I have a thing for blood elves and their red/gold colours, despite not playing Horde in-game. But they just look so great. And if they could be druids, I would probably be a Horde player XD
But in any case, I wanted to make this costume, because I thought it would be easy, comfortable and something not requiring a wig. Turns out it wasn’t THAT easy to make, and the shoes were killing me after a few hours, but I still love how it turned out!
Here’s how I did it!
I started out with the crown, using mostly below image as a reference:
I first drew a flat version of it on regular paper, then transferred it to foamboard PVC (3mm) and cut it with a hobby knife, heating up the foam as I worked to make it easier to cut.
Once done with the raw cutting, I heated up the freshly cut piece and shaped it to fit my head, then sanded all the rough edges with a dremel tool. Last, I spray painted it first a base layer of black, then gold. Below the result
The next part I worked on was the top. I used satin for most of the costume, which has no stretch. I used a bra as a base and covered it with tape to get a pattern to work with. I cut darts in this to make it flat – these darts were also transferred to the fabric.
I hand-painted on the gold details before I stitched on the little triangular pieces to the top
For the gold borders at the top, I wanted them crisp and sharp, so I used foamboard PVC again. I used more tape to make a pattern for these. The golden parts were spray painted black, then gold and the black parts are covered with black satin (glued on). Once all parts were painted and finished, they were glued together, then glued onto the top.
Almost done! Just missing the black thingies and a tiny skull here:
Next, I worked on the skirt. I measured around myself and made a pattern from paper first. The back is a big, square piece with a dark at the top from my waist to my behind to make it sit more snugly. The front is a long, narrow piece that ends in a triangular point. I first completed these two parts, then made the other two by estimating the length on me compared to on the reference. All pieces have cotton lining to make it more thick and to prevent it from flying all over the place when I walk.
I hand-painted all of the gold and black details on the skirt during a vacation, so I don’t have many progress photos. I just used regular fabric paint and a tiny brush and free-handed it
The belt was made with a base of foamboard PVC and then some polymorph plastic pellets to shape the skull. I first made a pattern from paper, then transferred it to the foam.
The gold parts were spray painted gold then black, the black parts were covered in black satin, just like at the top’s border.
This was actually my 2nd attempt at making the belt – In the first attempt, I used EVA foam instead of polymorph, but the result was not very nice, since it’s not one of my strong materials to work with. Below a comparison of the first version and second version:
For the lights on the skirt, I used tiny light-up ear rings that I bought off of eBay. It was a very tiny circuit, which was very important to me, since I didn’t want anything heavy dangling near my feet. Below picture shows the skirt put together. There are little O-rings below the hip-pieces on the skirt in each side where the little chains attach. On one side, the front chains are held in place by a magnet, so they are easy to open, so the skirt can be taken off. There is a D-ring on the belt buckle on each side where the front piece fabric attaches and a velcro strip on each side of the back part of the skirt, so the front piece can be taken off, to make it easy to get in and out of the dress without the need of a zipper. There are magnets sewn into the dress at the hips where the belt edges meet the skirt, and the belt has magnets as well, so the pieces are kept snug together.
The gems at the hips and one in front are all made of a thin thermoplastic called Vivak (extruded copolyester). This is something very similar to Transpa art, but it feels a bit thinner and harder. I heat shaped it around a resin gem – the reason I used this instead of resin is that it only weighs a couple of grams while the gem weighs 15-20 grams – in things like this, that makes a big difference! The gems are hollow – I spray painted the inside green and added a thin layer of foam from a regular kitchen sponge to help diffuse the light. It’s attached to the skirt with glue.
Next part I made was the armlets. I measured the estimated size and free-handed a pattern, which I then cut from foamboard PVC, heat-shaped, sanded and painted, exactly like the crown:
I made a base from craft foam, covered it with fabric and stitched a small piece of elastic in the middle back to allow for me to get it over my elbow and still stay on my upper arm.
As for the shoes, time was running out and I couldn’t find any locally, so I ordered a pile from everything5pounds.com and hoped one pair would fit!
They did more or less fit! I chose the pair on the left. First I made a pattern by covering my foot (with shoe) in household wrap then duct tape. I drew on this where I wanted seams and zipper to be, then cut it off my foot and transferred it to my fabric. I stitched on white edging, which I later painted gold:
Getting very close to the deadline, and really regretting my choice of non-stretch fabric, since I needed to make gloves and “leg warmers”, I decided to try to find a different fabric with stretch I could use. Luckily, a local shop had some premium quality polyester/cotton/elastane mix that was very close in colour to my satin.
For the gloves, I pretty much just measured my arm and improvised a pattern. I wanted all of the gold edges that are on the reference, so I made the gloves from several pieces of fabric that I stitched together before stitching the side seam. All gold edges were hand painted. For the black/gold top border, I used stretchy leather look fabric. I used painters tape to cover part of them and spray painted them gold, before I handstitched it onto the gloves.
The pattern for the leg armor was based off a pattern for leggings I had already. I stitched white edging on the lower border and hand-painted it gold. The top black/gold border was made exactly like the gloves. The finished “leg warmers” were stitched onto pantyhose, so they would stay up.
My dad helped me with the necklace by cutting and sanding wood to make out the little gold pieces.
I spray painted them gold and added shiny green nail polish to the relief surface of the middle piece to make it look like it was a gem.
The last thing I needed to make was the staff. Unfortunately, I was so short for time that I didn’t really get to take any progress pictures. But the entire base is made out of broom handles – a few of them. The top square I cut the handles at an angle and screwed them together. The staff can be divided into three parts – there are mounted screws inside at the top and the middle, the seams hidden by the raised details, which were made with craft foam and Worbla. The weird thingies at the corners are made with expanding foam cut and then covered with Worbla and wood glue. Everything is primed with black paint. I added some depth to the colour by dabbing on very dark red paint at the handle, the top parts and the pointy thing at the end.
The gem at the center is made up of two parts. I made a pattern by using my uber math geometry skills, then cut it from the same plastic I used for the gems on the skirt. I spray painted this red. I added a flat piece of plastic to cover one gem-half edge and used a tiny LED bike light here – self-contained circuit, so everything would be inside the gem. I then added 3 magnets around the edge of both gem-halfs, so they would stay together but still allow for me to open and turn the thing on and off.
The gem was mounted at the centre of the staff with fishing line. I cut a long strip of fabric, sealed the edges by melting them with a candle and draped them around the staff.
The end result:
The staff measures a bit over 2 meters and MAY be a bit too large – but we all love huge props, right?
The finished costume all put together:
Photo by Mike Mørch.