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!!
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22 thoughts on “DIY Knight Costume for under $20!”
Hello, my son in law is 6’5″, how much material do you think I should get for the tabbard?
Oh my, that’s a tall man! In your case, I’d measure him shoulder to knee. Since you can fit 2 panels on one 48+inch width, you’d buy the length of his shoulder to knee.
Do you have ballpark dimensions for the tabard?
Hey Melissa! For my brother it was about 4 ft long by 30 inches. Hope that helps!
Great costume idea! Would it work for riding my horse ?
I would think it would accommodate riding a horse, yes!
Thank you for your idea. I have to make 8 for our school show. I’m unclear what the narrow strips are on pattern? Where do they go?
Glad you like it! The strips end up folded in half and tucked into the sides of the belt. This gives the “warrior” free movement of his legs, but also makes sure that the sides of his legs aren’t totally uncovered. =D
My family and I are going with a fairytale theme this halloween–baby is a dragon, and hubby is going to be a beautiful princess, and I’m going to dress up as a knight in shining armor. I’m so excited now! Thanks for this great tutorial!
That sounds so cute! I’m so glad you like the tutorial and enjoy your costumes!
Thanks for your great ideas! I made this costume for my son to wear this Friday at a Medieval feast, but was fortunate to the ugliest silver chain knit jumper you have ever seen – perfect!
That is awesome! Be sure to keep it around for other costume needs!
Thanks for sharing! We are going to the Renaissance Festival next weekend and were wondering what kind of outfit my husband should wear. This is a great source of inspiration! We stopped at thrift store, dollar store, and craft store today and found a bunch of great items to use. So excited to see how it turns out! 🙂
I’m so glad you like it! We just went to the renaissance festival again this past weekend. Different costumes but still fun!
Thank you for sharing. My husband is going to be a camp counselor next week. The camp theme has to do with knights. This worked perfectly. It ended up costing a little more than $20, but we had no craft supplies on hand. My husband and I spent one entire day at all the thrift stores in town. Between those and Lowe’s and Joann’s we found everything we needed. He looks awesome. Thank you again for sharing your creation.
Oh man, I’m so glad it worked out for you! Sometimes having a guide for what you are looking for helps a ton. Enjoy your Knightly costume!
Awesome! I love homemade costumes!
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Ohh, this is beautiful! Thanks for sharing:)