So today I said I would cover some techniques and ideas for cosplaying when you are on a very tight budget. Some things you read here will probably be repeats you have heard, but I'm going to try and provide information on local stores as well.
1. Check thrift stores first. - If you have never done this before, you would be amazed with the things you can find to modify. This is also a good option if you don't have any, or very good, sewing skills. If you need to find shoes that you are just going to paint or cover anyway, why not get a pair that costs 5 bucks instead of 10 or 20?
2. Save things you use at home! - Make a special area somewhere, in a box, or a closet, where you can store things that you might be able to use later. This means saving a Pringles can or two, maybe some milk or water jugs, old cardboard boxes, newspapers, etc. That way, you aren't spending more money later trying to find bases for armor or prop pieces. You can even use these things to make patterns for props and armor!
3. Make a "mock-up." -What this means is taking left over fabrics or really super cheap fabric (like the 1.00 stuff you find at Wal-mart) and making a fake version of the costume. You put it together just like you would have your regular costume, but now you can see if there are mistakes or problems you need to fix BEFORE ruining your good fabric. Trust me, it saves money in the long run.
4. Check local wig shops before buying online and paying extra for shipping. We have PLENTY of wig and hair supply stores around. Granted, not all of them will have the wacky styles and colors cosplayers need, but if you need something plain and rather simple, check local first.
5. Go make-up shopping right close to and right after Halloween. Halloween make-up in all those crazy colors will likely start to be on clearance.
6. Take your time. Rushing to finish your costumes can lead to serious mistakes, ones that can threaten to ruin the whole costume.
Here is a quick google search with locations of lots and lots of local thrift stores! The Salavation Army Stores are really nice. Hope this was useful to you guys! Come back next time for some Cosplay do and don'ts!