Costumes - DIY Inspired
12th Oct2011

Baby Buggy

by Dinah Wulf

I love the creepy and crawliness of Halloween.  For some reason I’m drawn to all things gross and scary. I’ve always been like that.  I can recall wanting to show a scary movie at every single birthday slumber party I’ve ever had.

Since this is my daughter’s real first Halloween (she was only 3 months old last Halloween), I couldn’t help but altering her costume and grossing it out a little. I decided to buy her a little strawberry costume with a raspberry trick or treat pail since they were so inexpensive. Infant and toddler costumes are so cute but not eerie enough for me! They just need a little DIY costume tweek.

Here is my attempt at taking the “before” pictures.  Cut me some slack… since she started walking, it’s impossible to take a good still.

This is an easy Halloween costume makeover. I like to call it my little baby buggy costume.  For a few dollars at the 99 cent store, I purchased plastic bugs, flies, roaches and spiders and glued them to her costume. Be careful with the glue, as you want to make sure you protect your little ones by making sure they don’t play with or put any of the glued bugs in their little mouths!

I knew she would tug and pull on the bugs so I only attached a small trail on the front and most of the bugs on the back of her costume, her hat, and her trick or treat pail.

I attempted to take “after” pictures, but you know how that goes.  So here are a few after shots without baby.

Back

Trick or treat pail

Whole costume

Here are some other ideas to creep out your infant or toddlers costume. Wait… I have to make a disclaimer that I’m really not that sick and twisted… I just love the creative (and gross) part of Halloween!

  • Attach a plastic alien to the belly of a cutsie animal costume so it appears to be coming out of the stomach.  Don’t forget about the fake blood!
  • Attach a fake black crow or raven to the shoulder of a costume.
  • Turn your Disney princess into a dead zombie fairy princess.
  • Put tire tracks and cookie crumbles across the face and front of a Girl Scout uniform (I stole this one from my genius brother so if you think I went a little too far with this one, his phone number is… just kidding).
  • Add green “mold” to those cute fruit and veggie baby costumes and attach a fake rat.
  • Attach a stuffed animal to any garment or existing costume at the mouth to make it look like it is attacking.  Add fake blood at the mouth and teeth.

Who doesn’t love a creepy baby? ;)

 

10th Oct2011

Headless Man and Headless Woman Costumes

by Dinah Wulf

homemade-Halloween-costume-428x1024

The older I get, the more I love being “scary” things for Halloween.  I decided to be a headless zombie this year.  Searching the web for ideas, I came across some pretty good costume ideas.  My inspiration for this project was mainly from author, connielim_2000 from instructables.com and from Make Magazine, an article about Nicole Magne’s headless Marie Antoinette costume.  I read both awesome articles and made tweaks of my own to fit with what I had to work with.

These are by far the coolest handmade costumes I have made to date. They were surprisingly very easy to make.  Here is how I made my headless man and headless woman costumes for my husband and me.

Materials needed (for one costume):

Torso:

  • Torso Dress Form ($5 each on Craigslist)
  • Child size backpack (check value and discount stores)
  • Duct tape

Clothing:

  • Thrift store clothing or old curtains or sheets
  • Gloves (try the dollar store first!)
  • Needle and thread (optional)
  • Stuffing for arms and gloves (newspaper, old towels, rags, old clothes, or poly-fil)

Gory effects:

Optional:

  • Costume jewelry

Making the torso:

Purchase your materials. Finding the torso dress forms on Craigslist saved a lot of time and money. I found a great contact in Santa Ana, California called The Competitive Store.  Call them directly and ask for Jenny for the clearance items. They have awesome service too.  I also got the back packs on sale a few weeks after school started for $5 each at Big Lots.

Insert the dress form into the back pack with the straps and the chest facing the same way.  The child size back pack is the perfect fit for these retail dress forms.  Tightly bind the form to the back pack with duct tape. I tried it on first to make sure the height was ok. I ended up stuffing the bottom of the back pack with an old hand towel to raise it a bit. Make sure you try it on first before you tape it to get the right height.

Making the guts:

I used half of a paper towel, dampened it, and arranged it on top of the neck of the dress form to look like guts.  I saturated it with decoupage medium and coated it two times.  Make sure you allow it to dry in between coats. Paint it with a deep red acrylic paint.

I bought a package of spiders and bugs from the 99 Cent Store and glued them to the neck and shoulders.

Dressing the headless zombie:

I spent less than $5 at the thrift store as well as dug up some old clothes and tea stained them to give them an antiquated look.  I also embellished the costume with Halloween gauze from the 99 Cent Only Store. I also found some of my past Halloween costumes in the garage to use as well. For example, I used a Grim Reaper cape for the headless man.

For the woman, I used two thrift store blouses and two long skirts. Both blouses were on the form, one skirt went over my arms, shoulders, and back pack, and one skirt I wore normally.

If you go with the blouse and shirt (as opposed to a long dress), you have to cut a slit up the front of the shirt, so the back of the costume will look right.

For the man, I used an old men’s dress shirt and a Grim Reaper cloak.  With the costume on him, I cut the hole in the cloak for my husband’s head.

Dress your form and lightly stuff the arms and gloves.  I used left over polyester fiber fill from an old pillow project.  I stitched the gloves to the end of the sleeve. I also stitched the fingers to the shirt.  I used a deep red acrylic paint to splatter all over the hands.

During the process it helped that my husband and I tried them on several times to get the right height, fit, etc.

Here are some after pictures of my headless man and headless woman costumes.

homemade-Halloween-costume-1-525x1024

 

My hubby was on crutches (not part of the costume).

These were our costumes in the trunk on the way to a Halloween party.  Just thought this one was funny…

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Update! Lady GaGa goes headless when she performed on the XFactor on November 14, 2011!

 

07th Oct2011

How to Make Angel Wings

by Dinah Wulf

OK, I am admitting to the World Wide Web that I cheated. I committed DIY blasphemy… The pink butterfly wings pictured here, I didn’t make, I bought (sigh)… BUT they were free technically!!! That’s my excuse and I stand by it! Because of my mini extreme couponing and thriftiness, I got these wings absolutely free, so I couldn’t pass it up!

Being the DIY Diva that I am, that was really hard to admit because I think DIY costumes or homemade costumes are the way to go, but I felt better when I glammed them up a bit with glitter (of course, Martha Stewart glitter) to match my daughter’s dress for a butterfly themed birthday party for one of her besties.

I DO however, know how to make angel wings (or butterfly wings), so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial, especially since it’s so close to Halloween, my FAVORITE holiday.

Here is a quick tutorial for How to Make Angel Wings. You will need:

  • Four wire hangers
  • Wire cutters (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Two pairs of panty hose or tights (any color or pattern you wish)
  • Duct tape
  • Thick ribbon
  • Glue and embellishments such as gems, glitter, feathers (optional)

Note that if you want to make smaller wings, you can use a wire cutter to cut your hanger in half; you will only need two wire hangers for this project.  Each wing consists of four shaped hangers, two on each side.

Step one:

Straighten your hangers as best you can. If you are making small wings, cut the straightened hanger in half.

Step two:

Curve the wire to make a tear drop shape and twist the ends together. Repeat this step for all four pieces.

Step three:

Place the wires in the shape of wings (two on each side) and use duct tape to secure the center. At this point, the structure of your wings is shaped.

Step four:

Cut off one leg of the panty hose about twenty to thirty inches and pull over one of the four wire pieces.  If you are making small wings, use children’s tights. Tie the end over the taped wire closure in a knot. Repeat for all four pieces. An alternative option is to use four knee high socks.

Step five:

I find it easiest to shape or reshape your wings when the panty hose is already on, be careful not to tear a hole.

Step six:

Use thick decorative ribbon to wrap the center of your wings to cover the duct tape and wire.  Leave two long pieces of ribbon on both sides to create straps.

Step seven:

Ribbon can be tied in bows around your shoulders to attach.  Another option is to use two pieces of elastic. Consider embellishing your wings with artificial flowers, glitter, rhinestones, paint, or feathers.

05th Oct2011

Tea Staining

by Dinah Wulf

Tea staining is a great technique for aging or antiquing clothing.  Nonetheless, it comes in handy for DIY Halloween costumes as well.  I am making headless zombie costumes (tutorial coming soon!) this year, and tea staining came in handy to age my zombie attire.  It also works great to dress up those DIY Halloween props such as stuffed scary “visitors” sitting on your front porch.

Here is a step by step tutorial on tea staining. The materials you will need are as follows.

  • Light colored clothing, pre-washed
  • Tea bags
  • Tea kettle
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Vinegar (optional)

Step one: Fill a tea kettle with water, and boil the desired amount of tea bags.  The more tea bags you use, the darker the stain.  For this tutorial, I used five tea bags.

Step two: Fill the bucket with hot water and saturate the clothing you are staining.  Use a wooden spoon to dunk the garments.

Step three: When the tea is ready, pour out most of the water in your bucket, and then pour the brewed tea into your bucket.  Use the spoon to stir and soak the garments.

Step four: If desired, leave the tea bags in the bucket for a darker stain.   Let the garments soak for several minutes.  The longer the soak, the darker the stain will be.  Remember, the garment will dry lighter than the color it appears to be when it is wet.

Step five:  When your garment reaches the desired color, rinse it out with cold water.  Another option is to rinse the garment in vinegar to set the stain.  If you are making a Halloween costume, I don’t think the vinegar rinse is necessary. Once your garment is rinsed, dry it in the dryer with warm heat.

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