Halloween is my fave holiday!
The only drama is convincing my hubby Ray he wants to make me happy by dressing up. Lucky for me he is a good sport. I found a stellar musical note shirt and an outrageous record player necklace for the 24k gold plated bling for his Bruno Mars costume. (You knew Bruno grew a mustache, right? LOL)
I went as a paper doll!
Suggested by the tune-track playing in my head. My Popa used to sing the first couple of lines to the Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll” to my mom.
I’m gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own
A doll that other fellows cannot steal
I don’t know that I had ever heard the full song from the 1930s until I started this costume and went looking for it. Paper Doll by the Mills Brothers.
I saw the cute costume above. Alas, not in my size. But a good idea I thought. It’s just a front so I will be free to move, especially if I build it in 2 pieces.
- Fabric-paper means I can sit and the paper will bend without too obnoxious a crease.
- I can always recycle the paper into my art journal.
Yeah, but I have a larger bust than the model. What to do? Then I saw this coffee filter dress.
Eek! I am so not doing that skirt, but I am grateful it gave me a solution for my bustier top. Coffee papers are flexible and shaped right. Saved!
I know, I know, you might have heard me swear off coffee filters after I made a couple hundred paper and coffee filter flowers for my wedding, so this should be relatively easy… oh, the little white lies we tell ourselves!
Materials for bustier:
- Coffee filters
- Washi tape
- Color Sprays – Lindy’s seem to be the only ones that do not clog.
- Acrylic paint – white to repair a sprayed area I did not like.
- Retro Comets Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
- Double-sided tape and packing tape
- Fold your coffee filters in thirds for the tabs and waist. Fold a bunch over leaving about a 1″ ruffle, fold a few in half, and some I simply flattened.
- Your shape is not my shape. I suggest, you kinda build the costume as you try it on, taping as you go.
- I completed the V and waist part of the bustier with washi tape.
Front of bustier before paint (the back looks pretty similar but there’s a goodly amount of tape.
Because my top had become so ruffled, I decided to go with a pencil skirt.
- Trash bag(s) so you can peel up your fabric-paper.
- Painter’s or another removable tape
- A mixture of 2/3 Elmer’s Glue and 1/3 water or Modge Podge
- Cloth a bit bigger than your pattern – I used what I had in my stash, a 25-cent pillowcase I picked up from the Pine Senior Center Thrift Store as the base for my fabric-paper. You could use muslin or cheesecloth.
- A combo of papers from your stash – I used:
- book paper – worked like a charm!
- saved baby wipes – thicker so took longer to dry
- paper wine labels – must have been backed with some kind of plastic as they did not want to play nice with the other papers
- misc previously stenciled papers
- a shopping list
- a receipt – thermal paper loses its ink
- printed tissue paper
- Stencils used:
- Acrylic paint – white mixed with water to “knock back” the colors and unify the collage. Then I stenciled with red, yellow, and blue because it would match my comic strip makeup.
- Sponges for paint
- Safety pins to attach costume to clothes later.
- Tape down your trash bags.
- Tape down your fabric.
- Paint layers of glue mixture on to fabric and papers. Tip: Generous glue over stingy!
- Let dry completely overnight and hit with a heat gun if necessary.
- Stencil over the top and let dry.
- I considered this, but why use one stencil when two will do?! Optional: Make a 6” slit in the skirt over one knee, and alternate coffee filters in slit and above it as a ruffle.
Step 3 above. Step 5 below.
I must admit, I am pretty dang stoked how my costume turned out!
There are as many amazing patterns for paper hair as there are for paper dresses. The Cardboard Collective has a good starter diy.
Serendipitously, the hat for my hubby’s costume came with a half head shaped insert. All I had to do was copy the pattern and viola! Full head wig structure.
In addition to the wig structure you will need:
- Newspaper and scissors to cut individual locks of hair
- Barrettes or bobby pins
- Tape to hold the hair in place
- Mark where your barrettes are going to clip on to hold the wig in place. You do not want to glue hair over the top of these.
- I went for curls about 1” wide cut mostly the length of the newspaper but a few, the width. I learned newspaper cut in strips curls pretty much like curling ribbon. Pay attention and if there are pics with colors you want to show, curl them out.
- Starting at the bottom, I taped ringlets in place then affixed with single and double-sided tape.
A Jack-o-Lantern full of thanks to my buddy Joe for doing such a fantastic job applying my (water soluble) make-up!
I cried my paper doll came out almost exactly as I imagined. Happy dance!
The costume was as labor intensive as I thought it would be and somewhat more difficult, but I had a truly good time making it and I was absolutely ready to PARTY!