Tip: For very form fitted costumes, it's really important to have well fitted patterns. This ensures that everything will fit well at the end. For armored shoes/boots, you should always make them in multiple pieces so you can move your foot when you walk.
Tip: Use puff paint to achieve a very subtle detail look to your armor. Adding multiple layers on top of your armor makes it look more dynamic and interesting. Make your armor in as many pieces as you can to make packing tetris easier.
Tip: Using heavyweight elastic straps make wearing armor more comfortable and allows more freedom of movement. To wear something on your head invisibly like a crown, attach small hair combs with elastic onto the back. You can paint multiple details on fabric by using a masking tape stencil.
Tip: When making something like these huge wings, give yourself MORE THAN A DAY to make them! Having enough time to mess up and work things out (especially for wings) is so important, which is something I've learned the hard way.
Tip: Know and master your favorite materials. I've been using foam in all of my costume for about ten years and I love it and can confidently figure out the best ways to manipulate it how I need to! Try not to fall into the easy trap of using "trendy" and popular materials just because everyone else is using them. Find the ones that work best for you and make them your bitch.
Tip: Take some time to really hone your wig styling skills. My number one pet peeve is when I see an amazing costume with incredible detailing and the wig looks like it came straight out of the bag. Start with the basics and work your way up. You would be surprised with how soothing it is to work on a wig for hours!
Tip: Body paint might seem intimidating, but it's not! It's such a wow factor in costume so don't be afraid! My favorite trick to an even, natural looking full body paint is using a kabuki brush and my favorite paints from Kryolan Aquacolor. Don't forget to use a setting spray when you're finished!
Tip: Expression is huge for me, you'll notice many pictures in which I express everything from anger to happiness. It really makes the image in my opinion, my personal advice? Be yourself. If you cry, you cry, if you laugh, you laugh. True emotion makes the cosplay!
Tip: Large costumes can be a LARGE hassle, everything from finding how to arrange it in the car, to lugging it up 50 floors to the hotel room. I've found that making armor with EVA foam has its benefits. It's super light weight, and can take A LOT of abuse. Which makes it ideal for transporting and wearing to cons.
Tip: Don't skip on the props! EVERYONE loves something they can look at, and they REALLY like it when they can hold it. Interact with your encounters. Give them not only something to look at, but something to REMEMBER. They've given you their time for a photo, give them your respect.
Tip: It always helps to have friends that are not only great photographers but awesome Photoshop experts. This pic of my costume was taken in a back alley against a metal door. But after the background is replaced and lighting is tweaked it looks like an in game screenshot!
Tip: A lot of my costumes are mixed media depending on the level of detail I wish to achieve. For this costume all of the armor and leather was constructed out of EVA foam while the helmet was hand sculpted and resin cast.
Tip: Remember to always have fun and build your costumes the way you want. For me one of the most enjoyable parts of cosplay / prop building is trying to make my builds as accurate as possible. I spend countless hours taking screen shots and reference pics from every possible angle.