Monday, October 31, 2011

Hallowe'en y'all

All crazy in my house for Hallowe'en (and why should this year be any different?)

My fridge magnet collection:

(from top left:  brain, zombie head, heart, lungs with trachea, and stomach with small and large intestines)

Made from Crayola© ModelMagic™ and reclaimed hard drive magnets.

For this year's costume, I was inspired by this guy:
Yes, he's death-incarnate in a cute, cuddly, form only found in the finest corporate Chinese sweat-shops.  He was also in my field of vision as I was pondering what I would be for Halloween this year.

I made some rough measurements, did some in-depth analysis, pored over various images (not porn) and got a list of materials together (okay, some porn).

I didn't know how to use the sewing machine (honestly, it's the only machine that still intimidates me), so I sprang for the black hooded robe at the local Halloween costume store.  The rest, I was determined to make on my own.  I fashioned a paper-mache jawline by using a mixing bowl mold, made a skull wireframe using coat hangers, and draped everything with a white terrycloth towel.  I did know how to stitch, so needle and thread bound the towel-skin to the frame.

The eye-sockets are just plain black felt.  The nose is a piece of black plastic mesh - usually found on exterior screen doors and windows.

I also made white "mitts" for my hands using the rest of the white towel.  Fold the towel in half, trace a pattern, cut it out (so you have two mirror-images), sew the edges together and turn inside-out to hide the seam.  

I had to next make the bone pattern.  Silver duct-tape to the rescue.  Perfect because it adheres nicely to fabric, was readily available, reflective at night, and satisfies the number one rule for any project - must include duct-tape.  I noticed the pattern had a lot of symmetry, so I needed to make a lot of mirror-image cutouts.  I ended up using more of the window-screen material as a "release agent":

1.  Apply a strip of duct tape onto the window-screen.  Make sure the tape is long enough for the desired pattern.
2.  Flip over the screen and apply a second strip of duct tape.  You should now have a duct-tape "sandwich" with the screen material in the middle of the two strips of tape.
3.  Use scissors to cut out the pattern.  Peel the tape off of the mesh when done.

OMG, so spooky.  Seriously, Death just wants a hug.

I liked this project because I felt more-connected with the whole Halloween experience by hand-making (most of) my costume.  With each stitch, I felt more psychotic festive and nostalgic.  I was in a place before Wal-Mart and pre-formed synthetics.

Okay, you can stop staring at my duct-tape crotch now.


Megz said...

Love it Tak (sorry, took me long enough to check your blog, right?). I was actually talking about this this halloween. Part of the fun of it for me has always been making your own costume. Digging through your old clothes, or your parents clothes, or great grandma enid's dusty trunk in the attic for a costume. Everyone wants to be the same slutty disney princess or the same serial killer with a store bought mask these days. Where's all the imagination and ingenuity? As always, enjoyable witty and interesting commentary from you Tak. And your costume is great! So glad to see you using your creativity for good, not evil (even if it is for a creepy Halloween costume:P). And seriously, the captcha for this comment reads "unded". Freaking awesome. I should screenshot it so you know I'm not lying :P

Taka said...

Awww...Grandma Enid. <3

I also believe Halloween grants men that one socially-acceptable day to dress in drag. That's an experiment I'll save for next year.

Thanks, Megz!