Creative Costumes You Can Make at Home
Making your own costume is part of what makes Halloween one of the best holidays of the year! It can be hard to find the time and creativity to create an entire look from head to toe, but with these no-sew headpieces, you can craft a look entirely your own in just an evening.
Materials For Creating the Base: two wire wreath forms or other base that fits your head, scissors, tissue paper, masking tape, polyester batting, scissors, hot glue and glue gun.
The pin cushion and jellyfish share the same base construction. You can use a wreath form like we did, or create a base from cardboard. Just make sure the head opening fits comfortably. The wreath form that fits an adult head didn’t offer a very large brim, so I wired it to a larger wreath form. You could also use a sombrero or hat with a wide brim that you can cover to create your pin cushion or jellyfish.
Whatever brim base you use, you’ll want to build height first. Using tissue paper or newspaper, softly crumple paper (don’t over squish) and pile on top of the base. Secure paper crumples in place with loose strips of masking tape that arch over the top. Continue adding paper and taping into place until you’ve created a loose form. This will look fairly messy for awhile, but that’s ok. You’ll want the paper to stay lofty and light.
Add a layer of polyester batting over the paper form. Cut a large square so you have enough to cover the entire shape. With the underneath side of the form facing up and the square of batting below, start tacking the batting into place near the head opening with hot glue. Begin gluing opposite ends, then move around the form so you get a fairly smooth shape. If the wire structure isn’t providing enough surface to glue, you can glue a small crumple of paper down first, then glue the batting to that. Pull the batting taught, but not too tight, or you’ll deflate the paper form beneath. Continue to wrap batting and glue into place. Trim any excess batting. You can also add a roll of tissue paper or a strip of batting along the opening for the head so the jellyfish will be comfortable to wear.
Once your batting is in place, the fun starts! In the same way you added batting, cover the jellyfish form with a layer of iridescent cellophane. You can also choose fabric if you prefer. The iridescent cellophane is fun because it reflects so many different colors, but if you want to be a blue or pink or purple jellyfish, you can use a single color cellophane instead. The cellophane will melt a little where you use the hot glue, so be careful not to burn yourself!!
Using ribbons and trims, start creating the tentacles of your jellyfish. I used lengths of sequins from the fabric store, iridescent ribbon with wire running down the center, and large individual sequins I strung on fishing line. You can use anything that will create the feeling a of jellyfish. Using a wired ribbon is a great way to suggest movement. Hold a length of ribbon with your arms outstretched and turn the ends of the ribbons in opposite directions. You’ll create a twist in the ribbon that will hold because of the wire. You can also use strips of fabric, cut paper, or other types of ribbons to create your jellyfish. Add these element to the underside of the jellyfish body with hot glue, leaving a space in the front so the person wearing the costume can see! : )
If you can’t find large individual sequins at the fabric store, you can punch circles from metallic or glittery paper and string them in the same way. Using 3-4 foot lengths of fishing line, add individual sequins or punched paper circles by threading them onto the fishing line and tying them into place. Once you have all your tentacles in place, your jellyfish is ready to wear! Pair this headpiece with some shimmer makeup and a glowing white Tee and you’re set for a swimming good night.
The pincushion starts the same way as the jellyfish right up through the batting layer. To create the pincushion you’ll cover the base with a layer of red felt. Wrap the felt around the form and secure into place with hot glue. Felt is fairly heavy so you’ll have a lot of tucks and fabric to maneuver. Just keep at it until you have it all glued down, or tucked into the opening of the head. We believe in you!
If you get a lot of bunches at the bottom of your cushion you can hot glue a 3″ wide strip of felt at the lower part of the cushion. This will hide any extreme tucks and also give a finished look to the brim. You’ll cover this seam with gold trim in the next step.
Adding embroidery and gold ribbon will make your headpiece look more like a pincushion and less like a woodland mushroom (which would be so cute too!) Add a length of green embroidery floss running across the top of the pincushion and hot glue into place at the seam where you added the 3″ band. If you didn’t add the band, glue on the underneath side of the headpiece. I added three lengths of floss, but you can add more if you like. Once you green floss is in place, finish the cushion by gluing gold ribbon or trim over the seam or in the lower half of the cushion. All you need to do now is add pins!
Using wooden skewers and 1″ foam balls, create a set of sewing pins for your pin cushion.
Place foam balls in the cardboard box and working outside, paint them with spray paint. I tried using a floral spray paint but that dissolved the styrofoam. Learn from my mistake! I ended us using RustOLeum paint from the hardware store and that worked perfectly.
To create the pin itself, paint several wooden skewers with silver acrylic paint and let dry. Once the balls and skewers are dry assemble them by pushing the blunt end of the skewer half way into the styrofoam ball. Leave the pointed end of the skewer to push into the pincushion. You may need to wiggle them in at the start but they’ll stay just like real pins!
Making a tomato leaf collar is a cute addition but not entirely necessary. Take a large square of green felt and cut a hole in the center for the neck and a vertical line to one corner for an opening. Place the square color on the person who will wear the costume and chalk out a rough leaf shape. Cut along the chalk mark to finish your collar. Put on your pincushion headpiece and you’re all set!
Both the Jellyfish and Pincushion make the perfect creative costume for Halloween! These techniques can be adapted to make these large or small, which means your whole family can be a smack of jellyfish!