I try to help you learn some things on this blog. I try to share some of my knowledge. I also try to make things look easy enough so you will believe you can do it as well. It is my goal to share any thing that I know, and believe you might benefit from knowing.
But the truth is, sometimes my projects do take some dedication. I still believe you can do it as well, but let’s take a moment at look at one of my costumes.
Let’s examine my black knight costume.
Yeah, pretty cool huh? It looks great on film, and it is a great character. Let’s break it down what it took to create.
First I sewed up a pair of red medieval pants, then sewed a black tunic with the symbol. Then I crafted a metal sword and a leather sheath. Add a small dagger, a homemade metal helm, and a hand sewn pair of leather boots. And you are done.
Oh, yeah, and a chainmail shirt that is made up of ten thousand stainless steel rings.
And you end up with a great costume.
So, hopefully while reading my blog you will learn some of these skills. So, how did I create something like this? Well, I broke it down into parts. I started years ago working on the chainmail shirt. It took several months. I didn’t have a costume in mind at the time, I just wanted some chainmail. Later on, I crafted a pair of leather boots, because I knew a great costume needed great shoes. I still didn’t have a costume in mind.
Eventually I decided on a black knight and began working on those details. But the biggest thing is this simple rule.
Create a world where all of your characters can live together.
Read that sentence again. That is my driving motto when I create something. Almost every thing I create can exist in the same world that I have created. So, my goblins or orcs could easily wear that chainmail, or a wizard could find that helmet. Almost all of my heroes wear those boots.
When I am bored, or want a new project, I go to the shop and build something that will exist in the world that I have created. Mine by the way is “fantasy medieval”. So, if I create a pipe today, any hero in the future can use it. If I want to create a fun weapon tomorrow, then I make sure it fits within my world. You won’t see me building a Roman sword, or a laser blaster, or a lap top case as a fun project. Almost everything I build fits within the same world. So, now after a few years of crafting odds and ends, I have an entire storage shed filled with props, armor, masks, and costume pieces that all fit in the same world. Then I can go out there and mix and match some pieces.
I could easily go to my storage shed, and outfit you as a sad troll, or a lost goblin, or an arrogant hero, or a lonely swamp monster, or even as a reptile queen.
It is the same idea as women that buy a simple black dress, and then add anything they want to it as the occasion arises. Make some basic, non-specific items that can be used for any of your characters. I made a fake tobacco pipe awhile back. It doesn’t have the King’s seal, or someone’s initials on it. It is generic, cool but generic. (It is a dragon claw holding the bowl, photos later). The point is, any character in my world could pick it up, and use it as a prop.
It may take a little while for the power of this idea to sink in. But trust me, it is huge.
Go ahead, make a mess, make some swappable props, have some fun.