Monty Python & the Holy Grail: King Arthur & Patsy Tutorial -Cosplay on a Budget

 In Cosplay
With Halloween fast approaching, I’ve got another cosplay costume tutorial to share with you guys. This tutorial for King Arthur and Patsy, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is budget friendly both time and money-wise! The King Arthur costume can be made within 1-3 days, while the Patsy outfit can easily be created within 2-4. The total cost for both costumes was less than $50 (I did use a few items already on hand)! Grab your coconuts and crown, it’s time to craft.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Wondering how I made both of these costumes for less than $50? Like I’ve talked about before, your local thrift and dollar stores are your friend. Everything we needed to make these costumes (aside from the fabric, paint, chest, and couple of items we already had at home (i.e. under clothing, boots, toy sword)), were bought at these locations for great deals! The other items were bought at fabric and craft stores using their weekly sales and 40% off coupons (check their websites for these deals!)…in other words, everything was bought secondhand or at a discount!

Materials:
King Arthur-
  • 1-2 yards of white fabric (depending upon the costume’s size; muslin is a cheap option)
  • White and gold thread
  • Decorative gold ribbon/trim
  • Knit sweater (with a knit pattern resembling the look of chainmail)
  • Metallic spray paint (gold or brass color and silver)
  • Yellow acrylic paint
  • Toy crown (I used a jeweled costume crown (inside out) that I found at Savers)
  • Costume helmet (I picked up an “Adult Crusader Helmet” from Savers)
  • Costume gauntlets (I used “Black Knight Arm Plates” from the Dollar Tree)
  • Toy sword (you’re a nerd, you should have one of these lying around already, right?!)
  • Leather belt

toy crown for King Arthur

Patsy-

  • 1-2 yards of off-white fabric (depending upon the costume’s size; muslin is a cheap option)
  • 2 brown-ish colored long sleeved shirts or sweatshirts
  • Scrap of white fabric (to be used for flag; I used the remnants from the King Arthur fabric)
  • Leather belt
  • Coconut
  • Chest (jewelry, crafting, what you can find or have around. I got mine at a craft store for 40% off)
  • Cardboard box
  • “Medieval fabric” (I used burlap since it was cheap, but you can go for faux leather or whatever look you wish here)
  • Twine/string/cording (I used braided leather string we had leftover from our Renaissance Festival outfits)
  • Foam cooler (picked one up at Family Dollar)
  • Brown and yellow acrylic paint
  • “Bed rolls” (I just pulled old shirts and towels out of the closet to roll up and use)
  • Belts, camera bag straps, or strong strips of fabric (to be used for your backpack straps; I used leftover non-stretch fabric)
  • Wooden dowel
  • (Recommended) Hot knife (I use a basic one from Creative -the “Versa-tool.”)
chunky knit sweater
 spray painted toy gauntlets and helmet
Steps:
King Arthur-
  1. Chainmail: Take your knit sweater and spray paint the heck out of it. Allow it to fully dry outside before bringing it in. This sweater will serve as your chainmail. *Fun fact-They actually used knit fabric for the chainmail in the movie, so you’re technically being accurate here.*gold spray painted sweater
  2. Once your sweater is dry, cut the bottom portion off a few inches below the armpits. The cutoff portion will be placed on your head, under the crown for the chainmail there.
    |rivetting the crown to the helmet
  3. Spray paint your gauntlets (and crown if needed) gold and your helmet silver.
  4. Once dry, attach the crown to the helmet. Hot glue, E6000, or rivets are good options.using a t-shirt as a fabric pattern
  5. Tunic: Take a shirt that currently fits you and trace an outline onto your fabric. I folded my fabric/shirt in half to ensure both sides would be symmetrical. When cutting, leave extra room -you can always sew it smaller, but once it’s cut, you can’t add fabric back…plus you’ll want a small allowance for sewing seams too. Make sure to cut the fabric length longer than your shirt -his tunic goes down to around the knees.King Arthur's tunic
  6. With the insides facing each other, stitch up the front and back of the tunic (or course leaving holes for the head and arms). I used my sewing machine, but if you have 0 sewing skills, you could attempt to use glue. After the initial sewing, try the tunic on and adjust as necessary (i.e. make the head hold bigger, cut the sleeves shorter, adjust the overall length, etc.). Optional -do finishing seams on the openings to prevent fraying or use my secret trick, ‘Fray Check’ by Dritz. This will “glue” your fabric edges and prevent the threads from unraveling…best part is it’s nearly invisible on the fabrics I’ve used it with!trim on King Arthur's tunic
  7. Fold your tunic right side out and make a front and back slit up the tunic and sew on the decorative gold ribbon around the bottom. I used a fancy stitch to add more detail.
  8. Hand draw or trace the sun logo onto the chest area. Paint the logo using 2 shades of yellow.
  9. Don your costume along with a pair of pants, boots, and undershirt (your sweater will probably be itchy on its own) and you’re set to go!
sun stencil tracing for King Arthur's tunic
drawing a sun crest on King Arthur's tunic

Monty Python King Arthur costume

Patsy-
  1. Follow steps 5, 6, & 8 from above to create Patsy’s tunic. Differences- His tunic is just below waist height and has small slits on either side instead of in front and back, plus, no finishing seems/unraveling prevention needed. If you have the time, feel free to take some dirt to his tunic and scuff/tear the edges up.painting the sun emblem
  2. Take your rectangle scrap of fabric, trace and paint the sun logo on it, then glue it to your wooden dowel (hot glue or E6000 work well).
  3. Cover your cardboard box with your medieval fabricSun emblem flag
  4. Roll up shirts, towels, blankets, etc. to create bed rolls / backpack accessories
  5. Drill 2 holes (on either ends) of your coconut to drain it. Use a saw to cut it in half, then remove the inner flesh. Feel free to add strings through the drill holes (this will allow you to hang them on your backpack when you get tired of holding them. I ran out of cording so I just stored them in my chest)trimming a hood off a sweatshirt
  6. If your main brown sweater has a hood, cut that off. Feel free to scuff up/tear the ends of the sleeves.
  7. Take your second brown sweater and cut it off at the mid-arm and up above the shoulder. This will be worn as your head covering. Try it on, make adjustments as necessary, then mark where to cut the ear holes out.creating Patsy's hood
  8. King’s chair backpack: The base of your cooler will become the base of the chair. Cut out the zigzag patterns (reference images can be nice here); I’d recommend using a hot knife. Leave a little room on the back side of the cooler chair (don’t cut too close the chair base/cooler bottom); you’ll want room to make holes to attach your straps here. Optional- sand down the front and sides of the cooler chair to get rid of the foam texture. If you’re feeling creative and have the time, carve in a wood grain too (using your hot knife again or a wire grill brush works well).tracing the legs on a foam cooler
  9. Paint the cooler base and lid a brown wood color (do NOT spray paint them. The aerosol additives will eat your foam) and allow to dry.creating chair legs in a foam cooler
  10. Glue the lid to the base. WARNING …I reached for my E6000 for this step, because it’s generally my go to glue….what I momentarily forgot is that E6000 eats away unsealed foam! Yep, I nearly ruined my chair and almost had to start over. What does this mean -ALWAYS TEST your products before using them on your actual piece!! Learn from my woopsies 😉   …I ended up using caulk to attach the two parts thanks to my BF’s quick thinking.assembling Patsy's chair backpack
  11. Using your hot knife create 4 holes; 2 near the top of your chair back, and 2 on the chair base near the top. Tie up 2 loops of string/cording with your backpack straps through each -Yes you see pink pipe cleaners on my top loop -remember, I ran out of cording last minute? …pssst…don’t wait till the last minute!adding backpack straps and the flag to Patsy's chair
  12. Stack your backpack accessories as you see fit, using cording to lash them to the bottom and back of your chair pack (create more holes as need using your hot knife).
  13. Make a hole for you flag, insert it, and secure as necessary.
  14. (Optional) Add additional backpack accessories as you wish -these can include a sword and a trumpet horn.
  15. Don your backpack and get *clomp clomping!*
Monty Python Patsy's backpack Monty Python Patsy's backpack
Monty Python Patsy's backpack Monty Python Patsy's backpack
Monty Python Patsy costume Monty Python Patsy costume
 There you have it -two fun and quick costumes to go gallivanting around in…of course you must play the part and go full-on Monty Python style with King Arthur riding his imaginary horse and Patsy following up with his coconuts.
Hopefully the pictures are sufficient enough to illustrate the steps, but if you have any questions about the build, please let me know below. I’d be happy to go into further detail if needed.
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Showing 6 comments
  • Heather
    Reply

    Have to say Thanks. Our son is being this character for Halloween and with your knowledge, it has made my life much simpler. So job well done and thanks again.

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      That’s awesome Heather. Thank you so much for your feedback! Have a great Halloween.

  • Amy
    Reply

    This worked great!! Thank you so much for posting this. FYI for those gathering materials: it took 2 cans of spray paint for the sweater.

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Thank you Amy. I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful for you!

  • Janell
    Reply

    This has been so helpful. My son is King Arthur and my husband is Patsy. I found a gold colored sweater so that helped cut down on prep for King Arthur’s chainmail. I appreciate your tutorial!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Hi Janell. So glad you found the tutorial helpful. I’m sure your son and husband will look great! Have an awesome Halloween

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