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MUST HAVE Halloween Supplies for Cosplayers (and What NOT to Buy)

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

Halloween stores are a treasure trove of often cheaply made yet wildly expensive cosplays. Eagle-eyed cosplayers, however, will see a treasure trove of accessories, makeup, and supplies to keep them going all year round.

Nothing is worse than it being months after Halloween and realizing you need that one piece for a costume that would've been SO much easier to get if it was October. I'm here to make your future self's life easier with some of my October cosplay shopping essentials (and what to absolutely avoid at all costs).

Here are a few items I pick up every year:


  • Gloves

  • Fingerless

  • "Biker" gloves

  • Opera (elbow length)

  • Stockings/Socks

  • Basic coloured tights (perfect to turn into armsocks)

  • Thigh-high socks

I always make sure to pick up some basic pairs of gloves and socks every year, because I usually end up cutting the previous year's to make fingerless gloves, armsocks, or patterns. I often purchase them in white and black just to cover all of my bases. the basic colours can go a long way when you consider you can change the colour with dye or photoshop!

QUICK TIP: Before you go to the Halloween store though, check your local dollar store. Their Halloween sections can be surprisingly helpful (and budget friendly!)

  • Glasses

  • Goggles

  • Round "nerd" glasses

  • Sunglasses

Glasses are also such a versatile costume element that can be reused over and over again. I own a small collection of costume glasses because I just never know when I'll need that one specific pair of round, red glasses for a random cosplay.


Every year I hit about February and realize I need some makeup I should've gotten in October at the Halloween store and it's IMPOSSIBLE to find in person and super expensive online. Here are a few items to keep a lookout for:

  • Fake Blood

  • Liquid Latex

  • Scar Wax

  • Spirit Gum

  • Coloured Hair Spray

  • Fangs (best brand is Scarecrow)

  • Elf Ears

  • And SO many other prosthetics


I make a lot of my own sets for cosplay photoshoots, and Halloween stores have so many props I can use for both spooky and regular cosplays.

I always look for "basic" props I can use over and over for many different costumes and sets

  • "Spooky Cloth"

  • "Spooky Cloth" is a gauze like material that is great for draping over tables, set pieces, or to use as a backdrop to add a little more "spice" to a set

  • Candles (especially battery operated ones)

  • Spiderwebs

  • Swords, Guns, + Other Fake Weapons

  • Their paint jobs often leave something to be desired, but you can easily repaint them into whatever you want!

  • Fake Money

  • Handcuffs

  • Fake Pearls

  • Magnifying Glass

  • Black/Strobe Light

QUICK TIP: if you can, wait until November 1st to take advantage of 50% off sales. I'm usually there as soon as they open to pick up all the goods before they're gone, haha!

What NOT to Buy

To save your sanity (and prioritize your safety) there are a few items you should avoid at ALL COSTS.


While it may be tempting to take advantage of the cheap prices and versatility of Halloween contacts, remember you only have one set of eyes, and putting something that cost the same as a fast food meal in them is never going to go well. Not only are they cheaply made, but contacts need to be specially fit to your eyes (or you may not even be able to wear contacts).

Always consult your eye doctor first to get a contact prescription and then if you're going to get coloured contacts, make sure you're buying them from somewhere FDA approved that requires prescriptions to order. I hate to sound like I'm preaching but no costume is worth permanent injury.

Full Costumes

(unless 50% off)

Most costumes at Halloween stores are cheaply made and expensively priced. Keep yourself from disappointment by just steering clear of them altogether.

The only exception to this is if you can guarantee they're high quality and worth the money or you're buying them on sale. Even then, some costumes will need some work to get into a wearable state.

I bought this Starlight costume from "The Boys" for 50% off and replaced the horrible-looking bracers and belt with ones made out of foam to make it look less "Halloween-y."

Hopefully, this list keeps your future self from pulling your hair out, I know it helps me each year. Just a little bit of extra prep makes all the difference!

Want to learn more about cosplaying on a budget? Check out my blog post on rocking a closet cosplay here

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