Saturday, November 15, 2008

Craftiness Series #2

Okay I did promise I would share how I made my kid's Halloween costumes so this will be the 2nd post of my craftiness series!

The elements I used can be turned into almost anything you want and can also be used for other things than Halloween costumes. I will explain at the end.

Okay the first thing we did was the head. (I say we because I THOUGHT it would be fun to let me kids, 3 yr and 1 y., to help me paper mache and paint - not the best plan but THEY had fun) Here were the steps to making a paper mache dinosaur head:

1. Blow up a balloon. (I taped the bottom of mine to a plate so it would stay still on our table while I worked on it.)

2. Rip up pieces of newspaper and paper mache onto balloon. Since my son is young I didn't think he would go for a full over his entire face mask so we just did the top so it would sit on top of his head. There are several recipes for paper mache but the easiest and the one I used was simply liquid starch. Just pour some liquid starch into a paper bowl and start painting it on.
NOTE: Do only about 4 layers of paper and then do a layer of white computer paper so it easier to paint later.
3. Once dry crumple up two pieces of paper into balls and tape onto sides of mask for eyes. Then paper mache over them to create the eye sockets. Let dry. Once completely dry pop the balloon.

4. Once the balloon is out and it is dry, you may paint any color you want. I picked green but brown would be another common dinosaur color. Don't forget to paint the eyes and nostrils. NOTE: I almost forgot I also folded white paper into triangular points for teeth and just applied a little more liquid starch to attach on the inside of the mask.

5. Punch two holes on each side to tie a piece of string through so you can tie it under their chin.
Second component of the costume was the body. It was made out of a pillow case!

1. Take an old pillowcase and dye it the color desired (you may not need this step depending on the color of your pillowcase) Use hot water and don't forget to add the salt! Also make sure your washer and dryer are empty because you will have to wash them afterwards!
2. Then cut arm holes and a hole for their head - make sure it isn't too big because it needs to rest on his shoulders to stay up.

3. Then for mine because my son is very young I was able cut a slit up the middle of the bottom of the pillowcase and sew the edges to create legs. He was able to slip his entire body through the head hole at the top. If they won't be able to slip through the top you could always cut down the back of it and sew a zipper in or even simpler just attach a Velcro strip.

4. Other Options: You could also paint a tummy onto the front in a different color than the body. Such as if you did a green dinosaur a yellow tummy would be cute. Whatever color you will make the spikes would be the color for the tummy also.

The third part was the tail.

1. Take another pillowcase - dyed the same color as the body (dye both pillowcases at the same time - one box of dye is plenty for both)

2. Cut a tail out of the side of the pillowcase and flip inside out to simply sew up the other side leaving the large end of the tail open.

3. Flip the tail out covering your sewing and then fill the tail with stuffing. One big bag is only like 3 or 4 dollars at a craft store. NOTE: straighten out a wire clothes hanger and put through the tail before stuffing so you will be able to bend and shape tail later.
4. Once stuffed full sew up the end and then sew the entire tail onto back of pillowcase body.
For some reason it cut the bottom of my picture off when I rotated it around so sorry you don't have the full picture!


1. Cut out spikes from cardboard and paper mache with white computer paper. Once dry paint yellow or again any color you choose.

2. Super glue (yes you need it that strong if you want them to actually stay on) the spikes all the way down the tail and back of the body.
All DONE! After doing this I realized the possibilities are endless on costume ideas for animals. Probably monsters and anything else too for that matter. You could do a zebra - add ears to the mask, or a camel -add humps instead of spikes and shorten the tail etc... I made a bunny costume for my little girl, taking out the mask and purchasing bunny ears headband and by making a tail out of cotton balls and a hot glue gun.
So have fun creating your next Halloween or play costume for your child and let me know if you come up with other creative ideas to this costume!