If you have any questions about making anything, please don't hesitate to PM me or comment here!
Some of these were relocated from my post on another topic. I hope I can get this pinned~!
- THE MOST EXPENSIVE FABRIC ISN'T ALWAYS THE BEST FABRIC TO USE. A lot of people make this common mistake, thinking that the more expensive a fabric is it's better for their purposes. Stop thinking like that. It isn't. Rarely, if ever. That's not to say you shouldn't spend a lot of money on your fabric. If it works for your costume, then wonderful. What I'm saying is just because it costs a frillion bucks, doesn't mean it's what you need!
- THE MORE YOU MAKE OF YOUR COSTUME YOURSELF, THE LESS EXPENSIVE IT WILL BE. You're paying for labor charges, and when you do it yourself your payment is the costume! If you're not confident in your skills, practice. And, if you're gonna commission someone, try and stay away from websites or ebay sellers that specialize in it. Stick to people you know, or people that you've heard do good work for a good price.
- DON'T BUY YOUR WIGS/PROPS FROM A COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN SELLING WIGS OR PROPS. They will charge you more because they 'specialize' in it. I buy -all- my wigs from ebay and haven't paid more than 25 - 30 dollars for them including shipping and handling. As long as the wigs are made from kanekalon fiber you will be all set.
- THRIFT STORES ARE YOUR FRIEND. Don't be a priss and refuse to go to a second-hand store because you feel like it makes you a scrub. THRIFT STORES ARE GOLD MINES. If you do not find ONE thing for your costume, you will find another. Shoes, shirts to modify, bedsheets to use as a yard of fabric - you will pay up to 60% less for a bedsheet for fabric than you would a yard or so of fabric from a craft store. True story.
- SCULPEY IS AMAZING. Just sayin. So is that Crayola model magic stuff. It's lightweight and air dries. Need to shape something? Upholstry foam works awesomely also. If you're carrying this prop around, make sure it's not too heavy and adheres to the prop rules of ACen or the conventions you're attending.
- PROPS IN PIECES AREN'T TACKY. THEY'RE RULE-ABIDING AND CLEVER. If you have to make a prop that's in two pieces for it to follow prop limit rules, then don't worry about how it looks! I remember a few years ago a Sephiroth has a sword that was hinged and folded into two pieces that were 4 ft each. A Wolfwood had a cross that velcro'd together to be a full prop.
- COMFORT IS IMPORTANT. It is alright to sacrifice price for comfort. If WINDBREAKER material is the cheapest fabric out there do not buy it just because it's cheap. I know I'm contradicting my first statement a bit but comfort is important, especially if you're going to be walking around in the costume for 4+ hours.
- LEATHER STORES SELL SCRAPS OF LEATHER FOR CHEAP. If you're looking to make a belt, a gauntlet, shoulder palavers, shin guards, ANYTHING you need out of leather, keep in mind that local leather stores will sell leather scraps that you can use for these things for very inexpensive prices. Some places charge by the pound, some charge by surface area.
- METAL IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO REPLICATE. If you need to make a sword out of wood, there is a way to make it look like a shiny, metal blade. First of all, you need to sand, smooth, and seal the wood. Second of all, there is a paint called 'TESTORS Buffable Model Masters Metallics' - this paint is a spray paint, and, like the name of it implies, it is a spray paint that you can buff to a metallic sheen. It's about 5 - 6 dollars depending on where you get it from.
- NEED SOMETHING TO LOOK LIKE A LIGHT? Paint it over with white first, then use a clear paint of the colour light you need over it. The white will bring out the colour and make it look like it's lit up. Of course, if you can afford a small LED light then by all means!
- NO ONE IS PERFECT. This is a really important rule. I understand some people are extremely anal and perfectionistic about their costumes, but if the character's costume is supposed to be LAVENDER and the only fabric colour you can find is LILAC MEADOWS, no one is going to notice. Having a small part of your costume differ from a character's is what makes the costume YOURS!
- NOT ALL FABRIC WILL TAKE TO DYE WELL. You can't dye everything. Before you buy something that's the wrong colour make sure it will take to dye. Cotton is bar-none the best fabric to try and dye as a heads-up.
Here are a few various websites, forums, and Ebay sellers I know of that are useful for costuming!
I Kick Shins - Hair extensions, wigs, hair clips, accessories for hair falls, dreads, goggles, rave-y items, you name it - it's here!
Avant Gauche - Lolita and goththic lolita dress and clothing pattern index
Zazzle - Zazzle is a place where you can put ANY image on ALMOST ANYTHING and buy it from the website - t-shirts are usually around 18 - 20 dollars!
Clockwork Couture - Steampunk and neo/Victorian tops, bottoms, shoes, hats, watches, goggles, baubles, thingamajigs, and many other awesome things!
Sockdreams - Socks, stockings, spats, leg warmers, thigh highs, arm warmers, gloves, garters, petticoats, AND MUCH MORE *_*
That's all I can think of, for now...! I'll keep adding things here as I think of them or as questions are asked/answered. Your own tips and input are appreciated!
Thank you and happy cosplaying!
This post has been edited by GLaDOS-tan: 29 June 2010 - 08:31 PM