Friday, October 31, 2014

A How To Guide to Halloween 2014 Costumes!

It’s the spookiest day of the year! And arguably the best week of the year because every night after work, it’s been a DIY paradise at home.

Paper maché, paint, scissors, glue, wire framing, crown building. We’ve had a lot of fun!

This year, I decided to make use of my most recent bridesmaid dress and go as a Statue (it’s a grey one shouldered number, as you may remember from my blog post here). As soon as I decided to do this, Kris decided that, to complement my costume, he would go as famous renaissance sculptor, Michelangelo.

Sort of…

We’ve decided that I’ll tell people he’s a sculptor and ignore the fact that he’s a turtle. He’s going to tell people I’m “A real piece of work”.

It’s going to be great!

Here’s a breakdown of our costumes, starting with Michelangelo.

The Shell. 

This is really the defining part of the costume and was really fun to make. We started by wire framing out the outside oval of the shell, and then creating three vertical sire strips to give it shape. Once this was done it was time to paper maché.

We opted to do the paper maché over two days, so it dried well. When we made up our mix, we included a bit of wood glue into the solution, so that it would dry quicker and be sturdier. 
Using long strips, we worked from the middle support down to the edge, horizontally, leaving a few inches between each piece. We then waffled (using shorter pieces) vertically. The waffle was important because it let air get in on both sides of the shell and it dried overnight. 

Day two, Kris closed up all the remaining holes with another layer of paper maché and left it to dry.

Day three, time to paint! We went and got some supplies, an orange tshirt to cut up to make bandana and belt, white, green and brown paint, and a morphsuit (the morphsuit was from target – which was only 20$ and way better than the 70$ one I found earlier in the day at a Halloween store).

After forcing Kris to try on the suit when we got home, we got to work painting. First we painted a layer of thick white (to cover the newspaper text/ads) then two layers of green, and finally the pattern on the shell in brown. All that was left was to strap it up and put it all together!

Total cost for this costume? About $35 - $40

AWESOME! Now let’s give this Sculptor his art piece.

First thing was to cut up the dress. I decided to go high-low. It’s not expertly done, but I actually kind of like the length I cut it to. I’ll probably smooth it out more expertly after Halloween (if it survives).

This dress was altered to fit me, so it’s very comfortable. I already know it can stand up to a night of partying, and I feel better about the cost of it because I’m wearing it again. Win Win Win in my books! 

The real artsy part of this costume was the crown. I needed something silver/white, and didn’t really want to buy a cheap plastic looking one then paint it. Instead I opted to go to Michaels, where Christmas is already in full swing! I stopped off at the “build your own wreath” aisle and got some supplies in white, silver and silvery-blue.

Once home, I took my “base” which was the long wire white cord with bling, and measured it around my head where it would sit, fastened it together (with a loop, thread and bend), and started decorating.

First I added the larger silver pieces. I thought these resembled the shape of traditional “laurel leaves” (coincidentally, where my name is derived from). Because everything had wire running through it, I was able to weave these onto the head piece. 

Then I added the Silver Blue fern-like pieces (clipped to individual strands), weaving through the piece for something a bit extra.


Last but not least, I wanted to make my sandals a bit more fun, so I wrapped my flip-flops in white ribbon, leaving lots of room on both sides to wrap around my legs and tie.

Last thing to do was to put it all together, and silver-up my face makeup. No need for face and body glitter, anyone who gets near my crown all night will be covered in the stuff.

Total cost for this costume? Well let’s not factor in the bridesmaid dress (A bed sheet, a belt, and some creativity would have done just as well!) $15 - $20

I think we’re going to make a pretty good looking team! A weird couple’s costume, but it suits us, and we had a lot of fun crafting this week together!

What was everyone for Halloween this year? I’d love to hear! If you’re particularly proud of your costume, send an instagram photo to @laura_caity, or #cookwineandthinker!