Just like with fashion, craft supplies change with the season. Listed below are the best times of year to find specific items relevant to cosplay.
Pastel Fabric- Spring is the season where stores switch over from the dark jewel tones of fall/winter to light and airy fabrics in pastel shades.
Cute Baby Animals- if you need a toy bunny for a photoshoot, they are everywhere.
Fake Flowers- if you need artificial versions of any of the stereotypical spring flowers like daffodils or tulips, now is the time to find them.
Wedding Supplies- Spring is an extremely popular time for weddings if you need a bouquet or veil.
To be honest, other than sunglasses and beach supplies, summer really isn’t known for any particular deals.
Plaid Fabric- if you need a specific plaid for a school uniform, now is when you are most likely to find it.
Halloween everything- fabric, décor, jewelry. If you anticipate any costumes for the next year involving bats, spider webs, or skeletons, now is the time to stock up.
(Rumi is basically a Halloween store thrown onto a dress. Photo by Catty Cosplay)
Cheesecloth- a light, gauzy material that is great for fake bandages. It is often used to make spooky Halloween decorations and can be most commonly found before that holiday.
Fake Blood- pretty much every general store with a seasonal section has a jug of fake blood for purchase before Halloween.
Fangs/Horns- readily available mixed in with the rest of the store bought Halloween costumes.
Fake Weaponry- the same reasons as fangs.
Sewing Machines- Black Friday/Cyber Monday is often the best time to purchase big-ticket items such as sewing machines and dress forms at a discount.
Wigs and Thermoplasics- Many cosplay suppliers also have Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales on their products.
Fleece- If you are looking for a specific color or design of fleece now is when stores tend to have the greatest selection and also major sales.
Flannel- the same reasons as fleece.
Christmas Everything- fabric, décor, and jewelry. This is a great time to get all the glittery details needed to finish a holiday idol outfit.
Fake Snow- the is the one time of year to purchase fake snow if you need any for an upcoming photoshoot.
I can’t make this list without also discussing the “buy it after” mentality. Some people like to wait until after a holiday is over to try and snag related items at a discounted price. In my experience I’ve found this to be an ineffective practice. No matter what they’re selling, stores have the goal to move as much inventory as they can as quickly as possible before those items are no longer relevant. Many also stop re-stocking seasonal items way before the actual holiday occurs. This is why there is almost no candy left in stores a day or two before Valentine’s Day, let alone the day after. Personally I like to watch sales fliers for 50-60% off sales in the weeks before holidays. If necessary, I will use coupons to get an item immediately if it is the PERFECT thing I need to complete a costume as there is no guarantee that item will still be there when I return.
I hope you found this blog post useful. Is there anything I missed on this list? Let me know in the comments below.