Craftsmanship Contest – Rubric & Guidelines

1. No costume is not a costume. Please be dressed appropriately for a family friendly convention!

2. This Craftsmanship competition is judged based on the assessment of the costumer’s skill at making a costume. Any costume that consists mostly of bought, unaltered, items (i.e. buying regular street clothes that require no changes) will not be considered for the Craftsmanship Contest.

3. All genres of costuming are accepted in this costume contest!

4. Please bring reference material for your costume. We are not familiar with all of the characters in every universe, so having a reference picture will help us in assessing your craftsmanship skill and ability to recreate a look. Original design costumes will be accepted for competition, but having a sketch or reference art for your idea would still be useful. If you do not have access to a printer, using an iphone or other device to show us your reference picture is perfectly acceptable.

5. Each contestant will have about two to three minutes to come in and talk briefly to the judges about the construction of their costume, so it may be helpful to have thought about your points of discussion prior to judging.

6. The Winners will be announced at the Costume Contest Panel on Sunday afternoon.

7. Judging will begin Friday afternoon and will continue throughout the weekend.


All costumes will be judged on a point-based rubric. In order to keep the rubric consistent across skill levels, judges do not take the entrant’s experience level directly into account when scoring costumes in their individual categories. We assume that you select your competition level based on your experience level. ‘Best in Class’ awards will go to the top-scoring entry in each skill class. ‘Best in Show’ will be awarded based upon the consensus of the judges, though score–either overall or certain factors–may play a role in the decision.

Scoring everyone on the same rubric is the fairest way to give everyone a shot in the skill competition but some beginners may find this rubric a bit daunting. Just remember that the rubric was created with master costumers in mind–no one’s expecting novices to pull high numbers in every category. It’s normal and expected for less experienced costumers to take on less ambitious projects, and make a few mistakes along the way.

APPEARANCE – (10 pts) Appearance rates how the costume looks overall. The more finished a costumer looks the higher the point value they will get. No hanging threads! Judges will never award Appearance points based on how attractive they find the model, or how they feel about the fandom the cost

ACCURACY– (10 pts) How close to the reference material does the costume look.

– (10 pts) How well made is the costume. Judges will be looking at seams, and how well the costume fits the costumer. No unfinished seams!

DIFFICULTY – (5 pts) How much work did the costumer take on and how well did the costumer execute the task. For example a perfectly executed tailored suit will score higher than a poorly executed armor set.
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Entrants submitting costumes that are replicas of historical or genre garments are encouraged to bring printed photos of the costume they’re copying. Reference photos are also encouraged if you’re submitting a design that’s meant to fit into an existing historical era or fictional universe.


Cosplay Contest Homepage
Craftsmanship Contest Registration
Craftsmanship Contest Category Descriptions
Cosplay Events Schedule
Cosplay Contest FAQ