How to get cheap thrills this Halloween with cosplay on a budget

Kimi and BoxBox show us how to do cosplay on basically no budget for a thrifty trick or treat season.

If you're worried about how much to spend on your spooky attire for trick or treating and socially-distanced Zoom partying this year, consider spending all your ability points on illusion and creativity instead. Angelskimi and BoxBox entered the HyperX office last year to take on the Budget Cosplay Challenge and prove that you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on authentic merch for the perfect costume this Halloween.

With only 10 minutes and a table full of basic crafting supplies that you can find in any dollar store, Kimi and BoxBox made some passable cosplays of all your classic Halloween archetypes. The whole video is hilarious, but we've pulled out some of the top tips we learned from watching these two pro tailors speedrun costume creation. This will surely be enough to fool your friends over a bitcrushed webcam feed this Halloween.

How to make the perfect budget cosplay for Halloween

Less is more

When you've forgotten to prep your costume before the party and are working under time pressure, or trying to save money to spend on candy/games, you need to focus your efforts. Picking out one or two features that clearly represent your chosen character and then making them well is better than trying to put together an entire ensemble from scratch. Figure out what materials you have to work with, how they can be best turned into a prop or accessory and then using anything you might already have in your wardrobe to fill in the gaps is the best way to cosplay on  a budget.

What a twist

Budget halloween cosplay
BoxBox turns Kimi into a fashion-conscious pirate with the last-minute addition of some beads © HyperX

When you've decided on what you want to be, and you've worked out what props you can make from the materials you have, see what sort of twist you can put on the character. Creativity is inspired by restriction, so when you don't quite have everything you need to create the perfect dracula costume, work out how to spin your take on the vampire king. No cape in the closet? You can always try making a cape with dollar store supplies, like Kimi did for BoxBox, but maybe your vampire is more modern, so try some fitted caps and a chain. No green clothes to complete your Hulk outfit? Maybe your Hulk turns blue because of a different radiation source. It's all about the deep lore of a backstory.

Pure imagination

Budget cosplay halloween
No time to make a shield design? Just go with writing "Shield?" on the front. © HyperX

You might think that props need to be visually identical to their counterparts, thanks to the wealth of incredibly talented cosplayers littering our convention halls and expos these days. But if you're headed out for trick or treating or a Halloween party, chances are your props aren't making it home with you. That's why you can get away with more artistic license when it comes to your budget cosplay. There's a certain charm in cosplay that is very obviously bad, as legendary Thai costumier Anucha “Cha” Saengchart – also known as Low-Cost Cosplay – has shown. So don't be afraid to really phone it in when it comes to sourcing materials, as long as the execution is funny you'll get some appreciative laughs. For instance, write "Shield?" on the front of your badly constructed knight's shield if you don't have enough time or markers to create the perfect design, like BoxBox.

Low-Cost Cosplay Vader
A more perfect Darth Vader cosplay doesn't exist. © Low-Cost Cosplay

What budget cosplay tips do you have that Kimi and BoxBox could have used when tackling the Budget Cosplay Challenge? Let us know in the comments, or share a picture of your proudest low-cost Halloween costume so we can learn, too. And have a safe and fun Halloween this year!


Chris is the captain of the good ship AllGamers, which would explain everything you're seeing here. Get in touch to talk about work or the $6 million Echo Slam by emailing or finding him on Twitter. 


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