Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween 2012 - Caveman and Sabre-Toothed Cat

Now that our Halloween parties are over, I can put up instructions on how to make our costumes! These were SO fun to wear. Not as much fun to make, but I'm hoping anyone reading this will start more than three days in advance. Three days is a push, to get costumes like this done.

Materials List for Caveman:
  • 2 metres of fur - I bought a half yard of snow leopard, a half yard of cheetah, and two yards of tiger to make both costumes. Cost: $36.61 at Fabricland
  • Sculpey III clay in white and granite - I wound up buying two 8 oz packages of white to do all the teeth and bones for the caveman and sabre-toothed cat costumes, and a 2 oz package of the granite for the spearhead. Cost: approximately $38.00 at Michael's. 
  • Leather cording for the necklace and the spear - Cost: Approximately $5.00 at Michael's.
  • Thick leather thongs for the waistpiece of the 'skirt' and the spear - Cost: Approximately $14.00 at Michael's.
  • Long, straight stick for the spear - Found by Tim
  • Thick, knobby branch for the club - Found by Tim
  • Fake skin or liquid latex and fake blood for cuts - Cost: $6.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart
To-Do List:
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. 
  2. Form the teeth and bone for the necklace out of the white clay. We made them the same size as the front teeth from my helmet/head. Four little ones, two bigger ones, one bone. I kept thinking the bone looked like a little caveman bowtie. Use a kitchen skewer (like for making kebabs) to poke holes through the pieces where you want them strung. We left the skewers in while cooking them to make sure the holes stayed big enough for the leather cording. 
  3. Form the head of the spear. Tim looked up pictures online of spearheads to come up with his and it turned out amazing. 
  4. Bake the bones, teeth, and spearhead for the recommended amount of time. For the white, I believe it was fifteen minutes per 1/4" of thickness, while the granite was 30 minutes per 1/4".
  5. Cut the fur into jagged pieces as long as you'd like the 'skirt' to hang. If you have a sewing machine, use it to attach all the furs together in a nice random arrangement. If you do not have a sewing machine, like me, get ready for an annoying hand-sewing process. I sewed all of them to one piece of ribbon I had, just to make it a little more sturdy. On the outside, tag on the leather thongs so that it looks like it's held on by that. I just stitched around the leather like belt loops because stitching through it would have been impossible. The skirt is done at this point (we held it together with pins, you can get more technical and add buttons or ties if you like. It would probably be sturdier. The chest/shoulder piece was Tim's addition because he felt naked in the skirt. It's just a leftover piece of fabric wrapped around him and tucked into the skirt. 
  6. When the clay has all baked and cooled, you can string the pieces for the necklace onto the leather cord and wrap the spearhead to the stick. To make the expandable necklace, I used these instructions. For the spearhead, Tim's cut some kind of a notch into the stick and then super-wrapped the spearhead. It looked amazing. 
  7. For the cuts the first night, we used fake skin to make the sabre-tooth cuts on Tim's arm. He did NOT like that I actually scratched him to get the placement right. After laying down the marks, I just gobbed on the fake skin. Once it dried I covered it up with makeup - any foundation or concealer will do as long as it mostly matches their skin tone. Once that has dried a little too, VERY carefully take scissors and cut the scratches into the fake skin, being careful not to get real skin. I'll admit that I scored Tim a little in a few places. Once the cuts are open, I ran a dark lipstick over them and filled them with fake blood, leaving a little extra to drip down his arm. 
  8. There you go! Caveman!

Leather cording and thong attaching spearhead to spear

 Caveman necklace

Ribbon on the inside for structure

Leather thong on the outside

Materials List for Sabre-Toothed Cat:
  • 2 metres of tiger fur
  • Sculpey III clay in white
  • Black pants
  • Black long sleeve shirt
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black lipstick
  • Old baseball cap, sized to fit your head
  • Full roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Hot glue gun with LOTS of glue sticks - I think I used between 15-20
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Newspaper ripped into thin strips
To-Do List:
  1. Form the teeth, eyes, nose, cheek pads and ears from the clay. For the teeth I made four small teeth, two medium teeth, and two very large teeth. The eyes were slightly smaller than golf balls. For the nose and ears, look up pictures of tigers and form them to match. For the cheeks, I use a toothpick to poke little holes where the whiskers would go, only I couldn't find anything to make the whiskers out of. Really high test fishing line might have worked. Bake at 275 for the recommended amount of time, about 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness. I found the eyes and the largest teeth to take an hour. 
  2. Paint the ears black, then attach fur to the tops. Paint the nose black. Put little black dots around the whisker holes on the cheek pieces. Paint the eyes - I used a few different colours of nail polish to do this. 
  3. Cut pieces of tiger fur to match the front and back of your shirt. You will actually have to cut it slightly larger than your shirt because your shirt will probably stretch and my fur did not at all. You don't want to be busting at the seams! Sew the pieces to the front and back of your shirt.
  4. To make the head, first use aluminum foil to form a rough tiger head shape. Use hot glue to keep it all together. Liberally. 
  5. Once the aluminum is to your liking (it doesn't have to be perfect, using the tiger fur on the head covers a lot of sins), cover this will a layer of paper mache made with a pretty thick flour/water mix. Mine was probably slightly more flour than water, but mix it up to your liking. Dip the newspaper strips and use them to cover the whole head, shaping it to the aluminum foil. Do not put too much of anything inside the rim that will sit against your head. It will chafe. I had to put my paper mached head into the oven to dry because I didn't have enough time. I just turned it on at the very lowest temperature and watched it carefully.
  6. When the paper mache is dry, poke/bash/cut out holes for the eyeballs and a trough for the nose to sit in. I painted the whole head black just in case there were any gaps in the fur. Then, starting at the nose and working towards the back of the head, hot glue the fur onto the head, stretching it tight. This will be (as the hole head is) a procedure with a lot of adjustments. I pushed little balls of fabric under the fur fabric above the eye holes to kind of create more of a pronounced eyebrows shape. And I cut slits in the fabric and slid the ears underneath before attaching them with hot glue. I also put the nose underneath the fur on the snout so it looked more natural. 
  7. Once the fabric is all hot glued and taut against the head, add the eyes, cheek pads, and teeth. Your head is done!
  8. For face makeup, I just did really intense cheek contouring and really, REALLY big cat eyes. 

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