How to Make a Thor: Valkyrie Costume

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I'm a kid in a candy store when it comes to creating things. I love learning different versions o...

Intro: How to Make a Thor: Valkyrie Costume

Within the Marvel comic books, Valkyrie was an Asgardian female warrior who was selected by Odin to lead his personal unit of shield-maidens, the Valkyrior. She is often seen in the Thor comic books and is basically a kick-butt, fierce, sword-wielding lady! Well, the Marvel Cinematic Universe brought the character to the silver screen in the movie Thor: Ragnarok.

For the 2018 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, my friend and her significant other wanted to cosplay as Skurge and Valkyrie from the movie Thor: Ragnarok. I'm always down for couples costumes so why not give it a go. Let's get started!

Materials

-EVA foam

-Tall black leather boots

-Leather scraps

-Black leather pants

- teal fabric

-fingerless gloves

- plastic buckles

-cardboard

-comic cardboard/cereal boxes/ or pasteboard

-PVC pipe

-roll of scratch paper

-jewelry chain

-hot glue

-exacto knife/ mat

-super glue

-hole punch

-measuring tape

-plastidip or modge podge

-Soldering iron

-DAP kwikseal

-sewing machine or needle/thread

- white make up

-dremel

-belt sander

-Heat Gun

- alcoholic bottle (optional)

Step 1: Reference Pictures

Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better. Look up:

1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)

2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.

3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.

4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc

Optional: 5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design. Since we were trying to go for a fairly movie screen accurate suit, all of the suit references were taken from the movie set costume.

Step 2: Clothing

For the main pieces of clothing, you will need some black tall boots, black fingerless gloves, black leather type pants, and some type of tank top to fit underneath the tunic.

Boots

1. The boots are are hard find if you are trying to find something exact (Pic 1). My suggestion is to get something that is somewhat close to the version you need. I know we got ours at a thrift store. I always say go for comfort because you will be in these boots for a while. Maybe see if you can even get a larger size so you can add some shoe cushions inside.

2. Using a sewing machine and some black leather scraps we had laying around, we created a bunch of long black leather straps.

3. We then hand stitched the leather straps in a crisscross pattern along the boots. Its definitely hard to run all that leather through a sewing machine, so you really might have to go with hand stitching it. (pic 2)

Gloves

1. Get yourself some fingerless leather gloves. I ironically had a pair that i never used from a previous costume. I would assume you could get yourself a pair of gloves and just cut off the finger tips if needed.

Pants

1. We found a pair of black leather pants at the thrift store. Thrift stores are awesome places to shop for costume material.

Step 3: Gauntlets and Hand Covers

Gauntlets

1. In making the arm gauntlets, first take your paper and wrap it around the person's forearm.

2. Mark where the wrist is and where the forearm should end near the elbow. Then, indicate where the seam is along the forearm.

3. Once you have your paper template, you can start to draw in your pattern.

4. Cut out your paper sections, transfer them to EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the tread (pic 1 + 2)

5. Use you dremel to bevel the edges.

6. Use a heating gun to warm up the EVA foam and bend it into the shapes you need.

7. Glue the pieces on top of each other in the pattern you want. (pic 3)

8. Attach your buckles along the seam so you can open and close the guantlet

9.For rivets, you can hole punch some craft foam and superglue those dots in place OR I tend to chop off the ends of thumb tacks and glue those in place to give it a metal detail. If you do the thumbtacks route, you need to do those AFTER the object is painted. (pic 4)

Hand Covers

1. take your paper and draw out the design.

2. Cut out your paper sections, transfer them to EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the tread. I used EVA foam for the base and craft foam for the accent.

3. Use a heating gun and something round, like a bowl, to give it a concave shape. Heat the piece, and press it against the object til it cools. It should retain its shape once cool. (pic 5)

Step 4: Arm Bands

1. Using your measuring tape, measure the thickness of right arm. also, decide how wide you want to make your arm band

2. Transfer the measurements to paper, draw in your design, and cut it out.

3. Transfer the design to EVA Foam (pic 1)

4. Cut out design (pic 2)

5. Sand off the tread from underneath

6. Using your dremel and soldering iron, create the grooves inside the arm band. Add your black clips. (pic 3)

7. On Valkyrie's arm gauntlets, there is a little black fabric coming out of the top. On the right arm, the black fabric attaches from the gauntlet to the arm band. We made our fabric with some scrap leather leaving around. You essentially make a tube out of leather using. You can glue it to the top of the gauntlet once they are painted.

8. That should complete your gauntlets and armband. You also have your hand guards as well. (pic 4 +5)

Step 5: Tunic

1. The tunic is the hardest part. I actually tried making it out of one piece of EVA foam and failed miserably until i decided to make it out of sections of EVA foam. Sooo much better of an idea.

2. You will want to get your measurements. Measure from the top of the shoulder to where you want the tunic to end. Then measure the waistline/ and bust area.

3. You will want to transfer those measurements onto a long piece of paper and then start drawing in your pattern. (pic 1)

4. Once you are done drawing it, start chopping it up in the designated layers. (pic 2)

5. Transfer those layers to EVA foam, cut out, sand off the tread, and glue the corresponding pieces together (pic 3 +4)

6. To create a little bit of a bust molding, i took the soldering iron and carefully created a groove on the back side. I used a heating gun to warm up the foam and used a ball to gently push the foam out slightly to where the bust would be.

7. We used craft foam to add the decorations such as the brass armor pieces around the chest and neck guard. We also used strips of EVA foam to create the trim. For your reference, All the EVA foam is a dark grey, and all the craft foam is brightly colored in the pictures. (pic 5-7)

8. for the cape, we used a plastic black clip and attached it to the corner of the teal fabric. Then, we clipped the other end underneath the left shoulder guard.

9 We attached clips to the side of the tunic and underneath the left shoulder to get in and out of this thing.

10. That Your tunic should be fully assembled after that.

Step 6: Belt

1. Use your measuring tape to measure out how long and how wide you want the belt to be. Keep in mind that the belt somewhat sits at an angle on her hips, rather than at her waistline. Also, you want to keep in mind that you need to make space for the belt buckle.

2. Transfer those measurements to paper and then cut out.

3. Transfer to EVA foam, cut, sand off tread.

4. We used a THIN strand of EVA for the trim and than used a dremel to sand off all the edges.

5. we took a hole punch and punched out a ton of dots from craft foam. We attached them via superglue.

6. For the buckle, we first drew it out on paper, then transfered it to EVA foam and craft foam, and glued all the pieces together. We created two straps from scrap leather and eventually attached it all together with a plastic buckle. I'm sure you could use something else like a fastener or something else to close the belt if desired.

Step 7: Knives and Sheath

Knives

1.For your knives, you want to first draw out your template on paper. Use your reference picture as a guide (pic 1-3)

2. Separate the blade from the handle in your drawing.

3. Use the blade template and transfer to to cardboard. You will want 1 blade and two sides that can be glued on either side. You will want to add some cardboard to the end so that this part can slip inside the PVC handle.

4. You will take your posterboard/ comic board/ cereal box and cut out the same template so that you can cover the blade. (pic 4-5)

5. I bend the posterboard/ comic board in half vertically and then glue it onto the cardboard. (pic 6)

6. There is a groove on the inner part of the blade. I filled this with hot glue to create a slight concave in the blade. (pic 7)

6. Next, make the hand guard. I draw out the shape and transfer to cardboard. I put a hole in the middle the diameter of the PVC tube i will be using for the handle. (pic 8)

7. Covered with comic board, and then put a cross in the middles you can poke the blade through. glue in place (pic 8 +9)

8. Glue in your handle. I used my dremel to create swirl designs in the handle. I used EVA for the bottom of the knife. use your dremel to round out the edges. (pic 0)

9. That is it for your knives (pic 11)

Sheath

1. For your sheath, Took my knife and put it on a trip of EVA foam. I cut out the base and then i used more EVA foam to create a holster. I covered the entire thing with scrap leather.

2. I made more leather straps and glued them to the holsters and then used plastic buckles to go around the thighs.

Step 8: Primer and Paint

1. Before you paint your costume, use kwikseal to fill in any unwanted gaps in your foam.

2. You need to apply plastidip or modge podge to all the foam so that you can paint it. Plastidip is the way to go, but its pricier. You can use modge podge for any foam that will not be bending, such as the buckle. (pic 1)

3. Once dry, you can start painting everything. I tend to spray the metal parts first with spray paint. I used a color and silver in certain areas (pic 2)

4. You can paint the rest of your armor with acrylic paint. Apply a clear coat once done. (pic 3)

5. I sprayed the knives with silver first, waited for them to dry, and then painted the handles. (pic 4)

6. I later parked the tunic with an airbrush of black paint to make it a bit "dirtier" looking. (pic 5)

Step 9: Finished

That should be it for the building! A few things to remember:

1. Apply your white make up. I personally would suggest using a little brush to apply it to your face.

2. don't forget that Valkyrie has some chains around her wrists.

3. Now that everything is painted, you can glue in all the armor pieces that are still unglued such as the hand guards and the belt buckle.

4. Don't forget about your hair. She has somewhat of a top braid thing going on.

5. You can have a variety of poses. You have daggers, an electrical remote, and if you want, bring along a bottle of booze. she was drunk a lot of the time anyways.

6. Dont be shy in terms of finding other Thor cosplayers!

Major thanks to the excellent photography skills of David Ngo and Noah Smith Images for capturing this costume!!

Thanks for checking out this build and thank you again for your support. Please feel free to find more geeky goodness, artsy endeavors, and current projects through my Facebook, instagram, tumblr, and youtube. Most of these costumes have instructables written about them. Please check out my homepage to find them!

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