With the recent release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, there has been an increase in questions about the finer details of transforming oneself into a hobbit….
…so with that in mind, here are some notes about the wig and makeup aspects of dressing up as a hobbit, that can take your hobbit appearance from good to great!
You’ve probably already got the basics of dressing like a hobbit down, (earth toned clothing, including yellows and greens which are a favorite of hobbits, heavy natural fibers, comfortable, vests, cloaks, knee length trousers, suspenders, and so on), but what are the finer details that will transform your final look into a movie quality hobbit?
Unless you are blessed with thick locks of naturally curly hair, you might want to consider investing in a wig. Unless you are trying to emulate a specific hobbit, any natural hair colour should suffice. Wigs such as the Tina , or a trimmed up New Michael would be good for boys. For girls the Curly Dolly is an example of a nice basic wig choice.
“Ears only slightly pointed and ‘elvish” as Tolkin wrote in a letter to his editor. There are several ways to approach how to achieve the look of hobbit ears you would like.
When buying a pre-made ear tip prosthetic you have to keep in mind the size and shape of your own face. Keeping an ear proportional to the size of your own head is highly recommended, this someone with a larger head might need slightly larger ears. If you have a wider face you might want ears that protrude more at the sides, and so on.
A view of Frodo’s ear.
A really good choice for hobbit makeups in the premade foam ears, for example the Alien Ears which are smaller than elf ears and come unpainted and can be painted flesh tone to match your skin colour. I paint mine with grease/cream flesh tone makeups such as those made by Ben Nye and Mehon, and then protect the colour with a castor sealer.
There are also a variety of pre-painted elf and fantasy ears and of course the officially licences Lord of the Rings eartips which I am less of a fan of because they are hard and made of vinyl.
All of the ears listed above can be affixed to you own ears using either Spirit Gum or Prosthetic Adhesive.
An alternative to using foam, latex, or vinyl ears, is to sculpt on your own with molding wax which you can buy in a cup, stick, or block.
If you look at the photo at the top of this article you will notice that the Hobbits have furry, (or at least hairy), foot tops. This effect can easily be reproduced by painting the top of your foot with clear liquid latex and then applying crepe hair. Crepe hair comes in a variety of colours so it will be easy to match the colour of your hair, (or you wig if you choose to wear one). Crepe hair can also be combines to make subtler shades of colour.
Not feeling crafty? There are official Lord of the Rings licensed “hobbit feet” shoes available as too.
Good luck with your hobbit costuming. I’d love to see photos of your results.