Leonie Heartilly

Costume :Kairi
Source :Kingdom Hearts II
Progress :Complete
Worn At :London MCM Expo May 2009

Costume Photos

Simple and Clean

*dramatic pose* - promo photo from SorAvengers

Kairi X Sora - promo photo from SorAvengers

Kairi- studio shoot

Kairi- studio shoot

"I remembered we made a promise"

Princess of Destiny Islands

"Thinking of you... "

Aozora no shita...





Costume Information

Cost : £106.57... most likely more
Awards : Helped break the Guinness world record for most people gathered dressed as game characters.
Time Taken : 17 hours

*This costume is now retired*

I suppose the main thing that attracted me to this version of Kairi is that she's wearing a pink dress lol She has lovely vibrant hair also.
And who can fail to like the pretty keyblade?
Emotionally wise I feel an attachment to this character due to the way she has become so much stronger throughout the game and would do anything to protect those she cares about.

"Kairi, now fifteen years old, lives her life normally on Destiny Islands. She attends school regularly along with her friend Selphie and has noticeably aged, having longer hair and more defined features. It can be assumed that she has spent most of her time focusing on her studies, thinking about the boy she's forgotten, and hanging out with Selphie, Wakka, and Tidus - all of whom have returned to Destiny Islands safely
Kairi is caring, kind-hearted and not afraid to speak her mind. However, she is determined and courageous when someone she cares about is in danger, often risking her own safety to help that person. She's also become slightly more withdrawn because of Sora's absence, having obtained wisdom usually beyond someone of her age. She's not as brash and bold as she was in the first game, but she's still pretty sociable. She is loyal and headstrong, and she can be rather stubborn sometimes. While the bond of friendship between Sora, Riku, and Kairi is very strong, Sora seems to be particularly important to Kairi, and vice versa."


~Please see my journals for more details on the construction of this costume as well as progress photos~

I altered a base dress by dying it, raising the hem, bringing it in a bit and adding the zips and eyelets. I had help with the parts that required a sewing machine.

I cut out the wavy pattern on a boob tube and added the halter neck and hood.

I dyed and painted a pair of canvas shoes and added elastic for laces.

The belts were hand made and the bag altered.

I used charity bands for her bracelets and made the necklace.

I bought the wig pre-styled by cosplaywig on ebay.

*2011 UPDATE*

I have repainted the soles of the shoes using metal paint instead of acrylic.

I removed the velcro from the belts (apart from one section so I can get it on and off) and used hot glue to seal them instead.


If I was worried about how my costume would be received it was soothed by Silver fan-girl squealing at me and giving me a squishy hug "Omg I didn't recognise you! You are adorable! The best Kairi I have seen!". Awww bless her ^-^ The costume in general was fine throughout the day although the shoes totally pinched my toes ='( owie. I also had to be careful as I kept smudging my eyebrows lol Although I am always proud of the work I put in my costumes I got such a sense of achievement when I went for pre-judging for the masquerade and could spend a fair bit of time explaining everything I did to make the outfit. The judge said it was very good for my first hand-made costume yay!

Through making Kairi I have learnt how to use rivets, eyelets and machine dye, as well as gaining more experience with using velcro, hot glue and craft knives. I also experimented with modifying eyebrow colour.
Horray for my first hand-made costume!

I would like to improve the hood on her halter top and find a way of keeping the top of her dress held up without using safety pins. And I hope to make her keyblade for Ayacon and other future events/ shoots as I just ran out of time before Expo.
I hope to have more photos taken with fellow Kingdom Hearts cosplayers next time I wear her as this was something I missed out on at Expo.

I wore Kairi again to Aya Revolution 09 but sadly no adjustments were made and her keyblade wasn't ready due to my mum throwing out all my foamboard... -_- The belts needed more hot glue repair first thing in the morning and the shoes killed my feet once more. But again I received a great reaction to this costume and many people asked about the zips in particular. I even entered into the masquerade but this time didn't feel sick before getting on stage thankfully!

Kairi returned after a 2 year break at AyaCon 2011 due to my involvement in Team Giblets skit "SorAvengers" which was shown during the Omake show "Suday Night Live". I had managed a few repairs to the costume but STILL have not finished her keyblade. Fail. Also the dress was tighter than the last time I wore it so think I need to loose some weight...
Watch the skit video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-fZTnoHXJM

Once I finish the keyblade and other updates to the costume I will probably retire it. Just determined to get those done and have a photo shoot first.


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You are very right, the wig does look awesome, ^^ And you seem to have the right face for Kairi X3 I look forward to the end result XD

by Jenivix on Thursday, 4 September, 2008 - 00:00
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The shoes are looking great! Yay for details and accuracy! The effort really shows! ^__^

by BlusterSquall on Thursday, 4 September, 2008 - 00:19
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Your Kari wig is amazing it looks the sae as my friends one :D it's decent qulitly and let me just applued you for the shoes very well done :D

by vampiresan on Tuesday, 9 September, 2008 - 22:14
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I can't wait to see this one! x

by LittleMissChikorita on Monday, 16 March, 2009 - 18:31
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progress is looking really good

by nanahara on Tuesday, 24 March, 2009 - 23:21
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lookin awesome and way cute ^_^

by Haynes84 on Monday, 13 April, 2009 - 09:10
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dawwww leonie :3 cant wait to see it espeically the epic zips >: D

by angel aiko on Monday, 13 April, 2009 - 10:19
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Looks awesome so far Leonie!! xDD DO NOT FEAR THE ZIPS ^__^

by Moonchild on Monday, 13 April, 2009 - 12:12
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Thanks for the comments and the zips better go ok... they cost me around £50 *sobs over her bank balance*

by Leonie Heartilly on Monday, 13 April, 2009 - 20:36
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aww the dress + zips look awesome >: D

by angel aiko on Wednesday, 13 May, 2009 - 11:01
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the dress is looking awsome

by nanahara on Wednesday, 13 May, 2009 - 11:17
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looking so so pretty!! How did you do the fringe on the top?

by Mocara on Wednesday, 13 May, 2009 - 11:29
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Looking fantastic!

by sjbonnar on Wednesday, 13 May, 2009 - 19:28
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Mocara- I drew the wavy pattern on a boobtube, cut around the edges then sewed them back together =)

by Leonie Heartilly on Wednesday, 13 May, 2009 - 21:02
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ahhh this is coming along so well!! I finally got to see a pic of the dress :) yeeeee.xx

by LittleMissChikorita on Tuesday, 19 May, 2009 - 09:19
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Accuracy is so epic on this! I love the wig colour <3
Can't wait to see it at expo <3

by Charlie-Bear on Tuesday, 19 May, 2009 - 22:11
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Thank you ^-^

by Leonie Heartilly on Tuesday, 19 May, 2009 - 22:39
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Looking great, so accurate!
You've done a brilliant job on this. (:

by KamikazePenguin on Friday, 22 May, 2009 - 21:08
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Your costume is very cute and so accurate x

by Littlerascal92 on Friday, 22 May, 2009 - 21:11

your Kairi was so accurate, straight from the game :). Awesome cosplay

by caylithe on Thursday, 28 May, 2009 - 06:54
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You made such a pretty Kairi.

by Shenny on Thursday, 28 May, 2009 - 22:55
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All the work you put into this really makes it stand out from other Kairi cosplayers! ^_^ Great job!

by MoonLily on Thursday, 28 May, 2009 - 22:56
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Thanks guys ^-^ as my first hand-made costume this means a lot

by Leonie Heartilly on Friday, 29 May, 2009 - 19:24
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Oh! i didn't know this was you!

you looked beautiful! i really love the dress! you make such a cute Kairi 83

by Kaka Extreme on Friday, 29 May, 2009 - 20:29
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You made a brilliant Kairi ^_^

by sjbonnar on Friday, 29 May, 2009 - 20:46
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You were the cutest Kairi ever! Gwad! I wanted to squish you! <33

If you ever want some pictures with another Kingdom Hearts II character, I can always bring out KH 2 Aerith for fun! ^__^

by BlusterSquall on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009 - 22:53
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You are so cute, *_*
One of the most accurate Kairi cosplays I've ever seen, you have such dedication to detail <3

by CrystalNeko on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009 - 22:56
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Thanks hun ^^ And yeah that sounds good ^^ Sean's organising a big KH shoot sometime methinks, you should come!

by Leonie Heartilly on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009 - 22:58
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Thanks so much CrystalNeko =) I am picky about details but it can cause stress at times! haha

by Leonie Heartilly on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009 - 22:59
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You're a fantastic Kairi!

by sjbonnar on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009 - 23:09
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Thanks hun ^-^ Everyone's comments mean a lot

by Leonie Heartilly on Tuesday, 9 June, 2009 - 23:20
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Hawt. I seriously thought that was your real hair on the Saturday.

by Shenny on Friday, 21 August, 2009 - 22:50
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Hehe many people do. I love that wig so much

by Leonie Heartilly on Saturday, 22 August, 2009 - 17:34
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why dont you make the cutest Kairi! i love that wig ! =D mine is the same i think.. love the photos =D

by Holli on Wednesday, 24 February, 2010 - 22:47
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You're really suited for Kairi!

by DuskatNight on Sunday, 3 October, 2010 - 16:01
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Thank you ^^

by Leonie Heartilly on Sunday, 3 October, 2010 - 16:16
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Wow, you were right!
Your Kairi wig looks beautiful! <3

by cowiee on Friday, 15 April, 2011 - 13:01
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Red hair suits you :3 you make a lovely kairi :)

by RevolverKitty on Sunday, 8 May, 2011 - 16:22
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Thanks hun ^^ My mum wants me to have my hair this way

by Leonie Heartilly on Sunday, 8 May, 2011 - 18:32
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this is the best kairi iv ever seen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by rosieroo on Sunday, 7 August, 2011 - 17:16
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Aww thanks ^^

by Leonie Heartilly on Sunday, 7 August, 2011 - 22:56
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I really dislike Kingdom Hearts but I really couldn't ignore the craftsmanship here, it looked amazing! very well done!

by Captain_Marvelous on Friday, 2 September, 2011 - 11:21
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Thanks hun! Means a lot coming from a non-fan

by Leonie Heartilly on Sunday, 4 September, 2011 - 16:55
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You make such a fantastic kairi hun :) <3

by Zelda on Saturday, 3 December, 2011 - 18:08

To-Do List

Destiny's Embrace keybladeHighIn Progress
Top with hoodMediumComplete
Belt set upMediumComplete
Paopu fruitLowComplete
Make-up testLowComplete
Have photos with a SoraLowPlanned
Have photos with a NamineLowPlanned
Mickey's letter in bottleLowPlanned

Shopping List

Wig- styled by Cosplay Wig£16.50Bought
2 long thin belts£4.00Bought
2 bags (for the metal square strap holder things?)£6.00Bought
Black velcro£2.55Bought
2 silver buttons£0.80Bought
Pendant loop?£0.99Bought
Black beading cord£0.99Bought
3 x charity rubber bands (blue, white & green)£3.99Bought
Red kohl pencil£2.95Bought
Black eyeliner pen£3.87Bought
4 bag strap (lobster) clasps£2.00Bought
2 medium sized leather belts£3.96Bought
Plain white canvas shoes£3.00Bought
Lilac Dylon Machine Dye£5.99Bought
White strapless dress£9.99Bought
Powder Pink Dylon Machine Dye£5.99Bought
3 x two-way open-ended zips£15.54Bought
Black hooded top£1.99Bought
Black craft paint£0.99Bought
2 metres of black elastic£1.00Bought
Black shoulder bag£2.75Bought
2 metres of lilac ribbon£0.72Bought
Paopu fruit plush- Made by Blobfish£10.00Bought


Team Giblets "SorAvengers" skit. (Posted 25th August 2011)

I had the honour of being asked to be involved in Team Giblets Ayacon 2011 skit. I love their work and when they approached me about playing Kairi I jumped at the chance. My part wasn't big so I was only needed for one day of filiming which took place in Southampton in July. I wasn't allowed to tell anyone about the skit or my involvement so I think I surprised a few people when the finished video was shown during the Sunday Night Live at Aya XD

You can watch the video here:


Film poster made by Keith Copping.

Paopu Fruit (Posted 7th August 2011)

I've been thinking of other little props to use with this costume and one of them was a paopu fruit, something that Sora wanted to share with Kairi ^-^

I commissioned it from Blobfish as she has made some cute little plushies before and she made it in record time, it's really cute!

Check out her other work here:


"A Paopu Fruit is a star-shaped fruit native to Destiny Islands. It resembles the star fruit. According to legend, "If two people share one, their destinies become intertwined. They'll remain a part of each other's lives no matter what." This gives the fruit great symbolic meaning. Although this fruit has great meaning, it remains unknown whether anyone has shared one in the Kingdom Hearts series."

Keyblade supplies! (Posted 31st July 2011)

Well some of them lol
I am finally going to attempt to make Kairi's Destiny Embrace keyblade =D

So far I have a broom handle, various paints, glue gun and extra glue sticks, sandpaper and some coloured foam sheets which I'm hoping will be paintable also. I plan to make the flowers using the foam but if that doesn't work I shall try some form of craft clay like model magic or milliput.

I need to get some wooden wheels, a wooden dowel head, plastic tubing/hosing, some form of wood sealant, rope and foamboard. I would like to make the handles out of wood too but I don't have a jigsaw cutter or anything suitable for cutting out curves.

I shall be using tips from a couple of tutorials to help me.

Destiny&#039;s Embrace keyblade references (Posted 30th July 2011)

References images.

"Destiny's Embrace is a Keyblade which appears in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. In Kingdom Hearts II, it was given to Kairi by Riku in The World That Never Was in order to fight a swarm of Heartless attacking Sora. Like Sora's Keyblade, this Keyblade is from the Realm of Light.

Destiny's Embrace is only seen in two scenes in Kingdom Hearts II, but in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kairi gives flowers to Aqua during their encounter, unlocking the Destiny's Embrace for Aqua."

Belt update (Posted 23rd July 2011)

The velcro on the belts wasn't strong enough to keep it all together, both times I have worn this costume I had to keep re-glueing the velcro to stop it falling apart. I have now removed all the velcro apart from one side (so I can still get it on and off) and instead used a hot glue gun to seal everything. Hopefully that will do the trick!

Shoes re-painted (Posted 23rd July 2011)

I re-painted the soles and sides of the shoes using a metal paint instead of acrylic in the hope it will be more chip-resistant.

Complete! (Posted 22nd May 2009)

Completed Kairi 2 days before expo and it looks good but I'm feeling strangely anti-climatic over it and I'm nit-picking over silly little things. I think it's because this is the first costume I've made myself and I'm just worrying over how people are going to react to it or if it's going to fall apart during the masquerade or something lol
Hopefully I'll feel better about it on the day, right now I'm just worn out physically and mentally over it all.

Basic make up was used as well as black eyeliner on the top lids and the brows turned a burgundy sorta colour to match the wig by mixing red and brown kohl pencils.

Top- part two (Posted 21st May 2009)

I got a black hood from another top and at first started to sew it onto the halter neck but found that glue worked better, at least down the front sides of the halter. I found it really difficult to do this however and had to keep stopping to change what I was doing and there was a lot of swearing involved and glue getting where I didn't want it etc ^^'

Belts- part two (Posted 19th May 2009)

I added the stud detailing to the belts using silver rivets and had to poke at the leather with a craft knife to make a hole to get them in. I feared stabbing myself but I survived! XD I also added 2 small silver rivets on each side of the bag and used two silver buttons as the stud decoration on the front.

Dress progress- eyelets (Posted 17th May 2009)

I added the eyelets to the dress and I was rather confused at first as this is the first time I've used them but after some practise on scrap fabric I got there in the end XD Also spent a lot of time cutting away loose threads and trimming and tidying around the zips but now it's finally complete and I'm happy ^-^

Dress progress- adding zips (Posted 12th May 2009)

I commissioned 3 chunky, metal, 2-way open-ended zips (corr that was a mouthful) from ebay seller cosplay-oh. They are the zips they use for their Organisation 13 coats but they said they would shorten them for me. However they lied and sent me zips about as long as I am tall, they were made of plastic instead of metal and they lied about the date they shipped them also. I was not impressed as they were really expensive! I managed to get some money refunded after I complained through a PayPal dispute. Mio's friend who's a whizz with a sewing machine helped me to put them in the dress and also hemmed it and brought it in slightly. She did an amazing job and despite the fact the zips are not fully functional at the bottom (obviously we had to cut them to fit the length of the dress and the ends had to be sewed tight and a touch of glue added to stop the zippers falling off- this is why I asked cosplay-oh to adjust them) I am really pleased with how it looks.

Belts- part one (Posted 9th May 2009)

More photos

Belts- part one (Posted 9th May 2009)

I got some metal square strap holder things from other bags and looped cut leather belt around them sealing them with velcro (this makes it easier to put the belt on without making a visible gap in it also). I clipped lobster clasps onto the strap holders and added thinner leather belts to these so they hang at the sides. On the left side I attached the bag (it has a flap at the back sealed with velcro that the strap sits under).

Jewelry (Posted 21st April 2009)

I used charity rubber bands for her bracelets, just turned them inside out to hide the logos. So I'm giving money towards charity whilst getting my cosplay needs horray! Found a long necklace which had beads on which look very similar to her pendant so choose one that looked the best size and attached it to some black beading cord.

Top- part one (Posted 11th April 2009)

For the white top underneath her dress I bought a boob-tube then drew on and cut out the wavy pattern along the top. I had to sew around the edges after to keep it together and stop fraying. I used some basic white cotton material to make the halter neck for the top. One side was stitched in place and the other I used a button to make taking the top on and off easier.

Dress progress- dying pink (Posted 28th March 2009)

Dress has been dyed pink (again with Dylon machine dye).

Base dress (Posted 24th March 2009)

Simple, figure hugging, white dress. Bought from ebay. I shall be dying and altering this.

Bag (Posted 29th September 2008)

I found a black shoulder pouch bag in a local charity shop. I had to rip off the brand name/logo off the front (not easy as was some metal badge thing) then I glued on a lilac ribbon in it's place. The shoulder strap was removed as was not needed.

Shoes complete (Posted 27th September 2008)

I used black elastic for the laces to help keep them up what with the interesting way she ties them. The tongues had to be folded over and stitched as were too long and covering up the first cross-over of lace on bare leg. The sides of the shoe were also stitched very slightly to the tongues at the bottom to stop the shoe from gaping.

Shoes- part two (Posted 7th September 2008)

The rubber soles and edging were painted with black acrylic paint. They required a few coats as the paint chips off easy.

Shoes- part one (Posted 3rd September 2008)

I brought some plain white Converse style canvas shoes and I have dyed these lilac using Dylon washing machine dye. I'm so pleased with how they came out!

Wig (Posted 26th January 2008)

The first thing I got for this costume was the wig. It's absolutely gorgeous! Very accurate and I'm tempted to just wear it out for a normal day. It's made from a lovely fibre also which seems to be knot-proof even in strong winds.
Bought from Cosplaywig on ebay.

Reference images (Posted 1st January 2008)

Reference images