Just getting into cosplay and feeling overwhelmed? Have you been making costumes for years, but are stumped on a new technique or character prop? Check out the below resources to find all the assistance you could ever want!
This site really is the mother-ship of all things cosplay. Not only do the 350,000+ community members upload work in progress (WIP) photos, but they also share images of their final outfits -talk about inspiration! In addition, the bustling forum has threads on just about any topic you could want or need...from sewing patterns for pleated skirts, to replicating fake blood makeup, to picking the best material for creating that sword prop you're making.
Looking to get into armor or prop making, especially with EVA foam or pepakura? Then these niche communities are the place for you. These are the guys making full body replica suits of armor for characters such as Master Chief from Halo and Iron Man. Lots of tips and tricks here including pattern files to get you started.
Forum Tips (these are important!):
1. Always read the community and forum rules before jumping in.
2. Always be polite and kind...and do YOUR HOMEWORK first!
3. As part of your homework, read any pinned threads first...they're pinned for a reason. Read them!
4. Also, do a thorough search of the site/forum before asking a question (site search with Google for additional help -that sometimes makes a search easier "site:WEBSITE_TO_SEARCH.com "YOUR SEARCH TERM/PHRASE"). Forum members don't take kindly to users who post without checking, especially when the very question was just asked and answered the previous day.
5. Feel free to 'ghost' the forum for a little while to get a feel for how users pose questions and reply to one another -if you've read the forum rules like you should have, it really shouldn't be a big deal. Most people in the forums are great. Everyone loves sharing their knowledge and helping one another out.
You're thinking, well duh!...but seriously. Start with these guys. There are excellent cosplayers all around the world writing blog posts, articles, and creating tutorial videos. Sometimes you just have to think out of the box. If you're making Aragorn's sword, Anduril, you don't necessarily have to search "Anduril sword tutorial." You could try searching that first, but then switch it up. Try other swords that are similar to the one you want to make, such as "Game of Thrones Ice sword." Then go broader. Simply search for "sword tutorial" or "cosplay sword" or even "how to make a costume sword." Try different keywords or material references. Trust me, over time you will get good at this. Remember, things are always evolving and changing -a new material comes out, a new wig shop opens up, someone discovered a new and better way for creating xyz. Always do your research and seek to gain new knowledge and techniques. Additionally, the sometimes lesser known sites of Deviant Art and Instructables are also great places to search for tutorials.
Check social sites such as Facebook for local cosplay groups. These are great for finding out information about local conventions as well as local stores. Our group even has cosplay get-together work sessions (please exercise caution if you decide to meet up with people in real life that you've met online though).
Need inspiration or want to find a character that is blonde, has cat ears, and wears dresses? This site houses thousands of searchable characters. I used this site when I wanted more cosplay character ideas for females that wear armor.
Remember how I mentioned there are many cosplayers out there that have their own sites? These are two of the many that are out there that I enjoy. They do excellent work, show great WIP images, and do some great tutorials.
There's a chance you'll fall into a certain style of cosplay -you'll like to make certain types of outfits or work with certain types of materials; I guarantee there's a great individual cosplayer site out there that'll match your preferences and be an excellent resource!
Another one stop shop for tutorials. Check out their blog or browse their library of collected tutorials from across the web. If you've got a question, I'm almost certain they've got a tutorial link for you!
Need even more tutorials, inspiration, or places to shop? Check this site out too. What I like about this site is that it's kept pretty up to date regarding reputable stores to buy wigs, contacts, etc from. Sometime a once good online shop turns bad, or you just need a place to shop in the first place; this site will help you out with that.