Saturday, 31 January 2015

Tutorial: Simple Galadriel Brooch and Crown

For the Hobbit Challenge I needed to make a quick Galadriel costume to recreate the Dol Guldur scene with The White Counsel from The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. The dress was just a simple one I created in white crushed velvet and for the shawl I used some leftover lace. I knew I wanted to make the details on her costume (brooch and crown) but the question was how to do it in a limited amount of time, cheaply and still have it look good. I settled on a simple method, using some pretty basic tools that most cosplayers/creative people have lying around. 

What you'll need:
- A pencil
- A knife
- A scissor
- Some paper
- Thin cardboard
- A safety pin + a piece of fabric
- A hot glue gun and a few clue sticks
- Paint (silver spray paint, acrylic paint in white, silver and gold)


There are several versions of Galadriel’s brooch, but I made the classic one that she wears in LoTR and not the 3rd, which is from the Dol Guldur scene. 

1. Start out by tracing a circle (or oval shape, depending on the design). Continue with sketching out the design around it, as seen on the right.. 

2. Once you've got the design down, it's time to retrace it on a new piece of paper without the ‘tendrils’. They will be recreated later with the glue to get them as thin as possible.Your new drawing will be your pattern.   

I had to divide my pattern into sections because I used some small pieces of cardboard and you can see how I did that on the right. It consist of 4 parts (without the centre). The pink and purple are separte but made to look like one part.

You can do it the same way I did by dividing it  or just trace the entire thing on your cardboard. If you do the latter then some of the shapes in the design will be lost, like the vines going through each other, but that can be somewhat recreated with the glue. 

3. Now it's time to glue the leaves/vines of the brooch together (skip this if you cut it out as one piece). Keep your circle separate from the other parts for now. Once the cardboard brooch is whole (without the centre), find a smooth surface, I recommend oilcloth. It’s important that you'll be able to remove the brooch easily from the surface after you’ve made the glue pattern.

4. Next step is to trace the circle on the oilcloth (or smooth surface) and tape the design to it (see the photo below). Now you can start making pattern with the glue. I would highly recommend that you use a regular glue gun instead of a low-heat one. I found that it was much easier to get the glue even.

Since these parts don’t have the cardboard for support it's important to do two layers for security, but remember to keep it elegant and narrow. I also decorated the edges of the cardboard parts.

Once the glue has dried and you've got the desired shapes it's time to gently remove the brooch. 

Since it can be difficult to get the glue completely straight and even it may be necessary to even out the edges. Cut any bumps or glue threads. I wasn't completely satisfied with the look so I gave it another layer of glue and cut the edges again. 

5. Time for spray paint! And while you leave the brooch to dry we move on to the centre.

6. This step is all about layering paint on you cardboard circle to create a shimmering and interesting texture. I used white, gold and silver paint for this and don't be sparse with it! 
Optional: once you’re satisfied, you can sprinkle a little glitter onto it for more shine.

7. Add glue to the back of the main part of the brooch where it will overlap with the centre and glue them together. Once it's dry add glue to the back of the centre and secure a safety pin with a small piece of fabric (see photos below). Now you're done!


The making of the crown is almost identical.

1. You draw the style of the crown or find a template (mine was traced by my partner in crime Rebecca). If other inspiration is needed, try to search for celtic patterns.

If you wish to keep a copy of the template then I recommend you copy it before the next step.

2. Now glue the paper with your finished template to a piece of thin cardboard and cut it out. It should look something like the upper right photo. If your cardboard isn’t large enough, divide into two parts at the middle, but remember to make the front vine a little longer there if you do so. Otherwise you can't glue it together.

3. The time has come to bring out your glue gun and again I recommend not using a low heat one. Start applying glue to one vine at a time. If it is one of the 'lower' ones, skip the overlapping parts. If you apply too much glue on top of itself you will end up with a less than elegant result, so keep it simple here.

Important: Every time you finish a vine, remember to bend the crown. If you don't then you'll end up with a flat and firm piece that will break when bent. Also if you keep it in a cold place it will be more easily broken.

4. Spray paint it and once it's dry, you are done!

As for securing it, you can use bobby pins and secure it directly on the crown or make a little loop on the inside of it in wire where a bobby pin can be stuck through.

If you wish to see both props in action - CLICK HERE

Happy crafting!

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