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"300" Costume tutorial
A 3-day, 30-dollar, 300 costume!
Date(s): October 2008. Album by Cheralyn Lambeth. 1 - 24 of 30 Total. 1494 Visits.
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I've always really enjoyed this movie, and decided to build my own Spartan costume for Halloween '08, just for fun and maybe even the chance to win some prize money.  I began work on it the weekend before Halloween, and finished it in about 3 days for a grand total of about $30.00.

And being a girl, I was going purely for the laugh factor here. Judging from the reactions I got at Halloween, I succeeded!


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A photo of King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) for reference

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My finished costume, made from inexpensive/found items and materials I already had in stock.  The helmet was an after-Halloween purchase ($10.00) just for photos, and was the most expensive piece here. The "chest" was given to me by a friend (let's face it, the chests were the most prominent part of that movie! Plus I definitely didn't have the proper physique for this costume on my own) and I constructed a stretchy shirt to stitch it to.  The sandals I already had, along with the fabric for the cape and the briefs/harness.  Nothing like costuming on the cheap!

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Constructing the armor, starting with the shin guards.  I fashioned a pattern out of poster board to fit my leg

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The final pattern piece, with the detailing added

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In keeping with the low-cost theme of this costume, I constructed all of the armor pieces out of paperboard from cannibalized gift boxes (cost:  $1.00 for a set of two boxes from the dollar store).  Here I've traced the shin guard pattern onto one of the opened boxes

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The cut-out shin guard piece, with the detailing on top made of craft foam (cost:  $1.00 for a set of ten foam pieces from the dollar store)

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To add durability to the armor pieces and give them the curve needed to fit around my leg, I glued the shin guards to a second piece of paperboard wrapped around a curved surface (large cardboard mailing tubes would work well for this).  You can see the second untrimmed piece in white

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The shin guards after the glue has dried--you can see that they retain the curve

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The almost-finished shin guard, with the excess paperboard trimmed from around the edges.  I then hot-glued a metallic corded trim (cost:  $4.00 for two rolls of trim from the sewing section at Wal-Mart)around the edges of the shin guard to finish them

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The inside of the shin guard--I glued black felt (being careful to maintain the curve of the piece) to the inside back and trimmed it to fit.  The final step was to punch 4 holes along the edges for where the leather ties will go

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Next,the arm-guard (vambrace) pattern, constructed in a similar fashion to the shin guards

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For the vambraces, I wrapped the felt backing first to the cardboard tubes, and glued the bottom layer of the paperboard to that

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The felt/paperboard glued around the tube.  The masking tape is holding both layers into the curve around the tube while the glue sets.

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Once the felt/bottom layer had dried, I glued the top piece of the vambrace (again with detailing made of craft foam) on top, trimmed all layers to size, hot-glued the cording around the edge, and punched the tie-holes

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The back of the vambrace, showing the felt lining

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The cape brooch--a close-up from the film for reference.

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The pattern pieces for the cape brooch, again made of two layers of paperboard with craft-foam detailing

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The base of the brooch.  Once the base piece had been cut out, I folded it in half down the middle to give it the proper shape

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The back of the cape brooch.  I simply hot-glued a large safety pin onto the back for the fastener

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The finished armor pieces before painting.

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I had originally given the pieces a quick coat of gold spray paint (not having time to do anything else before Halloween!), but later went back over them with black acrylic for a second base coat

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Once the black acrylic dried, I then "dry-brushed" gold acrylic on top of that, to give the pieces a weathered metallic look

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The finished armor pieces.

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