Monday, December 16, 2013


So, I completely forgot to post this article! But better late than never, am I right?

As you may very well know by now, Halloween is my favourite. It's an insane amount of fun and it's the perfect occasion to get creative. This year, I had a whopping 3 costumes. That's right...3! Why so many? Well, I had 3 occasions to attend. This Halloween fell onto a Wednesday which meant two Halloween parties the weekend prior and after, and office dress up.

It can be  easy to come up with an original costume at a small cost by either making it or finding items right in your closet (or a friend's).

cottage weekend party

In the midst of the VMA scandal du jour, I couldn't pass on this iconic duo. It wouldn't be relevant the next year or so as I felt it would have been done to death this year anyway. Since I was pretty assured that no one would be willing to fill in Miley's platform shoes by sporting nude undergarment (latex no less!) I decided to take this matter into my own hands.

Striped pant - Sirens, 15$
Striped jacket - Sirens, 10$
Gold chain - my own
Sunglasses - my own
Black bodysuitmy own
Blow-up doll - Sex store(!), 50$
Nude underwears - Dollarama, 2$
Foam finger - made it
TOTAL COST - 77 dollars!

I admit, this was a little more costly than I had anticipated (thanks to Miley!) since sex dolls are pretty pricey. I had ordered a 20$ novelty doll via Ebay only to find out that my delivery date would be the day I were to leave for the cottage. That's obviously no good. So I scouted sex shops (which are a-plenty in good ol' Montreal) in search for my better half. Funny enough, the doll's packaging informed me that she's a country singer and that her name is Mylie and so, all the stars aligned. 

I created the faux foam finger out of thick stock paper and a red sharpie. I freehanded the shape of the finger and cut it up twice. Glued the edges together to leave space for my hand. Coloured in some red nails and bam! easy as pie.
This was the perfect costume to pack up in my suitcase and Miley was especially popular with the gentlemen of my group of friends (who am I kidding, she was popular with everyone). And above all, the suit was super comfy. So much so, that I woke up the next day still in it. True story. 

office costume

Since Robin & Miley were clearly NSFW, my coworker & I decided to go as Guns N Roses. It was easy, fun and so very last minute. 

Top hat - Halloween store, 9$
Black jeggings - my own
Sunglasses - my own
Rocker belt - my own
Leather perfecto - borrowed 
White ribbed tank - Dollarama, 1$
Tattoo sleeve - Dollarama, 1$
Buttons - my own
Nose ring - my own
Belt - my own
Boots - my own
TOTAL COST - 10 dollars!

I got called Slash from Wednesday until that Friday. Best part of this costume was not having to wear a wig since my hair is naturally very similar to Slash's. I heard from various girls at my office how they had a huge crush on Slash growing up and that I totally rocked the look (was it an invitation? I'm not sure. But I'll take that as a compliment). 

Halloween house party

This year's pride and joy! For some unknown reason stemmed from a force deep within my crafty soul, when I was making my list of possible Halloween costume all I could think of was Mr. Potato Head. Where the hell did it come from? I can't possibly tell you as I'd love to know myself. All I knew was it had to be done. And I had only 2 weeks to make it happen.

Chicken wire roll - Hardware store, 10$
Newspaper - metro station & flyers, free
White glue - Hardware store, 5$
Foam balls - Dollarama, 2$
Plastic bowls - Dollarama, 2$
Spray paint can, Wal-Mart, 10$
Black tight, my own
White gloves - Dollarama, 1$
TOTAL COST - 29 dollars!

As time was tight, I didn't think of taking pictures to show my step-by-step methods. So bear with me!
What I wanted first & foremost was to be able to make a Mr. Potato Head that had removable parts (I didn't go as far as having storage for a butt, unfortunately). I dusted off a flatten exercise balance  ball covered in dust bunnies and cobwebs, inflated it and paper-mached half of it using newspaper and diluted white craft glue to create a dome for the top of the head. I layered and layered it for an entire evening, leaving it to dry over my Halloween cottage weekend getaway (Hello Miley & Robin!).

When studying Art, I had dabbled at making art pieces using chicken wire and loved working with that medium. While leaving the paper mache dome to dry, I unrolled the chicken wire sheet and formed it into a huge cylinder that was the same width as the dome. I placed myself in it to make sure I had plenty of room and approximately set where the arm holes would be. Once the cylinder was secured by twisting loose ends to the base, I cut out holes using scissors (since wire cutters took longer in my opinion) to create the arm holes. The loose ends of chicken wire are motherfuckin' sharp and left me with lots of (expected) pretty scratches. Handle with caution!

Chicken Wire & Paper Mache

Back from my weekend getaway, dome was dry & chicken wire base was done. I carefully peeled the newspaper dome off the slightly deflated exercise ball (knowing what I know now, I should have probably greased the ball first). I paper mached the edges of the wire body and once that was dry, but not completely dry, I paper mached the dome to the newspaper edge of the body to merge into one big shape. The rest was to paper mache the entire body into an even-ish surface (even though that's pretty hard to do when you're working with what is essentially wet newspaper and big-hole fencing).  You add layers upon layers until satisfied. Then I spray-painted a tan colour over the entire body until I couldn't see the newspaper articles anymore (2 cans worth to be exact). And lesson learned, do this outside or in a garage with a mask or bandana. I live in an apartment with no balcony and lived off the fumes for days. It's unpleasant and you'll get intense lingering headaches guaranteed.

My indoor spray-paint station

Next, the body parts. First, I use cut-up left over cardboard rolls from saran wraps as "plugs". They're thicker, thinner and sturdier than a paper towel roll. For the eyes, I halved a big styrofoam ball. I glued them to a small cardboard rectangle which would serve as a base to glue my 'plug' to. I proceeded by painting them white to give it an even coat and finished by drawing 2 bigs circles in the middle of either Styrofoam half ball with a Sharpie.

For the tongue, I cut out a tongue shaped cardboard and simply padded it with newspaper and masking tape and paper mached a layer over the whole thing. I taped a 'plug' to the cardboard and spray-painted the lot with a fire engine red that would match the nose. I used the same process for the ears, a smile & moustache but painted them pink, white and black, respectively.

For the nose, I used an old oval plastic bowl (same used for last year's E.T. Halloween costume), taped a cardboard on top of it for the base to which I'd glue a 'plug' onto. Again, I spray-painted it with the same bright red as the tongue. For the hat, I used a big bowl and made a border using newspaper to create a bowler hat and spray-painted it all black.

 My costume was a big hit but very annoying for a house party. I couldn't stay more than 15 minutes at a time and hardly had any conversation during those times as no one could properly hear me but they had fun switching up the body parts. I won 1st prize (a whopping 40$!) but seeing people love the costume was definitely the best reward. It was totally worth it.

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