A Closet Full of Costumes

By: Mia Blair

Tip #1: Raid your closet! Look for basic items that could be modified, such as dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, hoodies, hats, shoes, anything! Pictured at right is my Maka Albarn cosplay. I found all these items (a collared shirt, tie, sweater, skirt) in my closet. (The tie is a slytherin tie I made for a Draco Malfoy cosplay. You can either find a pattern for a tie and sew it, which is what I did, or repurpose an old tie with acrylic paint.)

image02Tip #2: Acrylic paint is your best friend! When making props, there’s not much it can’t do. Here I made a pair of wands, called “The Thorns of Oglogoth” for Andrew Hussie’s Rose Lalonde. I made them out of chopsticks, clay and acrylic paint. I also made a Grimoire (pictured above) out of an old black book with a stencil and acrylic paint. If you don’t think you’re artistic enough for that, you could always print out a picture of the book’s cover and glue it on. (Not pictured) I also decorated the shirt with a little skull, with acrylic paint. The nails are fake nails from Wal-Mart. Eyelashes are Harajuku Honey, from Dolluxe. (Of course, nails and lashes are optional, but I like them.)

Tip: #3: If you’re running out of time, try to pick a character you most resemble. For instance, I have blonde hair and wear a lot of blue and green. I was reminded of Fionna the Human (Adventure Time). In 2014, it was already Hallow’s Eve, and I had no costume, so I raided my closet, found a blue skirt and shirt, and then paid a quick visit to Wal-Mart for knee high socks and mary-janes. I sewed the hat myself with a pattern from the Internet and a sewing machine.  I spent $6 dollars on this costume.

Tip #4: Have a lot of reference handy. Never go out shopping without pictures of your character and his or her props. It makes it a lot easier to find things when you can remember what you’re looking for. I drew a picture of Fionna before shopping, and I took it to the store with me. This also comes in handy if a friend or parent volunteers to help, especially if they don’t know who the character is. It also helps to make a complete list of what you need.

image04Tip #5: Don’t go to Halloween costume stores unless it’s for accessories like fangs, nails, fairy wings, swords, pointed ears, etc. Everything else they sell tends to be of poor quality (specifically clothing items), especially if it’s in the low price range. I bought my wig online for my Marceline the Vampire Queen (also from Adventure Time for $20) cosplay, and again, I raided my closet for the outfit. I made the guitar out of cardboard and acrylic paint.


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