I was inspired by the Metalocalypse episode "Dethstars" to create my own Space Viking costume.
Dressing up as a Viking is open to lots of interpretation, plus the costume is made up of components. I figure this will mean I can reuse, replace, or upgrade different parts of the costume and get more use out of it. In theory.
My Viking's outer space origin is mostly a narrative element to explain away synthetic materials, blinkenlights, and unnatural colors.
I decided the essential elements were a historically implausible horned helmet, a sword, a furry cuirass or breastplate, and as much EL wire as I could easily mount on my props.
Step 1: Gather Materials
I bought the horned helmet at a Halloween store, along with a tasteful light plastic sword. Viking helmets come in three varieties, pictured above. There is Heroic Viking, fairly standard, both horns up. Then there is Berserk Viking with the horns pointed up AND down. Finally you could choose to be Dumb Viking, both horns down. Dumb Viking gets to go into the dungeon first!
(Note: Most of the pictures in this Instructable are of the old helmet, which was metal (\m/) and heavy (aw) so it got left in the desert with the other misfit costumes.)
I purchased a yard of white fun fur and some scraps of neon green from Discount Fabrics. I also got a mess of safety pins for the assembly step.
For the cuirass, I scrounged some lacrosse pads from the street (same with the catcher's kneepads). A set of football pads would work just as well, but they're much heavier.
The EL wire kits were pre-assembled and obtained from Cool Neon. They have steady on, slow flash, and fast flash modes.
The lace-up leather jeans are Hein Gerickes that I probably bought at Mars Mercantile back in the day. The white fishnet shirt has a label that says "Norse Net". I'm serious.
Step 2: Slice Fur to Shape & Make Slits
Here is something really important to know about fake/fun fur. You must NOT cut it with scissors. That would only make a mess of short hairs everywhere, and you would also chop some of the fur short. It's not a good look.
Instead, use a razor blade (or a sharp single scissor blade, but be careful) to gently slice the fabric backing of the fur in straight lines. Most fun fur comes on a knit backing, so resist the urge to slice an inch and rip it the rest of the way. It won't work, and your edges will roll up.
Cut the fur to a shape that covers the padding with about an inch to spare on every edge. This will let you fold the fur over and safety pin it to the unseen side of the pads.
Carefully make slits for the shoulder pads. Don't make them too long, just long enough to wrestle the shoulder pads through.
Finally, slice an X where the hole for your head should be.
Step 3: Pull Shoulder Pads Through the Big Piece of Fur
Place the big piece of fur over the pads.
Pull one shoulder pad and that entire short "sleeve" of the pads through its shoulder pad slit.
Then feed the sleeve part back through the slit. Now the shoulder pad is the only part sticking out of the furry side.
Repeat on the other side.
Step 4: Get to Pinning
Start pinning around the perimeter. I only put as many pins as were needed to make the edges look right.
Pin the fur to the sleeves or their velcro straps.
Lastly, pull the four triangles left by the X you sliced for the neck opening. Pin them down far enough from the opening that a pin won't pop open while you're donning or doffing this costume. Better yet, stitch it down. I only used safety pins because I wanted to be able to change the fur in the future.
One issue I encountered was the costume being very hot around the neck. A better version of this might have a real hem around the neck so no fur is trapped next to your skin.
Step 5: Cover the Shoulder Pads With Fur
Cut your contrast fur into two rectangles that each extend about a half-inch past the edge of each shoulder pad. Pin it under the pad every few inches.
To make the round ends, pin two rectangle corners together, then tuck them under the pad until it looks right. The fur won't pop out unless it is fussed with.
Repeat on the other side.
Step 6: Illuminate Your Helmet
For the original heavy metal helmet, I simply wound EL wire around the horns in spirals. I concealed the battery back by rolling it up in the neck covering that helmet had.
But that helmet was heavy and I think my new one is way better. I got a lighter, plastic helmet with translucent horns. Then I got some velcro and cut a little square for every piece of foam padding I wanted inside the helmet. I stuck the fuzzy side to the helmet and the hook side to the foam pieces.
I used more velcro and a cardboard spacer to attach the battery back to the inside of the crown of the helmet. Then I threaded the EL wire deep into the horns so they would light up along as much of their length as possible.
Step 7: Construct Laser Sword
Spiral the other EL wire around the sword and secure the battery pack to the guard part of the hilt. I used a black ziptie so it would blend right in.
Step 8: Finish It Off
Practice brandishing, bellowing, guffawing, and letting your inner Space Viking out.
Don pants, fishnet shirt, cuirass, helmet, and catcher pads. Be mistaken for Techno Viking but shrug it off.
Step 9: Battle for Glory!
In case of Xena, defend yourself and the honor of Space Odin. Only a glorious death in battle will earn you a seat in Space Valhalla.