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A Peachy Halloween

31 Oct finalfull

Happy Halloween!  Despite the fact that I spend most of my time crafting, I of course waited until the last minute to craft my own costume.  That is why today is super, duper last minute costume day!  A friend gave me a lovely pink dress and white gloves to be Princess Peach for Halloween, but of course I didn’t think about the accessories until an hour before the party.  What to do?!?

Princess Peach wears shiny blue earrings and a gold crown with pink and blue jewels.  Since I have been working a lot with bottle caps lately, I got an idea.

I flipped through a magazine until I found the perfect blue – an ad for Tiffany’s jewelry!  I paired the blue with some gold bottle caps from my collection.

goldandbluecap

I wanted my jewelry to sparkle and shine so I spread a layer of glue on top of the blue and sprinkled on some glitter 😀

glitter

shimmy shimmy shimmer!

Then I painted some craft glaze on top to seal the glitter and give the “jewel” a smooth texture and nice shine.

glazing

Once the glue dried, I used pliers to clamp the edges around the jewel to make it look like it was set in gold.

clampingedges

fancy!

Now it’s time to turn my lovely jewels into earrings!  I took some sewing pins and cut the pointy part off.  Then, I used a hot glue gun to drop a little bead of glue onto the back of the jewel.  I stuck the pin head down into the glue, perpendicular to the earring, and held it while it dried.

earingbacks

Next I cut two little chunks of pencil erasers to use as earring backs and my bedazzled ears were ready to go!  Now, to crown the Princess 🙂

To make the base for the crown I glued together some gold colored paint samples from the hardware store that I happened to have handy.

paintchips

glueingcrownstrip

Then, I cut little triangles into the crown to make the pointy tips.

cuttingcrown

cutcrown

Princess Cut!

I took the extra blue and pink jewels I made while making the earrings and hot glued them on.

flatcrown

I glued the ends of the crown together and glued little strips of ribbon on the underside so I could pin it to my head.  Real Princesses are supposed to be able to balance crowns on their heads but I’m a bit clumsy so pinning seemed like a good alternative.

insidecrown

The final results were just peachy!

final close up

These accessories really made the costume!  Now if only someone could rescue me from Bowser… 😉

finalfull

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Halloween Costumes

26 Oct

T minus 6 days until Halloween!  Is your costume ready?  Mine isn’t either!  No worries, over the years I have often waited until the last minute and still come up with some great costume ideas that you can throw together using mostly things you find around the house or can get pretty easily and cheaply.  Check out these DIY costume ideas!

Mario and Luigi Costume:

marioandluigi

marioluigicartoon

For a girly take on this classic costume I cut and hemmed some overalls I found at a thrift store.  The letters on the hats are just cut out of paper and the matching t-shirts were also thrift store finds.  Dig some black boots and white winter gloves out of the closet and you are ready to go fight Bowser!

The Cheshire Cat Costume:

cheshirecat

cheshirecatcartoon

I found this perfect Cheshire cat inspired striped fabric at the store and knew just what to do with it!  I made this body suit by laying down on the fabric and having someone trace me.  Then I simply cut out the tracing and sewed it together.  Add some ears and a little drawn on nose and whiskers and voila!  You are ready to give cryptic advice to everyone at the party.  The best part about this costume is that the back of it is made out of black fabric so that when I turn around…

blackcat

—I disappear!  😀

80s Fab Costume:

80's

I made this costume completely with stuff I found in my own closet!  This is a fun costume to do in a group because everyone can participate just by being creative with clothes and accessories they already have. I used an old full piece bathing suit as the base (a tank top would work just as well) and I wore a pink tube top as a skirt.  I cut a hole in the crotch of some black fishnet tights and put my head through the hole and my arms through the legs (after I cut off the feet of the tights) in order to wear it as a shirt.  Some black leggings and leg warmers paired with a pair of heels and I was ready to rock out and get physical like Olivia Newton-John!

letsgetphysical

Poison Ivy Costume:

poisonivy

poison-ivy-plant

poisonivycartoon

Whether you want to go as the plant or as the super villain, this easy costume covers all the bases!  Just grab a green tank top and some green socks with the toes cut out, wrap yourself in ivy from the garden or from the craft store and you are ready to wreak itchy havoc everywhere!

Corpse Bride Costume:

corpsbride

corpsebridetimburton

This costume is pretty versatile because it can also double as a zombie bride costume!  I found a wedding dress and veil from the thrift store (any white dress will do) and cut the top of the dress to make it strapless like the Corpse Bride’s dress.  The dress and veil were a nice pristine white so I made them look aged by soaking them overnight  in a bath of tea.  I got the blue wig and face paint from a costume store and put on my poutiest face to go in search of my groom!

Leeloo from The Fifth Element Costume:

leeloofull

Milla-Jovovich-Fifth-Element

I made this costume for a friend who looks JUST LIKE Milla Jovovich.  I cropped a white t-shirt and spray painted some white tights gold; then used a black sharpie to draw the lines on the tights.  To make the orange jumper I took a large orange shirt and traced out the design while my friend was wearing the shirt.  I cut out the design and sewed the front and back hems together to make a crotch seam.  We added some black boots, an orange wig and a paper multipass and Leeloo was ready to go save the world!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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:

pikachufinal

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

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)

-scissors

-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.

dresstemplate

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.

plasticwrappingdress

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!

tapingdress

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 🙂

tapingdressCU

tapeddress

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!

sidestripes

stripesline

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!

cuttingdress

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.

taping-dress-edges

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.

measuringvelcro

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 😉

velcroplaced

velcrosides

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!

finaldress

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.

tailoutline

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!

cuttingtail

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.

tapingtail

yellowtail

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.

paintingtail

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.

eartemplate

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 🙂

cuttingear

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

tapingear

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

sidetapingear

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.

blacktippingears

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.

makingearhole

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!

tapingpin

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.

pinthroughear

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.

attachingears

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:

attachingtaildiagram

attachingtail

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!

drawing-circles

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

finalpikapose

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

Back to School with Brandon Bird!

12 Sep

This weekend I helped my friend, Brandon Bird, assemble his newest product for back to school: lunchboxes! Brandon Bird is a totally awesome artist who makes pop culture paintings featuring everything from Nicolas Cage to Star Wars.  He offers his work on many platforms in addition to canvas including phone cases, stickers, valentines and most recently these old-school and totally hip lunch boxes.  The lunch boxes feature two original art pieces by Brandon.  Luckily I didn’t have to actually make all these plastic lunch boxes, or the stickers.  All I had to do was put them together!

Incidentally, stickering was a real two person job!  It took one person to hold the lunch box down nice and flat and the other to stick the sticker down nice and even and roll over it with a little foam roller to make sure there were no bubbles.

Rollin' away!

You can carry your lunch in either a Gran Torino box or an Eric Roberts one, and you have your choice between pink and black for both!

 

What a fun day of stickering!  Although I am still a bit woozy from being around the smell of a zillion plastic lunch boxes.  Check out http://www.brandonbird.com to get your very own Made in the USA, hand-painted by Brandon, hand-assembled by me lunchboxes!