Making Bard's Coat (on the cheap)


New Member
Hello folks!

This is my first post on the RPF, and I haven't actually taken the time yet to properly introduce myself. I've been a long-time lurker, but never had the courage to actually sign up until now (this place is seriously dangerous for me, both to my wallet and my free time, haha). I am one of those rather strange animals - a Jack Sparrow costumer/impersonator. I've been doing it since 2003 (that makes ten years on the 18th of this month... good lord), but I am also deeply interested in fantasy costuming - Middle Earth in particular.

With that in mind, my first post on here is in regard to the character of Bard the Bowman, from the upcoming Hobbit film. I have to admit that one reason I decided to start on this costume is because it's relatively simple, as far as the outfits from the PJ movies are concerned. I know pretty much exactly how I will make 90% of the costume, and what I will make it out of, with the exception of one important piece: his coat. In the movie he wears what appears to be a long shearling sheepskin coat, with a split in the back, and wide lapels/collar. The coat itself would be easy enough to make - I could even theoretically alter an existing women's sheepskin coat to suit my purposes, provided it didn't have really obvious pockets, weirdly placed seams, etc. Or if I so chose, I could easily make it out of raw sheepskins. However, I am extremely broke, and buying a long sheepskin coat, or even enough sheepskin to MAKE a log coat, is starting to look a little cost prohibitive, from the prices I've seen around the web in my preliminary searches.

So I was hoping maybe some folks around here might be able to offer suggestions on where I can find inexpensive shearling hides, or even where I could find inexpensive ready-made shearling coats, etc. I am also not at all opposed to using a faux sheepskin material for this. Normally I'm all for authenticity, and I tend to steer away from synthetic faux furs and leathers - but for the moment at least, I just want something I can wear to the premier that will look good.

Does anyone here have any resources they can suggest? I'd love to keep the whole thing in or below the $100 range, if at all possible.



Sr Member
Maybe try finding coats from thrift stores to restructure? You can also find inexpensive hides and glue your own fur to the insides. I'm helping a friend with this same costume, but ours might end up being mostly synthetic. BTW - we found a cheap cotton blanket to use for the shirt and dyed it. Cheaper than buying the fabric with that same weave.