Tag Archives: costume

Weird Wednesday – Morticia & More

This Halloween may be the first one in years that I won’t have an excuse to dress in costume. Will that stop me? The answer is a resounding NO, my friends.

I will, at the very least, work on my costume for next year – Morticia Addams:

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I tend to go old school with the Addamses, as in the original comic strip or TV show, and I fully intend to craft Morticia’s man-eating plant, Cleopatra (pictured,) to wear around my neck like a boa. The basic costume is simple, though – v-neck black dress (I found a velvet one at a thrift store,) which you may or may not want to add “tentacles” to, or extra fabric to the sleeves, a black wig (or your actual hair, if you’re lucky!) and a few minimal accessories. Add some winged black eyeliner and a dark red lip, and you’re Tish! You just need to find a pinstriped suit and a mustache for your Gomez.

This year, Tom is running a race on the day of our church’s Trunk or Treat, so we’ll miss our chance to deck out ourselves and our trunk. Then Halloween day will be full of a family-friendly-but-creepy movie marathon at the Tri C, complete with popcorn and candy, and scary movies and dinner with my best friend and her boyfriend that night. I can’t wait to decorate her house this Saturday! We’re going with a zombie crime scene theme which will include us outlining each other in chalk and splattering fake blood, and real crime scene tape from the police station where she works.

If you’re getting in the Halloween spirit, take a look at my Every Day Is Halloween pinterest board! It’s filled with lots of unique costume ideas, props and decorations, freaky food, and other bits of spooky inspiration I’ve found. Don’t forget our weird shop, JuJu Eyeball, for fun accessories and decor. Hurry – it’s not too late to put in a custom order for your costume accessories!

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Chelsea

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DIY Steampunk Tophat Tutorial

As promised, here’s the step-by-step to my mini steampunk tophat!

Tadaa! The finished product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at several different tutorials (check out threadbanger.com for a great start,) then made my own frankentutorial based on supplies I already had to make my hat.

What You’ll Need:

A plastic cup that is slightly graduated in shape (smaller at the bottom, larger at the top)

Scrap of foam board or cardboard

Ribbon and/or trim

Feathers

Lace

Buttons and trinkets

1 or 2 hair clips

Low-temp hot glue gun & glue sticks

Electrical or masking tape

Sturdy wire

Good scissors

Wire cutters

Feathers

Fabric scraps

How To Make It

1.) Take your plastic cup and place it upside down on your piece of foam board or cardboard. Trace the opening of the cup onto the board, then cut out on the inside of the line you just drew. The idea is for the round piece to fit snugly in the opening of the cup after both the cup and the circle are covered in fabric.

2.) Place your circle on the fabric of your choice. (I chose velvet to coordinate with the gold and red silk I used for the tall part of my hat.) Trace the circle onto your fabric, then draw another circle about an inch out from the original circle onto your fabric.

3.) Cut slits in your circle from the outside edge nearly to the edge of the inside circle you traced. Cut several slits around the circle so that your fabric will lay flat when you cover your circle.

4.) Place your foamboard/cardboard circle back on the fabric you just cut slits in, and start folding the fabric “tabs” you created when cutting onto the circle, and glue them down with hot glue. Go slowly, doing one tab at a time, and stretching your fabric over the circle so that it lays flat. (FYI, your tabs will probably overlap. That’s good! It means the fabric will be smooth on the opposite side.)

5.) Place your plastic cup on its side on top of the “wrong” side of the fabric of your choice. (Be sure there’s enough fabric so that you have at least an inch of overlap at the top and bottom of your cup. Place a short line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the cup (the opening and the base of the cup,) and begin to roll your cup onto the back side of the fabric. Repeat until you’ve rolled the cup all the way around, at which point the sides of the cup should be covered in fabric. Again, go slowly, making sure your glue adheres, and tighten the fabric so that it lays flat on your cup.

6.) When you’ve covered the cup, cut a straight line at the end of your fabric, and fold it over to create a seam. Glue the fabric seam down, then glue the neat edge of your fabric onto the cup.

7.) Using the same technique you used to cover your foam board/cardboard circle, cut slits in the fabric that overlaps the top and bottom of your cup. Glue the tabs you create inside the cup, and onto the bottom of the cup.

8.) Quickly create a ring of glue about 1/2 inch inside the opening of your cup, and place your covered foam board/cardboard circle inside to secure. The base for your tophat is finished.

9.) Stand your cup upright, and, taking your wire, create a circle around the base, at least a few inches out from the edge of the cup. This will be the base for the brim of your hat, so you can make it as small or as large as you like. Cut the wire with about 1/2 inch to spare when you’ve found the right length.

10.) Overlap the two ends of your wire and connect by covering with electric or masking tape to create a circle. Try not to get too bulky with your tape, since you’ll be covering the wire with fabric.

11.) Using the same technique you used to cover your foam board/cardboard circle, trace a circle around your wire about 1/2 inch from the edge of the wire. You may or may not need to cut slits in your fabric for this step, since you’ll be gluing your fabric directly to the edge of the wire. Glue your fabric down and cut off any excess fabric around the inside edge.

12.) To attach your brim to your hat, apply a liberal amount of glue around the edge of the bottom of your cup, and place in the center of the finished side of your circular brim. (The side without raw fabric edges showing.) Now stitch the fabric to the bottom of the cup. This doesn’t have to look pretty – you’ll finish your brim and hide any stitches you make.

14.) Cut another circle of fabric, this time the same size as your wire circle, to cover the unfinished side of your brim. You can either fold the edges of this fabric over and glue down to creat a seam, or just glue the circle down, raw edges and all, then cover the edge by gluing down a pretty trim. Your brim is finished.

15.) Bend the wire of your brim any way you like to create an authentic tophat look.

16.) Stitch hair clips and/or ribbon to the bottom center of your brim to secure to your head. If you choose to use ribbon, wrap the ribbon around your head like a headband, then cut lots of extra ribbon to tie a pretty bow. (You could also tie the ribbon under your chin.)

17.) Now you can add your embellishments! You can add feathers by cutting them to the desired length, then taping together and gluing onto the hat. Metal buttons and beads, gears, and pretty baubles can be stitched onto your ribbon and glued around the bottom of your tophat to hide the tape on your feathers. I created a pretty lace pinwheel by cutting a length of lace ribbon, then making a running stich along the edge to pull and gather the lace. Using a matching thread, stitch the raw edges of the lace together to create a circle, and sew a button in the center to finish. I also added some organza ribbon to give the illusion of a prize ribbon. You can get really creative here, adding any kind of embellishments you choose. Just be careful not to make the hat too heavy!

Back view of the hat. Notice the "seam" and various trinkets sewn to the ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, wear your hat with steampunk pride! Stay tuned for more fun and simple steampunk tutorials.

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Chelsea

 

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Are You Going To Scarborough Faire? (Thoughts on Renaissance Steampunkery)

This year, Tom and I are continuing our tradition of a trip to Scarborough Faire, the renaissance festival in our area. Last year, we dressed up as a fairy and a pirate (our first trip to the faire in costume,) and this year we’ve decided to join the costume contest! You may be thinking,  “You’ve seen one renaissance costume, you’ve seen them all,” which is generally accurate, but not always true:

I was delightfully surprised by this lady jester last year!

This year, we were so excited to discover that the faire is having a time travelers costume contest, which can be anything from Dr. Who to driving up in a Delorean a la “Back to the Future.” Of course, if you’re familiar with the territory, this also means steampunk!

Now you may be saying to yourself, “I really don’t get that steampunk thing,” and rightfully so. It’s a broad genre of style. So, let me try to clear things up for you. Here are the best definitions I’ve come across so far.

Steampunk (noun): A sub-genre mixing Victorian and Edwardian styles with science fiction, often based on characters inspired by literary figures such as H.G. Wells.

Steampunk (noun):  A style that gives the illusion of living in a past in which the future came too soon.

Steampunk (noun): When goths discover the color brown.

See also steampunkery (noun,) steampunk-ify (verb,) and steampunker (noun.)

Okay, so that last one is just funny, but it’s true to an extent! Basically,  I’ve found that there are 5 identifiable categories within the steampunk sub-genre.

1) One has a more gothic, dark tone, often inspired by Tim Burton characters with lots of black, red, and black and white stripes, and even some dead or zombie makeup elements. Also incorporates some “carnivale” style.

Vistual example of goth steampunk.

2) Another has more of a fantasy tone (fairies and elves dressed in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of a steampunk fairy.

3) Yet another has more of a sci-fi tone (human time travelers and other sci-fi creatures in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of sci-fi steampunk.

4) Then you have the costume hackers, who “hack” existing characters from other genres (superheros, comic book characters, movie characters, etc.) and steampunk-ify them.

Visual example of a steampunk hacker costume. Iron Man, a natural choice.

5) The last style is simply made of a group of steampunk purists who enjoy creating historically accurate costumes mixed with scientifically functional machinery, and who usually have knowledge and appreciation of the literature that inspires the style.

Steampunk Lincoln says it's hard to find a picture of historically accurate steampunk costumes, but they're out there!

Also, you must know that there are people who do steampunk cos-play (costume play,) and there are people who dress in steampunk style every day. Those who have adopted the style as their own in their daily life sometimes don’t know how to respond to those who call it “costume,” but I say please don’t be offended! Costuming is all about transforming yourself into someone (or something) you’re not. When someone takes the time and effort to make or buy and assemble a costume emulating your style, that means they want to be, well, you. That’s a pretty big compliment. (Even with all the steampunk fails out there.)

Not so much with the steampunk tag. You probably violated the Etsy TOUs trying to get more views for your item, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

So, I hope that breaks things down for you if you’ve been unfamiliar with all things steampunk until now. Steampunk expert? Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below! Did I miss a category?

I’ll be posting pics for next week’s Make It Monday with tutorials on how you can make your own steampunk garb, including pics of the steampunk mini tophat I just finished! I’ve never done steampunk before (or made a mini tophat, for that matter,) so I’m pretty excited. I’ll also share other elements of our costumes just for your viewing pleasure.

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Chelsea

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Make It Monday – A Very Belated Reveal

Um, wasn’t Halloween yesterday? No, wait, that was Christmas. Where did the time go?!?

Anyway, here’s the very belated reveal of my finished mermaid costume and our Trunk Or Treat decorations:

It’s hard to tell that I’m super glittery in the pics, but I assure you I was glittery for a week after! (And it was the glow in the dark kind …)

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Chelsea

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Make It Monday – Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? How to be a mermaid.

Last year was our first year participating in our church’s Trunk or Treat event as Dorothy and the scarecrow, and I did a tutorial about ruby slippers. This year, after a failed attempt at a theme based on the movie “Up,” we’ve decided to be a mermaid and a pirate! When I was a little girl, one of my favorite movies, like so many little girls, was The Little Mermaid. (The only difference between me then and little girls now is that I got to see it when it came out in theaters!)

I have to admit, we’re cheating a little. Remember the pirate costume we put together for the hubs for the renaissance festival?

Yarr.

Yeah, I think I’ll make a vest and call it a day. With a costume as elaborate as a mermaid, I need all the extra help I can get. Especially considering our car’s trunk is going to be dressed up as a giant clam shell. Uh huh.

The pirate costume consists of a thrifted large ladie’s linen shirt (a t-shirt will do,) thrifted men’s linen pants, jaggedly cutoff (khaki will do,) a head scarf (or a hat!) a belt, a piece of “creepy fabric” from the dollar store tied at the waist, and plenty of jingly and sea-shell-y jewelry (thrifted and from home.) Hubs just happened to have a wooden sword – don’t ask. Add black, smudged eyeliner, maybe an eyepatch, a scar or two, and you’re a pirate! A tried and true, easy & traditional costume.

Now for the mermaid.

The unfinished costume.

 Let me first say, I still need to add fins to the bottom of the skirt, using blue and green tulle. I got lucky and scored a bright red (unused) wig from Goodwill for $5, that I’m excited to be able to reuse for costumes like Poison Ivy, Jessica Rabbit, and other fantasy creatures. Any time you can find an “investment” costume piece, go for it!

I made “face fins” inspired by a cool makeup tutorial: http://youtu.be/b5DkwjEelW0. I used blue floral wire and the same tulle as my tail fins, then got a little fancier and hand sewed gold and green sequins to the tulle with gold thread. The tutorial will teach you how to shape and attach the fins.

The “bra” shells are made from purple felt and scraps of iridescent fabric. I drew a simple pattern for the shells about the size of my bra cup, then traced the pattern with a marker onto the felt. I did the same with the iridescent fabric, marking a pretty wide margin outside the line of the pattern. After cutting out the shell shapes, I began stitching the iridescent fabric on top of the felt, puckering the iridescent fabric to create ridges, and gathering the straight stitches tightly to creat a slight curve to the shell. Then I stitched the outline of the shell, and added some natural shells and fake pearls to the bottom of the “cup.” In the picture, the shells are just pinned onto a nude tank top. I plan on pinning them a little higher with safety pins on Halloween. 

I created the tail from stretchy metallic knit that I had leftover from a goddess costume. The fabric isn’t the cheapest (I found it on sale,) but you only need a couple of yards. I traced a fitted, pencil-style skirt with chalk on the back of the fabric, down to knee length, marking where the knees were, and then tapered off into a v-shape at ankle length. I folded the top of the waist on each piece down and sewed to create a neat edge. Then I pinned the pieces (pretty sides together) and sewed seams down to the mark I made for knee length. I sewed a zipper into one of the side seams – it’s really easy! – and cut the excess fabric from the seams. The end result is a tail-shaped fin with slits on each side from the knee down. I plan to cut tulle into fin shapes and sew it to those slits to create the illusion of a mer-fin. Similar to this:

Another great idea for a pin-up style mermaid!

There are so many different ways to do mermaid makeup, I won’t even attempt to suggest one to you. Youtube and Google are full of ideas from natural looks to wacky ones, like the link a few paragraphs up. I will, however, suggest some false eyelashes! I was able to find some in red to match my wig. I also found some fake pearls in colors to match my costume, along with some abalone shell beads, and I’m creating some very under-the-sea jewelry.

As far as the giant shell for our trunk is concerned? You can see it peeking out at the bottom right corner of the pic of my mermaid costume … it’s made from 6 pieces of foam board, cut with a razor, painted with acrylic and accented with some glitter. I’ll either tape or “sew” it together with monofilament (fishing line) and cut a hole in the middle piece of the bottom portion of the shell for a stool to sit on. I’ll sit and blow bubbles as the pirate hands out candy from our treasure chest – a plastic shoe box covered in wood-grain contact paper, accented with a skull and crossbones cut from a styrofoam headstone.

I’ll be sure to post pics of the end result next Monday! Do you have a cool mermaid costume to share?

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Chelsea

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Weird Wednesday – Halloween’s in the Details

Sure, masks are amazing, and costumes are key, but what about the details? The little things that transform your costume into something bigger, take you from dress-up to taking on the character …

PMandD's shop has everything from Seuss to Oz to Lady Gaga!

Need to show your scars?

Frankensister's got you covered in them.

Maybe a prop to get a-head? (Snort.)

For all you zombie hunters out there, visit Living Dead Girl Nicole.

What will you be for Halloween this year?

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Chelsea

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Friday’s Favorites – The Hogwarts Experience

With the last of the Harry Potter movies playing in theaters, there’s lots of nostalgia going around! It’s a story that so many people have grown up with that it’s hard to let go. You begin to identify with the characters, memorize lines, pride yourself on knowing the back story when you’ve read the books … Okay, I do those things. I also tell my husband he could be a Weasley (tall, lanky, red hair, mischevious.)

So, this week’s favorites to geek out over are all about the magic that transfigured a generation:

Expecto Patronum Necklace by Exaltation

Harry Potter House Scarf by CocoCocoa

Golden Snitch Necklace by WolfbirdStudios

Keep Calm And Confundus Print by SarcasmandSmarts

Lumos Wall Hoop Art by ThePhantomMoon

Harry Potter Inspired Wood Wand by CustomWoodChuck

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Chelsea

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