Book Week is coming up at school and G1 has decided he wants to be Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings. Since he’s actually told me about it weeks in advance, I can’t use the lame old excuse of not having enough time to make it.
As it turns out, Frodo’s entire costume is available on Amazon – not that I even realised until I was half-way through making my own costume…
Ah well… I think making your own is kinda nice anyway because the children get to see that you don’t always have to go out and buy it. The process of putting it together can also be a fun activity you can do with your child. We’re not super creative – and sometimes I like to take a few short cuts wherever possible – so here’s a fairly simple way to make your own Frodo costume…
- toe socks – preferably skin-coloured but if not, get a white pair. I found some light coloured toe socks from Daiso.
- brown craft wool
- craft glue
If you couldn’t get the skin-coloured toe socks, then you will have to stain your socks with coffee. Just mix a couple of tablespoons of coffee with hot water and soak your socks for a little while. Remove them, give them a quick rinse and hang them out to dry.
Pull out a few strips of craft wool and cut them to length. Paint some craft glue onto the tops of your toe socks and stick on the wool. You should get something like this…
If you’re more artistic, you can follow these awesome instructions for a pair of really cool hobbit feet…
Sting – Frodo’s Sword
“Sting is my name; I am the spider’s bane.”
I used an old Lego cardboard box to make the sword. The cardboard was a little flimsy so I cut out two identical swords and stuck them together. I drew the sword by free-hand, copying from the pictures I found of Sting on Google images.
We used copper for the hilt, silver for the cross guard, and “metallic blue” for the blade since the sword is supposed to turn blue in the presence of goblins or orcs. I would have painted the blade silver with “blue shimmer” so that it only looks bluish in certain angles of the light except that I was running out of silver.
If you look at the model replica in the photo up top, you will notice that Sting has elven runes inscribed onto the blade and cross guard. I copied them out using a silver marker.
After seeing G1’s costume, G2 decided he wanted to be a hobbit, too, so I had to make a second costume. This time around, I used Daler-Rowney‘s Interference Colour – Shimmering Blue. It’s hard to capture the effect on camera but if you look at the blade in certain angles of the light, it appears bluish. If you look at it straight on, it looks silver. I thought it made for a better effect.
Frodo Baggins Clothes
These were easy – a white shirt, brown 3/4 pants, and suspenders. I found the suspenders in Daiso and we already had the white top and brown pants. I shortened the brown pants by taking up the hem a couple of inches.
The vest I made with brown felt. I bought a few sheets of 50cm x 70cm brown felt from Daiso and brown buttons from Art Friend. I cut out a vest pattern by hand – see below – but you can follow something like this if you prefer to have a guideline. Then I stitched the sides and the shoulder seams and sewed on the buttons. Since it was made with felt – which doesn’t fray – I didn’t have to worry about the seams.
Frodo’s cloaks are usually gray, brown or green so fabric in any of these colours will work fine. I used velvet because it was the only fabric in the store that would work. I cheated with the cloak because I did not stitch a hem since the fabric did not fray at the edges.
Merging the two patterns:
The neck of the cloak (shown as A below) should correspond to half the length of the sides of the hood plus a little extra for the seams of the hood (shown as 1/2 A below):
Making the hood:
Fold the hood in half so it looks like the diagram below. Stitch along the diagonal and your hood should be ready to attach to the cloak.
I stitched a length of ribbon so the cloak can be tied on when worn. This is my final cloak as modelled by Mickey:
I modified the cloak clasp using strips of felt and velcro so that it would be easier to remove the cloak. I didn’t want G2 having to fiddle with the safety pin since he’s likely to get frustrated and rip something in his annoyance. The new attachment is just velcro and felt attached to the edges of the cloak at the neck with the “leaf clasp” sewn over it. As you can see, G2’s cloak is a green velvet (because I couldn’t find the same material I bought for G1). It was a different type of velvet – cheaper and non-stretch, but such a pain to sew because it frays and I have bits of green velvet fluff all over the place!
Just in case you’re wondering, the velvet I used for the first cloak is called Korean 4 Way Spun Velvet. Although it is tricky to sew with because it is stretchy (you need a special sewing needle and thread for your machine), it doesn’t fray so you can get away without hemming. In other words, less sewing, less work!
Frodo Baggins Accessories
The Leaf Brooch
This was just a felt leaf pattern sewn onto the back of a safety pin:
I couldn’t find a plain costume jewellery “gold” ring so I painted a wooden ring with gold nail polish:
Put it all together and it looks like this:
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