Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rick Grimes from the Walking Dead Cosplay tutorial

In honor of the beginning of October, and one of my absolute favorite of all favorite holidays - Halloween -  I'm sharing a cosplay I made for my son earlier this year for Anime Boston (March).   Peter is a shy kid, however, and ultimately decided not to cosplay for the event.  But the outfit came out pretty darn good if I do say so my self, so I thought I would share it and the how-to's with my readers.  I have tried to include the pricing and source (where I found an item) 

The hat:

I ordered a cowboy hat from for about $7 ($11 with shipping), but was a little dismayed when it arrived as it looked a little more like something Woody in Toy Story would wear than a gun-slinging zombie fighter sheriff's hat.    A little creativity and a lot of brown craft paint fixed that.  (Brown acrylic paint, large bottle (about $3) found in the Walmart craft section).
I applied about three coats to the hat along with painting over the white fabric edging.  I went up to the inside  (but did not paint the inside itself as I didn't want to leave any residue on my kid's head)  

Lotsa brown craft paint

Gold Braid:    I purchased a package of thickish gold cording from Michael's  (about $3 per packet which had 6 yards).  Found in the knitting/crocheting section.   I used a hot glue gun to tack down the cording, looped it around the brim a few times, and then made a couple makeshift tassels at the end. 

Yay Tassels!

Making the Sheriff's badges & Police shields:

The next part was adding the 'badge'  to the hat,  and I would also need a second one to go on the uniform, as well as the police shields for the arms & the nameplate for the breast pocket. 

  I looked a lot on the internet to see if I could purchase some pre-made ones, they had a few on ebay but were astronomically priced (like $80 a set)  and all the plastic ones I found looked kind of cheap.  So I ended up making my own:  I found some high quality pictures on the 'net of the Walking Dead sheriff's badges,  'Grimes' nameplate and King's County Police shields.  

 I printed them out onto  Iron-on Transfer Paper (most craft stores like AC Moore, Michael's & Joann's will have it.)  I used to use these sheets all the time for my kids making T-Shirts, and for Girl Scouts crafts.  (They are specific to your printer, mine is an inkjet)  and then once printed out, I ironed them on to a sturdy white cotton fabric.  I have to admit that the first time through I made a mistake - anything with writing you need to print the reverse out (mirror image)  and I was all ready to sew the patches on when I realized they were backward.  I ended up using a photo editing program to flip them so they printed in reverse  (Adobe photoshop,  MS Paint,  there are a bunch of them that can flip a picture) 

 Once you iron on the design, they come out right side round.  The two sheriff's stars I then hot glued to cardboard and then trimmed out the shapes.       I hot glued one star to the center front of the hat.

Finished hat:  the paint gave it a realistic rawhide look
 The shirt:

The shirt we used was an old Boy Scout one.  With my son being in scouts for several years, and myself and my husband being adult volunteers,  we had a bunch of shirts that one or the other had outgrown or become worn out.   If you don't happen to have your own scout shop in the basement,   you can also find them used at thrift stores (I ran across two not too long ago at our friendly neighborhood Good Will store (like $6 each) and I've seen them used on ebay as well.   Note- you could buy them new from one of the Council Shops or, but new shirts run close to $40, and for a costume that you won't wear more than a couple times, it is not cost effective.
I used plain Brown felt cut to sew over the breast pockets, and for the epaulettes (shoulder loops).

For the police shields on the arms, the sheriff's star and the 'Grimes' nameplate, see the Iron on instructions I gave above for the sheriff's star on the hat.   The two shields were just ironed on to the white cotton, trimmed for shape, and then sewn to the arms.   Ditto for the Grimes nameplate patch.   The star as with the one for the hat was glued to cardboard backing and then tacked to the shirt with some hot glue.

Pants:   For the pants, we did try to find some that matched the color at a thrift store, but alas, couldn't find any that were the right color and size (my son is tall!)   I ended up using a pair of his old khakis, then dyed them using RIT Brown dye  (used the stove top method and left them in for a good long time to get a really dark brown)    I had bought a few yards of gold trim (in with the ribbons from the craft section of Walmart)   and sewed it up the sides of the pants with my machine.  (note - sewing up the side of a pant leg is not for the faint of heart....  you can also use hot glue)


Finished pants

Kitty wondering what the heck i'm doing

 So here is the finished  Rick Grimes Cosplay costume.      You can accessorize or not (I found a pair of play handcuff's at Walmart for $3 that he could loop through his belt, they also had some play Cowboy gun sets (toy dept.), complete with holsters for $10 (did not get)

Finishing touches to add true zombie fighting reality:  
Cherry kool-aid I heard makes some pretty decent pretend blood - make up a batch and spatter away. This time of year in the Halloween section, you can also find some 'fake blood'   to smear yourself or your kid with.   

Andrew Lincoln as "Rick Grimes"

What will YOU be for Halloween this year?   Love to hear your comments below!
xo Yvonne

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