This costume is cheaper than $400. I guessing it cost at least half, maybe less. The props I have are made out of foam board and I made em. Umm I used alot of picture on the web, my Super Smash Bro Brawl game, and tutorials on Cosplay.com and trsrockin.com, but mostly trsrockin.
Here what I did in order (sort of):
Tunic: I was going to do it myself, but I let someone else do the basic cutout. Its not complete because I need to add the leather laces in it and hem up the botom to deplete the fringes. Umm what she did was look and compare the Link Picture with me. She was a really good sewist. Although I have decided not to do embrodery on it, cause I don't know how to do it.
Hat: The hat was very frustrating at times. I delayed at sometimes because I want to take out stiches I did not want. This is where the thread cutter comes in handy, which you can buy at tuesday morning. Becareful though these are super sharp. It still remains incomplete until I get green leather laces.
Sheild: I went and bought a poster board, some fun foam shapes, and paints. My dad want to do the shield on only one poster, so he measured and marked half of the poster board. While he did that, I cropped a statue of link focusing on the TP Hylian Sheild. I sent it to my other computer to print it out on an overhead paper. Then at my old school/my church, I use their overhead projector to trace: one side I trace the whole shield (including outside of the silver things) and the other for the just the silver outline). I as well as trace the inner decor. At my house, my dad cut both side of the foam board with a box cutter knife (although stuff of foam was comming out)-_-' and later I scratched the decore out. I as well cut and trace the inner decor patterns on the fun foam sheets, except for the red bird thingy (that will be painted on later). Although, I should of trace it onto cardboard, because it was flimsy paper. Following advice on TRrockin website: I bent the foam boards by applying water on one side and bend it. After that, I first paint the whole sheild a dark blue acrylic color useing foam brushes and applied two-three coats. These two paints were cheap like 1.00 from walmart. But for the foam pieces and the silver sheild, the spray paint were expensive, because I chose Silver and gold paint. I applied two coats for the silver foam core, but for the foamies, I applied three, even though it was not necessary. Once they were dry I first hot glue the silver outline onto the blue sheild. I did one section at a time since Hot glue dries very quickly. On every section I did I applied a bit of pressure so it would stay on the shield. Once that was done, I hot glued my foam shapes in top to bottom order. Of course I did the red eagle first before adding the last pieces. To make the eagle more like the picture I decided to scratch the shape of it and then acrylic paint it over with red. The red did take alot of coats. I had to switch to blue to cover up the red I did not want. For this I used a small bristel flat head brush. I had a few mistakes, but they are not noticible. Then for fun I decided to spray paint the back silver. All that left for me now is to hot glue a strap so I can hold on to it.
Edit: I had to used other way to fast my straps because they came off easily. I am planing to use super glue. Its pretty strong. But I have to do it after the straps dried out.
Sword: I was a little skeptical about the sword, because my dad would not buy a dremel. Also the kind of foam we bought was different from TRrose's tutorial. But, my dad found a type of saw that can cut sideways. So to start out, I went to the Legend of Zelda forms to ask how should I do it in proportion. A user gave me a link to how to do it in proportion. Using that video, I made lines according to Links hand and down along the Master Sword. Then I mesured the widith of the hand (which was 3.5) and multiplied that by the number of squares. Then I used the ruler on the foam to only measure the blade height. (cause the dowel will cover the bottom). Then my dad use the amazing saw and cut out the shape. For some of the detail my dad could not do, I hand cut it using a box cutter. The triforce symbol, I use the picture as well to tell where it is. I scracth it with the box cutter knife, but you can't see the cut well. So i used a wedge screwdriver to make it pop more. Then at the top of the foam, I want to cut it with a box cutter, so it will appear sharper. Once I was done, I move on to the wings. In paint dot net I edit a picture of a statue to crop it only to the blue wings, because the one on the full pic of the reference pic I used to make the blade was too forshortened. Once I was done I printed it out (Paint.net automatically makes the pic fit the the full page) and then cutt it in half. Then, I cutted out the paper all that was part of the wing. On the extra foam I had from cutting the sword, I pinned the half side, traced it, and then did it to the other half. Although the picture was a little off so I needed to put the pic in more so it would look symmetrical to the other side. With the same piece of paper I trace to the other extra foam. Once that was done, my dad cut out the basic shape. After wards I carve it more mostly with a box cutter, but I used other tools as well. I also use the reference I use to make the sword to know where to cut. I used the pumpkin carving tool and the mini- screwdriver tops to make the lines more depth. The mini screw drive had a wheel to do that, but it wasn't big enough, so I used the top of the pumpkin carving tool to make some of my lines bigger. The scissor and thread cutter, I used to make some things appear curved. I twist my wrist as I cut away. I use my reference pics to see which was curved and which was not. The same thing happen on the bottom piece. However parts that were circular or that go around the thing didn't look tooo well, but I was lucky enough to find a long piece of scrap. So I cut two out one for the bottom piece and one for the wings. Everything was hot glued together. After I spray it all with water down tacky glue, though I had no idea what it did, other than it harden the softer place. If there were puddles I spread them out evenly with a foam brush. I blew a fan to make it dry faster. I put a few coats on this. After that I first spray painted the sword silver (which looks like foil was put on top of it) on one side. During this time I decided topaint the wings and the bottom shape. The blue colored acrylic paint was the same as the sheild. This took about 4 coats because of the white spots that showed. However, for the handle I decided to put fun foam, so it wouldn't rub my hand as much. After I cut the height of the fun foam which was the same size as the handle, I hot glue it section by section. Then I mixed the blue and red acrylic to get a darker color and painted 2 coats the handle that color. After the paint dries, I use blue thread to make those Xs that were on the handle. I started on the top, and worked my way to the bottom. I did not worry about The spaces it left. For the spaces I left on it, I did the same thing only starte from the bottom with the side that started with no X.
Gold Decorations- I started with the swirls which there were two on each side. All I did was cut those with fun foam shapes. Then came the line that was on the blade, which I use string that was white. I measure how long I wanted it according to the blade on one side. Then when it reached where I wanted it, I cut the other string off. Again I use the picture to help me. The hard part was the 3D gold diamond shape. I just somehow among all the fail attemp scraps, found the right triangles. THen the last part of the piece was that thing that stuck out from the diamond shape, which I cutted out of fun foam. I spray painted them 2 coats all with gold. Once they were dry, I hot glue the pieces according to the reference pic.
Blue/ Green bracers: I cut out two pieces of fabric, that are about a little bigger then my arm. Although It was a real pain to sew. I remeber that I had to stuff one part so it would look like Links bracers. I had to add more fabric again so it would fit. But, I didn't worry about it because the brown bracers would cover it.
Brown bracers: Beside the sheild, this was probably the easiest thing ever. I started by cropping half of the brown bracer in Paint.net and Printed out on a full page. Then I traced that on the foam bored. But It did not look so good, because it looked really off. So then I had to redraw on the piece by using my wii game: Super Smash Bro Brawl. The Brawl multiplayer mode pause is very good, because it allows you to zoom to certain parts of the character. Once I cut it out with the box cutter holding it at 90 degree angle, I trace around it on the same foam core to make the other side. Then I trace em both on a piece of fun foam shape, for the decor on em (I did both of them, because one was slightly different from the other). I trace about a few inches from the orginal out line on the fun foam shape. Then I mesured for the line of symmetry and from the line of symmetry I measure a half an inch on each. Using my wii with a still pic of Link, I sketched the pattern I wanted on the fun foam and cut it out. These give it more of the 3D shape. Then I hot glue em on, section by section. Now thats left is to spray paint it brown and put straps on it. So, I got some flat white shoe strings, cut how much I wanted, and hot glue two each on to it. I also remember to measure it with the blue bracers on the arms or it wouln't fit. After the glue dried I spray the strings. Although I could of sprayed first. However after I wore it to my Churches fall fest, both straps fell apart. So I bought some super glue, sanded off some of the paint (I also covered my mouth because this releases lead dust) and reglued em on and left both of bracers for 3 days. It was pretty strong after 24 hours.
White shirt, Belts, gloves, and chainmail (at least fake ones): These I have planned to buy at some point. I already have the white shirt, which was bought at a thrift store and two belts. I need one more belt. Gloves for now, ill use my moms which she will not allow me to cut the ends off. Chainmail Ill find some fake mailie, but for now Ill leave it.
Scabbard: I plan to use TR roses' tutorial, but change the yellow designs to TP, by using the internet pics and the wii. I may not do this until I have time.
Pouches: I don't think these will make it as of now. If you must know, there are two pouches on links belt at the back and they are pretty handy for rupees and cell phones. What I will try to do when I have better timinig is cut out fabric and sew pieces of it together.
Links ears: For right now I decide to go with band aid ears. Its a tutorial from LOTR costume webside. Once I found a large band aid I begin to follow the tutorial. After the tutorial was finish, the ears were pointy, but it didn't loo like linky ears. So on the edges I folded around the edges. I was careful not to close it all the way or it wouldn't go on the ears. I wasn't careful enough though. It could not fit, so I had to open some parts. Finally it fitted but I had to refold some of the edges to make it look like link's ear.
Boots: For the boots, I had to use boot covers, because my parent wouldn't allow me to buy real ones, because they cost $39. Still the boot covers costed 25. They were brown pirate boots. I knew previously that they were too high. So I modified it to make it shorter and more like the design on link's boots. I started by unrolloing the flaps. Then I cut below the knee because that was what the pic looked like. I wore the cover so I knew where to cut. When I finished with both, I turned the covers and the flaps inside out. The flaps, I had to cut the bottom off since if I resewed it, It would get the same boot again. I as well cut the sides off too, or it couldn't really fit Wit the flap, I sew it inside out to the cover inside out. I sew it down though, so when I turn it inside out it'll look like its curved. With the sewn on flap I rerolled it upwards and turned it back to normal. I then want to get rid of the piece of fabric that was sewn on to the flaps so I want to fold it over and I sewn that on. Then I folded it down. Next I used my extra pieces to make that square thing. All I did was cut out a rectangle, then sew three sides (the top, the right, and left side) on the wrong side. Then I turn it outside in through the bottom hole. I then quickly hot glue it inside the boot and leaving a slights flap out. Although the glue didn't last very long, Its still held on pretty well because the boot was tight.
Ear rings: I wanted to find something quick and I found skinny key rings. What I mean is they were like wire that were already formed in a circle. I adjust it to the size to see if it fitted. It did, but it was scratching my ear( I don't have pierce ears). So, what I decided to do the day I wanted to wear it is put a tiny band-aid on the place I wanted it. The pad allows less annoyances and you wont even notice its there (Although that could be a bad thing at the same time). Before I wore it, I painted it blue, because thats the color of link's earing.
I haven't won any, but at least Ive got a ton of pics from people with this photo.