Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to make a Braveheart costume

A Halloween costume contest took place at my sister's workplace this year, and in order to win a gift card for my dear sister, I let the creative wheels in my head turn. I've never been a big fan of store-bought costumes, mainly because they're either too slutty for women, or not creative enough for men.

Not even entertaining the idea of buying a pre-made costume, those creative wheels in my head came up with what I think is a pretty awesome costume idea, and my craftiness really shone through! Though my sister's costume didn't win the contest (if you ask me, it's solely because those voting lack taste), I am still proud of the work I did in putting it together.

My sister was Braveheart, aka William Wallace. That Scottish martyr who screamed "FREEDOOOOOOOOOOM!" and kicked English butt. I am sorry to say I am unable to post any pictures, because I am sans camera right now, but as soon as some of my sister's co-workers who did take pictures send out pictures, I will post them so you can see my work.

Anyway, I don't sew, but I was able to whip up a pretty cool, and incredibly easy to make costume. The only challenge was time, and finding a sword. But as you will find by reading on, I was able to overcome these challenges and obstacles and came out with something quite awesome. Again, my sister didn't win, but until I have pictures to prove it, I swear to you that my sister was the clear winner.

The first thing I did was go to my local Joanne Fabrics store, and found a plaid fabric. I had no idea how much of it I needed, but that's what those ladies behind the counter are there for! We needed about 4.5 yards for a piece that would be a wrap-around skirt, and come up to drape over one shoulder. Next, we needed something resembling brown leather for a sword sheath and a forearm band. And finally, a silver medieval sword. For the leather, I struck gold at Walmart, where I found fake leather that looked real and worn. Again, being that I don't sew, I had no idea how much I needed, and the lady who cut the fabric for me gave me only 1/2 yard to cover the armband, as well as the sword sheath.

The sword was a challenge, as I was doing all of this on the morning of October 30, while trying to get some other shopping done. Stores were low on Halloween supplies, especially swords. Aside from pirate cutlasses and daggers, there wasn't much in the way of medieval weaponry. I went to Party America, Walmart and Target, and couldn't find any swords.

The idea of making a sword myself came to me when I was too tired to try anywhere else and was running low on time. Home Depot was my next stop. Of course, I went in blind with absolutely no clue where to even begin. At customer service I got a couple "are you crazy?" looks when I explained that I wanted to make a sword, but I was too desperate to give up on the idea. I really wanted this costume to be complete with such essential details! Foam was the answer. A foam board for just a little over $3 plus silver spray paint, and voila! I had the materials for making a sword.

As I mentioned earlier, I can't sew, and naturally, a lot of unorthodox tailoring took place. I used a safety pin as a closure for the skirt, and my Dad's brown leather belt for genuine detail, as well as holding up the skirt. I also used a safety-pin as a closure for the sword sheath, which was worn over the opposite shoulder from the skirt's fabric and across the chest. Underneath, my sister just wore a pair of dark leggings with a pair of boots, and a wheat-colored long-sleeved cotton t-shirt. The truly unorthodox tailoring took place with the armband. I could not find any adhesive-backed velcro, but did find velcro you can sew, or glue on. I did neither of those things, and instead just stapled the velcro on the piece of leather fabric and it worked out great, as it was easy to adjust and put on and take off.

For the sword, I simply drew the shape of a sword over the foam, and with an exacto and kitchen knife cut it out. Next, I laid out some newspapers on the porch and sprayed away with a shiny silver tone. As an added touch and detail, I wrapped the handle of the sword with the imitation-leather fabric using a wide rubber-band.

Finally, for the hair, we pulled part of my sister's hair back, and made two tiny braids at each temple, and voila! My sister was transformed into Braveheart.

Though my sister didn't win, I am still proud of my work. As soon as pictures surface, I will post them for everyone to see! In the meantime, hope you all had a fun Halloween and creative costumes!


amy jo said...

Awesome!! I have a friend that always tells me I look like a character out of braveheart because of my curly hair, so now I'm going to follow a few of your suggestions and show up at her house! Thank you for the creativity!

Reem said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! Glad you got something out of my post. I wish you luck with your costume! :-)