Teacher Resources

How to Save Money on Your Team's Dance Costumes

The number one way to save money is to buy a base costume and do your rhinestoning in-house. Rather than pay a designer for not only the stones but their hours as well, you can delegate this to a group of moms or teachers. There are plenty of great resources about stoning like this one (thank you YouTube!)

Thanks to places like Amazon and ETSY, off-brand rhinestones have become a lot more accessible and affordable.

If you’re set on the best, Swarovski is still considered the prime cut of stone. But you can still save money on those by signing up for a wholesale account at an online retailer like Rhinestones Unlimited.

**These are not affiliate links. For informational use only.

All our patterns are made in-house to ensure proper fit and design. More intricate designs require more pattern work, more cutting, and longer assembly times. In turn they have higher associated costs.

To reduce your costume costs, consider a simpler design. This is best determined on a per-costume basis, so please reach out if you’d like cheaper design options for your custom costumes.

This is also why we offer a “semi-custom” option. See below for more details.

All designs on our website (both current and past styles) have already been pattern-tested on our end. So the most cost-effective way to create a custom style is to take one of our existing styles and switch out the type of fabric used. Swap lace for mesh, velvet for lycra, pattern fabric for plain, or even sequin fabric where appropriate.

Learn more about semi-custom here.

example of semi custom costume

Use fancy specialty fabrics in your design instead of additional appliqués or trims. This is essentially what our “semi-custom” options are.


  • Sequin fabric instead of loose rhinestones
  • Hologram or metallic finish fabric instead of plain to add shine
  • Prints to add interest (like animal, floral etc)
  • Textures to add depth (like lace, velvet, or burnout fabrics)
  • 3D lace fabrics

Put your dancers in a simple base costume, like a monotone leotard or set. Make a bold statement by limiting your embellishments to 1-2 focal points instead of all over.

Some popular combinations for this are:

  • Plain skirt + embellished crop top
  • Bottoms with fringe + plain top
  • Dress with plain skirt + lacey or embellished bodice
  • Leotard with trim on long sleeves
  • Leotard with appliqué at one hip and one shoulder
  • Leotard with specialty fabric at the bust only

We are always on the lookout for new embellishments we can incorporate into our designs! Most recently, we’ve found a lot more rhinestone trim options in addition to rhinestone appliques. One style can give the illusion of a completely rhinestoned waistband, others look like a fancy rhinestone belt, and still others can be applied to straps to make them look completely blinged out.

These options mean your costumes need overall less (or zero) loose rhinestones, and way less work for you! We will apply those trims for you to any size group to help your dancers shine.

Make simple switches to the types of embellishment used in order to save money. Small sacrifices in the design might help you keep on budget. Don’t hesitate to ASK US about reducing the quote on your costumes. There might be details we can change to lower cost, without greatly impacting design.

Some Examples to Lower Cost:

  • Sequin applique < Rhinestone applique
  • Flat embroidered applique < Beaded or 3D applique
  • Turkey or Marabou Feathers < Ostrich Feathers
  • Chainette fringe < Beaded or metallic fringe

Consider this option especially for contemporary, themed, or musical theater numbers.

Costume your dancers in a more basic style, like a plain leotard, unitard, or dress. Instead of using heavy embellishments on the costume itself, use a prop or accessory. Think of hats, headbands, cuffs or armbands, or even belts for accessories. Or use props like canes, beach balls, silk flowers, scarves, masks, and more! Halloween stores pop up at the perfect time to grab props for this.

Tips to Embellish your Team's Costumes