time, skills, or nerves to make the costume your own and you want to buy it, there are still some things you should keep in mind before purchasing the costume. 

For example, you should make sure that you check the size guide carefully so that you order the right size for you. Also, if you’re planning to take part in a comic or pop culture convention, make sure that you order the costume early ahead because it may take a while before it arrives. 

Another aspect to consider is the quality of the costume. Consider the materials used to make sure that the costume will be comfortable enough for you to wear it throughout the entire event. 

Making costume tips

When it comes to making the costume, things can get a little bit more complicated. But at the end of the day, when your costume is done, all the hard work will be worth it. 

Start by identifying all the elements you need to make for the costume. Get reference images for your character and even some pictures of other cosplayers’ costumes to see how they created the most important elements of it. 

Next, buy all the items you think you need and actually start putting them all together. 

Pay attention to the small accessories and props of the costume. Besides the clothes that you wear, accessories and props such as hats or weapons are the ones that actually make the costume. So, give yourself enough time to create these details. 

When you build small elements for your costume, make sure you glue them well together so that they don’t fall off during the event. You can use a mouldable glue, such as the one from, which is durable, and most importantly, flexible, which will allow you to move casually in your costume without worrying that it will break. 

Wigs or hair dye?

Hair is a very important detail in making yourself resemble your favorite character.  

Now, you also have two options for hair: either purchase a wig or dye your hair. 

Both options have pros and cons. While purchasing a wig can be more expensive, it protects your natural hair and allows you to use it for other similar costumes as well. As for dying your hair, it may be a cheaper option, unless you do it at a salon, which can get pretty expensive, but it can damage your natural hair, and you can only use your new look for one costume only. 

The details matter the most

When it comes to cosplaying, the details of the costume are what make the difference between a good-looking and a bad-looking costume. 

From makeup to small elements on your costume, props, accessories, and even pets (if your character has one), and even some background music, these are all the details that will help you nail your cosplay. 

Ask other cosplayers for tips

If you’ve already joined a community of cosplayers, don’t be afraid to ask the people there for some tips. There’s no shame in asking, and you’ll probably find out that most cosplayers struggled with the same problems when they were beginners. So, they probably won’t mind sharing some guidance.