How-to: Easy Princess Mononoke Costume

I made a Princess Mononoke costume this year that is pretty easy and affordable to make, so just want to share a quick process post here! Plus, after Halloween you get a free rug 😉

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San! She’s the best.

Most Halloweens involve me peering into my closet a few days prior and trying to figure out what I can pass off as with maybe the addition of a hat. This year I decided I wanted to put a little more effort into a costume and go out and do Halloween right. After considering a few topical/meme costume ideas, I decided to do Princess Mononoke bc I love Studio Ghibli and her character is awesome.

How To!

Total Time: 2.5-3 hours. Total Cost: $52 (not incl materials I had on hand)

Note: This is not a super-serious cosplay of Princess Mononoke. I know I’m missing some items like her mask! But to me, it’s minimal effort for max results.

mononoke-materials

What I Used:

  1. Basic navy tank dress I found on Amazon: $12
  2. IKEA faux sheepskin rug ALSO ON Amazon (amazing! no IKEA hassle): $24
  3. Old plain white T to cut up (J gave me one of his, I think they’re pretty cheap on Amazon if you don’t have one!): $0 to $5
  4. Navy blue ribbon from craft store: $5
  5. Small foam cones from craft store: $6
  6. Red face paint: $5
  7. Wrapped floral wire I had on hand, like this
  8. Floral tape I had on hand, like this
  9. Glue gun and glue sticks I had on hand, like this
  10. Leather string I had on hand, like this (any sturdy string will do)

Steps:

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

  1. Make her white shirt cover
    1. Cut off the sides and neck of the white T to form her outer layer. (Tip:  I folded mine in half to cut the collar to make sure it’s symmetrical. The sides and bottom were practically a straight line.)
    2. Put the white T on and pinch at the sides to mark where you’ll want to fasten. Cut holes here and fasten with string (I had some leather string on hand).
  2. Make her tooth necklacemononokenecklace
    1. Shave off the edges of the foam cones so it looks more like a tooth. Any knife with teeth should work.
    2. Punch a hole about a centimeter down for the cord. You can use a drill or any sharp-ish long tool for this. I used a small sculpting tool I had.
    3. Cut your length of floral wire so there’s enough to wrap around your neck. I love floral wire for these types of things bc you can form and hold a shape. Wrap the ends with floral tape or washi tape (or really any soft tape) for extra ease and protection.
    4. String your wire through your cones. If the cones are kind of jostling around, wrap small pieces of floral tape next to the cones so they stay in place.monokenecklace
  3. Make her head and arm pieces
    1. Cut pieces of floral wire that will wrap around your arms and head, with about 1-2 inches past a perfect fit.
    2. Cut ribbon that is the same length
    3. Hot glue the ribbon onto the floral wire.
    4. If you can, add a small white circle or stone to the center of her headpiece. I used a star earring whose other half I had lost long ago haha. I’m scrappy like a Cinderella mouse 🙂
    5. Note: I had some earrings that worked so I didn’t make her earrings but you could take a foam cone (or white cardstock), shape to a oval, and hot glue to earring studs.
  4. Make her fur cape
    1. MY FAVORITE PART! Wearing a cape is so fun. Esp when it makes you laugh bc it’s actually a rug. So I’m about 5’6 and this rug fit perfectly for her cape. I think technically her necklace holds the cap together, but I didn’t think it’d actually stay in place on her shoulders if I did it that way (neck would slide back). So I made the necklace separate and just did a simple but highly effective attachment on the rug. I’ll add a picture here tomorrow.
    2. Cut out two small squares of any fabric, such as felt.
    3. Cut two pieces of leather string for ties, about a 1.5 feet long each. Attach these ties at the corners (side opposite from the pointed “head” end of the rug), securing by glue gunning the square fabric over the string end.
    4. Now simply drape rug over shoulders, with the strings placed your shoulders, under your arms and tied around your back! You can see the string on my shoulder in the picture below. It’s so simple but really stays.Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
  5. Do your hair and makeup
    1. San lives in the forest so you really don’t need much makeup. I did my normal makeup but a little heavier with silver highlights and black liner for mild “anime eyes.”
    2. For hair, it’s great if you have bangs but if not, just pull the front sides forward a little to mimic her look. I pinned my hair up on the sides a little to give that puffed up hair look she has from her headpiece.
    3. I used a q-tip to apply the red face paint. I just referenced an image of San and painted on the red triangles on my forehead and cheeks. Go slow in small strokes!
  6. A note about shoes
    1. I have beige combat boots that worked (and would be easy to dance in). If you don’t, I’d recommend getting a couple more white/cream Ts, cutting up and wrapping around any boots you have with some leather string.
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J did Ashitaka! But not do this shirtless version haha. He did the doctor scrub version 😉

That’s it!

That may sound like a lot but it was really straightforward and fun to make! I don’t like spending a lot of time on costumes bc it’s a one day affair, but I felt this was totally worth it. Anyway, I can use it for future cosplay haha. I’ll probably need to make the mask and spear for that 🙂

I’m so glad we did this. It was an awesome Halloween 😀 We went to this place that had all the pros of a fun party (friendly energetic crowd, fun music, everyone in costume, hassle-free bar) and non of the cons (pre-sale tickets that ACTUALLY meant no wait!! and for some reason Lyft/Uber was not off the charts!). WHEN DOES THAT EVER HAPPEN. Thanks LA.

Hope that was helpful. If you ever make this costume please show me! Tag me IG @mimochai or Twitter @mimizchao 🙂

 

Cheers -MC

 

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