The nerdiest date in the UKC calendar arrives this time of year – GeekFest! This event is organised by the SFX Society and promises a night of costume-clad fun. I decided to dress up as Lara Croft circa 2013, which was surprisingly easy on a student budget! Katherine Payne went, will now share the details of creating her Tomb raider costume for the occasion!

I love Lara’s new character design; it’s much more practical than her original style. I found the right tank tops in Primark (always a safe bet) and hunted around online until I found the perfect combat trousers from Amazon! The outfit is basic, which makes it perfect for amateur-cosplayers. I spend my life in combat boots, so luckily I had an old pair at hand that would work well.

The DIY element was mostly in the construction of Lara’s bow. If anyone was on the Park Wood path on Monday afternoon and spotted a girl rummaging around in the foliage, yes, that was me. I salvaged six slender branches and added them to my inventory.

After snipping at the wood and cutting the ends off to make them an equal length of around five foot, I sanded any rough parts with some old sandpaper we had lying around in the house. Next, I used some duct tape to bind the branches together, following the design of the bow in the game.

Note: Wilko string isn’t the strongest stuff. I plaited three pieces to improve the bow string and made sure it could actually hold the tension of the bending branches. Amidst my struggle to craft this simple prop (I’m definitely not DIY savvy) my housemate was constructing his own GeekFest accessory out of cardboard and polystyrene. So essentially, my living room looked like a hellish Santa’s workshop full of ill-equipped nerds. We did end up very proud of our creations though!

The rest of Lara’s costume was much simpler. The makeup part was the most fun; any old eyeshadows in black or brown shades work perfectly when mixed with a little bit of water to create dirt-like smudges and wounds! You can’t really go wrong here – I used some cheap makeup brushes to paint smudges on my face, neck and arms. A £1 red lipstick sorted out any bloodstains and cuts. You can dab, brush or flick the colour just like paint!

All in all, 2013 Lara is a very affordable and easy costume to pull off. There are some great guides out there too – I used Sara’s really helpful bow tutorial ( GeekFest is a brilliant event to test-drive your cosplay skills and see what other people have come up with!