Tuesday, November 3, 2015

DIY Scary Fairy Costume

Remember the spiderweb dress that I wore for Halloween last year? So do I, and while wearing a costume twice is just not my M.O., it had too much potential to just throw or give it away.

I decided I would use it to make a pair of fairy wings, since I always see them at Renaissance fairs and secretly wish I had a pair of my own. The last pair of wings I made was rather puny, so I wanted these to be imposingly large.

I started by sketching out a few wing ideas, before finally settling on the bat-wing silhouette, which I then traced onto a large piece of paper. I made a few adjustments, so by the time I was done, it looked like a bunch of unrecognizable lines, but I knew which ones I wanted to follow.

I then deconstructed 4 coat hangers. I used two pairs of pliers to untwist and straighten the wires as well as I could (still couldn't get it perfect). For a while, I wrapped the pliers in tape so they wouldn't damage the finish on the hangers, but the tape was demolished so quickly, I gave up on that idea.

Once the hangers were straight, I bent them, using my hands and the pliers, into the shape of the wings.

One wire wasn't big enough for a whole wing, so I had to twist two wires together at one of the wing's joints.

The really hard part was figuring out a way to attach them to my body. They were surprisingly heavy, so I needed an industrial-strength solution! Eventually, I twisted the long tails of each around each other so they would meet at the center of my back and secured them with smaller wire and some epoxy. I then bent the remaining ends into a wavy shape and blunted the tips with a wrap of duct tape. I then threaded a belt over and under the waves so it couldn't slip out, and wrapped it around my chest. It was a reasonably sturdy solution, but still the wings collapsed too far to the side, so I later had my boyfriend wrap a twist tie around them near the base so they couldn't separate as much.
 Once the shaping was complete, I wrapped the frames in black sports tape to mask the wire's rather distracting glossiness.

Then, I laid out each wing on a piece of the former spiderweb dress and cut out an approximate wing shape from the fabric. Some stretching of the fabric was required (and desired, so that the fabric would stay taut) to make the whole wing fit.

Then, using craft glue, and all the binder clips at my disposal, I wrapped the fabric around the edges of the frame in segments and held it in place with the clips. When the glue on one segment was dry, I would remove the binder clips and do another segment. So this process actually took me a couple of days. I took a few pictures of this step, but they seem to have disappeared!

Now that the wings were done, the rest of the costume was the easy part!

I had a pair of spiderweb-pattern patterned mesh tights that were the perfect complement to the wings. I wore a black uneven-hem halter dress (this one) and then, the pièce de résistance, a forest green corset that I got at Rugged Wearhouse for 3 dollars and have been holding onto for the perfect occasion. 

This time, much to his relief, I didn't make the dog wear a costume.

I made a pair of arm warmers out of the original sleeves of the dress. That was easy—I just cut a small hole in the side seam where my thumb should go.

I couldn't do much with my hair that really screamed "dark fairy" to me, sadly, but the rest of the costume pleased me pretty well. I added a pet spider, the very same spider that graced my head in the spiderweb costume of last year.

 For the finishing touch, my go-to scary eye makeup: A dramatic cat-eye and green shadow to go with the corset!

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