Picture of Gimli the Dwarf - Lord of the Rings Halloween Costume
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After the success of last year's Gene Simmons project, I was excited to see what RavingChild would come up with for Halloween this year. I had a feeling that whatever he decided, it would be interesting, fun to make, and challenge my prop-making skills. I was not disapppointed when he chose to be Gimli from Lord of the Rings.

The main challenge with this costume would be making a reasonably accurate-looking Gimli using the extremely limited resources at my disposal. This costume would have to use only pieces I found at Goodwill, some cheap materials from Hobby Lobby, and a few things I had laying around from other projects. Given the project's constraints, I am extremely pleased with the results, and so is the boy (which is really all that matters).

Step 1: Materials, Tools and Supplies

There are several pieces to this costume, some of which could qualify as a project of their own. I will list materials for each piece separately, although there is a bit of overlap, as you will see.

Batting helmet from Goodwill
One sheet of brown 3mm craft foam
Two sheets of black stiff craft felt (brown would have been better, but they don't carry it at my Hobby Lobby)
Scrap of 1x4 lumber - appox 18"
2" diameter wooden disc
E-6000 adhesive
Tacky glue
Hot glue
Spray adhesive
Approx 20' of black yarn ( or leather lacing if you have it)
Hammered Bronze spray paint
Antique Gold Rub & Buff
Black acrylic craft paint


1.5 yards of burgundy fabric (I used an old fleece Snuggie - there are better fabics available if you spend some money on them)
1 package tan/gold quilt edge binding tape (or make your own out of fabric or leather)
18 eyelets and eyelet tool
Brown boot lace - 54"
2 flat-braided leather belts from Goodwill - the longest and widest you can find


1 long knitted sweater or sweater-dress from Goodwill
Silver spray paint
Scrap of fabric (if you need to lengthen the torso like I did)

Shoulder Armor (Pauldrons):

1 Sheet of 3mm brown craft foam
Tacky glue
Antique Gold Rub & Buff
Hot glue
2 brown shoelaces (or leather lacing)
Black fabric marker or Sharpie


Two sheets brown 2mm craft foam
Two sheets stiff craft felt (brown or black)
20 eyelets and eyelet tool
3 brown shoelaces (or leather lacing)
Black and brown fabric markers or sharpies
Mod Podge
I pair brown gardening gloves


1 wide brown leather belt from Goodwill
2  brown flat-braided leather belts from Goodwill (as wide as you can find, and preferably identical)
Cap rivets and rivet tool

Belt Buckle:

1 Sheet brown craft foam (or use scrap from other pieces)
1 sheet black or brown stiff craft felt (or use scrap from other pieces)
Tacky glue
Antique Gold Rub & Buff
Cap rivets and rivet tool
Black fabric marker or Sharpie

Beard, Hair and Makeup:

Long brown wig
Long brown fake beard
Scraps of embossing metal or old aluminum soda cans (to make braid wraps)
Latex prosthetic nose (we used a "Normal Nose" by Woochie)
Theatrical makeup
Spirit gum
Liquid latex
Toupee tape

1"x3/4" lumber - approx 4' long
10mm expanded foam sheet or Sintra - approx 12" square
Dark walnut wood stain
2mm craft foam scraps
Silver spray paint
Black spray paint
Antique Gold Rub & Buff

Baggy pants and boots from Goodwill


No other word for it -- this is INCREDIBLE. I'm looking to make a Gimli costume for my son, and this post is the jackpot of inspiration. Your meticulous attention to detail is awe-inspiring. Wow.

c j r p1 year ago
whats the axe blade made of
That is just spot on! Bravo :D
kbates24 years ago
Fantastic! I am amazed at the results you got from your craft foam and such. Really inventive!
Arbitror4 years ago
(Don't tell the elf!)
Nesagwa4 years ago

RavingMadStudios (author)  Nesagwa4 years ago

Thanks very much.
Scubabubba4 years ago
This was as cool in person as it is on Instructables!
You really should post a pictures of the boy's real nose next to the "Normal" nose. I laughed every time I saw him with the prosthesis.
RavingMadStudios (author)  Scubabubba4 years ago
Hmm... I wonder if I have any pictures of his real nose....
rmaytopor4 years ago
Wow!!! Good. Good)) I copy post on the http://mytopor.com/
RavingMadStudios (author)  rmaytopor4 years ago
Cool, thanks.
Jayefuu4 years ago
Nice! Got my vote RMS. Be sure to remind me :p
RavingMadStudios (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
Don't worry. I'll be sure to send out a mass email about itm because I know how much everybody appreciates that. ;-p
Cpt. Caleb4 years ago
Fantastic, your attention to detail is stupendous
RavingMadStudios (author)  Cpt. Caleb4 years ago
You are too kind.
Vladimyr4 years ago
Best. Kids. Costume. Evar.

Seriously....fantastic!! So great.
RavingMadStudios (author)  Vladimyr4 years ago
Thanks very much. I had a really good time making it.
NachoMahma4 years ago
. Fantastic! The nose is the pièce de résistance.
RavingMadStudios (author)  NachoMahma4 years ago
Thanks, Nacho. The nose cracks me up every time I look at the pics.