Are you planning to venture into the cosplay world but have no idea where to start? Cosplaying is a great way to imitate your favorite characters whether they’re from anime, a video game, or your favorite movie. You can get some inspiration from watching YouTube videos, anime series, movies, and even characters from your favorite book.
While it may be daunting at first, especially if you have zero background in cosplaying or even with Halloween costumes, don’t get discouraged easily. Remember that many cosplayers started out just like you. So here’s a guide to making a costume for cosplay and some tips to help you become a successful cosplayer in the future.
A Guide To Making Cosplay Costume For Newbies
Pick Your Favorite Character
You should start by picking your favorite character. You can choose any persona from a TV show, manga, sci-fi, movie, or fantasy game. Whether you want to be the Iron Man or a villain, there are so many characters you can portray as a cosplayer. If you think that you don’t have crafting skills, just choose characters that don’t have complicated details in their suit. Also, there is no gender in the cosplay community. So it is okay if you dress as a boy character if you are a girl and vice versa.
Research Your Chosen Character Cosplay Outfit
Once you already have chosen a persona, collect as many images or pictures to familiarize yourself with their attire. It is better if you can Google pictures of the character on the internet from different angles. This will give you better details of the costume. Study the pictures of your choice character very closely. Take time to research their hair, the weapons they use, and other accessories they use. You should also not forget the facial features. You will be needing cosplay makeup such as foundation and eye makeup to recreate your character’s face.
Check For Sewing Patterns Online
If you want to create your cosplay piece from scratch, then you might want to download sewing patterns from the internet. Having a sewing outfit pattern will make it easier for you to recreate the cosplay piece that you want. Google as many patterns as you want and select a pattern you think you can easily follow. One good thing about having a pattern is that you will also know what type of materials you need, and there is also measurement information that you can follow.
Choose Your Materials Carefully
Knowing the right materials for your costume makes a lot of difference. You will probably be needing different types of fabric in order to create the costume that you want. Some of the popular fabrics used in cosplaying are Neoprene fabric which can be used in armor making, Scuba and Slinky matt Lycra fabrics which are perfect for superheroes’ bodysuits, and Florence Net fabric which is best for making lightweight leggings, sheer sleeves, or headbands. Color swatches are also very important so that you have a better idea of the cosplaying materials and colors that you need.
Eva foam is also a very important and versatile material in making outer layers and accessories. Make sure that you choose a high-quality EVA foam from a good supplier. Using EVA foam in making intricate details in your costume will make it more durable and long lasting.
Prepare Your Tools
Some of the tools and materials that you need to prepare when making your cosplay costume include safety goggles, a sewing machine, glue gun, heat gun, epoxy glue, hot glue, and gloves. The sewing equipment is actually just optional because you can always hand sew your costumes.
Cosplay Tips For Newbies
Don’t Get Intimidated By Pro Cosplayers
As a newbie, going to a cosplay event can be a little scary at first. You will meet a lot of many cosplayers with costumes that are very well-crafted. Instead of being afraid to approach these professional costume players, going to a major cosplay event can give you the chance to ask these pros some tips on how to prepare for such a big event. You can draw inspiration from them to look better in dressing up, the next time you attend another cosplay occasion.
Remember that not all have the craft skills, money, and time to fashion such wonderful pieces of art. Even if your costume seems amateurish, just be open and willing to learn new skills and try to enjoy meeting other people from the cosplay community. You all have the same interests so don’t be afraid to open up a conversation with your fellow cosplayers.
Do It For Love And Passion
Do not do cosplay for money and fame. Yes, there are many professional cosplayers who get rich and become popular for cosplaying. It can be a very competitive industry now, but it does not mean you need to be like them. If you think that way, then you will lose the meaning and essence of a true costume playing.
Remember that cosplay is performance art. If you’re interested in a character just for attention and not because you like the craft, other cosplayers will notice and you will not be received well by the community. Dressing up in a costume piece that you are not familiar with will only make you feel uncomfortable and will make you look fake. Do not enter cosplay for the wrong reasons. The only reason for getting into a cosplay event is to enjoy yourself and have fun!
Choose Characters Similar To Your Looks And Build
If you love watching cosplays and are inspired by them, you probably have many characters that you fancy. A professional cosplayer often advises newbies to select outfits that will match their looks and build. This way it is much easier to replicate their character. There are arrays of characters to choose from in every shape and size. You will definitely find your perfect match.
Another smart tip for newbies is to select a costume that is easy to create. For people who are less creative and less crafty, you can try characters who wear bodysuits. You can easily make or buy them in a costuming shop, and all you have to do is be creative with the accessories.
Choose materials that are not bulky and heavy
Large costumes are very nice to look at but you do not know the discomfort of the ones wearing them. People underneath those costumes can have a hard time breathing and you really need to get used to it before getting comfortable wearing such massive costumes.
For a first-timer like you, choose materials that are light to put on. Don’t get tempted to don a big and heavy costume because you will definitely regret it in the end.
Prepare how you will transport your costume
Wearing light materials will be very handy during transit. But if you have other accessories that you need to put on, such as armor or other weapons, you must know how to pack them properly. Whether you are taking public transportation or you are driving yourself, packing wisely is very important. Make sure that the large pieces won’t get ruined during your transit. Fold them properly and ensure that there are no pieces that will be broken. You must be prepared for this possibility when going to a con; otherwise, your costume can get ruined before you even wear them to the event.
Choose The Right Face And Body Paints
Not all face paints and body paints are created equal. You have to invest in high-quality makeup paints that won’t get smudged easily. Use makeups that are sweatproof, waterproof, and transfer-proof. Some cosplayers show up to an event with beautiful faces and body makeup without anticipating the heat in the venue. They end up looking awful in just a few hours. You don’t want that to happen to you. Better know these things ahead than be sorry later.
One good remedy for that problem is to use painted stockings or a full bodysuit rather than painting up your whole body. This way, you will only put makeup on your face and hands. Face makeups are easier to manage than bodypaints.
Ask Permission Before Taking Any Photos
You might get overwhelmed seeing other cosplayers who have beautifully-made costumes. It is very tempting just to take pictures of them to show off to your friends later. It sounds fun but is always best if you ask permission before you take a photo. Most cosplayers are willing to strike a pose, or sign a photograph you as long as you ask first.
Make An Effort To Look Good In Costumes
You can’t give life to a character if you don’t look good yourself. This is a harsh reality in the cosplay world, but you really need to make an effort to your physique for you to be able to pull up a character nicely. You will notice that most cosplayers have good skin and body that is because they know the importance of looking good. It will be a useless effort if you spend hours on your costume but forget to take care of yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a cosplay costume?
If you already have a cosplay costume in mind, the next thing that you should do is to study the pictures of the character you want to portray. You need to take a closer look at every detail of your character’s appearance, such as the hairstyle, clothing, weapon, accessories, etc. Then make a list of how to assemble your cosplaying outfit. You can start by doing a search in your own closet or wardrobe and see if you can find something that you can use for your cosplay costume.
You can go to a thrift store or a costume shop if there are items you can’t find at home. You can always find good items in a thrift store such as hats, glasses, capes, and other accessories. Another thing that you must remember to shop for is the makeup. You will need makeup to recreate the features of your character.
Refer to the character’s image so as not to miss important details. Lastly, you can always learn how to sew if you cannot find the exact costume in your closet or thrift store. Having sewing skills will come in handy when you are into cosplay. One tip is to have a sewing pattern to make it easier sew and to create a more polished result. You can also learn to sew when you do a search for online tutorials.
How do you cosplay for beginners?
If you are a newcomer to the cosplay world, you need to keep in mind that you would have to do it as confidently as you can. Beginner cosplay can be intimidating at first but it will be very easy the next time once you learn the tricks. Doing research on your character is very important. Choose a costume that you are comfortable with and avoid those bulky and massive EVA foam costumes for your first events. Also, choose props that are not too heavy to carry so that you can move freely during the event.
What should my first cosplay be?
Your first cosplay should be a character that you really like or is easy to portray. You don’t need to be perfect on your first cosplay event. You just need to be comfortable with the character that you chose and try to have fun bringing it to life.
What are some easy cosplays for beginners?
Some of the easy cosplays for newbies are Mario & Luigi (Super Mario Bros), Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service), Velma Dinkley (Scooby-Doo), No Face (Spirited Away), Steven (Steven Universe), and Sakura Haruno (Naruto). These characters are very easy to copy even for noobs like you. Cosplay costumes may be expensive but these video game icons and characters don’t cost much because you can easily find them in your closet and cost almost nothing.
Have you chosen your first cosplay character to portray? Cosplaying can be intimidating at first but don’t worry, with the right preparations, skills, and confidence, you’ll be great at it in no time. So, start browsing through YouTube videos during your free time and watch tutorials about cosplay costumes, makeups, etc. You will surely find inspiration in professional cosplayers in your community.