Materials, Props, Accessories: Merida from Brave

While Merida’s outfit is not all too exciting it’s things such as her huge orange locks, and her bad-ass bow that make her a visually exciting character.

Merida's Bow

Merida’s Bow

What makes Merida’s bow specially Merida’s is the carving that she has done along the bow. To strive for accuracy this is something that I want to replicate.  The carvings seem to symmetrical on both sides, and as can be seen in the movie are hand carved. The grip looks like wrapped leather with colorful beading along the edges. And finally on both edges of the bow we see different decorations. On the top side we see a bronze medallion with a swirl design, on the bottom edge there is a grouping of blue stones tied onto the edge.
To make Merida’s bow I plan on using a plank of wood that can be cut into the shape of her bow then sanded to be round. However if you do not have access to power tool you could simple buy a pre-made bow. Though there are not many that are the same shape as Merida’s bow you can easily find something close such as this or this more expensive more accurate model.

Bow 5

A Close up of Merida’s Bow and Arrow

Next is the Quiver and Arrows. Merida’s quiver is very simple. It doesn’t look historically accurate however it is very simple to replicate. Merida’s bow to easy to make using a cardboard tube and leather. However if you wanted to make it historically accurate you could follow this tutorial which uses leather and hand stitching to create the quiver. Now I went through screen caps of the entire movie and can’t find any HQ caps of her quiver, however it’s safe to assume that it has some sort of tooling on it. I’m going to be referencing RainOwl’s quiver as I make mine. Tooling is where you take a piece of leather and use special tools to indent and bevel the leather to create a design. Here’s a simple tutorial on tooling. The arrows can be made very simply using a wooden dowel, feathers and craft foam or clay. Here are two helpful tutorials. 1 & 2. Lastly is the glove worn by Merida as she rides Angus on her archery trail. This is a very simple strap of leather which has been wrapped around her hand to protect it from the arrows.

Merida's Large Orange Locks

Merida’s Large Orange Locks

My personal favorite part of Merida is her crazy orange hair! Now we all know that when I say she has crazy hair I really mean it. It’s like crazy! No normal wig would be able to do that, so I’m going to be using a mash-up of 3-4 different wigs which I will tear apart, then weft together and re-curl and possibly re-dye. A very important part of researching which wig(s) you want to use is to look at other cosplayers and see what you like and don’t like about their wigs. Another important aspect of Merida’s hair is that there are many different kinds of curls and many different colors in her hair. While the bulk of her hair is very tight tiny curls there are some parts (like her bangs) which are larger more loose curls. While watching the movie you can also see that while the bulk of her hair is orange there are some darker red/orange and some light yellow highlights, something that not many cosplayers replicate.
For my Merida I’m going be using either the “Arda Combo”, the”Ebay Combo”. Arda-wigs is one of my favorite wig companies their wigs are all very soft and have vibrant colors. Here is what I would use in the “Arda Combo” 1x Merry in Pumpkin, 2x Long Curly Clips in Pumpkin, 1x Long Curly Clip in Dark Copper Red, 1x Long Curly Clip in Light Copper Red, and some left over brown and blonde wefts in my collection. the “ebay Combo” is pretty much the same thing, just from ebay and thus cheaper.

And finally we come to fabric choices.
As discussed in the research post about Merida her clothes would have been made of linen, wool, leather and fur. The closest fabric store to my house is a Jo-ann’s craft store, I also usually have coupons for major discounts at their stores so this is where I usually shop. However for Merida I doubt that Jo-anns will have many of the natural materials that I need, so I’m turning to Mood fabrics.

Here are my fabric choices for Merida
For her Chemise I would use Sew Classic Linen Look in Ivory
For the Main dress Forest Solid Suiting
For the Cape Moss Green Solid Boiled Wool
For the Belts/Quiver/Arm Wrap/Etc I will be getting real leather at my local leather shop
For the Cape lining Grizzly Craft Fur

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