How to Make an Odysseus Costume

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Odysseus, the legendary King of Ithaca, led his forces to help save the kidnapped Helen of Troy and created the famed Trojan horse. Ancient Greek pottery provides images of warriors from which to derive the perfect Odysseus costume. War garb was a loose tunic covered by an armored breastplate and a girdle of leather straps. Add leather sandals, a cape over one shoulder, and a sword and shield and your own Odysseus steps out of mythology and into reality.

Tunic

Use an extra large, sleeveless tank top of dark brown, red or white for the tunic.

Breast Plate

Cut two cardboard rectangles long enough to cover from shoulder to waist. Lightly score the front of both rectangles in a diamond pattern with a utility knife, and hot glue a round, domed button in the center of each diamond. Connect the rectangles with 1-foot-long strip of fabric, one at each shoulder and one at each side at waist level. Spray paint the rectangles and straps metallic bronze.

Girdle

Form the leather girdle by attaching a Velcro closure at the end of a waist-length strip of fabric so that it fits around the waist and closes in back. Cut strips of vinyl 2 inches wide and 2 feet long. Angle the bottom edge of each strip to end in a point. Hot glue the strips to the inside of the waist-length strip of cloth.

Finish

Don the tunic, slip the cardboard breast plate over the tunic and fasten the girdle around the waist. Add brown leather sandals and drape a length of brown or red fabric over one shoulder as a cape. Complete the costume with a toy sword and shield.

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