If you know and love a cosplayer, you may have found yourself wondering why in the world someone would take up a hobby that only seems to infuriate the crafter. From sleepless pre-con nights stapling foam to fabric to meticulously styling wigs until just the right amount of hair sticks out at just the right angle, it’s certainly a labor of love that many coplay lovers are passionate about.
In addition to being time-consuming, it’s also costly. It takes a lot of supplies to build a wearable dragon costume or create a complete set of armor from paper, and those mad rushes back and forth to the craft store start to add up quickly. With these cosplay gift ideas, you can help a cosplayer save a little cash and create their masterpieces, one piece of EVA foam at a time.
Cosplay Gift Ideas
1. Sewing Machine Kit
Of course, more sewing supplies are at the top of every cosplayer’s list. It takes more than creativity and passion for creating elaborate getups based on their favorite characters, so they’re sure to appreciate all the needles, thread, and notions they can get their hands on. The mini sewing kit would be great for travel for those tricky moments when an Eren Jaeger outfit or D.VA suit splits a seam.
2. EVA Foam
There isn’t enough foam in the world to handle most cosplayers’ “To Make” list, but you can give them a head start with a bulk pack of EVA foam. It’s useful for anything from armor to shoes, and these thin sheets are perfect for smaller detailing, like buttons. Plus, it comes in 20 different colors, saving time not having to paint white foam.
3. 3D Printer
For folks who like winning “Best Gift Giver Ever” awards, a 3D printer would put you in 1st place. Cosplayers can create incredibly elaborate props that are too time-consuming to handcraft or too expensive to buy. It also opens the door for an apt designer to start a side hustle of 3-D printing objects for other cosplayers, which means more cash for cons!
4. Cosplay Tutorial Books
Gift a burgeoning cosplay superstar with a couple of books about the basics written by masters of the craft. These cosplay gift ideas cover all kinds of topics, from foam-work and basic sewing to color matching and wig styling. Even those who have been active cosplay hobbyists for years might pick up a new trick or two.
5. Convention Passes
San Diego Comic-Con is the place to be for cosplayers around the globe, pulling in some of the biggest names in media, both as presenters and guests. In 2019, a few major celebrities who showed up included Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, and Orlando Bloom. Basically, it’s every cosplayer’s dream to attend, making this one of the best gifts for cosplayers!
6. Hot Glue Gun
Carpenters have hammers, chefs have spatulas, and cosplayers have hot glue guns. It is an essential tool of the trade and often saves the day when a wayward flap of fabric or unsightly seam rears its ugly head. This powerful glue gun works on various materials, including cloth, plastic, and paper, so it can stick together just about anything a cosplayer throws at it.
7. Makeup Kit
The right makeup look can make or break a cosplay, but the range of colors needed for high-fantasy or sci-fi getups is massive. Help bulk up their palette selection with a makeup kit jam-packed with goodies to experiment with. If you’re thinking of packing your own kit, this is one situation where weirder is better. It’s easy to grab a nice nude eyeshadow off the store shelf, but not so much with neon lipstick, golden body glitter, and colored mascara.
8. Badge Holder
Cosplayers wear their convention passes like a badge of honor, so gift them with something to show it off in. Most cosplayers don’t have the time or patience to fiddle with something as silly as pockets when they’re busy building a fully-functional Gundam suit out of trash bags and newspaper clippings. Most con attendees prefer lanyards, like this Marauder’s Map option, because it leaves their hands free for impromptu foam sword fights.
9. Leg Wallet
As mentioned above, those flashy costumes don’t have room for pockets, but those tempting merch tables will leave cosplayers constantly reaching for a little bit of cash. This leg wallet has major Lara Croft vibes, plus it saves your cosplaying pal from ruining their Princess Peach costume with a fanny pack. Win-win.
10. Liquid Plastic Compound
The easiest way to make multiple copies of a prop or accessory is a mold, but the right shape often isn’t readily available online. Fortunately for aspiring cosplayers, a liquid plastic compound only requires one handmade copy. Then, they can recast as many of the items as they need and save tons of time.
11. Molding Putty
Much like plastic compounds, molding putty makes quick work of casting duplicates of an object. It dries flexibly, so highly complex things can sink deep into the soft putty to catch an accurate 3-D model. Then, instead of pulling the object back out, the putty will bend around it, making removal quick and easy.
12. Dremel Rotary Tool
Cosplayers can use Dremels for detailing and finishing their props with finesse. The various heads can tackle jobs like sanding, carving, engraving, and polishing on a smaller scale than traditional power tools. Cosplayers can leverage their Dremel to do the little things that make a cosplay accurate, like hand-casting their own version of “The One Ring,” complete with custom-inscribed elvish.
Worbla is a thermoplastic that cosplayers soften with a heat gun, then mold into various shapes. It’s typically used for helmets, masks, and other accessories requiring rigid, plastic construction. It can be reheated and remodeled, which is great news for beginners. Once it’s just the right shape, Worbla can also be painted to match the rest of the cosplay.
14. Cosplay Patterns
Anyone who has ever tried to free-hand cut fabric into a particular garment can attest to how complex and often disappointing the results can be. Save your giftee the trouble with cosplay sewing patterns. The best part is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be in accordance with a particular theme. Designers can adapt a simple skirt or blouse pattern into whatever they have in mind.
15. Dress Form
Dress forms are an absolute must for nailing the perfect fit. Unlike human models, they adjust to someone’s exact measurements, don’t wiggle around while draping fabric, and don’t whine when they accidentally get stuck with a pin (again). Be sure to get the right size for the person you’re giving it to. Otherwise, they won’t accurately and efficiently adjust their garments.
16. Heat Gun
Why not grab a heat gun to go along with the EVA foam and Worbla? While not flashy, this cosplay gift idea is an absolute necessity.
Think of this tool as a super-powered blow dryer. It delivers accurate hot air streams to objects, making them warp according to the cosplayer’s needs. They’re necessary for shaping thermoplastics but come in handy in many cosplay-related emergencies. While cheaper ones
are available in craft stores, a full-sized one with an extensive range of heat settings like this option from Dewalt is invaluable.
17. Wig Holder
Once a cosplayer’s repertoire of outfits starts to grow, it’s tough figuring out where to store it all. Wigs are particularly problematic, as they need to be well-preserved between cons to maintain their shape. A wig holder handily takes care of that issue, providing a compact and inexpensive solution and preventing your favorite cosplayers from being forced to fill their crafting space with creepy mannequin heads.
18. Cosplay Wigs
One of the most inexpensive parts of cosplay is collecting wigs, so your giftee is sure to appreciate even the simplest of bob styles that they can style as needed. Try a long, straight wig in a neutral hair color if you really want to make their day. These are full of opportunities for cutting and styling to fit a picky cosplayer’s exacting specifications.
19. Cosplay Contacts
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but cosplayers know that colored contacts are the doorway to accurate costuming. A Hyuga cosplay just isn’t complete without white lenses, and Geralt is hardly a witcher if he doesn’t have amber-colored cat eyes. Cosplay contacts are the finishing touch that can completely transform a costume.