Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adventures in Costuming - Link from Legend of Zelda: Take One

My son is a HUGE Legend of Zelda fan.  It's really no secret.  When I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween a couple years ago, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when he said he wanted to be Link.  This is the kid who wanted to name our new Siamese Fighting Fish "Deku Leaf".  He talks about Zelda like she's his sister.

So, like any good mother would, I looked online for a suitable Link costume.  Let me tell you what, I was not happy with what I saw.  Some of it made me wish for blindness.  It was then that I realized I had to save my son from humiliation and make him a costume.  I also realized that a horrible costume would also be humiliating.  I spent months studying pictures of Link.  I worked on the costume for about a month.  I made a tunic, hat and a Hylian shield.

The Hylian Shield is based off of the Twilight Princess model, but I made it adult size, like the shield in Windwaker, so my son could grow into it.  It is made of a sheet of pine I bought at Home Depot, cut out with a jigsaw and hand painted with acrylics.  The raised parts are made of an air dry modeling compound.  The next shield will be made of foam and fiberglass.
The hand drawn mock up.
The background of the shield with the phoeniz.

Hylian Shield on me.  I am 5'6"

 Considering I'd never actually sewn clothing before, the original design was a smashing success.  Made of broadcloth, the tunic is two pieces held together by lacing leather strands through the grommets on the shoulders and sides of the costume, like corset lacing.  The spats came from a Prince Caspian costume.  The belt I hunted through hundreds of belts at Goodwill for the perfect one.  I did not use a pattern for the tunic or hat, I took my son's measurements and "winged" it. 

The next year, I crafted him a WindWaker out of polymer clay, made a quiver cover for his small leather quiver, and painted up the oak sword he got from the medieval faire into a Master Sword color scheme, Triforce on the blade and all.  I used polyester cording for the lacing as the leather strands I used the first time were not durable. 

 As you can see, he grew into it quite nicely.  Unfortunately, he lost the elven ear tips somewhere, so I need to purchase a new set.  You may notice my son is brunette, I do not make him wear a wig.  Rather, I let him grow out his hair before Halloween to look more Link-ish.

The next costume will be out of suedecloth of my son's choosing, and I hope to be able to do some embroidery on it.  It will once again be sleeveless.

I will write a second article once I have some production pictures of the next tunic and hat, and whatever other accessory I decide to make for him this year!

Until next time...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Some of the Best Stuff I've Ever Used

There are certain things in life I just can't live without.  Like my husband, my son, my cats...  chocolate and Pepsi... 

When you're into crafting, or just generally doing things yourself (like I am), you come across some really invaluable "stuff" to get the job done.  Here is my ode to the things I can't live without.

1. Duct Tape.  Especially the "clear" duct tape.  Sure, duct tape is now made in several fashionable colors (have you seen the duct tape prom dresses?  Oh my word...).  I prefer to have a roll or two of the clear duct tape laying around.  I use it for everything.  One roll will hold up your broken car window through two windows, or your side mirror onto your car when you bust it off on a pole (oops).  It will also serve as a makeshift bandage with a shop towel when you slice your finger fixing said car (ouch).  Duct tape holds half of my desk together (never buying a desk from Office Max again).  We received a roll of leopard print duct tape as a wedding gift.  I was overjoyed.

Picture from

2.  Blue painter's tape.  Along the lines of duct tape, the versatility of blue painter's tape is impressive.  This is the tape you buy when you want to mask off your baseboards while painting to have a nice clean line.  But the uses don't stop there, oh no!  I use little pieces of painter's tape on the ends of all my spools of ribbon to keep them nice and neat.  I use it to secure my jewelry for pictures on Etsy.  It's also holding pieces of my desk together.  Because it doesn't leave a residue like the normal beige masking tape, I use it to hang my son's artwork around the house.  I've also used it as a makeshift bandage (I'm clumsy, sue me)  All this for only $3!!!

3.  Crafter's Goop or E6000.  As I've only recently started using E6000 (for everything), most of my experience has been with Crafter's Goop.  The Goop line in general is wonderful.  It serves the same purpose as crazy glue, without the brittleness.  I can't even begin to list all the things I've fixed with Crafter's Goop.  My desk is one I know for sure (stupid desk...) 

When I started making my two piece cufflinks, it was recommended to use E6000.  If it can hold together cufflinks being worn by two 8 year old boys hyped up on sugar and caffeine and who knows what else for about 10 hours on my wedding day, it's going to withstand just about anything anyone else throws at it.   

Cufflinks.  Brought to you by E6000.  This is after the wedding, BTW. 

4.  Sharpie Markers.  Ahhhh  Sharpies.  Really, who can contest their worth?  I use them to write out shipping labels, mark items like backpacks with names, just everything.  I have no less than 4 different types of Sharpies around me at any given time.  Did you know they make Sharpie Pens now, too?  No?  You need to get some.  That's not a request. 

Picture from

Four things doesn't seem like much, but when you think about it, it's really enough to get you through a catastrophe. 

--Molly H.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One Hot Saturday at the Ohio State Fair!

I had the opportunity to go to the Ohio State Fair this past weekend with my husband and son, and in-laws.  The main reason for going was the fact that my uber talented sister-in-law was a member of the All Ohio State Fair band, sitting first chair flute for the red band, and third chair for the entire band (YAY!).  We spent the vast majority of Saturday at the fair.

Here are some pictures from the day:
Lego City and Train Station -- It was HUGE!

Ohio's Girl Scouts display area
The biggest rabbit I've ever seen, she must have been two feet long!
Geico's Nascar
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Nascar
All Ohio State Fair Band
21 Piccolos playing Stars and Stripes Forever!
Other than the heat and humidity, it was a very enjoyable day!

Take care!

--Molly H.