Posts Tagged 'last-minute'

The final countdown…

Ahh, the 11th hour…When thoughts of sewing turn to hot glue and hope…

This was me last night right before the Halloween party I went to: On the floor tacky gluing fabric to a cardboard triangle for my Lady Gaga costume. Thursday night, I had been up till all sorts of odd hours  spray painting the other part of my Gaga-wear. (The sort of flattened innertube thing you see around my waist above.)

I think the costume came out quite alright though! At least with the help of my $5 ( I know, right?!) blond wig from Jo-Ann Fabrics. And my sunglasses, which I can at least reuse again. I also got those gloves super cheap (under $5!) at my local Claire’s boutique (it sells jewelry, mostly to the pre-teen or teen set, but don’t judge me, they have really cool earrings in there!).

If you want a Lady Gaga costume like this on the cheap (i.e. not the $50-60 it costs sans wig in the store) try to get yourself:

  1. a black top (Charlotte Russe for me!)
  2. a black skirt (I had that already, you might too)
  3. Posterboard (if you can’t find black posterboard or large cardstock-type paper at your local arts/crafts store, go with regular old white posterboard; Just spray paint it black and leave to dry/air out for 24 hours)
  4. recycled cardboard or posterboard for the silver triangle; (Tip: if you’ve got some scrap cardboard that already has a right angle in it, you have to do even less measuring)
  5. silver sequin-y fabric (Jo-Ann’s; $7/yard and I needed maybe a half a yard with some left over)
  6. tacky glue
  7. black ribbon
  8. some fishnet stockings (I had those from a past Halloween also),
  9. a blonde wig (If you can’t find the super cheapo version as I did, it might go for about $20 or thereabouts)
  10. sunglasses ($10 or under should get you a decent Gaga-esque pair; just go as big as possible)
  11. shoes (use what you’ve got)
  12. gloves (optional**) you can’t eat party food with them on anyway

To start, cut a triangle from cardboard (height is from your hip to your bust line, width is 5-6″ on average). Place the cardboard on top of the wrong side of your sequin fabric and cut around it, leaving about half to 3/4″ allowance around it to glue the fabric down. You will want to cover the BACK side of your triangle first; then flip the triangle over and cover the FRONT side. That way all the excess fabric overlap will only show in the back.

Originally, I had wanted to velcro this piece onto my costume, but due to time constraints, I could not. I ended up cutting small slits in the back of the triangle, through the fabric, then stringing black ribbon through them and tying it around my waist. I safety-pinned the top part of the triangle to the bust of my shirt. Whether you use this method, or whether you go with some stick-on/sew-on velcro, at least you can remove the triangle when you want to. This will make the costume more comfortable, and it will make it washable also.

Translate the shape from the below template to a FULL sheet of regular sized posterboard with a pencil. I just eyeballed it. I am sure it was a little asymmetrical, but no one noticed…

Spray paint the board black on both sides (if your posterboard isn’t already that color.) Make sure you cut enough out of the middle to fit yourself in. Don’t worry if the board bends a bit when you try it on, this is what give it the curve you see. Punch holes in the front of this “skirt” and tie your black ribbon in a bow around yourself to keep this thing on.

That’s more or less the whole costume. Now slap on a wig and show everyone your Poker face :-). Happy Halloween!

Halloweek kickoff (or Jack O’ Lan”tee”)

I must confess that I am a little bit behind the 8 ball this year in getting ready for Halloween…

Here it is the week before the big day, and I don’t even really have my decorations out. Also, I really have no idea how I am going to slap a costume together in time for the big Halloween party this weekend!

So, in honor of all of us who life just seems to sneak up on sometimes, I present to you: “Halloweek.” This week, I will attempt to post a collection of Whoomp There it is, all victory, no-waiting, quick crafts for the time-deficient Halloween lover.

Today we will start with my slap-dash Jack-O-Lantern t-shirt. You can use this shirt as a costume on short notice (my boyfriend and I did that last year), or just as an excuse to be crafty and say “hey I’m festive” in a semi non-committal way. Even if you just want to hand out candy in this bad-boy, the lucky people visiting your door will be thrilled to see the smile on your face…and on your tummy.

 

You will need:

  • Orange or orangish t-shirt (wash it first to remove sizing if this is a brand-new shirt; it will help the tape stick better)
  • black duct tape (or regular duct tape and a black Sharpie if you’re really low on time); I used black Duck Brand duct tape from my local Michael’s
  • Scissors
  • waxed paper (this makes your life SO much easier, trust me)
  • optional*: white washable fabric marker (or one of those left over, thin,  almost useless bars of soap from the shower) to mark where you want your jack o’lantern face on your t-shirt

 

  1. Try on your shirt and see about where you want the face to be. Ladies, please pay special attention to this step. I strongly suggest that you don’t put the eyes on the t-shirt without testing first….unless you are going for a very attention-grabbing look. If you are, then throw caution to the wind :-) If you like, use the white fabric marker or the side of the bar of soap to mark the locations of where you would like the eyes and mouth to be. Then remove the t-shirt and lay it flat.
  2. Next, unroll lengths of your duct tape. If you are making black duct tape from regular with a Sharpie, now’s the time to color it in. (Note: Please factor in some time for the marker to dry before doing any of the next steps. I cannot guarantee that the marker won’t rub off later anyway, but patience is your best bet here).
  3. Place the sticky side of the duct tape down on the waxed paper. Smooth out the tape as best you can to make it flat to the paper; This should prevent the tape from sticking to your scissors while you cut, making it easier to cut the tape precisely the way you want it. TIP**:It may make it a little easier if you let the tape overhang the wax paper slightly at this point. It will make it easier to peel the wax paper off later.
  4. Now, freehand cut some triangle shapes from the duct tape with your scissors to make your jack o’lantern’s eyes. It’s best to start off bigger than you think you need and then reduce the size later. Also, if you want your eyes to be the same size/shape, cut one eye out first, and then use this cut out as a template to cut out the other eye. Trim as needed.
  5. Next, make the jack o’lantern’s mouth. Please notice above that I overlapped two strips of duct tape to give the mouth more “height”. Place these overlapping strips sticky-side-down on the waxed paper as well. And now for the big tip!!!  TIP**: To make a symmetrical mouth, fold the black tape in half so that the wax paper sides are touching. Freehand cut some teeth from the outside of the strip of tape in towards the center fold. Stop when you have cut almost to the fold line. Then cut a “half tooth” shape directly at the fold line. This should give you symmetrical teeth with one big tooth in the center of the mouth.
  6. Now, before you remove the waxed paper backing from the cut tape pieces, place your eyes and mouth on the t-shirt to confirm that they’re the right size,  and to finalize where you want them. Please make sure the t-shirt is stretched out flat and that it’s not too wrinkly when you do this. I wouldn’t use the picture of my t-shirt above as an example of “not too wrinkly” though, for this is not the case….
  7. If you like where the facial features have been placed, now comes the tricky part. Try to remove the waxed paper from the tape pieces. It’s easier if you try to free the paper at one of the points or corners. Using the scissors, a pin, or your fingernails also helps.
  8. Once you have done this, smooth the eyes and mouth onto the t-shirt where you want them.
  9. Voilá! Your Jack o’t-shirt is ready for wear.

Happy Crafting, and Happy Halloween!

 

 


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