3-8. Creating a Costume Project Plan

I am going to walk you through the methodology I use when creating a project plan for my costumes.

Step 1: Pre-Work

Before I can build a project plan, I need to have done some pre-work:

  1. Gone through my cosplay ideas
  2. Identified which cosplays may meet my needs, but that meet my budget
  3. Built out a schedule for the cosplays for a period of time


Then I needed to confirm if I had time to do everything in the schedule.

Step 2: Take Stock of Your Time

Starting in April 2015, I had 10 months until the start of con season (February). That sounds like a lot of time – until you factor in real-life:

  • October is dedicated to my office Halloween contest (-1 month)
  • Thanksgiving + Christmas holidays (-2 weeks)
  • Ski vacation (-1 week)
  • 25% penalty due to home renovations

Adjusted total time: < 6 months
Time to create a costume: 2 months
(Total Time) / (Time to create a costume) = < 3 costumes

I adjusted my schedule to allow for 2 new costumes, with a possible 3rd for Boston Comic Con (August 2016).


Step 3: Steps and Risks

Next is to outline the entire scope of work and possible issues that you may run into.

broke down the costume into all of the different pieces that need to be completed:




I highlighted areas that I thought were risky. Some of the risks were known: I wouldn’t have access to a work space for a while. Some where unknown because I needed to do more  research or put a new technique into practice.


Step 4: The Project Plan

I loosely mapped the pieces to weeks or months from the start time (April 2015) through con start (Feb 2015).


And that’s my rough project plan!

In the next chapter, I’ll cover how to manage tasks and time in order to get the costume done.
But first – how to plan if you are getting your costume commissioned.

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