Whether going all out or trying to dress on a budget, cosplayers at Baltimore Comic-Con were eager to share their tips for those new to the process.
Erin Potter said she channeled the new Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad with a look that cost her only $20.
She says it takes patience to get a look for less. Potter typically starts with the idea and goes from there.
"I get a character and I look at the picture, I study it constantly, and I try to pick out anything that I have or that I can borrow and then I build off of that trying to make everything that I can without having to buy new stuff," Potter said.
For Kyndal Christofferson, thrift shops are a great place to start. That's where she found all of the clothes for her look inspired by Castiel from Supernatural.
"Thrift stores are great if you want to start there," Christofferson said.
The addition of wings, a harness, and taxidermy squirrels added to the outfit, which cost between $100 and $150 to assemble.
Ian Allick said craft stores are a great starting point for him.
"JoAnn Fabric is my friend," Allick said.
He said he stopped calculating the cost of his Assassin's Creed costume once he hit the $600 mark. He wanted the look to be as authentic as possible and details were a big part of that.
"I made everything," Allick said of his Assassin's Creed costume.
For Allick, the most important thing is to simply start.
"I would say just pick up a pencil and draw some designs if designs don't already exist online. Just draw something out and start," Allick said. "Start cutting from fabric, sewing some stuff, gluing some stuff, and you'd be surprised how quickly it starts making sense."
Sam Gras said the the first step is to find something you love, then bring it to life. For Gras, strategy and planning are key.
"Do your research on the character, pull up as many pictures as you can of the character, find the pieces that make that character unique," Gras said. "Before you even start the build, make a chart. Make a list of the pieces that you need so you kind of have an idea as to how much money you're going to spend and the skill set that you need to make this costume."
Gras said there are a lot of people out there who are ready and willing to share their knowledge through videos on YouTube and Facebook.
"There are just so many people out there who want to help you create a piece of art, which is really what it is, it's a living art and it's testament to these characters that we love," Gras said.