I am SUPER excited to tell you about my latest project! I am building a kid’s Adventure & Fantasy Costume Trunk.
I wear many hats (and full costumes) and today I come to you as a crafter, cosplayer, and member of the Renton Historical Society’s board of trustees. Like many non-profits, the Renton History Museum holds an annual dinner and auction fundraiser. Each board member is asked to build a basket of items that can be bid on during the silent auction.
While I have not been in Renton long enough to develop sufficient community or business ties that would lead to excellent basket item donations, what I can offer the museum is my knack for creating, strong sewing skills, and love for make-believe, dress-up and role-playing.
Over the next couple weeks I will be trying to create or purchase the following:
- Suede vest
- Rogue tunic and hat (robin hood hat and/or Link hat)
- Boot covers
- Hooded cloak
- Royalty robe
- Bandana and sash
- “Leather” belt and a fancy metal belt (like in brave)
- Wizard’s wand
- Forest sprite/faerie belt or skirt
- Pointy ears
- Sword & Hilt
- Bow, arrows, and quiver
I am deliberately stocking this trunk with costume pieces and props designed to be (in my mind) not gender-specific and can be combined with a kid’s various existing costumes. Partly this is to make the “basket” appeal to a greater number of auction attendees, but I also feel that there are too many costumes out there that are marketed specifically towards “girls” or “boys,” which can impact a child’s perception of what they can pretend to be, or even grow up to be. I want to encourage imagination and the exploration of characters, regardless of the kid’s ethnicity, gender, religious, or cultural background.
As a half-Chinese cisgender girl who did not look like any of the Disney women until 1998 and still wore her Snow White, Wendy and Belle gowns with pride, I trust in the ritual of make believe. I grew up pretending to be a princess, as well as one of the Boxcar Children, Tarzan’s daughter, a character from Super Mario Bros, an Oregon Trail pioneer, and more recently an assassin, an Avatar, and the mechanic of a Firefly class starship.
Cosplaying and playing Dungeons & Dragons—exploring different characters and personas—has helped me learn about myself and feel more comfortable in my own skin. (Though I am still coming to terms with the realization that real-life Meris has more in common with paladins than with the rogues D&D-Meris prefers to play.)
I have already found some pretty awesome kids’ costume tutorials, but if you know of any tutorials for making the above costumes and props, please let me know. Is there something I have forgotten? Leave me a note in the comments, but remember I only have about 2 weeks to complete this. Also, if you are a Seattle-area costumer or cosplayer and have any items you would like to donate to this costume trunk, please send me a message via the form below or contact me on Twitter (@merismullaley).
I will post photographs of the completed trunk prior to its delivery on October 2, along with a list of all the tutorials I used.