I'm a huge fan of home made costumes. I can't remember wearing a single store bought costume growing up, and that's a tradition I'd like to keep. In reality, I've found that the quality, the originality, and the FUN of a home made is often better than a store bought option.
Now, before you get pictures of me hunched over my sewing machine for hours in your mind- let me say this. Just because its DIY doesn't mean that it has to be laborious. In fact, this year I put together 4 unique costumes in less than 4 weeks with NO sewing. My siblings, hubby and I went to the renaissance festival and we wanted to look "in character". My handsome brother wanted to be a knight-like character.
So, here is the story of a $20, no sew, AWESOME knight costume. Complete with chainmail!
This costume is really easy to put together, but it has a lot of parts. So, I've numbered them so we can all stay on the same page.
#1- The Tabbard:
- 1.5-2 yards of stiff, dark colored fabric. ($8 from the cull section of my craft store)
- Fabric glue (on hand)
- Silver metallic marker (on hand)
- Fold your fabric in half, and cut out the tabbard shape. Don't forget the side pieces, they get tucked into the belt later. I'm not going to lie, I pretty much just guessed at my brother's size, and I ended up trimming off a few inches later. That's okay!
- Use fabric glue to keep your cut edges from fraying. There is no hemming here! (Although, you certainly could. Just cut your fabric with the appropriate allowance.)
- Use the fabric glue to connect the tabbard pieces at the shoulder. (Again, you could sew this if you wanted to.)
- That's it! Wear the tabbard over the main outfit, cinched with a knightly looking belt. Then, tuck the two side bits into the belt, so that they are draped in half. This allows Sir Knight full movement!
#2 -The Chainmail:
- Sweater with large, looping knit. ($1 at The Salvation Army)
- Metallic Silver Spray paint (I had on hand, but about $2)
This couldn't be easier. Spray paint the Sweater! That's all! Then let it air out for a couple of days outside.
For the Rest:
#3- these are just a pair of $1 faux-leather pants I got from a thrift store. I cut the legs out and my brother wore them over his pants, to simulate boots.
#4- I paid $2 for this belt at a thrift store. I use it for a lot of costumes. So far its been a pirate belt, a knight's belt and a warrior's belt. The silver cup was also $1 at a thrift store. Jangly items hanging from the belt I think help to complete the look. The cross necklace was from the dollar store, and it too has been in many a costume.
#5 -These bracers used to be plastic gauntlets from the dollar store. I cut the hand part off, shot them with some of the silver paint from the chainmail, and glued them to a strip of fabric. That fabric is laced on the underside of his arm with leather shoelaces. $3 in total for the bracers.
I hope that this might inspire you to have a DIY Halloween this year! A lot of these pieces I keep for years, and mix/match them as needed. What about you? Do you make your own costumes? I'd love to see them!!