For those who are new to cosplay or are friends and/or family of a cosplayer and aren’t really sure what it’s all about, cosplay is about dressing up as your favorite characters from movies, books, games, tv, etc. Cosplayers can get their costumes from lots of different areas, some source and alter garments that they find in second hand stores, some sew costumes and others build armor from foam and plastics! We’re coming up on the holidays and decided to put together a quick little cosplay gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for the cosplayer in your life.
Cosplay sewing gift ideas
If the cosplayer that you are looking for gifts is into sewing or altering garments, a great idea is a very nice pair of fabric scissors, one brand that we like is Gingher. High quality fabric scissors should only be used on fabrics and can make cutting and trimming much easier!
Similarly, a good idea is to get them a rotary cutter and/or a cutting mat. These allow you to cut your fabric out while it is laying flat without lifting it up and distorting it, make sure to check out the refill packs of the wheels for bonus points.
For the cosplayer that has just started sewing or is interested in sewing, we like to recommend:
- A good starter sewing kit of needles (hand sewing and machine sewing)
- Quality thread
- A magnetic dish or tomato to keep the pins
Additionally, if they are just starting to sew and they don’t have a machine, look for entry level sewing machines at Joann Fabrics, Amazon and surplus shops like Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, etc.
If the cosplayer that you are looking for gifts for is starting to branch out into more intricate sewing, check out tailor’s hams which are used to iron curved seams. If they already have a basic sewing machine, check out heavy duty machines, which are used to sew through many layers of fabric or very thick fabrics such as denim. Another type of sewing machine that is useful for sewing is a Serger, also known as overlock machines and they are what give the finished edge that you find on many mass produced clothes.
Cosplay foam and plastic gift ideas
If your favorite cosplayer is more interested in learning how to work with foam and plastics to make armor and props, there are some amazing cosplayers who have put together books about all the different things that you can do with foam. Some of our favorite books are “Foamsmith: How to Create Foam Armor Costumes“ by Punished Props and “The Book of Foam Armor – Comfy and Affordable“ by Kamui Cosplay.
Foam armor and props can be made with anti-fatigue floor mats that you can find at many hardware stores, which is another idea. However, in the last year there have been several companies that have come out with foam sheets that are designed specifically for cosplay, check out:
Another material that many cosplayers will use to make armor and props from is Worbla, which is now available online from various retailers and in select Michael’s Craft stores. There are several tools that foamsmiths will use and having a solid Xacto knife (with refills), a heat gun and a rotary tool (the most common brand is Dremel) is always a great idea.
Cosplay wig gift ideas
Perhaps the cosplayer in your life is ready to branch out in styling and altering wigs, one of our favorite things is a canvas wig head (also known as a block). These are purchased based on the size of the head that the wig will be styled for and are made from cork that has been covered with a sturdy canvas material. They are made to go onto tripods or wig stands to make it easier to manipulate the fibers of the wig. Some of our favorite styling tools are wire mesh curls (in various sizes), gator clips and a good pair of barber shears.
Gift cards for cosplayers
If you still aren’t sure exactly what to get for a gift, we have a couple of suggestions that most cosplayers should use – the standby…gift cards! Cosplayers can use gift cards for a variety of purposes, from a variety of stores:
- JoAnn Fabrics
- Michael’s Crafts
- Home Depot
- Arda Wigs
- Epic Cosplay Wigs
- Subscription to various cosplay magazines
- Weekend pass to area conventions
We hope this cosplay gift guide helps take some of the mystery out of what to buy for the cosplayer in your life this holiday season!
About the authors
We’re Another Castle Creations, a cosplay group based in the Midwest who love to create costumes from our favorite fandoms! We have 5 members in our little group who have been cosplaying for 5+ years. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram: @anothercastlecreations! Our members also have their individual Instagram accounts:
- Kris Jade (@krisjaded)
- Ruby Silverado (@ruby_silverado)
- Luna Flare (@mslunaflare)
- Walking Farnsworth (@thewalkingfarnsworth)
- Lydia Heartwell (@lydiaheartwell)