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Skyrim Costume Ideas for Halloween or Cosplay

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Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.

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Costume Ideas: Forsworn, Hagravens, Bandits, Dragonborn or Dovakin, and Wizards

Skyrim is the hottest video game to come out in decades. Strangely, there seem to be no costumes out there that are ready to purchase, except for high-priced custom outfits. If you want to dress up as a character from Skyrim, you will have to make your own.

Some of the easiest costumes to make are the Forsworn, Hagravens, Bandits, the iconic hero Dovakion or Dragonborn from the official trailer, and Wizards. Any of these costumes can be made in an afternoon with the right materials and a little creativity. Here are some ideas for your Skyrim costume.

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A lady's Forsworn costume is basically a fur bikini. Trim the bikini with scraps of fur or faux-fur. Make a necklace of bear claws (available in resin for animal lovers) and feathers. For the hair, rat it up by backstroking it with a teasing brush. Use hair wax or sculpting spray to twist it into dreadlocks, and pin them up in crazy, sticking-out spikes. Attach feathers.

Ladies in Forsworn Costume

Forsworn ladies armor and weapons.

Forsworn ladies armor and weapons.

Look back to the game for more ideas for authentic details. Forsworn women wear face paint. Some great examples below:

ideas-for-skyrim-costumes-for-halloween-or-comic-con
ideas-for-skyrim-costumes-for-halloween-or-comic-con
ideas-for-skyrim-costumes-for-halloween-or-comic-con

Forsworn weapons have a Stone Age look ... basically glorified sticks. Take a sharp stick and affix spiky bones or sticks to the sides by wrapping them together with hemp cord, leather strips, or twine. The axe can be made by cutting and hammering a sheet of roofing tin. Poke holes into the corners of the blade, where there are forks in your stick to hold it in place, and thread some of the wrappings through and around the joint to hold the tin in place.

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Boots and gauntlets appear to be made of wrapped strips of hide. Twisted strips of brown paper attached to disposable sleeves or leggings might suggest this effect.

Forsworn boots and gauntlets

Forsworn boots and gauntlets

Forsworn armor, front and back

Forsworn armor, front and back

For men, a fur skirt will do, with skull rattles at the waist and the same feather and claw accoutrements as the ladies. Forsworn men also sometimes wear elk or deer horns on their leather-hooded headdresses. Not the easiest thing to make or wear, perhaps, but worth a try.

ideas-for-skyrim-costumes-for-halloween-or-comic-con
ideas-for-skyrim-costumes-for-halloween-or-comic-con

The ladies get to have fun with this hideous creature. Hagravens are the most powerful and fearsome of witches. Through dark arts, they transform from humans into creatures that are half bird, half woman. They wield great magical power and perform gruesome ceremonies of black magic.

Dressing up as a Hagraven is relatively simple. Get an old black tunic-style dress. Beat it up and tear it to shreds. Attach black feathers to the shreds so that they hang down the tattered skirt. Wrap the waist with leather strips like a ragged corset. Use some black fabric (micro-suede is a good choice) and make a shallow triangular cape. Cut it long enough to reach from wrist to wrist. The portion across your arms should be short, only an inch or two, with the portion hanging on your back only a few inches longer. Stitch or glue black feathers all across the cape to look like tattered wings. To wear it, wrap long black shoelaces or string around your arms to hold the cape in place.

Use a fake witch's nose and a long, stringy-haired wig for the full effect. I haven't figured out how to do clawed feet, but a deadly pair of stilettos might suffice.

Common bandits in Skyrim generally wear hide or fur. Try a leather skirt, plus maybe some straps and buckles over the chest, and fur trim or capes for fur armor. For women, a leather tank top, corset or bra can be used with the leather skirt and embellished with fur pelts or scraps and metal buttons to mimic bits of metal in the armor. Bandits usually use simple iron or steel weapons.

Skyrim Fur and Hide Armor

Fur armor, front and back

Fur armor, front and back

Hide armor, front and back

Hide armor, front and back

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The Dragonborn, or Dovakin, costume in the official Skyrim trailer (below) is a scaled leather costume. A step up from hide, it incorporates hide and fur elements as well as metal studs in the skirt. Dragonborn wears a leather tunic and an iron helmet with horns.

Below are detailed instructions for making Dragonborn's helmet.

How to make a Dovakin helmet from Skyrim

Magical characters in Skyrim wear robes imbued with magical properties to enhance their powers. Necromancers wear robes with shadowy skulls on the front. High-ranking mages wear nicer robes, often trimmed with fur or embroidery. Some have hoods, others have a sash drawn over the shoulder and cinched at the waist. Any way you do it, it is still a basic robe.

Nearly any robe pattern will do and can be modified by adding hoods or sashes. Use fabric with body, like rayon or micro-suede, as some of the robes in the game have a look of leather. To make your robe fancier, add fur or embroidered trim on the edges around the collar, hood, and front edges. Fasten a sash with a metal brooch.

Mages wear simple fur or leather boots or shoes and may have fur or leather gauntlets.

Magical Robes of Skyrim

Robe of high-level wizard or mage (left); dark-magic robe of necromancer or witch (right)

Robe of high-level wizard or mage (left); dark-magic robe of necromancer or witch (right)

Have you ever loved a movie, TV series or video game so much that you wanted to dress up like the characters in it? Fans of fantasy movies like The Lord of the Rings, Batman, and Star Wars love to create costumes of their favorite characters and show them off at national conventions. Normal people call them geeks. They just call themselves fans. How big of a fan are you?

© 2012 Diane Cass

What kind of fan are YOU?

ari-gleaves-7 on October 07, 2013:

@Nancy Hardin: I heard Merlin and instantly you became the coolest person in the world Nancy xD

Diane Cass (author) from New York on July 24, 2013:

@anonymous: Maybe add a cool looking staff if you want to be an Arch Mage. Think...Gandolf the White?

anonymous on July 24, 2013:

Arch mage?

anonymous on March 08, 2013:

@anonymous: I know I'm late to the party, but someone on DeviantArt did Daedra armor out of craft foam sheets.

anonymous on December 23, 2012:

Does anyone have any idea's on how to make a Dadera armer costume?

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on October 14, 2012:

My Grandson loves Skyrim and he would love these costumes! Great ideas for Halloween.Really like you own photos ~blessed~

JenniferAkers LM on October 11, 2012:

My son is a big Skyrim fan; I'l have to pass along this lens to him. I love the Halloween costume ideas!

Diane Cass (author) from New York on October 10, 2012:

@Nancy Hardin: Ah, Merlin! That's one of my favorites too! We don't have cable, so we watch it on Netflix. Sadly, we are still waiting for season 4 to appear there. Don't tell me what happens. Spoilers!

candy47 on October 10, 2012:

I never heard of Skyrim, but the costumes are fantastic. Great lens! :)

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on October 10, 2012:

Wow, great ideas for these costumes. I think I'm almost to the point of wanting to wear the costumes from my favorite TV sci-fi show Merlin. But those costumes would not be as challenging to make as these are. I'm amazed at the ram's horns, how real they look. This is an amazing lens. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on October 10, 2012:

I love fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Haven't seen this one yet, but the costume ideas look fantastic.

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on October 10, 2012:

I am not familiar with these Skyrim characters, but I really like the costumes. What a great way to have a truly unique and amazing Halloween costume! Terrific ideas here for video game fans!

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