Sunday, October 31, 2010

DIY- Medusa geisha Halloween costume

In compliance to this year's Greek mythology Halloween theme, my costume was the Gorgon Medusa but with a Japanese Kabuki/Geisha style.

I was lucky to find lots of helpful elements to build the rather elaborate costume around. I wanted a very lavish kimono in tones of black, gold and red, to match with Jacob's Minotaur costume. A trip to the thrift store (Value Village) yielded a kimono-top dress and another large dress in the right colours for a total of $20:

I got a bit more fabric from the fabric store for about $40. A glossy black fabric to make the kimono's long sleeves, a rich golden fabric with dragons for the kimono's 'Obi' and some red trim ribbon:

After visiting several craft/dollar stores without success, I found some nice-looking rubber snakes in a toy store (no picture, sorry) and a basic black wig.

I found some neat yellow contact lenses, to finalize the Medusian look that could turn onlookers to stone, at for a pretty good price. Their shipping was very fast too.

Putting the whole costume together was a somewhat haphazard affair, as I had about a week left and a busy little 3 month-old to entertain. I wish I could have made a more comprehensive tutorial, but it basically consisted of sewing the various parts (sleeves, trim, obi etc...) together. The kimono was assembled in two parts, attached with snap buttons, to allow me to nurse Penelope easily. An interesting observation was that Penelope seemed completely oblivious to my attire, full-face makeup and creepy eyes eyes: She just giggled and demanded her embraces and feedings as eagerly as usual :D

The final look:

Little Penelope also had a costume of sorts to celebrate her very first Halloween. She sure nailed the essence of jolly, carefree Pan:

... She got more enthusiastic once she got out of the car seat, promise ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DIY- Minotaur Halloween costume

This year, for Halloween, awesome paper-craftster Jacob (and my hubby) and I decided to go for a Greek mythology monsters theme. However, we were a bit underwhelmed by the usual plain toga idea so we thought of mixing other cultural elements to the costumes.

I picked a Kabuki-inspired Medusa and he went with a Venitian carnival Minotaur.

Here's the Minotaur in all its glory and we're pretty psyched about it! :D


First, Jacob made a rough structure for the bull head. I'm always impressed at how he can capture the basic essence of a shape with very little effort. Here' the bovine shape made out of a cereal box:

The horns were molded out of good old papier mâché and some fine wire for support:

Next, Jacob used plaster of Paris to solidify the shape and add more details. Since this is a functional mask and bovine eyes are too far apart to serve as seeing holes for a human, he added a few seeing holes on the front:

The finer details, like eyes and nostrils were made out of a baked clay-like putty (which was lighter than the plaster, as the mask was getting quite heavy), then glued to the plaster head with contact cement:

The final, fully plastered mask model:

It was my turn to paint the bull mask, Venitian style. I began by painting the whole mask with black acrylic paint to create a uniform base:

Then I used a sponge to dab some gold paint mixed with black for a bronze-like effect that would show through the other colours:

Using a warm, antique-white, I outlined the mask's patterns:

It was then only a matter of adding some finer details in gold, black and red paint:

And here's the final Venetian Minotaur mask!

My Medusa costume is coming along well; kimono, snake-wig and all... Pics coming soon!