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DIY Pikachu Halloween Costume!

17 Oct

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I’d show you some costumes I’ve been working on.  Today, we are making a girls Pikachu costume out of duct tape!  Duct tape is a great material to make clothing out of because it is durable and doesn’t require any sewing.  It is also an easy way to make a custom fit costume because it wraps right around your body!

Here is what the final costume looks like:


And in case you need a little refresher, here is a picture of the Pokemon character Pikachu:


You will need the following materials for this project:

-yellow duct tape

-black duct tape (or electrical tape)

-plastic wrap

-a dress to use as a base (this dress will not get ruined or altered)


-super glue

-velcro (one yard)

-foam core or cardboard

-a black headband

-brown paint (any kind)

-a paintbrush (any kind)

-red lipstick/lip liner or face paint

Step 1: Find a dress that is fitted and has the same shape and length you would like for your Pikachu costume and put it on.


Step 2: Start at the top and wrap the entire dress in plastic wrap.  Wrap snuggly and use layers to make sure it is all covered.  For the top of this costume we used a yellow bikini top but you  can also wrap the top in plastic wrap and make that out of duct tape as well.


Step 3: Once the dress is fully covered in plastic wrap (this will prevent the duct tape from sticking to you and/or the dress!) start duct taping horizontally around the body.  You can do this yourself but it will definitely be easier if you have two people.  One person holds the duct tape and the other slowly spins around in place to wrap the duct tape around and around.  Make sure you layer the tape so there aren’t any spaces!


The curves and corners of the body are a bit tricky, but just pinch the tape and tuck it in and don’t worry too much about it on this first pass because we will cover it and make it look pretty later 🙂



Step 4: Once the dress is fully covered in a layer of duct tape, go through and make vertical stripes around the back and sides to clean up the pinched corners.  We left a 6 inch panel of horizontal stripes visible in the front because the contrast of vertical and horizontal stripes at your sides gives a lovely, slimming effect!



Step 5:  Once the dress looks nice and neat, it’s time to cut it up!  Take some scissors and carefully cut all the way down the center back.   Be sure to cut through both the plastic wrap and the duct tape but not your dress underneath!


Try not to stretch or crumple the dress too much once its off – you can’t iron duct tape!

cutdressStep 6: Next we need to enforce all the edges of the dress with duct tape.  Encase the top, bottom and back edges of the dress with duct tape by placing a strip of tape along one edge and position it so that half of the tape is coming off the edge of the dress.  Then, fold the tape over and stick it to itself. Do this twice on the edges you made when you cut the back in order to give the dress an extra inch on which to attach the velcro.


Step 7: Now we want to make it so you can easily take your dress on and off!  We will do this with just a little glue and velcro, nice n’ easy.  Gently lay your dress belly-down on a flat surface.  Measure out your velcro by lining it up with the length of the dress and cut the velcro so it is the same length.


The prickly side of the velcro goes on the outside (the yellow part) of the dress along the edge of the center back cut on the left side.  The soft side of the velcro goes on the inside of the dress along the edge of the center back cut on the right side.  This way you are never in danger of having prickly velcro press against your skin!  Dab some super glue on the non-velcro sides of the velcro and stick it on those edges.  Careful not to glue your fingers together or else you might have to be Spock from Star Trek for Halloween instead 😉



Step 8:  Let the glue on the velcro dry and then try on your dress!  You have completed the body of your Pikachu costume, ta-da! Next stop: tail and ears!


Step 9: Trace out the shape of the tail onto cardboard or foam core.  You can also print out the one below and use it as a template!  If you plan to print out the template, make sure you first click on the image to get the full-size version.


Step 10: Use scissors or a box cutter to cut out the shape of the tail. Don’t worry about cutting it out perfectly since we are going to give it a little duct tape makeover!


Step 11: Wrap the tail up in yellow duct tape.  You can use any method or pattern you like, however I found it was easiest to first tape along the edges of the tail as seen in the pic below and then fill in the gaps with horizontal pieces of tape.



Step 12: Time to get those hands dirty and paint the tail!  Use brown paint to paint solid brown all the way up the tail and stop just before the biggest square part on at the end.  When you get to the big square end of the tail, brush the paint up in swift vertical motions to make it look like a little tuft of brown fur.


Paint both sides and edges of the tail and set it aside to dry.  Depending on the kind of paint you use, you might want to do two coats of paint.

Step 13: You are almost there!  Just the ears to go and then you are ready to evolve into Pikachu!  Use the template below to trace two ears onto foam core or cardboard. If you plan to print out the template, make sure you click on the image first to get the full-sized version.


Step 14: Just like the tail, use scissors or a box cutter to cut out the ears.  We will also be covering these with duct tape so save your perfect cutting skills for paper snowflake making day 🙂


Step 15: To tape the ear, first place one long piece of tape vertically across the whole thing.


Then, tape one long piece around the edges, folding over and pinching as you make your way around the curves.


Step 16:  Take your black tape and wrap it around the top 3 inches or so of the ear in order to make the little black tips on Pikachu’s ear.


Step 17: Now it’s time for some ear piercing!  Use scissors or some other sharp object to carefully create a hole at the bottom of both ears.


Step 18: Now, take a strip of duct tape about 8 inches long and cut/tear it so that it is only about 1/2 inch wide.  Then, wrap one end of the tape around a screw or nail.  Be careful that the tape doesn’t stick to itself while you are doing this because it is almost impossible to pull it apart!


Step 19:  Use the screw/nail to thread the tape through the hole you made in the ears.  Once it is through, cut or unwrap the tape from the sharp object.


Step 20:  Take your headband and position the ear on top and slightly to the right.  Then, wrap the ends of the tape that are threaded through the hole in the ear around the headband.  Repeat with the second ear and place that one slightly to the left.


This should be enough to keep your ears in place but if you want them to be extra sturdy you can always wrap more tape around the headband and attach it to the base of the ears.  All that yellow tape blends in so you can really use as much as you want if you are tape happy!

Step 21:  You have officially completed making all the parts for this costume!  Now, it’s just time to attach all the parts and style accordingly. Put on your yellow dress and position the tail in the back of the dress at your tailbone.  Then, attach a strip of tape to the dress, wrap it around the tail and stick it back to the dress.  I made you a little diagram below to show you what it looks like:



Use as much tape as you need to make the tail feel sturdily attached!

Step 22: Make-up time!  Use some red lipstick, lip liner or face paint to make little red circles on your cheeks.  Super cute!


Now put on those ears and some cute shoes and show off that handy work while getting some yummy Halloween candy, you earned it!


Have fun with these costume instructions and send me pics of what you make!  Happy Halloween 🙂


Fense Sense

13 Oct

Welcome to landscaping craft day!  I wanted to spruce up my courtyard a bit and give myself some privacy from the neighbors.  Right now, the only thing between myself and them is a gnarly bush and some white lattice fencing – not very effective or pleasing to the eye!


The first thing to do was rip down that scraggly bush and start with a clean slate!


It’s lookin’ better already 😀  I didn’t have the manpower to put up a whole new fence, so I decided to just accessorize the lattice with some basic 2’x3′ wooden boards bought at the local hardware store.


I put darker boards on each end to give the wood some contrast.  Here is a close-up so you can see the difference in color.


Now, it’s time to decorate!  I wanted to make two horizontal stripes with tape so that once I painted over the stripes and peeled the tape away, there would be perfect, natural wood stripes running across my backyard.

This project called for one of my favorite all-purpose materials: duct tape!  It was a two-person job to run the duct tape across each board and measure every few feet to make sure it was still the same distance from the edge of the board.



I did one stripe about 4 inches down from the top edge of the top boards and one stripe 4 inches up from the bottom edge of the bottom board.  Already the stripes looked pretty cool!


Next it was time for painting!  I got out my roller and tray and rolled one solid coat of burgundy red over the whole thing.


Once the paint was thoroughly dried, I slowly peeled off the duct tape to reveal the beautiful wood underneath!


Peeling off the tape was definitely my favorite part, so satisfactory!  The final product really jazzed up the backyard and reminded me of a sweet, vintage surfboard; perfect since I live right by the beach 😀




This was a simple and quick afternoon project that left my yard looking very cool…and there is sill lot of blank space on that wood for some super sweet mural action…

Rockin’ Revamped Roller Skates

12 Oct

For my roommates birthday, I found her old, beat up pair of roller skates in the garage and revamped them to give them a second lease on life!  This is what the before skates looked like:


The first thing to do was to jazz up those laces!


There were scuffs on the leather and rust on the metal clips where the shoelaces are tied but I took care of that pretty easily with a coat of white acrylic paint.

Then I also used acrylic paint to paint a 70’s style rainbow on each side and added some colors to the back.



The inside of the tongue was all moth-eaten so I sewed some cool polka-dotted fabric inside to match the funky rainbow motif.


The birthday girl loved the way the final product turned out!  Can’t wait to go skating and watch her take these babies for a spin.



The Art of Recycling

10 Oct

Happy Columbus Day!  After a week long hiatus due to moving and some re-decorating, I am back in action!  Over the weekend, I helped my local elementary school spruce up their recycling cans!  This was a hands-on project for the kids in order to help them learn the importance of recycling and how it can benefit their school.

Remember, only decorate your trash cans if you take them to the dump and/or recycling center yourself.  They may look pretty, but the city won’t be able to collect your trash if it’s too beautifully disguised!

The first thing to do was hose down and wipe dry all the cans.  No surprise there!


Next, I used typical house paint to paint the cans a solid color to work with as a background.  I painted one light blue and one green.  You could use acrylic paint for this as well, but house paint is definitely more cost effective.


After the background colors were completely dry, I assigned one of the cans to the kids to go to town on.  It was like a painting frenzy, especially once I broke out the metallic silver and hot pink paint!  I think something about being outside in the sunshine and painting something that isn’t a piece of paper really got their creative juices flowing.

The kids recognized right away that this was a collaborative piece of art and did a beautiful job working together to create a cohesive and colorful piece.


Here is their finished product from all sides!

While supervising the kids, I worked on my own can to get across a slightly more concrete message about recycling.


I also painted the words ‘cans’ and ‘plastic’ on the top so everyone would know which is which!


And the finished product!

Luckily, we still have two more trash cans to paint another time so stay tuned for more trash can art!  It’s good to be back 🙂

Abbot Kinney Street Fair

29 Sep

Over the weekend, I attended the Abbot Kinney Street Fair in Venice, CA!  The fair celebrates the unique neighborhood of Venice by showcasing local artists, galleries, shops and restaurants.  There are all sorts of fun activities for kids and adults alike.  I volunteered at the festival and worked in the mural tent.  An artist named Ricardo Aguilar designed a giant, black and white, abstract mural and hung it on a wall outside for the kids to paint.


Painting in progress!


There was also a coloring tent for kids to color individual pictures from the mural.


The painting hanging inside the coloring tent is the mural from the street fair last year! The artist is a really interesting man who wants to start an “art revolution.”  He strongly believes in the healing, connecting and peacemaking powers of art and thinks that children are the vehicle through which the world can achieve these things.  To this end, he asked all the kids to leave their drawings to be hung up and eventually made part of a more permanent installation.


Ricardo's picture for the kids to color

His self portrait is in the bottom right corner and he actually dresses like that except instead of bullets in his belt he has crayons!  Here are some of the drawings hung up for all to enjoy:


It was really great to see kids and adults alike dive in and get their hands dirty with the mural.  Collaborative work is some of the most rewarding art because is fosters a low-pressure, inviting and welcoming environment where people of all levels of artistic ability can meet on equal footing.


Getting her hands dirty!

And the almost finished product:


Featuring Ricardo himself!

I couldn’t stay to see the completely finished product, but this is pretty close and it is just beautiful.  Thanks to all the kids and adults who helped make it happen and as Ricardo would say, come join the color revolution!