If you want a straight forward means to make an awesome costume with little to no tools, this is it. I wanted a knight outfit to co-inside with my partner's costume as seen in the photo. It also is a pattern found in a video game - "For Honor" and patterned by the resource links below.
This instructable leverages a well known cos-play costume technique of making armor with EVA foam. It also leverages techniques found on-line for some of the patterns and glueing techniques. Bottom line... why train yourself from scratch if others did it before you? I say, learn from others! Let's get started.
Resource Links / Giving Credit !
For the helmet I also referenced a great talent at www.eviltedsmith.com. He also has incredibly detailed videos and in addition to the knight's helmet, Ted has a number of patterns that may intrigue your tastes.
For Pauldron patterns, general technique... Visit this guy who does a nice job of keeping things simple... he also has patterns in the video link, but I made modifications to mine for a better fit to my size. Patterns link follows.
Costs are approximate and will vary greatly where you get it. And you may have these already.
EVA shop floor cushion foam - Harbor Freight $9.00
Silicone caulking $3
Acrylic Paints, Mod Podge. $5
Hot melt glue gun
Elastic strapping (~ 2 yards) $3
Leather straps (bag scraps) $8 Hobbty Lobby
Cotton / linen material (~ 4 yards) $8
Wood dowel for the Mace (5/8") $2
Hoodie - This was a great find! It is a gray hoodie with stitching that very much looks like a quilted or chain mail effect. The best part it was $17 free shipping !!!
Leather garden gloves with canvas cuff ($3 on sale)
Step 1: Helmet
To learn this is better detail than I could possible try to recreate... go here:
Ted does a great job and his pattern (for the knight's helmet) was perfect (if you do not wear glasses!). Note if you use thinner foam, the inside dimensions grow larger. Also thinner will be more flexible. If you have an exceptionally large head, maybe increase the boarder about a 1/4 " as it will grow in size quickly and you can add interior cushions if too large. This pattern fit fine, I could breathe easily and my hat size is a 7-3/8" for reference.
After cutting out all the parts and glueing them up as he indicates, I coated the entire helmet with brown silicone caulk to hide all the bad joints. It also gave a very nice rustic look to the surface. Per Ted's video, I also knicked it all up with my dremel tool. You can see the cuts I put in the helmet in the photos. If you don't have a dremel, a soldering iron or just even a knife, electric knife etc. can work.
What I did different: after a base coat of silver... I made a table salt paste and put clumps of this paste randomly on the helmet. By painting over this paste with the final white/red color, I then chipped it all off revealing the silver underneath. I followed that up with weathering techniques of a rust color and black wash, followed by a sealing coat of Mod Podge.
Hot melt glue holds this foam extremely well and you can see the inside of the helmet in the photos. Feel free to add hinge hardware (paper rivet) etc. for more realism.
Step 2: Gaunlets
I purchased leather work gloves with a canvas gauntlet ($3) Menards, and then cut off the inside half of the gauntlet cuff. I painted the leather glove brown (it was a ugly blue gray). After fabricating the gauntlet pieces out of foam and painting them as I did in the helmet, I hot melt glued these to the outer cuff of the gloves. I added the leather ties to hold the foam gauntlet to my forearm and add realism for a fastener. The finger shielding was formed with thinned foam pieces ripped on a band saw or your can buy additional / thinner foam as this needs to be in scale to the function (the floor foam is too thick!).
Paint to whater scheme you like, as there are tons of images for historical patterns of knights symbols. I chose to be more of a Crusader look, hence the Christian motifs. Paint and again coat with Mod Podge.
Step 3: Pauldrons
Again I referenced other sources for these but modded them to fit me a bit better. Please reference the videos here for these shoulder pieces.
Note in the pictures how I attached them to the Over Smock with safety pins and a leather tie across the back. It was so much easier than having a harness for each arm piece to go to the opposite arm and under the arm pit to prevent them from sliding off. That method is far to bulky as well. I had no problem with these staying in place as shown.
Step 4: Leg and Foot Armor
The manila folder patterns shown are my own as I could not find any to quickly reference. Also I wanted a special look for mine. I literally formed the cardboard over my shin and sketched it to match the size and look I wanted.
For the foot pieces, I did the same with the folder material and templated over the shoes I was going to wear to ensure proper sizing. Note the elastic pulling the heel piece forward and the toe cap back onto the shoe. This worked great and the hot melt glue held up fantastic even though the elastic was walked on all night. Note the leather ties again to hold the shin guards to the back of my calf.
Again paint as before to match the look. Primer, salt, chip off, mod podge.
Step 5: Mace
I cut a dowel to the approximate size for a mace length and wrapped it in 2 mm foam (contact cement to attach it). The head was hand sketched and made symmetric by folding the manila folder in half and adjusting until I had a shape similar to a historial mace I found on the internet. I then patterned, traced, cut out the foam, and glued this all up and slid onto the end of the dowel.
NOTE: to get the extreme detail and for the paint to run into the engraved areas, all I did was free hand slight cuts intot he foam with an Xacto knife. Then I heated the foam SLIGHTLY with a heat gun. This opens up the cuts a bit and allows for the paint to trace out these lines. Paint as indicated before.
The belt was just a goodwill special that I took a power sander to and repolished it up with shoe polish. The buck was fatigued with a propane torch but that really was only to make it look rustic. Just rub the buckle on the concrete for an easier approach with no tools.
Step 6: Over Smock
Talk about making this up as you go... this was a fitting that happened in 20 minutes! I basically folded the material I bought in half and mad a poncho. Cut out a hole for your head to pass through... remembering a hole can be made bigger, but harder to make smaller! Take your time as too big a hole will look bad and not cover up your clothing underneath.
I added read trim for effect but really is not needed. Take was easily just sewn along the length. The unicorn applique was a pattern found on the internet, printed on paper full scale. It was then pinned to felt and razor cut out following the paper pattern. Then sewn on as an applique.
Fatigue the garment by first soaking in in a pot of strongly brewed coffee! Then follow that up after air drying with cuts, slashes, resewn areas, re-patched areas (from neck scraps) etc. to make it look like this has been around a bit. I fatigued the garment with many coats of diluted blood red, black rusty mud color paints. I also used an air brush but that isn't required if you want use a spray can from a distance and shield areas with cardboard as you go.
There you have it! A customized costume that you can make with little tools and last a long time!