Introduction: Arthur Rackham's Brünnhilde Costume

My department's theme for the workplace Halloween costume contest this year was the subject of paintings. I wanted to make a valkyrie costume anyway, and we decided to shoe-horn it into the theme via Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Wagner's The Ring of the Niebelung. This is the picture of Brünnhilde I decided to copy.

Step 1: First, a Wig Is Purchased.

A lovely long red wig.

Step 2: Time to Make a Corselet.

I found a disused t-shirt.

Step 3: The Ingredients for the Corselet.

I bought the cheapest duct tape I could find, and decided to get more if needed.

Step 4: Make Scales

Cut a strip of tape two inches long. Fold it almost all the way diagonally, then fold it again. Stick it on the shirt. Start your rows of overlapping scales from the bottom of the shirt.

Step 5: Add Overlapping Rows of Scales.

Continue all the way across and up the shirt. Lay the next row over by one scale in relation to the row below it. Leave a tiny gap between the scales, for stretch. You can do the back too, it is not uncomfortable.

Step 6: Consult a Knowledgeable Friend

He knows when you need a break.

Step 7: Admire Your Progress

Paint it with hammered metal spray paint. Try it on. Posture a bit.

Step 8: Make Some Wings.

Cut out a general wing shape from cardboard. Cover it thoroughly with duct tape, then decorate with duct tape scales 1/4 the size of the scales on the corselet. Spray paint them black and purple. Tape them to an old ball cap with the brim cut off.

Step 9: Make 4 Brooches.

Cut cardboard in an oval shape, cover it with duct tape. Make tubes of duct tape, and arrange them in decorative patterns. Tape them down to the ovals. I made eyes and swirls, and put stick-on diamonds on all of them. The I taped big safety pins to the backs.

Step 10: Construct a Spear.

Cut a cardboard spear head, detail it with duct tape tubes, cover it all with duct tape. Paint it with hammered metal spray paint. Tape the spear head to a stalk of pampas grass you found in the parking lot at work. Bind faux leather on with faux leather ties.

Step 11: Make Your Shield

I covered an ergonomic back support from the dollar store with duct tape. I painted it with hammered metal spray paint.

Step 12: Win the Big Prize.

Pin a bed sheet to your shoulders with two brooches. Belt on a bed sheet as a skirt under your corselet. Pin up the skirt over your knees with the other two brooches. Win the costume contest for the first time in 20 years and feel like Susan Lucci at the Daytime Emmy Awards.