How To Make Your Own Cosplay Outfit

21 November 2014
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Cosplay Outfit Ideas

How to make your own cosplay outfit? Welcome to the guide that gets you started! There are lots of characters, armor ideas, etc. to spark your imagination in new games like Dragon Age: Inquisition. So you’ll definitely want to brush up and learn about the craft of cosplay!

Cosplay, or “Costume Play” (dressing up as your favorite game, anime, movie character) has come en vogue in these modern times, so Amie Lynn is here to show you how to create your own cosplay outfit so you can join in on the fun!
Let Amie Lynn show you how to cosplay as a character from the new Dragon Age!

Here’s an image gallery of to give you ideas from Amie Lynn’s How-To Cosplay tips.
Click on any of these image thumbnails to see the full-size photos:


Beyond this how-to guide to get you started on cosplaying, we’ll be showing off various new cosplays based on Electronic Arts’ Dragon Age: Inquisition characters. So stay tuned for more!

PS4 Boxart Dragon Age 3 Inquisition 2014 USA

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition PS4 Boxart.

If you haven’t pre-ordered Dragon Age: Inquisition already, what are you waiting for?

The Dragon Age: Inquisition release date is November 18, 2014 in North America and November 21, 2014 in Europe for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC!

And don’t forget to check out the Dragon Age: Inquisition Collector’s Edition!

Dragon Age: Inquisition takes place after the events of Dragon Age II. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, a cataclysmic event plunges the land of Thedas into turmoil. Dragons darken the sky, casting a shadow over lands on the brink of chaos. Mages break into all-out war against the oppressive Templars. Nations rise against one another. It falls to you and your allies to restore order as you lead the Inquisition and hunt down the agents of chaos.

Explore, lead, and battle: Tough choices define your experience, and even one decision can change the course of what’s to come. The epic role-playing series from BioWare takes a thrilling leap forward with the power of Frostbite 3. Beautiful vistas and incredible new possibilities await you. Ready yourself for Dragon Age: Inquisition!

Dragon Age Inquisition Sky Gameplay Screenshot

Beautiful sky.

Key Dragon Age Inquisition Features:

BECOME THE INQUISITOR – Wield the power of the Inquisition over the course of an epic character-driven story, and lead a perilous journey of discovery through the Dragon Age.

BOND WITH LEGENDS – A cast of unique, memorable characters will develop dynamic relationships both with you and with each other.

DISCOVER THE DRAGON AGE – Freely explore a diverse, visually stunning, and immersive living world.

CHANGE THE WORLD – Your actions and choices will shape a multitude of story outcomes along with the tangible, physical aspects of the world itself.

PLAY YOUR WAY – Completely control the appearance and abilities of your Inquisitor, party of followers, outposts, and strongholds. Decide the makeup of your Inquisition forces and your own style of combat.

MULTIPLAYER – Dragon Age: Inquisition will include a multiplayer mode for the first time in the franchise adding a new layer of action-packed replayability across fast-paced tactical four player co-op matches.

Dragon Age Inquisition The Fade Gameplay Screenshot

Death Awaits

Creating your own cosplay costume can be daunting.

But that’s okay, we are here to help!

Read below for many tips & suggestions and a list of tools that you’ll need to get started.


Step 0 – Money & Time

Remember that cosplaying is not cheap. It will require money and lots of time.

Think about: Thread, Fabrics, Accessories, Wigs, Hairdye, Scissors, Glue, Tools & Equipment, Sewing Machines, Paint…

Before you get started on your project, be sure you have a good idea of all the little things; Because they will greatly add up.

Remember though that all of this will come with experience, once you’ve made your first costume, you’ll already have many of the components needed for your next one.

And you’ll have a much better idea of how it all works. This will make your second costume a lot faster & easier to assemble than the first.

Remember that assembling your own costume is not going to be “quick & easy”. If you want quick and easy, you are better off buying a costume instead. But the effort, frustration, blood, sweat & tears are all worth it in the end.

Think of it as a brave journey into a whole new world of fun, laughter, and heartbreak yes, but friendship too!

Step 1 – Consider Modifying

One of the easiest ways to create your own costume is to start with a bought costume that resembles what you are aiming for, or several bought costumes, then combine and modify them to suit what it is you are going for.

Don’t ever forget that costume pieces can be assembled a lot easier by using pieces from other costumes or stuff you’d find at a Thrift Store, Yard Sale, clothing sold online, etc.

And be sure to go through your own wardrobe and that of your friends & relatives. You’ll be surprised what you can find that they never wear and will be willing to give to you! You may just find that perfect piece you’ve been looking for right under your nose!

Step 2 – Already Have the Idea For What Character Version You Want

Make sure you already have the choice of what version of a character you are going to go with, and what colors make up their costume.

Step 3 – Break It Down Into Pieces

Make sure you have a map of what kind of pieces you’ll need for your character.

Keep in mind that some pieces are more difficult to do than others, and if you don’t have proper armor, accessories, weapons, etc., then your outfit won’t be complete.

Remember that you may want to go with a simpler costume that uses solid colors or isn’t made of many pieces if you are a beginner.

Step 4 – Consider Comfort & Weather

Remember that a costume is only good if you actually wear it.

Consider how uncomfortable aspects of it will be, and what the weather will be like where you are going to show it off. Consider footwear and how to best make the outfit comfortable but still eye-catching.

You don’t want a costume that is too heavy, too difficult to assemble easily (although your mileage will vary with experience), too hot and sweaty, or that muffles your ability to see & hear too much; especially if you are just starting out.

Beforehand, if your costume does one of these things, practice walking around with a helmet or in an uncomfortable outfit to get used to it ahead of time.

Step 5 – Seek Help, Join Groups

Creating your own costume can be daunting; thus seeking help from someone else or someone with a greater expertise who has done it before is preferred.

Try to connect with other cosplayers online, attend conventions or meet-ups, or find a Cosplay Group to join. Cosplayers are generally very nice and helpful and can greatly help you get the basics down.

Also be sure to scour online forums & message boards, and check out youtube and other video resources.

Try to find out what other people have said who have tried a similar costume or have done the same character. They can offer you the do’s & don’ts of their experience.

If you do find someone online who you think can help you, don’t be afraid to message and ask them directly! Not just in the comments-section. Many cosplayers are happy to help. Just be friendly & polite!

Step 6 – Learn To Sew

Sewing can be a huge asset, as it will allow you to create your own clothing pieces and sew notions & patterns yourself.

It also allows you to modify other pieces much easier. Remember that your mom, grandma, aunt, cousins, etc., in your family probably know how to sew if they are much older than you.

They will likely be very happy to help you out and spend some time with you, and can teach you the basics of sewing or even help you work on your outfit.

It can also be easy to find a fan or someone online who is willing to help you with sewing. And even more likely if you join a local cosplay group or community.

It’s also much easier to shop or sew as a group rather than by yourself, with fellow cosplayers or friends who are interested. So ask, ask, ask. Someone is sure to help you.

Step 7 – Remember Measurements

Remember to have your measurements handy when looking for clothes & costume pieces and always buy more cloth than you think you’ll need!

Also, when shopping, be sure to have a photograph of the character you are playing as with you as reference, or even say, concept art of the weapons and armor or different pieces of the outfit, so you can see each piece in greater detail. This will really help you out.

Step 8 – Wigs & Hairdye & Hat/Shoe Recycling

Wearing wigs is how a lot of cosplayers get their look and is a major component.

You can also dye your hair to get just the right look you need. And remember that clothes & accessories like Hats, Shoes, and many other items can be recycled and used in other outfits!

Step 9 – Pay Attention to Details

Don’t forget ribbons, bow’s, glasses, hairbands, thread in all the colors you need, buttons, there are lots of little details that can be missed at first glance.

Remember to get them in the color you need, and remember when you actually make the costume to be sure that they stand out and don’t look “normal”.

It’s easy to make a costume that looks like you just had a fun day dressing up.

It’s another to make one that really stands out; where people notice the little details you put your time & effort into.


These are the things you will need if you plan on making your costume, although depending on what you are doing your mileage will vary:

Hobby Knife
A must have. Look for sets that come with different blades, holders, handles, screwdrivers, tweezers, bits, etc. All these kinds of tools will come in handy at one point or another.

There are also various types of knives, from Retractable Knives to X-Acto Knives to Utility Knives, you’ll want all of them on hand for cutting through craft items like EVA foam.

There are many kinds of scissors and you will want to consider all of them for different jobs, from General Scissors to Sewing Scissors to Detail Scissors to Rotary Cutters.

Circle Cutter
Similar to what an artist would use to draw circles, you’ll need this item to cut perfect circles out of material. Very handy. Be sure the blade is new & sharp to avoid ragged edges.

Paint Brushes
Obviously you are going to want to do a lot of painting, although it depends on what you are working on. Be sure to have all manner of small and large paint brushes for different jobs.

You’ll want to have a set for drybrushing and for weathering, as well as one for detail painting, for example.

Tacky Glue, Elmer Glue
When sealing just about anything, this will come in handy. Stronger than Elmo Glue, and great for working on craft foam or paper.

For fabric you may want a specific Fabric Glue. Elmer Glue will be wanted if you are working with Paper. Also have a Glue Stick handy.

An industrial strength craft adhesive. Great when working with fabric to bond it together, and it’s semi-flexible.

You’ll want to cure for 4-6 hours. Note that it has a very strong odor, so be sure to wear a mask and have lots of ventilation when working with it. Also remember: Absolutely NO FIRE (like smoking) around chemicals! Chemicals and fumes can be dangerous, so be prepared and read the warning labels.

Epoxy, JB Weld
You’ll want to have several epoxies for binding various materials. Be sure to have several ready to go as you get about assembling your costume.

Why multiple? Because sometimes things will need to be bonded fast, other times you’ll need a bit of time to adjust pieces. Also pick up some JB Weld. It is a very strong, rigid epoxy you should consider.

Super Glue
This glue is very strong and works fast, you’ll want some.

Work Bench or Work Area, Self-Healing Cutting Mat
Make sure you have a sizable amount of space and a good working area to get this done, like in a garage or on a work bench.

You’ll also want to invest in a Self-Healing Cutting Mat to prevent your table top from getting ruined while dealing with knives & scissors, etc.

The grid lines on the mat also come in handy. Btw, be careful when using heated tools around the cutting mat, as it can melt.

Nitrile Gloves, Apron, Safety Goggles, Face Shields, Dust Mask, Respirator
Be sure to have several packs of Nitrile Gloves, as assembling a costume and detailing it can be a very messy affair.

Also be sure to invest in a mask and safety goggles. You’ll want the gloves to protect your hands when dealing with chemicals like Epoxy, Glues, Paints, etc., and these specific gloves provide plenty of dexterity.

Consider wearing an apron if you are going to be doing painting. Face Shields will also protect you when doing more rigorous work with wood or whatnot.

You’ll want a Dust Mask or Respirator when working with Aerosol paints, Bondo, Sanding, or any kind of fume.

Spray Gun
For coloring you will likely need a Spray Gun for painting.

You can even use it to apply coats of wood glue to seal EVA foam if you are attempting to create armor for you outfit.

Note that you may need a compressor to use the Spray Gun.

Heat Gun
If you’re making armor or working with material such as Wonderflex, Worbla, Foam or Sintra, you’ll need a Heat Gun in order to mold & shape the materials into what you desire for each piece of your costume.

Clay Modeling Tools
You can use these on Worbla, Wonderflex, Bondo and other materials as well as for working with Clay.

These come in handy and come in all manner of shapes & sizes for different jobs. Buy these if you are going to do some detail work on your outfit. They often come in nice sets to give you everything you need.

Glue Gun
If you are going to be binding different materials together, which you will, then a Glue Gun is a must.

A power tool that allows you to drill, sand, cut, polish, route, engrave and more. Very useful.

Japanese Hand Saw
If you are going to be cutting while working on props and armor for your outfit, you may want to invest in a Japanese Hand Saw.

It cuts while pulling instead of pushing, making it easier to cut faster and straighter, with a very thin blade, it’s also very flexible, enabling you to cut areas that are hard to reach with other saws.

You can use it to cut PVC Pipe, Acrylic, Styrene, etc.

Wood Burner
Obviously this isn’t needed for a lot of costumes, but if you’re going to be working with wood when making accessories or weapons, then this is needed to add details and ornamentation. But it can also be used when doing the same with Foam.

Orbital Sander or Sand Paper, Sanding Sponges
This is a more expensive piece that isn’t needed unless you are getting very detailed.

But if you need to sand down a piece of equipment or armor, like a Shield, or a part of a mask you are assembling, then this is a must have piece of equipment that will make your life much easier.

This is a piece that a cosplaying friend may have. You’ll also want to get some regular Sand Paper to have on-hand as well when sanding by hand. Sanding Sponges are also very useful when working on crevices and material that is oddly shaped.

Rotary Tool
This will become your best friend when cutting, buffing, sanding, engraving, etc., all of which can be done with this one handy tool.

Closing note: Research, research, research! This is only a guide for beginners to get you started. It’s a wide, wide world when it comes to cosplay, so get out there and make a name for yourself!

Photo credits: Amie Lynn.

* Sponsored by Electronic Arts *


About the author

Josh Romero By Josh Romero: He is a lover of videogames, as well as metal music, Gilmore Girls, chatting, social networking, Phoenix Suns, reading, writing and many other nerdy things. Read his posts here and connect with him on Youtube.

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