As any cosplayer knows, old cosplays can take up a LOT of space. I have created over 50 different costumes, and if I kept every single one of them, I wouldn’t have room for anything else!
Fortunately, there are lots of solutions for what to do with old costumes. In this post, I’ll be covering just a few of them.
Keep & Store Cosplays / Props
The first option of what to do with old cosplays is just to keep them! I’ve had many of my cosplays for years and years. Some of them I hang up in my closet with my regular clothes, and some are folded up in my drawers. These solutions work great for more normal clothing items.
For the props I want to keep, I have almost all of them in a single box in my closet. They can fit together really well if you organize them right. I can’t keep all my props, of course, but I keep most of the ones I really like, such as my Dream masks, or my Key of Aaravos prop!
What about larger armor cosplays? These ones can be a lot trickier, since armor tends to be large and bulky. My best advice is to find ways to fit all of the armor inside itself. Stick one bracer inside the other, nestle leg armor into the breastplate, etc. You want it to take up the least amount of space as possible. If you organize it right, you can fit a full suit of armor pretty well inside a tote or large cardboard box!
Sell Your Cosplays ($$$)
Sometimes, it’s not feasible to keep all your old cosplays. If you don’t want them anymore, or don’t have room for them, you can sell them! What you charge for them is ultimately up to you, but make sure to take into consideration your time, talents, and the cost of supplies and materials. You may also be willing to sell it for less if you really just want to get rid of it.
I’ve seen many cosplayers put up cosplays, props, and wigs for sale in their Instagram stories, or sometimes through places like Etsy or E-Bay.
I’ve never sold my own personal costumes before, since I tend to cut corners for personal projects, but I have sold a lot of finished props through my Etsy shop, and then as commissions for people I know in real life. It can be a great way to use your costuming skills to make some money!
Give Them Away
I know what you’re thinking — I just told you about how to sell your costumes, and now I’m talking about giving them away? What is this!
See, not all of my cosplays I would feel comfortable selling, since they’re falling out of repair, or aren’t made super professionally. In these cases, I just give them away.
I’ve given several props and costume pieces to family members. It’s nice to know that they appreciate them enough to make their own costumes with them, or hang them up on their wall. It’s a good way to get some use and appreciation for the costume or prop, without you having to keep it!
I’ve also given several full costumes — including one of my favorites, my General Amaya cosplay — to my local high school’s theater. See, they have a low budget, low expectations, and will definitely love and use the costumes! I actually went to a play where they used a suit of armor I gave them for one of their main characters, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I ended up giving a lot of my costumes to this theater, including most of my full suits of armor that I couldn’t take to college with me for storage reasons. It’s nice to know that the costumes are in good hands.
If you’re looking for a place to give your costumes, just to get them off your hands, consider looking for local high schools or community theaters! In my experience, they are very willing to accept high-quality (or even mid- to low-quality) costumes.
If all else fails, you can donate the costume to a thrift store or charity shop.
Throw Them Away
Of course, sometimes the costumes aren’t good enough to keep, sell, or even give to someone else. Sometimes, you just have to throw them away. Which is always just a little bit sad. But remember, it wasn’t a waste! You learned a lot from making that costume, and it served its purpose for you.
A lot of the time, if I have to throw away a costume or prop, I’ll also up-cycle as much as I can from it! Tear of edging, attachment pieces, etc. If you’re already throwing it away, you might as well get as much as you can from it!
It’s always kind of sad to move on from an old cosplay. But you can feel comforted knowing that you had a good time with it, it served its purpose for you, and now, maybe somebody else will get just as much joy out of it as you did!
Don’t forget; moving on is part of the journey.