How to Make a Princess Mononoke Costume

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Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, “Princess Mononoke”, also known as “Mononoke Hime”, was a Japanese-language animated film from 1997. It revolves around the fight between the nature and forest guardians against the humans of Iron Town, who are led by Lady Eboshi. On the side of the forest guardians is the movie’s title character, who is also known as San, a woman who was raised by a wolf-god. Away from the influences of human civilization, San has a wild look, wearing furs and teeth, which can easily be copied for a costume.

Things You'll Need

  • White tank top
  • Knee-skimming dark-colored skirt
  • Scissors
  • Length of white costume fur
  • 2 safety pins
  • Brown or cream leather Indian moccasins or slippers
  • Measuring tape
  • 2' x 2' piece of brown leather
  • Box cutter
  • Hook and loop tape
  • White clay
  • Paper clip
  • Oven
  • String
  • Short, brown-haired wig
  • Red cream makeup base
  • Costume dagger or spear

Put on a white tank top and knee-skimming skirt in brown, black or blue. Cut a slit partway up the side of the skirt. This should be as far as necessary to allow you to comfortably kneel like a wild animal, which is one of San's signature poses. Put on the moccasins; cut off any tassels or beads they may have.

Cut the length of the white costume fur to be used as a cape. It should extend to approximately where your butt begins, or to the length that is most comfortable for you. Place two ends of the costume fur on your shoulders and carefully pin them in place to the tank top with the safety pins. Make sure, however, that the safety pins are not visible from the outside.

Measure your head, wrists and biceps with a tape measure. Add 2 inches to each measurements. Cut your piece of leather into five strips using the box cutter: one is for your head, two are for your wrists and two are for your biceps. Add 1 inch of adhesive hook and loop tape to fasten them on.

Shape teeth out of white clay. Use a paper clip to poke holes in the teeth for the string to fit through. Bake the teeth in the oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees to harden. Allow 15 minutes to cool. Then feed the string through the holes and tie it in a knot to create the teeth necklace.

Put on a short, brown-haired wig. If you do not naturally have short brown hair, the wig will automatically give you Princess Mononoke hair.

Apply bright streaks of the red cream makeup base under each eye, starting thick at the eye and thinner toward the chin, in the shape of a wolf's tooth or a triangle slightly curved at the end and pointing toward the nose, and on the forehead, thick near the hairline and thinner toward the third eye, like a triangle.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a box cutter, heavy duty shears should also cut through leather.
  • Carry a costume dagger or spear with your costume.
  • Watch the film to study Princess Mononoke's mannerisms and style.
  • If you are going to a school party, or anywhere else that a costume dagger or lance may be banned or misinterpreted, don’t buy one or leave it at home.

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