Make Your Own Renaissance Archery Costume
The Medieval and Renaissance eras are synonymous with gallant knights in shining armour, radiant ladies in luxurious dresses, elaborate meals with bejeweled goblets and cutlery and, of course, the art of archery. As summer slips away, it’s time to embrace the spirit of fall. Fall brings the excitement of Halloween and perfect weather for Renaissance festivals. Whatever event you are going to celebrate, you can DIY your own archery-themed Renaissance costume and stun the other partygoers. You can even use some of your old broken gear that you intended to throw away as part of the costume. Wear the costume to your Halloween party and Renaissance festival and get double the use of your custom costume. Think of it as a fashionable “Robin Hood”.
One of the coolest ways to express yourself when stepping onto the shooting range or creating an archery costume is to customize your quiver. Your quiver can be any color you want, and you can attach decals or keychains to it to make it unique. For a Renaissance costume, consider adding a “coat of arms” to the outside of the quiver. Renaissance knights and noble families were identified by a specific design or icon known as a coat of arms. Knights proudly displayed the coat of arms on their shields and families waved them on flags flying in castles. Fun fact: some European countries have very flexible coat of arms laws and allow anyone to adopt an existing coat of arms. For coats of arms originating in the United Kingdom, however, many of them are legally regulated and only a descendant of the family can use them.
If you are a skilled seamstress, you can sew your new coat of arms onto your quiver. If you are more technically savvy, create the coat of arms on the computer and print a sticker to place on your quiver. Get creative with it. These designs often depicted lions and various other powerful animals. The “crest” of the coat of arms was an image that represented the achievements of the knight and what he had done to be granted a coat of arms. Choose an animal that you think best represents you and draw around it. Let your personality shine through in colors and icons. The quiver will add an intricate layer to your costume and be something fun that you can bring to the lineup every time you practice.
A cool and interesting accessory that you could add to a Renaissance style dress or a medieval archer costume is a feathered collar. If you have broken arrows that you don’t use, you can take the fletches and attach them to the end of a collar chain to create your own fletched collar. Using a bowstring instead of a traditional string will also add a little something extra. You can also take the fletching and attach it to the earrings. It would take your costume to another level because even when you’re not wearing your bow and arrows, you’ll still have a bit of archery built into the outfit.
The bow and arrows
Of course, no archery costume is complete without the trusty bow and arrow. You can choose to carry your own longbow (we select longbows here to stay true to the period) or make your own. To make it a new “accessory”, you can take a piece of wood, sand it and put a string on it. You can also make one out of PVC pipe. You can use your own arrows or make props out of wood or dowels and attach feathers to the vanes.
These DIY archery-inspired accessories will take your costume play to the next level. They use your current accessories or recycle things you intended to get rid of. Aesthetics and practicality go very well together. We’re not saying you’ll win the costume contest, but… we’re NOT saying that. Wear your costume to your local booth for their Halloween event and show other archers how smart they can be with their gear.
Happy fall everyone!