Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Oil worker by day, warrior by night: The magical world of costume-making

Post Thumbnail

With her impressive armour and fierce black eyeliner, Laura Ripley is not to be messed with.

She is a warrior ready for battle, complete with hand grenade and gun.

But you won’t always see Laura in the same guise, for she is unrecognisable with each transformation.

The oil and gas worker is able to create various characters from the world of adventure and fantasy; one particularly striking look includes an auburn wig, green face paint and shoulder plates complete with spikes. The 31-year-old, who lives in Portlethen, south of Aberdeen, has been making her own costumes for the past three years.

From watching YouTube tutorials to getting inspiration from fellow enthusiasts, she creates amazing pieces with upcycled material.

And although Laura is a self-confessed nerd, her hobby is fast becoming mainstream.

She wears her costumes to comic con events, which can attract thousands of people at each convention.

Here, she explains the long process of costume-making, and the ultimate thrill of becoming someone else.

I work as a sourcing specialist for an oil company.

My costumes are about as far away as you can get in comparison to my day job.

I remember Halloween as a kid.

Every year my mum would make me a costume, and it was always something that bit different.

Maybe that’s how it all started.

I’ve always been a nerd and I had a hard time because of that at school.

But these days, well, people just don’t care anymore.

If you look at Game of Thrones, for example, that’s mainstream.

I started making my costumes three years ago, when I went to Aberdeen comic con.

I think I’ve made five costumes now.

I juggle it alongside work, it tends to be evenings and weekends.

I’ve based costumes on Astrid, from How to Train Your Dragon. Plus a night elf from the World of Warcraft. I’d say my look is steampunk post-apocalyptic.

Inspiration is everywhere; I use foam exercise mats as my main material.

It works really well because foam is cheap and it’s easy to bend.

But the problem with foam is that it’s also incredibly warm.

Some people actually put a fan in their costume, otherwise you can struggle to keep it on for a long time without getting too hot.

I really enjoy the process of finding material – a lot of my costume-making is upcycling.

I’ve used an old Dylon tub, bathroom pipes – it’s anything I can get my hands on which I think will work.

I find the whole process really therapeutic. It’s a way of switching off completely, because you’re focused on the task in hand.

I write down my ideas for a costume, and you can also buy templates online. Then it fits together like a jigsaw.

When I look back at what I made three years ago, I feel quite proud of how far I’ve come.

I’d love to reach what I deem to be amazing level.

That’s what I’m working towards.

I decided to do a dressmaking course at college, and that has really helped.

When it comes to cost, it depends what you’re making.

You can source material cheaply.

One of my costumes cost £200 to make, but that’s because I used expensive paints.

I love creating my own characters and designs. My brain switches off when I’m costume-making. I’d love to make pneumatic wings and make them extend and retract. That will be a huge project.

One of the things I really enjoy about costume-making is that there is such a supportive community.

There are Facebook groups where you can get support and advice, that can be really invaluable.

And when I’m at events, people come up to me to say they like my costume or to ask questions about it.

I drove all the way to Telford for one convention.

I think some people might find it daunting at first, if you don’t know where to start.

But there are step-by-step tutorials online.

I also follow cosplayers online, and that gives me a lot of ideas.

I show the process of my costume-making via my Instagram page and the response has been fantastic.

I think I’ve got over 13,000 followers.

It’s a really supportive community in general.

At the moment I’m working on my costume for a fantasy convention in October, with a warrior wizard idea.

When you’re wearing a full set of armour, you can pretend you’re someone else entirely.

It’s a pretty cool feeling, even though it’s just for the day.

I’m meant to be a judge at a comic con event in Inverurie this August, depending on whether it goes ahead or not.

It’s a brilliant world to be part of.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]