Unmasking the Community – Should I Get Into DIY, part 2 – Creativity Aside, How Else Do I Prepare?

In the first segment exploring this topic, we discussed the questions that most would-be DIY’ers may ask themselves when deciding just how much they want to make their own costume. Ultimately, we stressed thinking outside the box and being as creative as you can be. Once you’ve crossed that road, you just have to execute.

So what happens when you’ve got the ideas? You’re not short on inspiration, but short on direction… where do you go from there?

Well not to be a dead horse, but preparation is key. You need to know what you’re going to use, where you’re going to get it from, and how to plan to use it properly.

Materials make the outfit

Taking a nod from Tobey Maguire in the first Spiderman movie, you should have already planned everything out. But now you need to know what to use. Depending on what you’re making, you can find most of your needs at a fabric store. However, the right material will be essential.

Some costume designers get real clever with their getups, and move outside the typical reaches of fabrics. This Big Daddy for example really called for more heavy duty and artistic production. Whatevier your choice, remember that the dfference between going big or cheaping out can make or break a good outfit.

Get some expert advice

By expert advice, we don’t mean go have a pro costume maker tell you what to do. That would eliminate the fun and excitement behind the whole process. What’s more important is that you find those who have some know how and that they give you ideas. You want to go into your first costume making experience with the varying options that are out there. It’s one thing to not try something, it’s another to never know it was an option.

So what does that mean? It means you can talk to anyone you know who has expertise in any type of costuming. Try theater friends. Maybe you know people into cosplay. Find a crafty friend, an artistic professional, a web celeb who has made their fame on making cool things. They’re everywhere and they love to talk about themselves.

Time to begin already?

Well, there comes a time when you can plan no more, and it’s just time to get ready and down to it. Check all needful things off the list. Sketches? Check. Ideas? Check. Materials? Check. Supplies? Check.

What else is missing…

As for right now, you’re ready. If you’re planning early enough in advance, you already know you’re going to be running into some issues and you have time to make mistakes. We’ve given you all we know in terms of plans and ideas on how to get things done in the pre-phase.

If you’ve made it this far, you are surely ready to get some DIY costume making under your belt. Stay focused on your goal and you may end up the guru you thought you could be.

Bonus Ideas

  • Check out Instructables for some ideas on how to make some convincing effects and elements
  • Try Craft Magazine for clever spins on ideas you already have.
  • Take your questions to forums. If you’re going Cosplay, you have a number of specific sites just planned out for you. Cosplay.com has one of the most active cosplay forums online.
  • Also try your questions at Yahoo! Answers. You’re likely to find all manners of ideas.
  • Plan to show off… look for groups, events, and other exciting reasons to get your costume noticed. If you have a firm deadline to work for, you’ll hit it. You also can afford the captive audience. Kostume Kult is great for news here, and soon we’ll be covering the Burning Man festival.


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