Tonks is one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter universe. Before I get into the cosplay, here's some information about her character: Nymphadora Tonks, more commonly known as simply "Tonks," was a British half-blood witch and a Metamorphmagus, meaning she could shape-shift and alter her appearance at will. Tonks attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1984-1991 and was Sorted into Hufflepuff House. She's very friendly, clumsy, unique, and independent.
In the books, Tonks typically kept her hair short and spiky, and most often bubblegum pink, although she has also worn short and spiky violet hair, curly white-blonde hair, and waist length tomato-red hair.
In the films, she was often seen having shoulder-length purple hair, as well as brown, and later white hair.
I thought, since my hair is purple, I could have a lot of fun dressing up as Tonks.
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Step 1: Procure Some Clothing Items
If you're like me, most of what you need for Tonks' costume is probably already in your closet.
One thing I didn't have, though, was a red and black striped shirt I ended up getting for $4 off of Poshmark. You'll also need some dark/black shorts or capris that are somewhat ripped or deconstructed. I would have liked to have maybe some longer shorts, but this is what I had. I also used black tights that I already had. (More on the tights in the next step.)
I also wore this grey cardigan I already had. In the movies, Tonks wears what seems to be a zip-up grey sweatshirt over her red and black striped shirt.
Tonks wears a long, black jacket with silver buttons in the films. I looked ALL over for something similar that wouldn't cost me a fortune, but in the end I just used a long, dark purple coat I had bought last winter from a thrift shop for $7.
Boots are an important part of this costume -- the grungier the better. I just used some of my old combat boots.
Step 2: Rip Up Your Tights
Put on your black tights. I used some I already had that recently gotten a snag, but you can use brand new ones if you wish. Using an embroidery needle, carefully pick up a thread or two and pull with your fingers. Do this several times until holes appear.
Step 3: Get Some Gloves
I bought some black fingerless workout gloves from a $5 Below store and blacked out the brand name and other lettering on them with a black Sharpie. You could also just cut off the fingers of cheap winter gloves.
Step 4: Make a Bell Necklace
I had these two light brown chokers I've never worn lying around and I figured I could use them for the bell necklace Tonks wears in the films. It was pretty simple to do. All I did was string some jingle bells I got for $1 at Walmart onto one of the chokers. I had to use a pair of jewelry pliers to remove (and later re-add) the jump ring on the choker, but it took less than three minutes to do the whole thing.
Step 5: Make a Wand
To make a wand, I got a 3/8" dowel rod from a craft store for about 50 cents and cut it with my X-acto knife so it was approximately 14" long. Then I plugged in my hot glue gun and started gluing a big glob on one end of the wand. Once that was dry, I glued some more to further fill out the handle of the wand. I glued all the way down the wand in a thin layer so the whole thing was covered. After it was all dry, I painted it with some brown acrylic paint.
Step 6: Hair and Makeup
In the films, Tonks hair is a light purple. I have had purple hair for over a year, so that's why I wanted to do this costume in the first place. Her hair in the films is much lighter than mine, but that's okay. Here's an Instructable on how I dye my hair purple (and keep it that way inexpensively). Alternatively, you could always buy a purple wig.
Of course, in the books, Tonks' hair is fashioned in a pixie style and is colored bright, bubblegum pink. If you're a purist, you may want to either dye your hair pink or use a short pink wig.
As for styling, I just brushed my bangs out of my face. I thought about straightening my hair but felt it was unnecessary. For the makeup, I kept things really simple. I put on some foundation, simple eyeliner and one layer of mascara. Tonks doesn't seem to be bothered with things like makeup.
Step 7: Put It All Together
Now put all those things together and you have yourself a mighty fine Tonks costume. Just don't call me Nymphadora..
Runner Up in the
Book Character Costume Challenge