Nymphadora Tonks, the mischievous metamorphmagus and hip older friend of Harry et al appeared in three Harry Potter books and four of the movies. Tonks hated to be called by her first name: A nymph is a stage in an insect's journey toward metamorphosis. But she could morph at will into various disguises -- no incantations or wand required. Her hair color changed frequently, based on her whim and, at times, her strong emotions. She entertained Harry and his friends with her animal faces. Morph yourself into Tonks using items from your home, second-hand stores and simple craft materials.
Depending on whether you make a simple costume or an elaborate wizard costume, you'll need either basic or intermediate crafting skills. Either way, have fun dressing up as the Death Eaters' formidable foe.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
If you are wearing your costume at a venue at which the same people will run into you often throughout the course of the event, such as at a party, you can have even more fun playing Tonks. With various props up your sleeve, turn your head and slip on the pig's snout, or return from the punch bowl with suddenly grown whiskers. Excuse yourself to the restroom, and return in old-woman disguise.
Hair and Makeup Magic
Because you won't be able to repeatedly color your hair at the event, use wigs. Or, color your hair bubble-gum pink, Tonks' favorite in the Potter books. While she often wore shoulder-length hair, straight and parted on the side, she also appeared in short spiky tresses. When she was depressed over her initially unrequited love of Lupin, her hair turned mousy brown. One of her disguises was as an old woman with gray hair worn in tight curls and topped with a purple hat. Check costume aisles at discount and thrift stores for inexpensive wigs.
Study Tonk's face before applying makeup; she favored a pale foundation with dark eyebrows.
Things You'll Need:
- Bubble-gum pink wig or hair color
- Wigs of assorted colors, especially bright violet, gray, white and ash brown (optional)
- Ivory foundation
- Black eyeliner and mascara
- Brown eyeshadow
- Dark brown eyebrow pencil
- Pastel pink or rose, frost lipstick
- Brown lipstick liner
- Large, over-the-shoulder, handbag -- black to match the wizard warrior suit or any color that matches the jeans and pink T-shirt
Color your hair, following the manufacturer's instructions, or put on the pink wig, and place other wigs in your handbag.
Apply ivory or cream foundation.
Apply black eyeliner, thickening the line slightly at the outer edges of the lids. Add mascara.
Brush eyelids with brown shadow, sweeping upward and outward just beyond the eyes. Softly brush a light brown under the eyes, close to the lids.
Use the eyebrow pencil to create dark brown, thick eyebrows that slant upwards until near the outside corner of the eyes, where they arch, before thinning and continuing downward, stopping above where the eyeshadow sweeps outward.
Apply brown lipstick liner lightly -- not like in the '80s -- and sweep on the pastel pink or rose frost lipstick.
Morphing Makeup and Props
To add whiskers and a cat nose, you'll need just a touch of makeup. To morph a pig snout, use paper to create one. Search costume aisles at discount and second-hand stores for other masks representing Tonks' playful animal morphs, such as a duck bill.
Things You'll Need:
- Brown or black eyebrow pencil
- Black eyeliner
- Makeup remover
- Pig snout mask or pink construction paper, clear tape, 2 feet of pink yarn and stapler
- Duck bill and other animal masks (optional)
Duck into a restroom at the event to morph your cat face. Practice first at home, so you create the face quickly. Using the eyebrow or eyeliner pencil, dot the skin above your upper lip and draw whiskers, extending from the dots to the apples of the cheeks. Dab black eyeliner on the tip of your nose, and smudge it so that it covers the top and outsides of the nostrils. When you're ready to morph again, slink into the restroom and scrub off the whiskers and markings.
Apply a light layer of coconut oil or baby oil before applying the cat whiskers and nose. You'll be able to remove them more quickly -- but don't touch them, or they may smear.
To make your own pig snout, use scissors, clear tape and pink construction paper to create a cylinder that is a bit longer and wider than your nose. Set the cylinder on top of the paper, and trace a slightly larger circle around it. Cut out the circle. Snip two oval shapes -- more tall than wide -- in the center of the circle to make the pig's nostrils and your breathing holes. Glue the circle to one of the open ends of the cylinder. Staple a piece of yarn to each side of the other end of the snout, and tie it behind the head.
Two of Tonks' favorite things in her closet -- her patched jeans and Weird Sisters T-shirt -- are inexpensively and easily put together. Creating one of Tonks' more Gothoutfits takes more time and clothing, but you'll look your best for any wizard wars you may encounter.
Tonks' Signature Jeans and T-Shirt
Things You'll Need:
- Faded jeans
- Fabric scraps for patches
- Needle and thread or fabric glue
- Purple T-shirt
- Permanent markers, bright pink and black
- Flat piece of cardboard that fits inside the shirt
- Ballet slipper-style shoes, purple or pink
Using scissors, remove the hems from the jeans and fray the bottom edges. Cut fabric scraps into squares, circles and a heart or two. Hand-sew the patches onto the jeans, or adhere them with fabric glue, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Slip the cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the writing from leaking through to the back. Write "The Weird Sisters" on the front of the T-shirt, using the pink and black permanent markers. Let the letters dry and remove the cardboard after they dry.
Step into a pair of pink or purple ballet slippers or other comfy, soft flats.
Warrior Wizard Costume
Things You'll Need:
- Black hoodie, waisted, thigh- or hip-length; alternatively, choose a jacket similarly fitted made of velvet, crushed faux leather or, for that dragon-skin look, faux snakeskin
- Silvery studs, a few for the top front of the jacket
- Black ankle-height boots, low-heels
- Black billowy pants
- Black satin, brocade or velvet ribbon for choker
- Four or five silver bells -- or other metal.
- Silvery studs, as many as you wish
- Black tights or fishnet stockings
- Fingerless black gloves
- Reproduction of Tonks' wand or a dowel and light and dark wood stain
Create Tonks-style gauchos from the black, billowy pants by cutting them a couple of inches below the knees.
Create a choker necklace by cutting the ribbon long enough to tie around your neck loosely. Cut each end of the ribbon so that it is narrow for easy tying. Hand-sew bells to the front of the choker.
Give your costume another touch of that Tonks' attitude by attaching studs to the front of the jacket, perhaps along the yoke.
Slip into the pair of black tights or fishnets, and then the gauchos. Add the jacket and tug on the boots.
Don't forget your wand! So others can see it, carry it in a hip pocket of the jeans or protruding from your handbag. In the movies, Tonks' wand is a honey color with darker-colored strips. It is slender and pointed with a clunky, shield-shaped handle. Purchase one, or carry a dowel that you've stained to recreate the pattern.
Cindy Blankenship, a California native, began reporting in 1996 for the Grants Pass Daily Courier after teaching in Hawaii where she lived 14 years. As assistant editor at the Rogue River Press, she wrote and edited several stories that earned awards from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Her writing appears in numerous publications.