I realize I had not supplied a post in over a year! However I have a good excuse - I spent most of last year pregnant and now have a colicky three month old son! As he ages, I get more free time, and hope to continue to post helpful costuming ideas as they come to fruition in my workroom.
Things I’ve been working on in the past year:
A lynx costume
Baby outfits (painted)
Learned to crochet! Made various hats, blankets, baby clothes.
Things to come:
Finishing the lynx costume
Starting a dog costume this summer, hopefully
I need to blog about:
My original lynx costume
My cybergoth costume
Feel free to Ask Me Anything! I’ll answer as timely as possible.
I neglected to post finished photos of Branwen’s eyes on her head. Here’s a few.
Seeing the photos I took I can tell the eyes are not both on there precisely in the same manner; I’m disappointed but it’s subtle and if you are in person watching the mask move, it’s probably not even A Thing.
I ordered a pair of 23” black satin gloves (not so sure on my material choice, but we’ll see how it goes) and purchased two packages of plastic eagle talons from Hobby Lobby. What I wanted was a set of hands that looked like birds’ feet. What I got is spot on.
My first glue attempt was using rubber cement in a similar fashion to how I glued on the eyes to the mask. The nail dried beautifully, however it felt a bit weak and I was afraid if I pulled on it, it would peel off. So I whipped out my gluegun against my better judgement and sealed the sides with hot-glue. That nail isn’t going ANYWHERE.
While wearing the gloves, I glued the remaining nine nails on with hot-glue only. I figured my fingernails and the glove material would save me from being burned. Readers, NEVER assume that ANYTHING can save you from the wrath of hot-glue. Seriously, I hate it. See that picture below? That’s the hot-glue trying to rip off my fingernails.
But I digress. I started by adding a bead of glue to the end of each nail and then pressing it into place upon my gloved hand. The initial bond was stellar, but to make them all match and guarantee they’d stay put, I put more glue around the edges to seal it on. None of these are coming off easily.
Sad hands devoid of bones.
Best part about these gloves? Drumming your nails.
A short clip showing the warped eye that I had to replace. Good job, me.
If you don’t want to make specific feet for whatever creature costume you are making, consider shoe styles. Vibram Five Fingers are paw-like, and could work for many animal types. In my case, I had a pair of Japanese tabi boots on hand, and my search for bird feet is over before it began.
If you don’t want your character to wear actual shoes, then you’re rather out of luck. Special feet will have to be made. But for the lazy among us (myself included!), there are definitely pre-made options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to purchase - vs ordering paw-style feet from a costumer, for instance. I highly recommend eBay and etsy, as well as Amazon! You never know.
I didn’t really take many photos of this process like I should have but let me just say it was a bit of a pain. I used black fleece for the backside of my raven tail and used both the long- and short-pile furs for the visible side. I sewed dividers between each “feather” and stuffed them with polyfill, and stuff the base as well just a bit. The attachment I decided on includes four belt loops, the center two to center the tail on my pants and the outer two to stabilize the whole thing as it’s a bit wider than say, a cat or dog tail.
I had to brighten some of these photos so details could be made out, the thing’s so very dark solid black.
Yeah I need to vacuum the carpet, I do have four cats, three of which are black, and if I don’t vacuum every 3-4 days the floor turns gray.
Those eyes I talked about last time? So I worked on them, using that tutorial I linked. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be but I definitely learned some important things along the way.
I acquired 40mm wiggle eyes from Hobby Lobby. Being very careful not to punch through and scratch the clear plastic, I removed the backing to all four of them and took out the wiggly bit inside. I trimmed up the edges and made the vent sections. I sanded two, inside and out, to prep them for paint.
Here is where I started taking photos! Below is my painting process. Many layers went into each eye for a better effect:
Here is where I did several layers of black for the pupil to ensure it was solid. Then I glossed the whole thing.
Here is the final eye, both halves hot-glued together carefully. You can see on the paper below that the eye is pretty see-throughy so I also painted the backs of them with several layers of black.
I originally started with hot-glue to apply them to the mask, however this was a BAD idea as the plastic heated, became soft, and then warped horrifically when pressed to the face. I ruined one eye and nearly the entire face of the mask when this happened. Please use caution when using hot-glue and be aware of what materials you are using. I picked up a bottle of clear rubber cement and used that successfully. If it will withstand the test of time, well, only time will tell!
All right, I’ve had a week to play around in my raven and ultimately, I don’t like her eye setup.
Pros: Great vision, great ventilation, and ability to use own eyes for expression
Cons: My eyes are set too deeply in the face of the mask, making it very creepy and eyes are not visible from most angles; looks creepy and weird in general because of that
I’ve acquired some large 40mm wiggle eyes from Hobby Lobby, cut and removed the backing, and will be painting them shortly. I’m following this tutorial. The eyes look like they will work all right in preliminary testing.
This outtake cracks me up. Finished photos will be available in a day or two. Trying to decide what colour to make her eyes.