Artwork, DIY, Halloween

Happy Halloween!

I spent the better part of this month talking about my Hylian Shield Tutorial. Now is your chance to see the shield in action! Presenting my HALLOWEEN COSTUME 2014: Link the Hero of Time! I spent a lot of time making the shield and sword look accurate. I also spent quite a bit of time on the costume itself. I included some details that you may not even see… I wore a locket around my neck with a Piece of Heart and a tiny Potion Bottle, had the Small Key and Dungeon Key, and I even had the boring-old compass! Here are some fun photos of my ADVENTURES AS LINK:

 Zelda Costume 

I am ready to fight for Princess Zelda!

 Zelda Costume

I spent some time cutting down bushes for Rupees

Zelda Costume

and checking for Gold Skulltulas.

Zelda Costume

Here I am getting ready to fight an enemy.

Zelda Costume

Visiting the locals in the town…

Zelda Costume

…and SMASHING all their pots!

Zelda Costume

Now I am on my way to my next adventure…

DIY, Halloween, Tutorials

Halloween is Only a Week Away!

Gosh, Can you believe we are almost done with October and that HALLOWEEN is only ONE WEEK away?! I can’t

I’m sure you know by now, but I am going to be LINK from the Legend of Zelda for Halloween. I already posted a tutorial with steps to make your own Hylian Shield, but I would like to share some more photographs that showcase my handiwork. I also want to show off my awesome Master Sword:

Hylian Shield Tutorial 39

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While I did not make the sword from scratch like I did the shield, I did do some alterations and a paint job. I painted the hilt, added some gold detailing, and wrapped the hilt with suede leather. She’s a pretty convincing Master Sword and well made too!

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Detail of the sword and shield together.

3-D, DIY, Painting, Tutorials

How to make your own DIY Hylian Shield Tutorial PART THREE

This is Step Three of Three in a tutorial to make your own Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda series. If you would like to start at the beginning, please follow this link to PART ONE.

If you recall, we just finished adding all the hardware and detailing to the shield. A lot of the detail we added has a functional purpose too. Now it is time to add the finishing touches to really make this Hylian Shield look fit for the Hero of Hyrule!

Step 9A: Painting the shield. Now this is where everything comes together. You CAN prime the shield first, but as I am impatient and since the foam-core I was using is white, I decided to bypass that step. Get yourRust-oleum “Hammered” silver spray paint and go to a well ventilated area (outside). I chose to spray the back of the shield first, just incase anything happened.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 25

 Looks pretty good to me!

I had no issues with the paint. I was mindful not to get much paint close to the edges of the foam-core as it has a tendency to eat through styrofoam. I had very little corrosion on this project, but please bear that in mind. The only place were a little touch-up was needed was underneath the wooden buttons. For this, I used my Martha Stewart’s High Gloss Acrylic Paints  in SILVER.

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You (almost) can’t see the little crescent of silver paint.

I know it is hard, but you WILL want to wait at least a few hours between coats of paint. I let mine dry overnight before painting the front of the shield. The Hammered spray paints seem to take a little extra time to dry without becoming tacky. But once the back of the shield is dry, take it outside to add a coat of silver to the front of the shield. This looks awesome when painted.

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Maybe I’ll just leave it like this… 

If you notice any spots on the front of the shield that need a touch-up. As we will be painting most of the interior of the shield a different color anyway, you may not need to do any touch-up work with the silver paint at all. I would double check near the wooden buttons and the edges. This may be a good time to use your SILVER ACRYLIC paint to do a coat around the edges. Allow all paint to dry.

Step 9B: Painting the shield with Acrylics is the last big step. The High Gloss colors I used on the shield were: Habanero, Beetle Black, and Indigo. The Metallic colors I used were: Gold, Yellow Gold, and Sterling (silver). I chose to start with the blue part of the shield.

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Use a fine detailing brush to get in those tough corners.

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You may need to do several coats in some places. I found the blue did not cover the silver completely in certain areas. Once the blue paint has dried completely, move on to red and then gold. If you are using the same brushes, be sure to thoroughly clean them between colors.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 30

Before the detailing on the silver areas.

For the back of the shield and for the silver detailing on the front, I mixed the silver paint with a little bit of black paint to make a dark silver color.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 27After. Doesn’t it look better?

This is an optional step, but I found it really added depth to the shield. You really only need a little bit for the front, but I would suggest making a couple Tablespoons worth of dark silver for the back of the shield. I used a 1-inch brush to apply the dark silver paint to the recessed area on the back of the shield. While waiting for the paint to dry, go fetch your fabric/felt and embroidery thread. Also grab some scrap pieces of foam-core and some more brads.

Step 10: Adding the finishing touches. Now that the painting is done, there is little left for us to do. The finishing touches include adding a strap to the back of the shield to keep it close to your arm, and minimal detailing on the handle. Let’s start with the arm strap!

For the arm strap you will need a long piece of felt. Mine was about 8.5 inches by 2 inches. If your arm is bigger or smaller, you may need to adjust the size. You will also need to cut two pieces of foam-core from your scraps. These pieces will be used to secure the strap to the shield.

Glue the foam-core and felt together with the foam-core on top. Take the furniture nail/tack and push it through the foam-core and into the fabric close to the base of the scallop shape. The tack should have enough room left to be pressed into the back of the shield. Do this for the other side of the strap. Take both ends and press into the shield approximately 5 inches apart. Note where the tack makes a mark and apply glue to that area. Glue both ends and apply pressure (lay a book on top) and let dry. Once dry, take a brad (they are longer than the tacks) to opposite ends of the piece of foam-core and press into the shield. This will add extra strength to the strap. Allow to dry completely before use.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 33

The arm strap and the handle being finished.

While you are waiting on the straps to dry, take your two embroidery flosses. Wrap them around the handle and cover the center of the handle completely (see above photograph). Overlap slightly and use glue to secure the loose ends.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 28

You can see how the detailing really makes the shield come to life!

Step 11: Take a step back and admire your handiwork!!! 

Hylian Shield Tutorial 34

That’s it! You’re FINISHED!


3-D, DIY, Tutorials

How to make your own DIY Hylian Shield Tutorial PART TWO

This is Part Two of Three in a tutorial to make your own Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda series. If you would like to start at the beginning, please follow this link to PART ONE.

We last left off at Step 4 after having cut out the front and back shield pieces. I hope you have gathered your hardware and tools to add some of the important details to the shield! Let’s start with the front of the shield and work out way to the back.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 15

The chipboard pentagon in place. To the right you can see some of my hardware.

Step 5: Gather your hardware and your Chipboard or corrugated cardboard. For my shield, I used chipboard from the back of a  nearly empty sketchbook. You could also use a full sheet of matting material for framing, or even a cereal box. The chipboard is the perfect thickness but is HARD to cut. So make sure you have some spare X-Acto blades handy and a good pair of scissors at the ready.

We’ll use the Chipboard for the pentagon at the top of the shield as well as the interior shield design with the bird and Triforce. This will add dimension to the shield without making it the same depth as the outside boarder. I used my template from earlier to cut out the design for the interior of the shield. Trace those pieces onto the chipboard and get cutting. It will take a few passes with an X-Acto blade to get the pieces all the way cut. Once cut, place all the pieces on the front of the shield in the way you want to glue them down. Use beads of glue to cover the back of each piece and press it down. Allow ample time for drying.

Leave the right wing of the bird unglued for now. We will be placing screws for the handle through that side of the shield.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 19

Make sure you use enough glue. You don’t want the pieces to come off!

Step 6: Detailing the back of the shield is a little less tedious than the front. For the wooden buttons, you will want to gather 3 small screws that will pass through 2 layers of foam-core and still have about 1/2 cm of thread sticking through. Prep both pieces that make up the back of the shield. Cut small slits with your blade in each of the three corners where you will be securing a wooden button. Then push/screw the small screw so that the head is on the BACK of the shield and the thread end is sticking out the front. Carefully screw the thread of the screw into the wooden button, securing it to the shield. This is a little tricky at first, but you will find it easier after the second one. I also put a little glue on the underside of the wooden button as I was screwing it into the foam-core for added strength.

Now glue, glue, glue! When the first wooden button was in place, I used the screw as a hinge and opened up the BACK of the shield. I then put a generous amount of glue on the back of the cross-shaped piece.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 14

Be generous with the glue. You’d hate for the pieces to come apart in battle.

Align the two pieces and press together gently. Set aside to dry.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 9

Wooden buttons screwed in place. Other hardware staged.

Once the wooden buttons are secured, it is time to add the brads to the vertical beam on the back. As with the screws, make a small slit with your blade where you would like them to go. Carefully push the brads straight down (they bend easily). Put a little glue on the bottom of the brad for extra strength. These will pass through both layers of foam-core and have a little bit sticking out the back. This is okay as this will help secure the front and the back pieces of the shield.

Set aside the BACK half of the shield and add the 3 wooden buttons to the FRONT half of the shield. Use the same method you did for the other wooden buttons AND for gluing the two front halves together. Once the wooden buttons are secured and dry, it will be time to move on to the handle.

Step 7: Adding the handle.

Once the brads and wooden buttons are in place, it is time to move on to the handle. I made my shield RIGHT HANDED. If you would rather use your shield with your left hand, just slide the handle over to the other side of the shield. Wherever you are putting the handle, make sure to measure carefully to ensure it is straight up and down. To properly secure the handle, you will need to work with both the front AND the back of the shield.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 20

This is the last time you will see them apart!

Make holes on the back of the shield where you will be inserting the screws. Turn the screws around and push them from the back. Mark where they land on the backside of the FRONT half of the shield. This is where you will be screwing them from. Remember where I told you not to secure the right wing of the bird? That is because we will be inserting the screw through there and we will use the wing to cover one of the screws when everything is secured.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 16

Measure carefully!

Hylian Shield Tutorial 18Lookin good!

Following the manufactures instructions, secure the handle. For my handle, I begin with the head of the screw on the FRONT of the shield, with the thread passing through to the back and into the handle. Add glue between the two halves before completely screwing them together. Secure tightly. FYI: mine came with two sets of screws, but I thought that one set of screws would be strong enough. It seems secure with just the single set.

Step 8: Finish the front of the shield by gluing the right wing of the bird over the screws for the handle. Once the bird motif is finished, you will want to start adding more brads to the front.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 17

Laying down the last piece of the bird motif.

These add a nice amount of detail to the shield as well as more contact points to secure all parts together. By adding more brads around the perimeter of the front and back of the shield, we are making it stronger and less likely to pull apart with use. There is no right way to do this…just make sure it looks symmetrical on each side. Also be sure that you stagger them from the front and back so that there are not two brads pushing into each other.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 18

There is no “right” way to put the perimeter brads down.

Once the shield is secured with brads and glue, make sure that there are no parts that seem loose or out of place. If anything seems loose, add a little extra glue (or whatever you need to do to fix the problem). This will be the last time you will be able to make any major changes without it being difficult. The next step after this is PAINTING! We are almost done!

Click here to continue on to PART THREE.

DIY, Tutorials

How to make your own DIY Hylian Shield Tutorial PART ONE

I’ve already talked about my love for Zelda. Now its time to geek out over my love of making things!

I love working with new or challenging materials. Initially I had wanted to make my shield out of wood, but without a proper workspace, shared walls, and older neighbors, I thought that may prove to be too messy and noisy. I have worked with wood before, but always in a proper workspace. After successfully creating a tiny version of the Hylian Shield, I decided it was time to get started on my FULL SCALE version of the shield!

Step 1: Gather your materials:

Supplies

YOU WILL NEED:

Foamcore (in large unbent pieces): I sourced mine from my local art-supply store. Michaels may have them large enough. Be sure they are at least 20 inches (50 cm) square.

Newsprint: (or other scrap paper) to make your template drawings. Or print them out from images you find online. Be sure to make drawings for the front of the shield AND for the back of the shield.

Pencils and Bold Markers to make your drawings on the newsprint and on the cardboard.

Brads: buy a lot of them, I went through close to 75 of them between both shields..

Glue: I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue and it worked quite well.

Masking Tape: .5 inches to 1 inch wide

Rust-oleum “Hammered” silver spray paint

Rust-oleum Primer (White)

X-Acto #11 Blade and Knife

Scraps of Leather or other durable brown fabric or felt.

Paint and Paintbrushes: I used Martha Stewart’s High Gloss Acrylic Paints and an assortment of brushes

Measuring tools: Ruler, compass, protractor, measuring tape, etc.

Handle: Purchase a drawer/cupboard handle and its hardware from your local hardware store. Be sure to use one that fits your hand nicely. This will be the handle on the back of the shield.

Wooden Buttons: approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. Embellishments on front and back of the shield.

Chipboard or (non corrugated) Cardboard for some of the detailing on the front of the shield.

Embroidery Thread: or yarn in several shades of brown.

Step 2: Draw out the templates for the front AND back of the shield. Be sure to make them the exact size that you want them to be. For me, that was 20″ tall and 18.5″ (approx. 50 cm by 45 cm). The shield may need to be larger or smaller to suit your needs.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 1

Make sure you include all details too!

Once you’ve drawn out your templates from newsprint, cut along the outside like in the above photo. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by cutting the templates out this way. This would be a difficult project to freehand. Next, trace around the templates onto the sheets of foam core using your pencil. Carefully cut along your pencil line to cut out your first part of the shield.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 7

While you’ve got your ruler handy, make some guide lines on the shield to help you orient the template onto the center of the shield. Make one line down the center and another 1/2 way down the shield. Cut out and mark 3 shield parts in the SAME way.

Step 3: Cut out the interior of the FRONT Template. This will assist in keeping the shield pieces symmetrical Using an X-Acto blade will be much easier than trying to use scissors. You will be using the inner pieces as a guide in our next step. Keep all shield pattern pieces.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 2Cut inside this boarder with an X-Acto knife.

Once you have cut out the boarder, place it atop one of your shield pieces. This piece will become the top layer on the front of the shield. Use a tiny bit of masking tape to secure the stencil to the foam-core. Trace the inner boarder with a pencil. Use an X-Acto bade to cut out the design. Save the pieces from the center and set aside.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 5

Make sure you secure the stencil/template or it may shift during tracing/cutting.

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Here you can see the stencil/template and the pencil lines. Ready to cut!

Step 4: Do the same thing for the back of the shield. 

But here is where things may get a little tricky… or at least different. Depending on the size of your handle and your personal preference, you may give the supporting cross on the back different dimensions. I made the horizontal arm on the cross slightly smaller than the size of the handle. This way, the handle goes around the cross instead of on top of it.

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This was cut after careful measurement.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 6

Measure twice, cut once.

Carefully cut out the cross pattern and outer boarder. Make sure that you give the outer boarder a uniform thickness. For my shield, I gave it a 4cm thickness (see photo). This will make it look more finished and will also provide more stability.

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I found it helpful to use a ruler to cut straight lines.

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Here are the front AND the back of the shield.

Above are the two pieces we just cut atop the two shield pieces we cut from before. We now have two “front” pieces and two “back” pieces. That’s all the major cutting we have to do for today. Next we will add some of the hardware that gives this shield its character and believability. Gather your hardware and tools and meet me back here ASAP!

Click here to continue on to PART TWO.

DIY, Halloween, Tutorials

Getting Ready for Halloween

I suppose I have made it pretty clear, but just in case you weren’t sure, I am going to be Link from the Legend of Zelda for Halloween. I’ve never been one to wear ready-made costumes; even as children we always had a handmade costume from Grandma R. As I’ve grown older, I continued that tradition, frequently making my own costumes. I was never really one for following the trends as it were.

Hylian Shield Tutorial 35

The biggest challenge for this year’s costume was not the outfit itself (I basically had that together, save some time to embroider and work on accessories). The biggest challenge this year was Link’s shield and sword. Link is pretty recognizable, but if I were to dress up as Link without his trusty sword and shield…well, that wasn’t an option. I did some research at the beginning of the month to prepare myself for the “real deal” of making or finding a sword and shied that would work for my costume.


Looking online, there are very few options that look good and don’t cost an arm-and-a-leg. Since I need both my arms to swing my sword and use my shield, and since Rupees don’t grow on trees, I decided to make my own Hylian Shield. I styled the design after the shield from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. I chose this shield for a few reasons: The materials I had for Link’s tunic matched that character design perfectly, and I really like the way they designed the Master Sword and Hylian Shield in that game. Also, it was the last game where Link was playable as a left-handed character (on the Gamecube version) and I wanted to be true to the “Corrie-Fisted” Link I grew up with!

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Concept artwork for Link in Twilight Princess.

Obviously I will share the costume itself, but in the next few posts I will share my progress in the making of the Hylian Shield. If you have any questions, please message me or add a comment. I hope my instructions will inspire other gamer girls (and boys!) to make their own Hylian Shield!

Until next time!

Hylian Shield Tutorial 1

Sketching out to-scale drawings to make the shield.