Movies such as "Gladiator" and the television series "Rome" portray the glory of the Roman Empire. The soldiers of the empire were a large reason for its long-lasting success. Anyone wearing the costume of a Roman soldier will appear strong, steady and sturdy. Using a mixture of purchased and homemade elements, anyone with a little sewing skill can put together a convincing Roman soldier's costume.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plastic helmet
- Plastic breastplate
- Metallic-coloured spray paint
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Red crepe paper
- Faux leather fabric
- Red fabric
- Sewing machine
- Long, white T-shirt
- Hook and loop fasteners
- Metallic fabric or acrylic paint
- Open sandals or flip-flops
- Plastic shield and sword or heavy cardboard
- Broom handle
- Piece of dowel
Purchase an inexpensive plastic helmet and breastplate. Spray these with a metallic-coloured paint, preferably gold or bronze, designed for use with plastics. Allow them to dry thoroughly. Cut out feathers from the red crepe paper, and attach them with hot glue to the top of the helmet. Apply enough feathers to create a full plume. If the strap on the helmet is too thin or not the correct length, replace it with a strap cut from the faux leather fabric. Spray paint the breastplate to match the helmet.
Cut a piece of red fabric to the length and width you want the cape to be. You can choose to have a short cape or a full-length, flowing one. Hem all the sides of this rectangular fabric. Sew two lines of long and loose stitches across the top of the cape, leaving about 6 inches of thread at either end. Pull on these threads gently to gather the neck of the cape. Create straps from the faux leather fabric, and sew these to the sides of the neck of the cape as fasteners. Alternatively, you can attach a short cape to the shoulders of the breastplate with glue so it becomes one piece.
Find a long, white T-shirt for the tunic. This should have short sleeves and reach down to your knees.
Cut a strip of the faux leather fabric the size of your waist plus 3 inches. Use hook and loop fasteners on this belt so the ends overlap, and it fits around your waist. Make the strips of the skirt by cutting, from the same fabric, rectangles that are 3 inches wide and the length from your waist to your knees. Glue the tops of these skirt strips on the backside of your belt, leaving a space of 3 inches between them so the white tunic shows through. Paint rivets on the lower part of the skirt strips with bronze- or gold-coloured fabric or acrylic paint.
Make two arm bands from the faux leather fabric by cutting out strips that are 3 inches wide and fit around your arm. Use hook and loop fasteners to fasten them and decorate with metallic-coloured paint. Cut out shin guards from the same fabric so they reach halfway around your calves. Cut thin strips as laces, and glue them to the edges of the guards. They will tie behind your shins.
Use open sandals or flip-flops for the Roman sandals. The shin guards will hide most of the sandal. Alternatively, cut long thin strips from the faux leather fabric, and glue one to each side of the sandals. Criss-cross these strips up your legs, and tie just below your knees for a gladiator look.
Purchase an inexpensive plastic sword and shield, or cut out your own from heavy cardboard. Spray these with the metallic-coloured fabric or acrylic paint, and let it thoroughly dry. Create a Roman standard by cutting out a 2 feet-by-3 feet rectangle from the red fabric and painting an eagle on it using the metallic-coloured paint. Sew a hem at the top of the fabric, and put the piece of dowel through the tube. Glue the piece of dowel across the top of the broomstick.
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