Starting is almost always the hardest part. If you know what you want to make (or even if you don’t) and you need a little help with where to start, here are some helpful tips that have helped me.
Research, research, research!
I recommend creating a cosplay board on Pinterest to keep a bookmark on all sorts of information that you will find. You are going to find A LOT of information, and you will want a way to remember where it was that you saw it as well as be able to reference it quickly. An Etsy item, a reference image, other cosplayer’s. If you don’t have Pinterest, create a way that works best of you to keep all this information organized and quick to find.
A simple Google search will turn up inspiration from all over the internet. DeviantArt.com is also a fantastic place to see what others have done. Find something that you feel comfortable creating and wearing. Often times, you will find a character that you think is out of your skill set. Don’t be afraid to try! Do some more digging to find ways to make it happen. There are so many possibilities out there. There are also other cosplayers giving their perspective on techniques and tricks that they’ve used.
Plan it out!
Decide you if you are going to make everything yourself or plan to buy pre-made items. Making something from scratch is almost always going to be cheaper and will bring a certain level of accomplishment; but if you can’t, you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting the task done!
You should know from the start what you are capable of doing or willing to do. If you need to buy items, you may need to spend even more time searching to find something that works best. This is also the best time to plan your budget. Costs can add up QUICKLY, and you may find you spent more than you thought because you forgot about that piece or you messed up on something.
Break it down
It’s very important to break down a project. You will need to know exactly what you are making or buying and how all of the pieces work together. From the wig, jewelry, armor, shoes, and more, sorting it out will put everything into perspective. If it’s an intricate project, work through sections by sketching it out, or even writing down pieces that you see.
Planning is probably the most important part of the entire process. It may seem daunting, but if you don’t do it, you may find yourself making mores trips to the store then you bargained for.