The Samurai costume that I made using various found materials – mainly fabrics from curtains. The costume is comprised of a few parts:

The apron containing the chest plate and skirt armor; the jacket that has the arm plates, forearm protectors, hand guards, and overcoat; the leggings that go underneath the apron; and the helmet with the mask.

The Helmet and mask were made a couple of years back in my metals manufacturing class. The project was to create some sort of body ornament (e.g. a bracelet, necklace, charm) and we had a week and a half to do it. So instead of making some hokey jewelry that I’d never use, I felt a Samurai helmet (Kabuto) and mask (Mempo) would be far more useful.

The Kabuto is comprised for 1/4 inch rod that I bent and welded together to make a basket-type shape and around it, I bent 18 and 22 gauge sheet metal for details.

The mask was a feat in itself. It started as a flat piece of 18 gauge sheet metal that I annealed, then eventually formed to shape using various dies and a ball peen hammer. The final touch to my mask was the mustache which was accomplished by taking trimmings from a push broom and gluing them to the metal nose.

After wanting to be David Lo Pan for the past few months… I finally ditched the idea after taking a long hard look at my already made helmet and felt I just had to. In doing so, I remade the rear neck protector to match the armor I would produce a few days later.

The Armor was made of individual cardboard cutouts that I wrapped in leather that I took from a curtain I bought at the goodwill store. It started out black but decided to give it a little more flavor with the red spray-paint. They were stitched and glued to a fabric backing and sewed together to create a general form.

The Jacket was also made from curtains bought at the goodwill store, cut and sewn entirely by me(surprising since I’ve never before used a sewing machine – well, correctly that is). The side leggings were place mats that I bought from the bargain store where I also found the swords. To finish it all off, I used old ties as belts to strap the swords to my sides.