Con Crunch – whether you’re new to cosplaying or a well-seasoned veteran, you’re bound to run into this phenomenon!

If you find yourself still trying to finish your cosplay with the convention weekend getting closer and closer…then you are in Con Crunch

What is Con Crunch?

For those who don’t know, Con Crunch is that period just before the convention where you’re scrambling to finish your cosplay in time. Just like when you procrastinated with your homework in school, we cosplayers tend to procrastinate on finishing our new cosplays. We don’t mean to do it, but of course it always happens!

Here’s a hilarious video showing what it’s like to be in Con Crunch:

Hopefully you never have to go through Con Crunch. But if you do, I’m here to help!

So today, I’m here to give you 9 Con Crunch tips that will help you get through this stressful period while also (hopefully) finishing your cosplay in time.

Here we go!

Con Crunch Tip #1 – Write an outline of what you need to finish.

The first thing you need to know is how much stuff you need to do to actually finish the costume. Like everything! This will give you the “big picture” on things, so you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to get done.

For example, let’s say you wanted to cosplay Sakura from Naruto, which is one of the easier cosplays to do. If all you need to do is make her skirt, then you’ll have a better chance to finish in time. But say you wanted to do a fully-armoured cosplay, which is far more expensive and complicated. Then you probably won’t finish in time.

So having an outline and list will allow you to be more realistic during Con Crunch and see what you can actually finish. Are you able to finish on time? Or are you so far behind that you won’t be able to make your new costume?

Con Crunch Tip #2 – Don’t try any new cosplay-making techniques.

You might want to try some new fancy costume making techniques, but Con Crunch period ain’t the time to do so! Because more than likely, you’ll be unfamiliar with the technique and make mistakes. And believe me, you don’t want to be making mistakes and redoing stuff during Con Crunch. Your first priority is to finish that damn costume, not experimenting with new techniques! Save that for when you’re not in Con Crunch mode.

Con Crunch Tip #3 – Bring cosplay friends over during Con Crunch.

Joker Cosplay
Bringing some friends over will make things a lot easier and more fun!

This is one of the best things you can do IMO! Invite some of your cosplay friends over to your place while you guys work on your costumes together during Con Crunch. Your cosplay friends can help you out with certain specific parts of your costume that you’re not good at. For example, maybe your friend is good at hot gluing but you’re not, so why not save time by letting your friend do all the hot gluing while you work on sewing everything else? Cosplay friends can also keep you company and help you stay motivated during this time, and that’s always helpful to everyone. Con Crunch can be stressful, but bringing cosplay friends over will turn the activity into something more fun and social. I recommend offering them some food and drinks in exchange for helping you out. 🙂

Con Crunch Tip #4 – Make sure you know where your stuff is.

I’ve seen this happen myself. 🙂 One frustrating aspect of Con Crunch is not knowing what parts you need to finish a costume, but not knowing where it is. Maybe you’re looking for your clothing iron, but your parents decided to clean up the house and now it has gone missing. Looking for your cosplay material and equipment can waste a lot of time when you need to complete your costume!

So what I suggest is setting aside your cosplay stuff in an area where no one can touch it and you know exactly where it is. That way, when you get to work you’ll have everything you need right away.

Last but certainly most important…

Con Crunch Tip #5 – Remember that you have other options

Closet cosplays are a great option if you’re running out of time, and look just as fabulous! Cosplayer: rachasakawa. Photo taken by mayucosart. Edited by eckhardt.photos.

A friendly reminder that you don’t have to wear the costume you’re trying to desperately finish. Maybe you can wear a casual version instead?

Or you (probably) have tons of other cosplays you can wear to the con. Even though they’re not brand new, they’re still great to wear for your next con.

But if you don’t, you can just go full normie and wear nothing and have fun with friends and attendees and shop in the dealer’s room (in fact it’s very relieving to not have to wear a wig). So it’s not the end of the world if you can’t get your costume finished even after Con Crunch is over. You’re going to have a fun time at the convention regardless!

I forgot half my Kaeya cosplay at home once, so I decided to improvise and use a dress shirt to do a casual version. People at the con loved my casual version anyway, so it all worked out!

Con Crunch Tip #6 – Do NOT try to finish your costume at the hotel

I know some of you guys get desperate by bringing your unfinished costumes to your con hotel, in an attempt to finish it. Please don’t do this! It may not seem it, but there are only so many hours and days at a convention weekend. 2-3 days go by so fast, so don’t waste those precious hours trying to finish a costume that in reality, you really have no deadline for. Again, you could be having fun at the actual convention…costume or not!

Con Crunch Tip #7 – Take small breaks from time to time.

My general rule of thumb is for every hour that you work on your costume, take a 15 minute break to allow yourself to rest, de-stress, hydrate or feed yourself. Maybe look at a few cosplay photos on Instagram. I wouldn’t recommend watching Anime or playing video games because you might get sucked into wasting precious time. Set a 15 minute alarm on your phone to give yourself a break. Once the alarm goes off, back to working on your costume!

Con Crunch Tip #8 – Get some sleep.

I know it’s tempting to pull all-nighters in order to finish your costume. But trust me; it’ll only make things worse. Being sleep-deprived means you’re likely to make mistakes with your costume, and that’s something you don’t want to do! So while you don’t need to sleep a solid 8 hours, make sure you get some sleep. That way, your mind is rested and you’re ready to take on finishing your costume!

Con Crunch Tip #9 – It’s okay if you can’t finish in time.

A lot of convention attendees don’t even cosplay and they still have tons of fun. So don’t forget that cosplay is supposed to fun and that you don’t need to cosplay at a con to have fun!

Last but certain not least. At some point, you’re going to have to realize that you won’t be able to complete the cosplay in time for the convention. And that’s okay, because you can always finish and wear the costume at another upcoming con. Don’t forget – you can always get photos of your cosplay outside of a convention (e.g. shooting at a park photography article). Don’t worry; there are plenty of other cons you’ll be attending where you’ll get to show off your new cosplay…whenever it’s ready to go!

Summary

Here are the 9 con crunch tips you need to know:

  1. Write an outline of what you need to finish.
  2. Don’t try any new cosplay-making techniques.
  3. Bring cosplay friends over during Con Crunch.
  4. Make sure you know where your stuff is.
  5. Remember that you have other options
  6. Do NOT try to finish your costume at the hotel
  7. Take small breaks from time to time
  8. Get some sleep
  9. It’s okay if you can’t finish in time.

There you have it – those are my Con Crunch tips! Overall, the mindset you should have is:

  • Con Crunch shouldn’t be overly stressful and emotionally draining. Remember that you can’t spell cosplay without “play.” So don’t take this cosplay thing too seriously!
  • If you don’t finish in time, it’s no big deal. Cosplay and anime conventions aren’t going anywhere, so you have plenty of time to show us your awesome cosplay, whether it’s this convention or a future one. 🙂

Do you have any tips for Con Crunch? What are some of your experiences during Con Crunch? Let me know in the comments!