Monday, November 19, 2012

Steamboat Willie Halloween Costume

My son wanted to go as Steamboat Willie this year, Mickey Mouse in his first role.  In black and white.   We visited Disneyland for the first time this summer, and he spent the money he had saved on a stuffed black and white Steamboat Willie.  He goes for the classics, the originals of things.

I knew it would be a challenge, but it sounded like fun.  Also, I felt I needed to compensate for buying both my kids their costumes last year.

We started with a design.  G drew his ideas and we talked them through.

Then we went shopping.  He already had white shorts, but we picked up inexpensive black gloves, a black turtleneck and black opaque tights.  At the thrift shop we found a pair of Crocs clogs, and decided to cover those in white somehow.  At the craft store we picked up plaster coated gauze, inexpensive craft paint, and black and white craft foam. I also found a jumbo-sized black pipe cleaner that was perfect for a tail.  Really, it was not an overly expensive costume.  $35 for everything.

Mask: Next, we made a plaster mask over G's face.

We didn't worry much about the shape of the eye holes and left the space immediately around his nose and mouth open.  I figured we'd trim the eyeholes to the right shape.  I covered the back of his head with plaster gauze, but ended up having to cut away much of the back so that he could put on and remove the mask.

Next, I shaped the nose out of aluminum foil, and duct-taped it to the face.  All of this was just by playing around until it looked right.
Then we trimmed the eye holes (for looks) and the sides and back of the mask (for fit), and covered the whole thing in another layer or two of plaster gauze, to hold the nose on and smooth the edges around the chin and eyes. The nose shape fit over the top of the mouth/nose hole (because Mickey's smile would be more around G's actual chin than on his mouth.  So breathing was easy to manage.

Nose: I used black yarn to shape an oblong nose for Mickey, which we used glue and straightpins to attach after painting.

Ears: Before painting, we used a multitool's serrated edge to cut slits in the plaster gauze where Mickey's ears should be.  We used my daughter's headband with Mouse Ears to get an idea of the angle.  Then we made the ears using two circles of black craft foam glued together.  In between the layers on one side there was a tab that was cut to fit through the slits.  The idea was that after the ears dried separately, and the paint was dry, we could slide them into place and duct tape the double-layered tabs inside the mask.  It worked pretty well.

Paint: After the plaster was finished drying completely, we painted the front part of the mask white with acrylic craft paint, pencilled in the marks for the black, and carefully added two or three layers of black acrylic craft paint.  I had a bit of trouble with the mouth, and ended up having to make Mickey's tongue much thinner than I originally thought it was at the bottom of his smile.  Wider and not so thick. I painted the smile down where G's real chin was inside the mask.

Hat: G shaped the hat out of white craft foam.  We made the slouchy top with a black athletic sock with a coffee can lid inside it and another sock stuffed in there.  We used Tacky Glue and straight pins to first get the hat to stay on that head. Once it dried it stayed amazingly well. You can kind of see the black-yarn nose in this shot:

Pants: We found oversized white buttons at the discount fabric store, and outlined them with Sharpie before attaching them to G's shorts.

Shoes: In a stroke of genius, we covered the clogs with athletic socks and then painted over the socks (shoes and all) with white craft paint.

Ta Da!  I think we had to go back inside and get the tail, but he looked great!

1 comment:

  1. Gbteacher@hotmail.comSeptember 15, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Too cool. Im going to run the disney marathon and dress as steamboat. U gave me some great ideas. Thanks


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