How to Plan your Cosplay: Cosplan List!

Hey guys! I’m back with new stuff to share! Let’s start August with something cosplay related shall we?

I used to say that cosplaying is a way of self-expression and a way to show devotion to a certain character. But I find myself bowing my head in shame if ever my cosplay is incomplete (in other words frustratingly naked ;D). What more that there are some people out there who are quite meticulous about details on characters, much more if they are their favorite characters. Yikes!

What more as convention season’s hot right now. Too many conventions and cosplans, too little time and budget, right?

To spare yourself from the shame, planning ahead is the best way to go about if you’re not exactly blessed with a heavy bank account and wallet like me. What better way to plan ahead is to make a cosplan list?

Here have an icebreaker photo by Jun Rojas. Luca Trulyworth of Ar Tonelico 2 cosplayed by me

What is a cosplan list?

A cosplan list is a general list of your plans of this year. Here you list down the things you will need for each character from materials down to the things needed to accomplish (i.e, sewing, props making, armor making, etc.).

A cosplan list is also a great way of assessing your budget for the year as your could see which cosplays are feasible and which ones are ambitious. In additional note, if unavoided emergencies would arise, you could consult on this list on what cosplays could be scrapped or saved for the future.

It doesn’t matter where you place just as long as it is somewhere easily seen and not easily lost. Here’s an example of my 2014 Cosplan list:

An example of how I do my cosplan list
An example of how I do my cosplan list

As you can see I have plans to do Cocona Vatel from Ar Tonelico 2 and Atelier Ayesha from, well, Atelier Ayesha.

You can see that for the first part of my cosplan list, I make sure I find what comprises the costume. You will notice that I use the original character sketches rather than use other cosplayer’s photos.

Why? Not all details can be see in the photo and cosplayers often have their own biases to make a character fit their body structures. In addition, character sketches gives a full 360 degree view of a character. Screenshots will also help greatly.

I always place my list in landscape format with narrow margin to maximize space.

Cosplay Interlude! Ragnarok Archbishop by me. Photo by Art Vandelay | Voxel Studio
Cosplay Interlude! Ragnarok Archbishop by me. Photo by Art Vandelay | Voxel Studio

The next of a cosplan list portion would be listing down what you need. Best way to do this is to do it in bullets. Here’s a good approach with guide questions to ask yourself when you start listing.

I will be needing:

  • Cloth (What type? What color/s? How many meters?)
  • Wig (Brand new or preloved? What brand? What shade/color should I go? What are my allowable errors for the wig accuracy? Pre-styled or not? Will I style it myself or commission someone to style it for me? What is your budget allocation? Where should I buy)
  • Crafting materials (How many meters of rubber sheets? Will I need pipes? What kind of paint? What primer should I use?)
  • Contact lenses (What color? What brand? With prescription? What is my budget? Should it be vivid or not? Where should I buy?)


Hopefully this short write-up will be of immense help for you guys. This is how I prepare my cosplays and I hope it could help you too!



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