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November 17 News: WOW!  Congratulate the winner of DIY Halloween Costumes 2015!
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1  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / CHALLENGE 110 ENTRIES / Groot! on: November 03, 2015 12:59:59 AM
When my daughter said she wanted to be Groot I was excited...then I got a new job that included traveling....I was only home for 2 days in the whole month of October.  I'm so happy I was able to finish it in 2 days and I LOVE how it came out.

2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / I AM GROOT...in just 2 days! Tutorial on my method on: November 01, 2015 12:56:14 PM

I always make costumes for my children and each year I try to top the year before (you can check out my previous year's posts here on craftster: Olaf, Rufio, Minions, Lorax, Iron Man to name a few)....that's getting harder and harder to do...lol.  Since my girls are now all teenagers, only my youngest wanted a fully awesome costume made by me. BUT...this year I have a cool new job as a stage manager for a theater and we are in the middle of our fall tour...for the last 3 weeks, I have been hopping to all the islands in Hawaii touring a show (tough job but someone's got to do it...lol) So for the month before Halloween, I was home a total of two nights but I was till going to try!

My daughter wanted to be Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and I did want to do the stilts but time really didn't allow for it.  But other than no stilts...I'm pretty amazed that I finished all of this in just two sleepless nights!
The head is the most important part and I wanted to make sure I got the expression right.

 I started with a 2 dimensional wrap around paper template that I made by pressing the paper against my face to find the eye holes, chin and forehead levels. 

After I got the sizing correct, I cut it out of Buckram (which is usually used for making hats) and covered that on what will be the inside with black fabric (so it wouldn't scratch her face.) That's my daughter helping with her costume!

I used more buckram to build up some 3 dimensional details.

On the outside, I built up some sections for the nose and mouth and then covered the whole thing with black foamies (the kind you can get at Walmart)

To create texture on the head, I used hot glue to build up the larger bark sections

and then decoupaged tissue paper to create the smaller texture within the bark.

I started with a base coat of dark brown spray paint

and then painted on watered down black which I wiped off the high spots.  This helped the texture pop out.

I then added a mid tone spray paint and a light spray paint.

 After all those coats were done, I went back in with a brush to paint in some more shadows. I finished the whole head in one night.

(later I sprayed everything with a matte coat so it wouldn't be so shiny.)

After I was done with the head, it was time to start on the torso. I used a zip up black jacket with a high collar as my base.  I created the vines with pipe insulation and foam gap filler. And I created the torso bark panels with foamies.

 After I had the jacket covered, I decoupaged crepe paper to create the bark texture. I painted it with the same method as the head and hot glued moss onto sections.

Since I made all of this in two nights, I started running out of time so the legs had to go faster.  I took a pair of brown pants and added buckram to the bottom leg to flare it out.  I used Great Stuff expanding foam to make the vines on the legs and then painted it the same as the rest of the costume.

I love how it turned out!  I would have loved a little more time on this project but I'm super glad I got it finished!

The total price of this costume came out to under $100.
3  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Peter Pan, Disney Fairies, Hook and Nana the dog! on: November 25, 2014 12:01:57 PM
I just finished a production of Peter Pan as the costume and set designer.  We had 58 people in the cast and somehow they all went on stage in a costume (although it was a pretty near thing at the end!).
I have to say that the costumes of this show are some of my favorite that I've created.  I thought I'd share some.  My Peter concept was distressed since there's no one there to take care of him so I did a fabric with a great leaf like print under his main tunic and razored the fabric...as well as sewed seams with a leather cord for extra texture.

My favorite thing to work on was the fairies.  I made each set of wings to a custom size for the actor and they are made to work without elastic.  I took a screenshot of each of the fairies wings from the movie so the veining is accurate for the character.  I found a great stretchy glitter netting and did the veining with fabric paint.  They moved great on stage!  Each of the dresses I used parts of at least two different patterns to get the dress I was going for.

And another of my favorites was creating the head for Nana.  I had almost run out of time so I made it in two nights...but it came out pretty good anyway Smiley

and a view of the inside

Hook is definitely one of my favorite costumes but although I designed it, I farmed out the sewing and construction.  The hat was originally an ugly halloween pimp hat that I had someone cover with the brocade fabric from the vest (which is really a curtain...lol) and the shoes are cheap Walmart women's ankle boots that I cut down and added a buckle by cutting links off of an ugly cheap bracelet and mouting on elastic.

4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Olaf Costume!!! on: November 03, 2014 12:04:40 AM
 I love a challenge and Olaf was so much fun to make!!

In order to make the proportions work, we decided she had to be on her knees.  She was awesome and crawled around most of the day (she had on my construction knee pads).

I made the base of the shapes out of a foam that's intended for sound muffling under laminate floor.

And then I covered it in batting.

I created a tracing paper pattern for the fabric.

I made a slipcover out of stretchy white lycra and hot glued it to the base.

And then I finished the details.

It was a great Halloween and she ended up in a lot of people's pictures!  She was like a character at Disneyland Smiley

I made all three of my girls' costumes in only one week...I think it came out pretty well Smiley  I love Halloween!

5  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Rufio, Rufio, Rufio! Bangarang! on: November 02, 2014 11:29:02 PM
My daughter wanted to be Rufio this Halloween.

and just in case you don't know who that is...it's from the movie Hook with Robin Williams

I had the greatest luck at Goodwill and found grey suede boots that I spray painted red, an 80s leather jacket which I cut up and lots of red tshirts for making fringe.
I found bags of little bones at party city that were meant to be party favors. To make the hair, I got a red mohawk wig and cut out some of the weaves then did a corn row braid in her hair to attach it to. 
She was totally happy with it Smiley
6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / My beautiful Fairy...Goodwill finds remade and wings! on: November 02, 2014 09:10:15 PM

My middle daughter wanted to be a fairy/dryad.  I went to goodwill and found a bunch of dresses to use as my fabric.  2 linen, one maxi skirt, one organza dress and a dress that I kept as the base of the coat

After I sat and looked at them and we looked at inspiration pics on pinterest, I came up with my design:

The sewing took me 2 days and I cut, serged and sewed about 75 leaves.

But probably my favorite part of the project was making the wings.  I made wings that didn't need elastic.  They went down the back of her dress.  I found a great strectchy multi-colored green sheer with glitter...it was perfect fabric!  I made the wings out of 12 guage galvanized steel wire.  I taped together the two bases and wrapped the wire with floral tape.

I stretched and hot glued the fabric and used fabric paint for the veins.

They sparkled so brightly in the sun Smiley

Under the coat was the dress I made out of the organza with some weaving on the bodice.

And I made the crown out of the same wire and floral tape.

I love how pretty it came out Smiley

7  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Ursula costume! on: December 24, 2013 07:04:33 PM
I just finished our run of The Little Mermaid...I designed set and costumes and it was amazing!
My favorite costume that I designed and constructed is Ursula...totally original head to toe (see my post on the wig)...it just made me happy to look at it...hope you all like it!
The bodice is covered with cut up VHS tape and my favorite little detail is that one of the tapes was "The Little Mermaid"...love inside jokes Smiley

8  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Little Mermaid musical...Ursula Wig and Ariel Wig! on: December 09, 2013 02:11:11 AM
I am simultaneously loving and stressing over this show!  I design costumes as well as set and we are getting down to two weeks to show time and I have A LOT to do!
But I had to share the wigs!

I am so proud of Ursula's wig!

I did a duct tape and saran wrap mold of the actresses head that I then put on my wig form and stuffed so I would have the right head size.  I made the hairline and some cross strips out of fun foam and then I glued a wig cap to it.  I put a couple of coats of white spray paint to make everything white and then I started cutting foam from chair cushion foam squares.  I pinned them on so I could get the look I was going for and still play around a bit longer.  Then I took them off by row to remember roughly where they went and then hot glued them onto the base.  It came out so good!  When she talks and walks the hair moves.....very cool!  I decided not to paint it because in the light the foam glistens.

Ariel's hair is awesome too!

The first little picture is the wig I ordered from Amazon.  I ordered two at about $13 each.  I detached the weaves from one wig and attached them to the other by sewing them to the wig base.  I then back combed, teased and hairsprayed to get the swoopy bangs.  All-in-all it doesn't look like a crappy $13 wig Smiley

OK...enough of a break!  Back to costume making!
9  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / MINIONS! on: November 03, 2013 03:47:01 PM
So again, I was moving during Halloween crafting season.  Got my household goods delivered on Oct 10 and had surgery 3 days later so by the time I got to the costumes it was Oct. 23.
I made a yellow minion, a crazy purple minion and my oldest went as Caliborn from Homestuck (not pictured)
Not bad for a weeks worth of work Wink

I started by making a 43" tube, cutting 8" triangles into the top to make the dome. I cut the hole in the head, covered it in batting and cut a slipcover of yellow spandex to make the yellow minion.  The eye is a see-through plastic mesh that I painted to make the eye and mouth and the goggle is a pie tin.

Same process for the purple minion head.

Then I made the body from the same kind of foam tube and covered with purple and yellow and then cut denim to be the overalls.  The arms were shrug type of jackets.

And they tangoed away the night Smiley

10  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My daughter's crayon art on: January 02, 2013 06:19:19 PM
We do Secret Santa since we do so many homemade gifts...this year my daughter's project for her secret santa was so good, I had to share it.  We talked through the project but she did the whole thing herself.  This is for my niece who lives on a farm and has pigs and chickens so she did a drawing with my niece and the animals playing in the rain. She used only blue and green crayons to simulate the rain and taped paper on the umbrella to block the crayon from the umbrella.

I love raising crafty children!
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