Kids Cosplay on a Budget

By nerdyathomedad

Cosplay: it can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. It can be a simple couple-hour project or a project that can take days, weeks, months or even a year to complete. Kids always look pretty epic in cosplay, but do we need to be spending all that time and money on outfits that they are going to grow out of within the next few months? Here are some easy, savings-friendly tips for dressing your kids up like their favorite characters. Here are some examples of easy to make, inexpensive cosplay builds.

The thing to remember is that the entire process of cosplay is meant to be fun. Yes, there are a lot of competitions and some people take it very seriously, but don’t let that stop you from making a budget-friendly cosplay outfit for your children. The last bit of advice from me is to make sure you get pictures of your child with other cosplayers. It’s fun to look back at the pictures and see your child’s face when they see the pictures of them with their favorite characters.


Superboy from Tiny Titans Budget Costume Tutorial


This budget Superboy outfit requires 7 items;

  • a black t-shirt
  • red fabric, reuse an old red t-shirt for this (FREE!)
  • Heat’n Bond
  • black wristbands
  • pair of blue jeans
  • red shoes (optional)
  • a red belt (optional)

You probably already have a black shirt and a pair of blue jeans, but if not, you can stop by your local thrift shop and grab both for under $5. The wristbands are super easy to make.


Budget Kids Wristbands for Cosplay

To make the wristbands, head to your favorite store’s baby section or reuse a pair of (1) toddler socks. (2) Cut the top off each sock as shown in image. (3) And BAM!!! wristbands!!



How to use Heat’n Bond when Cutting Fabric

To make the red “S” in this tutorial, you will need:

  • red fabric (preferably old t-shirt)
  • an “S” stencil
  • Heat’n Bond (link to purchase on amazon?)
  • an iron
  • ironing board
  • thin piece of fabric (like a sheet) for ironing



How to use an old t-shirt for FREE red fabric:

Find an old red shirt (4), and (5) cut the shirt horizontally, right under the chest.

Make a stencil by printing off a Superman “S.” (6) Here is the one I used. (7) Iron a piece of Heat’n Bond paper to the inside of the shirt fabric. This will make it easier to cut the “S” out of the fabric. Let the Heat’n Bond cool for about 1 hour. (8) Using your stencil, trace the “S” backwards and carefully cut out the shape with fabric scissors. Peel off the back of the Heat’n Bond, place the “S” on the front of the black shirt. Put a thin piece of fabric (like a sheet) over the “S” and iron on the “S.” Make sure and follow the Heat’n Bond instructions. Let the “S” cool off over night, if needed sew down the edges. After it’s all put together, dress your child up and have some Superboy cosplay fun. This whole project cost me about $15 and a day an a half of work.


Budget Doctor Who Kids Cosplay Idea


You will be able to find most of these items at a thrift store or a second-hand children’s clothing store like Kid to Kid. Really all you need for a Doctor outfit is:

  • a child’s suit
  • a tie/bow tie
  • a trench coat/tweed jacket
  • a sonic screwdriver
  • a pair of Converse All Stars or loafers


Score Clearance Costumes the Day After Halloween


Some people think that there is a stigma against those who buy store-bought costumes for their children’s cosplay. Honestly, if you feel like you don’t have the necessary skills to make an outfit, don’t be afraid to go store-bought. The best time to buy costumes at the store is the day after Halloween. Every store drops prices and you can find great deals on costumes.


The T-Shirt Super Hero Kids Cosplay Tutorial


Allow me to introduce the Green Diaper. With his powers of supersonic cries and earth-shaking farts, he fights the most powerful villain of all: Doctor Naptime.

You will need:

  • old t-shirt
  • scissors
  • marker
  • Heat’n Bond
  • string or yarn (optional)


Take an old t-shirt and (1) cut off the front and sleeves, leaving the collar in tact. (2) Cut the collar in the center, and you have yourself a cape. Using the fabric from the front shirt, draw a mask shape, and (3) cut out. You could use Heat’n Bond to help make cutting out the mask easier. Snip a small hole on each side of the mask. Use cut strips of t-shirt fabric, string or yarn to tie to each side of the mask behind their head. Now, name the super hero and create the hero’s back story. You have yourself the most inexpensive cosplay ever and your toddler-aged child will love it.

nerdyathomedad is an Official Salt Lake Comic Con Blogger.

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1 reply
  1. Branden says:

    Awesome. Cosplay is my 5 yr old’s favorite part of Comic Con. Currently I am making him some “ninja armor” which is like light samurai armor that I have been toying with for a cosplay, but for him I’m making it out of a 8 gallon hdpe plastic trash can that I got at walmart for $10 and tying it all together with para cord that cost 2. Kids costumes require less materials and so often times can be cheaper.

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