My first foray into cosplay: Here’s how I made my Legend of Zelda Link costume
A few weeks ago, when I was trying to decide on a costume for my friend Jessy’s 1990s video games character-themed fancy dress party, I struggled. I never actually had a games console as a child, so my knowledge of the decade’s computer game stars isn’t all that expansive. But then, after a bit of googling (and discovering cosplay, the world of fanatical character costume making), it hit me: I’ve got pretty much the same hair as Link, the hero of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda games.
I only know this because my friend Neil used to play Zelda at University. In case you’re not a Zelda fan either, here’s the lowdown on Link: he’s a boy who lives in the kingdom of Hyrule. In such titles as Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, Link is tasked with saving Princess Zelda using his Master Sword and Hylian Shield, and defeating the evil Ganon. This is what he looks like:
And so I set out to create my Link costume. I thought I would just get a cheap green T-shirt off eBay and borrow a belt but I ended up getting SO much more involved than that. Here’s how I did it…
How to make your own Legend of Zelda Link costume
1. I already had most of the clothes that make up the outfit. The green velvet dress was from Spitalfields market years ago; the belt round my waist was from a charity shop, as were the brown riding boots; and the cream tights were from a sample sale at work. I took at trip to Primark to buy another brown belt for £2.
2. To make Link’s Hylian Shield, I made a template by drawing half of it free hand on a sheet of newspaper then folding the sheet in half and cutting it out. I drew around that on the bottom of a cardboard fruit box and cut it out with a sharp knife. This bit was really tough – be careful with knives of course.
3. Then I copied the Hylian Shield pattern from a picture online and painted it with some oil paint I had left over from this project. I attached another piece of cardboard onto the back with sellotape to make the handle.
4. For Link’s Master Sword I cut out a blade shape, glued strips of silver kitchen foil onto it, and attached the hilt (the cardboard was already green) with two elastic bands crossed over each other.
5. I made Link’s cap out of a green top I bought for £4 from Primark and a headband (sidenote: the cheapest headband you can buy in Primark is a pack of seven for £1. Who on earth needs seven headbands? That’s even too many for a five-a-side football team). I cut the back of the top, where it didn’t say DORK in the middle, into a rough triangle where the shortest side (the hem of the top) was the same length as the headband. I attached it to the headband using UHU glue and folded the sides under to make it more cap like. This was the trickiest bit and if I was to repeat it I’d cut out 2 sides and make it more like a cone shape.
6. Finally, I assembled my costume: I buckled up my belts, grabbed my sword and shield and set off to rescue Princess Zelda.