Cosplaying for the first time can be extremely daunting as there is so much information out there to digest, tons of different costumes to choose from from so many genres and the time and cost included can mean you are still creating your costume the day before the convention or are left unnecessarily out of pocket funds-wise.
I thought $30 was a good round figure that anyone who wanted to get into the hobby would be willing to spend so I decided to challenge myself and help people out on this budget. Is it really possible to get something good made at this cost?
Before even thinking about making and choosing which character you want to go as you will need to keep some pointers in mind with such a strict budget, first off really think about what animes/mangas/tv shows etc you enjoy and then zone in and make a list of a few characters you like from each, try not to compromise really choose your favorites just not your top one maybe your top three or top five from each one.
Then look up or remember what each one wears, normally in animes the characters will wear casual clothing and then their elaborate clothing and the causal one is the one you are going to recreate, you can also choose a character that wears school clothes as they are cheap to adapt from other clothing and easy to find. Luckily some characters such as those from Naruto or Death Note wear casual clothing all the time and are still very popular characters. Also try your best to find a character that has the same eye and hair color as you to avoid the need for an expensive wig or eye contacts which can bother easily add up to $30 on their own.
Once you have decided on a character that wears a simple outfit you will need to go about sourcing materials for your piece and that is as simple as looking around your house for spare fabric (some characters may wear jeans and everyone has a spare pair of denim jeans laying around), scouring thrift stores and even Walmart when they have fabric sales on. You can buy parts of a cosplay really cheaply online through Ebay, signing up to different mailing lists can help when offers are announced or coupon codes are given out.
Finally as a base for any new costumes you could use parts of old costumes, this is the upside to creating your own and not buy ready made in that you can easily adapt old parts to fit into new ones without any modification. Even old scraps of fabric can be a big help when you are trying to cut down a few dollars.
L or Light Yagami- Death Note
Light and L are obvious choices considering they both wear very simple clothing that requires no sewing to make, simple lay on clothes and the makeup and you are ready to go. All you need for L is a white jumper, jeans and jet black hair or you can dye your hair and what makes this even cheaper is you don’t even need shoes.
Leela and Fry- Futurama
May not be your first choice but if you enjoy Futurama then these two are perfect and not hard to recreate on a budget and with items you already own. Both may have less than common hair colors however everything else can be easily sourced from a thrift store and/or sorted with dye. There is not much you can do about the one eye thing but you could be creative and find a way to meld two ping pong balls together like I saw someone do on Youtube for a different character.
Again in trying to keep with the theme of no sew I chose Karin as the final idea and one that is super popular and well known due to being part of the popular Naruto series. Sure the red eyes may be hard on this budget unless you happen to have a fresh pair of red contacts laying around but the rest like the above can be easily bought from a thrift or super store for dollars. All you would need to worry about then is the hair.