A friend had a white and blue chunky necklace that she loaned me. All I did was attach a loop of wire to a shell, and hang it off the middle of the necklace. I could have done the same thing with a strand of pearls. And since I didn’t glue the shell on, it easily came off so that the necklace could be returned to it’s normal, usable self.
I wasn’t going to do any face make-up, but they had a make-up booth at the party and I let them put some color on me. They tried to make it scaly by using a mesh as a template, but it failed. The make –up was just green eye shadow, brushed on over a thin layer of make-up base to help it stick.
My favorite part, though, is that they used false eyelash glue to make three small dots below my eye, and then gently brushed on a little glitter. Those three dots came out so perfectly that I would definitely do them again. And they stuck so well that I needed to use make up remover several times to wash them off.
I have the tail and the bra for the mermaid costume. Now, on to the head-gear. I had a costume tiara, and used that as a model for the mermaid crown. First, I cut a length of wire from a coat hanger and bent it into a sort of semi-circle. I cut a hair comb in half, and hot glued each half of the comb to one end of the wire.
Then I twisted some strands of pearls around the wire. Using hot glue, I tacked the pearls in place about every two inches along the length of the wire. (I just poked the tip of the gun in between the pearls and glorbed a whole bunch of glue out. Nothing too elegant or exact.)
Finally, I laid out the shells that I wanted. I took the main, center shell and while wearing the crown, held the shell in place in front of a mirror. The first one I chose turned out to be WAY too big, so I was really glad that I “mocked it up,” even a little, before actually gluing it on.
I’m very pleased with the results. There were a couple of other accessories that fell into place to make the costume complete.
Last year some time, while thrifting, I found the largest toy gun that I had ever seen.
Remember the Space Gun paint job that I did before? I bought this gun, thinking that I would paint it, too, sooner or later. That day has come.
Using the great ideas in the Steam Punk Gun Tutorial (which I previous saved), I set about transforming this amazing weapon.
First step is to photograph every part of the gun. I’ll spare you all those photos.
Then, draw an outline of the gun on cardboard or paper. When you remove a screw, tape it down onto the outline in the location where it belongs. Like this …
As you take the gun apart, continue to photograph it as each piece comes out. I can’t emphasize this enough. I thought that I had taken just about every photo that could possibly be taken of this thing, until I tried to put it back together. Because I was unable to get each piece in place exactly right, it no longer fires, the front end doesn’t come off anymore, the back end is not spring loaded, etc. etc. etc. You can’t take too many photos. Seriously.
The next step is priming this bad boy. I asked my friend, also known as The Handiest Man in the
Universe, what I could use to de-gloss the plastic, he recommended “Self-etching Spray Primer.” I struck out at Home Depot, but did find it at an automotive supply shop. I thought that the best part of this stuff would be that the top coat would stick well, or that the paint wouldn’t come off easily. But no. The best part was that the color was just perfect for a military-style weapon. Perfect.
So I set about painting the disassembled gun. Most of it remained this grey color, but I chose to paint some parts black, and some chrome/silver. There were also a couple of parts that were already grey that came off easily. I didn’t bother painting those. Here is the picture of the first layer of primer.
Finally, I wrestled the whole gun back together again – or almost together again. There were springs that I couldn’t figure out, a barrel that I KNOW I put in backwards, etc. etc. But overall, I’m happy with the results. Here is the final product, plus a before-and-after.
This year, I’ve just been too busy to put together a new costume – but I do have an old stand-by that I haven’t yet discussed here. The Colander!
Here’s a rather poor full-body shot, just to give you the whole affect.
Not exactly sure where I got the original idea for this – but as long as the lab coat is big enough, this costume is one-size-fits-all and thus extremely loan-able. Basically, it’s a lab coat, a colander, a long leather belt (ideally really beat up) and a whole bunch of electronical-looking thing-a-ma-jigs that are wired, taped, strapped or zip-tied to the colander.
I’ve put a few close-ups of the just the colander, so you can get a better look.
Among the things on there are:
a) A whole mess of colorful capacitors that I bought salvage on eBay.
b) A very long, loose spring that is just looped around the edge.
c) Some fishtank tubing, shoved into some of the larger holes in the colander and then looped around.
d) Brightly colored alligator clips, connected to various wires and items.
e) Colorful wire nuts, capping some groups of stray wires.
f) Some telephone cable, taped around the edge of the hat with black electrical tape, with the ends stripped and wire-nutted to stuff.
g) An old electrical outlet with one outlet and one switch.
h) A 15-Amp fuse.
g) A small light bulb.
To attach things to the hat, I used black electrical tape, some of that silver, super-shiny tape used on dryer vents and heating ducts, zip-ties, wire nuts, twist ties, and whatever bare wires were sticking out of anything. Duct tape or white bathroom caulk would probably also work well. Anything that makes it look like it was made in someone’s garage.
A note about the stocking cap. When I put the capacitors on, I basically just shoved the wire on each end of the capacitors through the holes on the colander and bent them over. This makes it very uncomfortable as it rubs against my head. I looked around for a surplus-looking stocking cap to keep my hair (and perhaps skin) from snagging on the wires while still keeping the general made-in-a-basement-lab look.
I’m really pleased with the way that it looks, and it meets all my “costume criteria” – I can eat and drink in it, it always fits, it’s pretty immediately recognizable as a mad-scientist, I can wear it all night long, and it doesn’t require me to drag around a hand-held accessory.
A friend of mine recently posted a series of photos showing how he modified a toy gun to become a “steam punk” gun. It seemed like a good compliment to my Space Gun posting, and I wanted to make sure that I kept his photos so that I could refer back to them in the future. So here they are …
This first picture shows what the original toy gun looked like. Notice that there is a trigger handle thing near the back of the gun, and then a second grip near the front. (My lack of gun terminology is showing, but you get the idea.) In this picture, he is tracing around the gun so that when he disassembles it, he can keep track of which screws go where. (Very smart.)
Here you can see that he has followed through on the idea of keeping track of the screws – taping each one down near the location where it was removed. This is particularly important if the screws are of different lengths or sizes.
Next, you can see the gun after it’s been disassembled. Rather than coming apart in two matching pieces, this one comes apart into two PAIRS of main matching pieces – plus some other parts like grips and what not. And this is where the paint job starts to get really interesting.
Rather than just painting the whole gun a brass or bronze color – which would be a typical steam-punk style thing – he’s chosen to paint some of it a bronze color and some of it a dull steel color. This makes the gun MUCH more visually interesting, and adds to the impression that it’s been crafted out of multiple metallic pieces and parts. Also, by having kept the screws carefully identified, he can choose to paint them to match – or to contrast – because he knows where each screw will go.
Next, he’s found some gear or cog like bits from a necklace at a craft store. Again, very smart. I’m wondering if you couldn’t also find buttons, or game pieces, or cardboard cuts outs that would also work.
He then just sort of sprinkles these gears around the gun to make it look … well … more steam punk. Here’s a picture of the completed gun. You can clearly see the two different metallic spray paints and how that makes the gun look more constructed. And the gears have been added onto contrasting colors, so that they stand out clearly.
I really like the look of this weapon. There are some other things that might be interesting to try – metallic paint pens, perhaps, to add the appearance of more parts. Or perhaps tubing of some sort. Or dials / gauges? I’ve never done anything steam-punk before, but this seems like a pretty straightforward strategy for making a pretty authentic-looking steam-punk weapon.
Once people know that you’re interested in costuming, all sorts of interesting things come your way. This week, it was an awesome (?) red wig. Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but here it is. (Proving yet again that I have no shame.) If I went Disney’s Brave with it, I’d want to curl it. But then those odd wing-like bangs could turn into little “fly-aways.” Maybe. We’ll see.
Saw these for sale online recently. And while I didn’t buy them – I wasn’t sure exactly how I would use them – I like the look. In black or brown they could turn shoes into something that looks like knee-height boots. Or you could do a Minuteman costume with them in a cream or white color. They are almost knee-height spats. Without the lace, of course.
You could probably make them out of any one of a number of things. If you were willing to put a seam up the inside of them, you could probably just buy a button-up sweater, cut the front button part out, and stitch it together making an inside seam
Anyway, I just wanted to save the idea here – for future use.