Tips on Making a Princess Leia Metal Bikini

Written by benjamin twist
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Tips on Making a Princess Leia Metal Bikini
Carrie Fisher debuted the metal bikini in Return of the Jedi. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

In the iconic Star Wars sci-fi movie trilogy, the character Princess Leia appears in one scene wearing a metal bikini, as a slave to the nefarious Jabba the Hutt. The scene---and the costume---has become pop culture legend. If you don't want to pay for a pricey movie replica metal bikini costume, you can make your own using a few tricks.

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Metallic Bikini Top

Instead of trying to replicate the hard metal bikini top with forged patterns that Princess Leia wore in the movie, you can simply purchase a bikini top with a metallic sheen. Pick a copper-coloured top, if possible, to more closely replicate the movie costume. If you want to replicate the swirling designs on the bikini top, sew on metallic cloth, glue foil cutouts or apply metallic puffy paint in approximately the shape of the original design.

Purple Loincloth

Princess Leia's slave costume has a long, flowing purple loincloth hanging from under the bikini bottom. For an inexpensive substitute, try to find a rich crimson table runner, tablecloth or curtain at a second-hand store. Cut it into two pieces about as long as your legs from hips to ankles and about as wide as your hips. In the final costume, the cloth will not spread that wide, but the extra width will give it enough folds to provide some body.

Bikini Bottom

The bikini bottom takes three layers---a base, the loincloth and a pair of decorative metallic plates over the loincloth. For the base, use a brown or metallic bikini bottom or a pair of boyshorts. Attach the loincloth pieces to the front and back of the base, near the top, gathering them to about half the width of your hips. Hang decorative plates over the front and back using elastic, or simply attach them to the base so they hide the top of the loincloth. You can make the decorative plates using cardboard or polystyrene spray-painted with a bronze metallic base coat. Add swirly gold metallic puffy paint patterns.

Accessories

In the movie, Princess Leia wore moccasin boots with decorative metallic flourishes. Many DIY slave Leia costumes substitute strappy heels or even comfy sneakers, so feel free to take your pick. A braided hair extension will help you mimic Princess Leia's famously long hair. To complete the costume, you may want to add a thick metallic bracelet or an armband. Some costumes also include Leia's chained collar. Use a sturdy choker and thread it through the end of 1 to 2 feet of chain from a hardware store.

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