Cosplaying has never been more fun or more accessible than it is today. With the internet at your fingertips, you can find hundreds of tutorials on how to make your own costumes, props, and accessories. The elephant in the room, however, has been how to keep up with the costs of the hobby. Allow us to share with you the secret to funding your cosplay!
1. Keep your passion for cosplay alive
The most essential step in successfully being able to fund your cosplay is to keep your passion for it alive. This will motivate you to power through any obstacles and speed bumps you may encounter in funding your cosplay.
The most crucial factor here is finding time to work and enjoy your cosplay. This means striking a balanced between your hobbies and responsibilities. Earning a ton of money won’t feel as satisfying if you don’t have the time to do the things you enjoy. On the other hand, focusing too hard on the hobby aspect will leave you without the resources necessary to enjoy those hobbies to the fullest.
Of course, there will be golden opportunities that allow you to do both simultaneously, but even then, striking a balance is key to a fruitful cosplaying journey.
2. Focus on your bread-and-butter work
That being said, it is important to prioritize your bread-and-butter work over your hobbies when push comes to shove. Bread-and-butter work can mean your day job if you’re working or classes if you’re still in school. Remember that these will ultimately be the things that allow you to chase after your cosplay dreams sustainably.
Focusing on your important responsibilities is one of the best ways of ensuring you’ll have time and resources to enjoy leisure activities later on. Even if you’re considering turning your cosplay into a career, your day job can help you build a safety net that will allow you to take more risks in your art.
3. Make time for a side gig
If you still need extra help funding your cosplay, then getting a side gig is your best bet. It allows you to work at a pace that fits your needs and will still allow you time for cosplay during the week. But how do you find the right side job? And how can you make sure it doesn’t eat up all of your free time?
Look for part-time jobs that fit into your schedule. If possible, look for something that allows flexibility in scheduling so that it won’t cut into any future cosplay plans (and vice versa). Find something easy but fulfilling—this will help prevent burnout.
Remember that your side gig is just there to supplement your hobbies. Make sure that it doesn’t negatively affect your main responsibilities, whether that’s at work or in school.
4. Sell off cosplay parts you no longer need.
If you’re going to be a cosplayer, you need to learn how to let go. You have to be willing to cut ties with pieces of your wardrobe that no longer fit or aren’t in style anymore. You have to know when it’s time for a piece of equipment or clothing to leave your life entirely instead of just passing it on after wearing it once or twice.
Sometimes letting go means selling off parts of your old cosplays—whether that’s extra fabric from a costume project that didn’t turn out as planned, wigs and accessories that are too outdated for your current style, or even entire costumes themselves if they don’t fit well anymore and don’t speak strongly enough about who YOU are now as a person and an artist.
5. Go through your closet and repurpose your stuff into cosplay parts.
Funding your cosplay can also mean repurposing the things you already have. Go through your closet for inspiration on your next cosplay project. Take a look at what you already own and figure out how to incorporate them into your project. You’ll be surprised at how much useable stuff is in your closet, makeup bag, or basement right now!
Maybe that blanket of yours is perfect as Darth Vader’s long-flowing cape. After some alteration, those boots will be perfect for your budget Harley Quinn costume.
You can even ask friends for stuff they might have but no longer use to help them declutter while you get to complete your cosplay.
6. Recycle old costumes with new ones.
You can also recycle old costumes and transform them into new ones by taking apart your old costume and using the parts and pieces to make a new one. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for a new cosplay idea but don’t have enough money to buy all the materials yourself.
Using an old costume as a base for a new one saves money because it’s cheaper than buying everything new. You could take apart your favorite cosplay outfit and use it as inspiration for creating another character that has similar elements in their design. For example, if you loved how your Sailor Moon outfit was put together, you could use those same techniques to create something similar but different—like Sailor Mars!
This breathes new life to an old costume which in turn gives you more bang for your buck!
7. Make your own props
We all know that cosplaying is more than just dressing up. It’s a way to show off your creativity, as well as gain confidence in yourself. But there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on costumes, props, and materials if you don’t want to. Instead of buying everything new, try making some items yourself!
Scour the online forums for good DIY props and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to make a great costume without breaking the bank.
8. Sell photocards
Selling photocards is a great way to make extra cash while showing off your cosplay! You can sell them at conventions, online, or even hand out photocards with your face on them the next time you’re at a convention.
You might be wondering how to get started making photocards, but don’t worry—it’s easy! All it takes is some cardstock and a printer. Here’s how:
For beginners, photocards are a great way to get your cosplay out there and make some cash in the process. They’re easy to make: you need a printer and some cardstock or photo paper (make sure it’s not glossy). You can sell them at conventions or online or use them as promotional material.
9. Sell your DIYs
Another way you can earn from your cosplay is by selling handmade or DIY items. Many people find success selling their cosplay projects online and during events. This allows you to create a side hustle that leverages your experience in creating your own costume and props. The more you practice your craft, the better you become. Pretty soon, you’ll be super efficient in creating DIYs that you’ll be able to sell for a profit which will then fund future cosplay projects.
10. Get on Gank
Last but most definitely not least, signing up on Gank can do wonders to help you earn more from your cosplays. You can get donations from your supporters and help crowdfund your next project. You can also sell your photosets, DIYs, and other content on the platform. All of this can be done with localize payments and at 0% platform fees. It’s perfect for budding cosplayers to take their content creation journey to the next level!
Cosplay can be a sustainable hobby!
We hope you found this article helpful. If you’re a cosplayer on a budget, these tips will help you keep your passion alive without spending too much money. As always, we love hearing from our readers! Comment below if there’s anything else we can do to make this content more useful for everyone who loves cosplay as much as we do.