8-bit Zelda + Link Costumes, Duct Tape Edition.

Hubby and I are geeks.

Geeks who love Halloween.

We’ve been total craft geeks in many of our Halloweens together. Our first Halloween consisted of a machine-sewn Tinkerbell (when my sewing skills were oh-no novice), and a cardboard/paper mâché Optimus Prime. But we had never made costumes that would be considered a “couples” costume.

We had to be careful with the concept of a couples costume. There’s a fine line between unique to barftastically cheesy, and while we love to eat cheese, we were not willing to wear it.

It was 2009, and we decided to risk the cheese factor that year. But with what medium? Fabric was out, as I was sans sewing machine. I had sold my ancient Singer in the Great House Purge (aka Garage Sale) of 2008. That sucker was a bitch to thread, didn’t have an instruction manual, and at the time, I told myself there would be only ONE craft I in the house. Paper crafting won (boy, how things change). The heavy, beige POS Singer went on down the road to a much happier home, and I never looked back.

Back to material. We wanted to make costumes that would showcase our geekiness, but we didn’t want to drop a lot of cash.

It came to duct tape. We recently discovered the rainbow of available colors in the material that holds the universe together. Sold.

We decided to create Princess Zelda and Link from the Legend of Zelda video game series, but we went old school with it. As in, 8-bit old school. It was a win-win with the duct tape; making angles and squares to emulate the rough designs of an 8-bit video game was far easier to make with duct tape than with fabric, and the tape was surprisingly forgiving. Mess up a seam? Seal it back up with duct tape. Make a hemline too short? DUCT TAPE!


To start, I purchased a dress pattern, and cut out the pattern pieces.

I used muslin as my liner/foundation for the dress, and cut out the fabric from the pattern pieces.

I then made strips of duct tape to make a “fabric” (vertical strips going the length of the dress) to the width of the widest part of a pattern piece and then adhered the duct tape fabric to the muslin.

I then trimmed the excess duct tape around the pattern piece.

Since it was duct tape, I could take in and let out seams where needed without worrying about running out of fabric. Brilliant!

Rob made his costume from SCRATCH (we all know who’s really the brains of the operation). He made his hat, complete with angular bits on the end. His shield, sword, and boomerang (of course he made the boomerang!) were all created in 8-bit duct tape glory. We managed to find the majority of colors at Freddy’s, except for dark green, brown, and metallic silver. Thankfully we found those colors at Joann’s, otherwise our costumes wouldn’t have looked as close to the real deal.

I was so glad I lined my dress in muslin; it made for a comfortable, and surprisingly warm costume I was happy to wear all night. Rob made his top using a double-layer of duct tape- meaning he had a green layer facing out and facing in so the top wasn’t just an outside layer of green tape, only to have the lining be the sticky side of the tape. Ouch!

It took me about five rolls of pink to create the dress, and it took us a few weekends of nonstop creating to complete the costumes. While I did have time to make a heart container handbag, I did not have time to make an 8-bit crown.

The costumes definitely got a lot of attention at the party, and two years later, they’re still in good enough condition to take to Comic-Con if we ever had the desire.

The desire to sweat and stand in line with other geeks.

Maybe another year.


Yes, we made a heart container, which Rob’s sister used as a purse.




Holly Marsh
Holly Marsh

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