Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Guide to Making Your Own Tauriel Costume

I've been wanting to make a tutorial for those wanting to cosplay Tauriel for a very long time now, and yesterday I got the final push to do so when Simplicity *finally* released an actual pattern for one of Tauriel's costumes! (More on that later...)

Any and all questions are welcome (and encouraged!) in the comments, and I promise to answer them to the best of my ability! :)

So, without further ado, here's A Guide to Making Your Own Tauriel Cosplay! :D

Step 1: Choose Your Dress

Which of Tauriel's dresses do you want to make? I'm only going to feature the two main dresses (with their variations) in Desolation of Smaug here.

Costume 1 (Variation 1) - Spider Dress
This is the dress that Simplicity has a sewing pattern for.

Costume 1 (Variation 2) - Spider Dress
This simply has a different leather bodice than the first (and she threw on a scarf).

Costume 2 (Variation 1) - Archer Dress
I can give the most help on this one, as this is the dress of hers that I made.

Costume 2 (Variation 2) - Archer Dress
This is just the first dress, with the addition of a green "hoodie" type thing.

Step 2: Buy the Pattern OR Make a Mock-up

This is where it starts getting tricky, depending which route you want to go.

If you're looking for an easy out, I advise you to buy the pattern for the first variation of her "spider dress" and make that.

The pattern is Simplicity 1347:

From what I've seen of it, the pattern isn't half bad. I would advise you to keep the edge of the skirt straight instead of ripped up (what's with that, anyway? o_O), but otherwise it's quite nice, really. It also comes with patterns for the arm bracers and corset/belt.

Now, if you want to do a different dress, or simply don't like this pattern, I'd advise making a mock-up of the costume you want to make.
You can use a pattern to help you figure out sizing, sleeves, that sort of thing, as a basis -- elaborating and deviating in the places you want to change. Just keep messing around with it until you like what you see. Then you can use this mock-up as your pattern for the real costume!

Here's a couple drawings I made to help me with making my mock-up for Tauriel's archer dress (costume 2 - variation 1).

Variation 1 - Princess seam bodice.

Variation 2 - Two-piece bodice.

Split Skirt Diagram

Step 3: Buy Fabric

This can be hard. You'll probably need to do some research before finding *the* fabric. Don't be afraid to look in odd places to find it, too -- the leather I used for my bodice is upholstery (used for furniture, etc.) vinyl, and I got the material for my dress at a thrift store!

If you can't find what you're looking for in any stores near you, I recommend trying or Both have great prices and a huge selection of fabrics! And from, you can even order a swatch of the material before you commit to buying several yards, in case you don't end up liking it.

Types of Fabric:

The spider dress fabric is crinkle taffeta, or something similar, with a bit of a satin finish.

After much debate from only seeing the online pictures of the archer dress, I had the opportunity to see the dress in person in New Zealand, and I discovered it actually is made of emerald suade! The second variation of the dress is hunter green, burlap-style hoodie, which extends into a split skirt. The top of the first variation is used underneath this.

For my archer dress, I used polyester, which looked nice and worked well, but isn't extremely screen-accurate. Simple cotton broadcloth would work as well, but it isn't very drape-y.

Basically, if you're going for Variation 1 of the archer dress, go with suede for the dress. If you're making Variation 2, use a thick, burlap-y material for the overdress (hoodie + skirt), then suede for the shirt underneath the leather bodice.

Amounts to Buy:

For both styles of Tauriel's dress, you'll need about 3 yards of 60 inch wide fabric, OR about 5 yards of 45 inch wide fabric. (I used 60" so I can't be sure about how much you'll need exactly of 45" fabric, but I'm sure you'd be safe with 5-6 yards.) If you're planning on putting in a lining, you'll be needing more than this, though. I skipped having a lining in my dress though, because, frankly, I hate them. xD

The bodice and bracers will require 1 yard of 60 inch wide fabric. If you go with 45 inch wide fabric, you might want to get 1.5 yards, just to be safe. I bought 2 yards of 60", and it was wayyyyy more than necessary -- but the material is really neat, so I've enjoyed using the leftovers for other projects. :)

Some quick tips about leather for the bracers and bodice:

Like I said, I used upholstery vinyl that I ordered from Amazon. (It was this stuff in case you were wondering, which I ended up darkening with black shoe polish.) I highly recommend upholstery leather for armor -- it has the same thickness as real leather at a fraction of the cost, and is 900% easier to work with.

If you don't want to go the upholstery leather route, you can also get apparel-grade vinyl/leather instead. If you want it to be thicker, just attach it to craft foam. I've never done this, personally, but there are tons of tutorials for it all over the internet -- a quick Google search will bring up exactly what you're looking for. :)

And then, of course, if you're really ambitious, you can go with real leather, of course. While I'm sure this would look fabulous, don't count on me for help... ;)

(sorry, couldn't resist xD)
Back to business.

Step 4: Accessorize!

Okay, yeah, not gonna lie, this is one of my favorite parts about cosplaying -- adding all the fun details that make the costume awesome. :D


Again, time to do some shopping and Googling. It might take you some time to find the perfect shoes to compliment your Tauriel costume. Here's Tauriel's actual boots:

Two things that are a must to keep the costume as accurate as possible (without going crazy): Knee high, heel less than 1 inch, dark brown, and no prominent buckles or zippers or studs or anything like that that elves just wouldn't have on their footwear. ;)

As for where to find boots such as this, I recommend Amazon. They've got a huge boot selection, and you can find a good pair for a pretty decent price (Be prepared to pay bout $30-$35).

Here's a few possible options I found with a quick search...

And, in case you wondered, these are the boots I bought for my costume. They're not totally screen accurate, but I love them anyway. ;)


You might have missed this aspect of Tauriel's costume, but yes -- Tauriel has a gorgeous, silver necklace that you can see quite clearly in the scene in Desolation of her reporting to Thranduil.

Gorgeous, right???
You can buy the official version from WETA Workshop for $179 here.

But if you're wanting a cheaper option, you can find several versions on eBay for much cheaper. These are a few of my favorite reproductions...

Elf Ears:

The most fun addition to this costume, in my opinion, is the pointy ears!

I HIGHLY recommend Aradani Studio's latex ear tips. Their prosthetics are high quality, durable, lightweight, and inexpensive! They even have a set now that are modeled after Tauriel's ears!
(These are the kind I bought.)


Firstly, I have found SO many awesome tutorials for Tauriel's gorgeous braided hairstyle! I'll link some of the best YouTube tutorials here.

Now, the question of a wig. Whether you want to buy one and deal with all the craziness that comes with wigs is 100% up to you. I, personally, am not a fan of wigs, mostly because I haven't the patience or the resources to afford them.

If you want to go this route, you'll want to get a high quality, lace front wig so that it will look the best it can. A wig like this will run at about $50-$90, so definitely not cheap. If you don't want to fork over that much money, just go with no wig. I promise you, this is the best way to go if you're low on cash. Don't try to get a cheap-o, non-lace front wig from China. It will look so much better to just use your own hair, and style it accordingly. :)


Use the same material that you made your leather bodice from, and if you're using Simplicity's pattern, then you're all set to go, as that as a pattern for the bracers. But if you're free-handing everything, this tutorial on eHow will you get you started in making your bracers... "How to Make Leather Arm Bracers."


If you're planning on wearing your costume to the midnight premiere of The Battle of the Five Armies, you'll probably want to skip Tauriel's weapons. With that said, if you want to make her bow, this guy on YouTube has an excellent tutorial for making her bow out of PVC pipe. (Which you can buy at Lowe's, etc, for about 5 bucks!) I actually started doing this, but never finished it. Finishing it is on my to-do list currently. ;)

If you want to buy her bow, WETA Workshop has the official licensed prop available to buy -- for $300 bucks. :P

Now her daggers.

You can buy officially licensed versions of these also from WETA, for $179.

Or the officially licensed pair made by United Cutlery from for $219.

And then, of course, there's always the option of making these. I, unfortunately, haven't found any good tutorials for this, but if you do, let me know in the comments so I can link it here! :)

A Bit More Help...

I hope I was able to help you out in your journey of making a Tauriel costume! Again, any and all questions are more than welcome in the comments, and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

You can check out my Tauriel Cosplay Pinterest board which has loads of helpful reference pictures, tips, and inspiration!

You can also get some inspiration from my journal of making my Tauriel cosplay, where I've ordered everything in chronological order for your viewing convenience. :D

Welp -- I suppose this is the end. I hope I could be of help, and best of luck to you in making your costume!


Beth - An Elven Princess


  1. Oh my goodness!!!! YOU ARE AWESOME to put all of this together!!! I made her archer dress too! Though the bottom is like the Spider Dress. Do you know when the Trailer for the 3rd Hobbit movie is coming out?
    I was hoping Simplicity would make a pattern!

    1. Awwwhhh shucks! ;D Oh, neat! I almost did that, but decided to go for accuracy instead. Now I want to make her spider dress though - hah! ;)

      And noooo I don't... not of a specific date anyway. This article by is really great -- it sums up exactly what we know about the Hobbit: BOFA trailer: Hopefully it'll be here soon!! :D

  2. Cool! I have thought about making it too! Do you know what kind of fabric her Spider Dress is made out of?

    Ok! Thanks!

    1. Awesome!! :D

      As for the fabric of her spider dress, (after a bit of research) it's some sort of crinkle taffeta or something similar. :)

  3. Here's the dagger tutorial

    1. Sorry, it's only a review, but it provides the description of the materials.

    2. Yes! It is helpful for ideas and inspiration for making your own.

  4. Thanks so much for this post!! I was wanting to get back into sewing and this post gave me the perfect starting project. :) I used the Simplicity pattern to make the spider dress and it was so much fun to get back to sewing and make an Elven outfit, too! (You can see it on my blog,, if you want.) All the links to the accessories and tutorials were especially helpful. Your work is beautiful, it has been fun to watch your newer projects come together.

    1. You're so welcome, Megan! I'm so glad this helped you get back into sewing. :) I just went to check out your lovely blog... your costume turned out amazing! Wonderful job on it. :D Thank you for the compliments as well -- I definitely enjoy what I do, and I'm so glad I could be of help! :)

      -Beth, An Elven Princess

  5. I decided to make a Tauriel costume to go see The Battle of Five Armies, and your blog has been so helpful! Up in the section about how much fabric to buy, did you mean I would need 3yds of 60" and 5yds of 45", or would I need one or the other? I bought both but to to me it seems like a lot of fabric.

    ~Jacquie :)

    1. Ahhh I'm so so sorry for that confusion!! I meant one or the other. I'm not sure why I wrote "and" instead of "or"... some weird slip of my mind, I suppose. :P Thanks for pointing that out, though; it's fixed now. ;) Anyway, I'm glad my blog could be of help to you, and I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might ! :) And again, sorry about that mixup... :p

  6. This is my first time making a cosplay and only my second time making clothing (my first being a simple jumper). Your blog has been SOOOOOO helpful! I started out wanting to make Tauriel's archer dress, but for various reasons decided to do a based-off rendition that's a bit simpler. A major factor in this decision was that Tauriel may very well die in BotFA (sniff) and it wouldn't be very fun to go as a character who dies. So, I'm going as a random Mirkwood archer. :) Thank you for taking the time to post all this helpful info!

    1. Awesome!!! I'm so glad that I could be of help! :D Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a sweet comment, and your costume sounds *awesome!* And I totally agree -- it'd be rather depressing to go as a character that I'm 99% sure will die... yes: *sniff.* Funny thing is, actually, that I also decided to make a "based-off rendition" of Tauriel's costumes for BotFA! It's kinda turning into a combination of her spider dress, archer dress, concept art of her costumes, aaaand with colors inspired by Thranduil. Hah! ;)

  7. Hi Beth! First off, I just want to introduce myself. My name is Colleen, and I've been (non-creepily) stalking your blog for a while now. You are pretty awesome! I just want to throw it out there that if we lived closer together, we would definitely be best friends. We're the same age, both horse-hearted, and both fantastically enormous nerds! :) Plus we both cosplay as Tauriel, so, automatic besties, I think. ;)
    That cosplaying is what I wanted to ask you a quick question about. I am making, or rather, re-making, my Tauriel costume. Since this is the last midnight premier (sob) I want to look amazing and my first costume I made is less than that, haha. I've got the dress and accessories done, so all that's left is the leather bodice. I ordered the upholstery vinyl from that you recommended, but I sadly have no idea what to do with it. This is only my third time making my own costume and my first time completely freehanding it. Plus, my previous costume (for Halloween) was an Elsa dress and I found it much easier, probably because my little sister who is very crafty helped me out a lot. Anyways, I was wondering if you have a pattern or a how-to guide you can share? Any tips you can give are greatly appreciated! Le hannon! :)

    1. Hi!! *waves* It's so nice to "meet" you, Colleen! Hahaha! Well, shucks -- thanks! ;) And seriously girl... that's kinda crazy how similar we are. I agree -- I have a feeling we'd be besties. If only the world wasn't so large! ;)

      And concerning your costume -- I totally get you!! I feel the same way about my Tauriel costume. Hah! ;) So many things I would change if I made it again! But anyway -- the leather bodice. That was the hardest part of the costume for me as well. Here's a few links that might help you a bit (progress posts of making my leather bodice):

      My biggest tip for you is to make a mock-up of the bodice first, out of random/cheap fabric you have on hand (I used some old jeans). Use a well-fitted shirt for the general shape of how to cut it, then just start cutting pieces in shapes that you think would work for the bodice, and pin them together rather then sew so you can alter it quickly. Continue to alter the mock-up until you're happy with it, then use those pieces as your pattern for making the real thing!

      So, yeah! I hope I helped you a bit here. And, please don't hesitate to comment again if need anything else! I love to be helpful. ;)

    2. *waves back* I know, I love it! And sadly, my friends are all Muggles. They put up with my nerdiness and know when to pull out the earplugs so I can have a moment of fangirly squeeing (such as when new trailers and clips appear) but they just don't get it. :/ If I had a nickel for every time I've been asked if I was Katniss while I was wearing my Tauriel costume...! The world is pretty large but think of all the adventures we'd miss out on if it was smaller! :P Home is behind, the world ahead.... :)

      Girl what are you even talking about?!? Your costume is freaking fantastic! So gorgeous and so accurate and you look perfect in it. My costume feels very inadequate compared to yours. ;) So hush, you did a fabulous job and you shouldn't change a stitch.

      Darn, this project is getting so complicated for a girl who still stabs herself when she hand sews and can't thread a sewing machine on her own. :P Literal blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this costume but I am thinking it will be worth it! Evangeline Lilly herself liked it enough to post of picture of it when it was still half done back in October on her page. :D Yeah, that made my day! But thank you so much for your tips! I will get started on the mock up this weekend (in between studying for finals, yuck) and let you know when I run into snags.

      I probably will comment again because I am sure I will need guidance somewhere along the way! Also, I just love talking to like minded nerds...loving horses and being my age are just bonuses! Your horse is beautiful, by the way. How long have you been riding? And how are you finding the college application process? I swear my horse is the only thing keeping me sane this year-I don't know what I'd do without having her for breaks from the stress. :)

    3. And seriously, thanks again! These posts and tips are super helpful!

    4. Hahahah!! Ugghhh I *so* know what you mean -- it's so depressing when no one gets your fandom references, or can appreciate the awesomeness of the various fandoms... *sigh.* ;) And the squealing... yes. Always. xD LOLOL the Katniss thing, yess! Actually, when I was doing the photoshoot for my Tauriel costume, one passerby said "Oh look! There's Katniss!" And I was just like... *facepalm.* XD

      Hehe. Oh yes! I am glad the world is as big as it is... like ya say, so many opportunities for "...going on an adventure!!" ;D

      Hahahahha!! Well, shucks, you are just the sweetest thing. Thanks so much, deary. ^_^

      Hey, don't worry!! With every project you make, you'll become a better and better seamstress. And I'm absolutely sure the costume will be worth all that blood, sweat, and tears!!! It was for me, anyway. :D Oh my goodness, are you serious??? That is stinking AWESOME! Ahhhh I'll bet that must have been nothing short of thrilling! :D

      And no problem!! I'm so happy to help, and it is indeed so fun to chat with like minded nerds - hah!! xD Actually, I don't own a horse (tear), but of course I've always wanted to - and I love to pieces the lesson horses I ride! I've been riding since I was about 6 -- though not consistently, since I did move a few times during the past 10 years, and had to go through the process of finding new lesson barns and such. Riding is one of my absolute favorite things though. Speaking of college, the one I want/am planning to go to has an English equestrian team which, if I do end up going there (Liberty University), I will most *definitely* try out for, and pray that I'd be accepted! :) As for the whole college application process... it's been a little bit daunting. I know where I absolutely want to go -- so now it's just a waiting process... just seeing if that really is where God wants me to be. :) What about you??

      Oh, you know, if you wanted, we could continue our little conversation by e-mail. That way the whole internet can't eavesdrop - hah! ;) You can find my email under the "greetings" tab on here, if you did want to. :)

  8. Hi! I just stumbled across your blog via Pinterest. I just wanted to comment that it's a great tutorial! Lots of good info and a great round up of links.
    Amy Lee

  9. Hello!
    I have gone through your Tauriel plans, and after learning that Simplicity no longer sells in Canada, I came back. You see, I am still learning how to so, and so I'm not sure how I would measure out the lengths, widths, and shapes of the pieces. I think you did a terrific job!
    Have a great day!

    1. Hi there! Hm, I see... if it's not sold in Canada, you could buy the pattern from ebay or Amazon, both of which have it for sale for about $10 and ship to Canada! Or directly from the Simplicity website... I'm pretty sure they ship to Canada. If not, I would advise making a mock-up of the costume (basically, try making the dress with cheap fabric that you don't mind throwing away if it doesn't turn out well!). If it does turn out well, you can then use that as your pattern for the actual fabric! Really, just look study tons and tons of pictures of Tauriel's costume until you feel familiar with the shape of it, then start cutting. :) Let me know how it goes! And, thanks dear! ;)

    2. Hi again!
      I bought the pattern off of Amazon, though I may try the different versions of her outfit later. Thank you! You have a wonderful blog and I'm using it to make my own!
      Thank you!

    3. Awesome! I'm glad that all worked out for ya. :D Hehe -- thankyou and you are so welcome! ;)

  10. Thanks so much for the post! Do you know where I can find a pattern or measurements for the archer dress version 1? Not necessarily the leather bodice, just the dress.

    1. I'm glad you liked it! And yes -- I would advise trying out McCall's 6818. You'd just have to alter the length and the collar, and it would work perfectly! :)

  11. Hi lovely, I've been looking for inspiration for my Tauriel costume and came across you page :) FYI, I found a rather useful tutorial on how to make her fighting knives here: I'm making mine at the mo, they're turning out all right! Going to papier mache over them before painting them, which I think will add to stability as well as the overall sleek look... anyhoo, thanks for a great post! X

  12. Cool costume, but are there any easier options?

  13. That is an awesome costume. I am seriously considering making one for Halloween. Great blog. :)

  14. There are Tauriel daggers you can make out of wood or foam. Just print a design onto a piece, cut it out, then sandpaper and paint.

  15. Heya :)
    I really LOVE your costume! I just started to do mine. But I just can't decide what kind of pants I should get :D You didn't covered that part on your blog, can you tell me what kind of pants you would wear to this costume?
    (Since I think I won't check this blog often, can you write me an email? its:
    thank you ♥

  16. Thank you very much for your amazing blog with such great information. I am a kindred spirit as well and save all things elven on my pinterest board. You have inspired me to try to make my own costume

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  18. I didn't see how do you make the leather corset. Can you find out for me??

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  22. Mae govannen!

    I just wanted to say, thank you for making this post! I’ve been a Tolkien fan for I-don’t-know-how-long, and mimicking the costumes in the movies is a very enjoyable pastime, when I’ve got the time for it. :)
    So, I know this comment has labelled me anonymous, but I’m Astreia. It was nice to “meet” you, in a sense, though you’re probably wondering who this random person is. But isn’t that what this is all about?
    Thanks again for this post!


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