The lady Witch Doctor has an awful lot of jewelry and accessories going on. She’s got several gold bracelets on each wrist, one on her left upper arm, two gold bands on her right leg, a bone and feather leg band on her left leg, two completely different sandals, two gold hoop earrings in each ear, and what we have been lovingly referring to as the ‘crotch skull’. Yes, it is that skull with feathers that is clipped to the …crotch part of the skirt. Oh, and she’s got really long nails, too, which I did not get any pictures of at all when I was wearing them. Lame.
Let’s start from the top. I actually got a second hole pierced in my ears about eight months before Blizzcon because I wanted the costume to be as accurate as possible. The gold hoops are easy; you can find them at any store that sells jewelry. Same with the bracelets, I just made sure the gold was the same throughout the costume.
We were lucky when we were walking around Icing and found a bracelet that was perfect for the gold arm band, instead of it being a sold gold band, it was a snake that wrapped around, but we thought it was appropriate, and since we couldn’t find anything else that fit my arm, we used it.
The crotch skull was a plastic skull we found at Target, I think, around Halloween time. We tore off his bottom jaw (it was barely attached), cut the head in half so it would fit flat against the skirt, filled in the back with pink foam, and then hot glued a clip (so that it would be easy to attach and remove from the skirt) and the feathers on it. Easy peasy. We actually noticed after the costume practice run (as seen in the picture above) that when I walked, the feathers got an awful lot of the body paint on them from rubbing against my legs. Our solution to this was to simply not worry about it, and right before we went back stage for the costume contest we cleaned off the skull, replaced the feathers, and I carried the skull until we were backstage and I wouldn’t be doing too much more walking.
The gold leg bands are simply gold fabric sewn around cords, and then sewed shut to be slightly smaller than my legs, so that they wouldn’t fall off. I also attached Strappy Strips (my new best friend) to the inside to help with the not falling off bit.
(I’m sorry about the lack of pictures for each of these, I didn’t grab any pictures, and right now the costume is stowed away and I’d really rather not dig it out.)
Now for the part that I actually did take pictures of, the bone and feathers leg band. We used chicken leg bones that we had cleaned, boiled, and bleached. I got six of them together, and six of the best looking red feathers we had, and some red thread and some E6000 glue.
The ends of the feathers fit perfectly into the little grooves in the bottoms of each bone, so that’s where I glued them. After the glue dried, I wrapped red string around each end, and secured the ends down with the E6000.
I put the spool of thread on a paintbrush in my pencil holder, and that made it easier to evenly wrap the string to the right thickness on the bones.
I then measured two strips of leather to fit around my leg, painted them brown, and then lay them out with the bones positioned on them.
I used a leather punch to put two small holes in the leather on either side of each bone, on the top and bottom, and then sewed the red thread around the bones and leather until they were secure, then securing the thread again with the E6000.
I punched two holes on the ends of the leather strapping, and tied it on my leg for a perfect fit!
To me, it looks like she’s wearing gold flip flops, with leather strapping wrapped around one. I wasn’t able to wrap mine exactly like hers, but I like to think that I got pretty close.
I bought a pair of Okabashi flip flops that were in my local Walgreens that luckily already had gold straps and a brown sole (I didn’t care if the sole was gold or brown). I wanted to get a pair of flip flops that would be comfortable for me to wear all day, and these definitely were.
For the left shoe (right in the picture)it just has the regular flip flop strapping, and a gold strap on the top of the foot. For this, I used E6000 again, cut some gold strapping to the right length, and glued each end inside the shoe. When it was fully dry, I measured a piece of black foam sheet to the inside of the shoe, cut it, and glued it right on top with the E6000. This helped to cover the ends of the strap, and to help hold them down as well.
For the right shoe (left in the picture) I measured two long lengths of the gold strapping, and glued the middles of each down to the shoe, so that I would have four long strands to work with. I experimented with the tying several ways, and decided that the best way would be to crisscross the first two strands in the front all the way to the bottom of my knee, tie it in the back, then crisscross the other two strands over it, to make the right number of crisscrosses in the front.
Have a bad picture that I took of this process.
After I added the awesome Strappy Strips to the insides of several of the straps along where they would be in the back and touching my leg (these helped make it so that while I was walking, the straps wouldn’t slide down, and I didn’t have to tie the sandal so tight I’d lose circulation) I marked where the purple gems should go along the front of the straps.
I used regular purple rhinestones for the gems, and small white buttons that I painted gold that the gems fit perfectly on top of. I used the leather punch again, with the smallest punch I could find, and sewed the buttons securely to the strap, then added some more E6000 to the backs of them for good measure.
And there we go, now we have all the accessories done and taken care of.
I later also sewed a small bag out of the skirt fabric that I tied on to the back of the skirt for business cards and things like that.
Next post: Witch Doctor weapons!
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Amazing cosplay. But can I inquire about the neck band. How dod you go about making it. I’m an amature cosplayer and recently decided to expand on my work. The witch docter has been on my list since 2012 and sadly other things have gotten in the way.
The neck band was just different lengths of gold-fabric wrapped rope that were stacked on top of each other, and connected in the back and closed with velcro. Mine didn’t have this, but I definitely suggest connecting them at more than just the back so they don’t tangle or move, like mine tended to.