Flashback Friday in honor of Comic-Con: Lord of the Rings Family Fun

Gram, as Bilbo Baggins

In honor of Comic-Con weekend, I’m sharing a little family-wide dorkiness. For my sister’s 40th birthday party, we held a costumed Lord of the Rings theme party. A costume site afterward posted a few of the designs created, and I’m sharing that with you today, because I am backlogged on commitments right now and need time to catch up.

I’ve never blogged about this and hope you’ll enjoy this brief segue from my daily travels. You can see the full site and more LOTR madness at the Alley Cat Scratch website.

Gimli, the Argonath & more

My husband Kurt and I threw a 40th birthday party for my sister which was a Lord of the Rings theme. Friends & family came from all over to celebrate my sister’s Halloween birthday in costume.

Creating Gimli:

My brother, hands down, had the best costume there.  He made this Gimli himself, and said it cost him under $10 (with the exception of the axe, which he bought to accompany it.)

https://i1.wp.com/www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/scrapbook/MarlaD/JEFFGIMLI.JPG?resize=492%2C656My brother is 6′ tall, so I couldn’t imagine how he was going to pull off a Gimli and look realistic, but the picture speaks for itself!

He decided to walk around on his knees to get the short effect, and used a well-placed “cape” to hide his legs behind him. Since by trade he does remodeling and installation work, he used carpet kneelers to protect his knees inside the Gimli shoes.

He put together all of the apparel from the local thrift store. For his “chain mail” top he found a woman’s shirt at the thrift store, which had that type of appearance, and he turned it around backward to get the best effect. He used an old wool blanket to make his cape, a pair of brown corduroy pants went perfectly with the outfit. The shoes were a thrift store find as was the belt. Then he found a “Jimmy Hendrix” type wig, a beard at the costume store, and some brown paint to give him a Gimli-ish face. He fashioned a “helmet” out of posterboard, duct tape and gold stickers and finished with some Halloween store eyebrows.

When he came in the door, it was on his knees, so none of us even knew it was him and we didn’t see his legs behind him. It just looked like this amazing dwarf-like “shuffle” – it was great!

Creating the Argonath Costumes:

Kurt and I went as the Argonath. Kurt did almost all of the work in planning and making our costumes, which you can see in the attached photos turned out pretty interesting.

The total time involved in these is under 15 hours of actual work. The majority of time is just the days it takes for the papiermache to dry for the helmets.

First, my husband measured 3 points of our heads (circu. of forehead section, nose section and chin section). Then he blew up balloons, measuring as he went, until the balloons were to the widest point of those measurements (leaving a little extra room so we weren’t smashed in there!) He started with one balloon for each of our helmets but found that the bottom of the helmet started to dry at an inward slant (which would have dug into our necks) so he blew up a 2nd balloon for each helmet so that the helmet was drying around 2 balloons. He did 1 layer, waited a couple days for it to dry then the 2nd layer, followed by more drying. Once fully dry we put the helmet on each others’ heads and drew pencil lines outlining where the helmet should be cut out according to what it looked like on the movie. We cut those out then. A note here is that we would do differently the cutout so that our noses were more fully covered. Kurt then used a thin plywood or paneling wood and cut out the shapes of the things that stick up in the fronts & backs (and sides in my case) of the helmets. He superglued those to the helmets when finished.

He lucked into some material his first day of searching, in the dollar bin at Walmart. The material we used was this kind of sheer fabric, and it was the last of what they had but was fortunately just long enough for each of our robes. The type of material it was helped give it a more pleated appearance than just hanging down straight, so that helped the effect too. Holes were cut for our heads and the ends of the fabric were cut off to sew on to give us longer flowing sleeves to hopefully cover up our clothing. I forgot my gray pants & shirt at home, so some of the party pictures you can see my clothes underneath, but if I had worn my gray beneath, it would have been great.Another afterthought is gloves – the bodypaint doesn’t work on the palms of your hand, so it looks kind of funny to have beige hands with the rest gray. Gloves would have been a better idea.

We waited until after we had the material to paint the helmets, since we wanted to try to color match the grays as much as possible. We used acrylic paints and just mixed the white & black until we had what looked similar to the fabric color & then just painted away. We did the same thing with the face paint – we mixed black & white until the gray looked like the helmet and fabric.

My sister, as Eowyn

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the happy hokeyness of my family.

Love, Marla

2 Comments on “Flashback Friday in honor of Comic-Con: Lord of the Rings Family Fun

%d bloggers like this: