Ok, so if you didn’t already know, I’m a HUGE fan of Halloween and costume making… it is my favorite holiday and I truly love my busy busy photo month of October.
I finally did it and actually documented most of my costume making process this time (for Oblina from Aaahh!! Real Monsters). I usually only post professional photography work on here, but since Halloween is fast approaching and I have clients and friends ask me all the time on how to do this. It really doesn’t take a long time to create this costume, but it does take short amounts of time and dedication (and some trial and error).
- Scissors, black marker/sharpie, masking tape, hot glue gun (+ plenty of glue sticks), plastic solo cups (for drying eyeballs), and bubble wrap
- 1/2 inch foam mattress pad (to make Oblina head) & tail if you choose to make one (I didn’t because it is too hard to keep track of). Link here for the one I got from Walmart for $16
- Paint and Paint Brushes: Red, Green, black, and white paint (I already had all of these except the green, so I just went to Michaels and tend to always buy the Liquitex brand, link here). Just buy a brush kit, it’s cheap and you will need a few different sizes. If you want to extend your paint so you don’t go through it too quickly, just add some water and thin it down a little.
- 2, 4inch durafoam balls (for the eyes). You can find them at Michaels or Amazon for under $5. Better than foam because the durafoam doesn’t soak up paint like the normal foam ones do.
- Black Pipe Cleaner/Chenille Stems- Link. For the eyelashes and fake little hairs on head. Small details matter.
- A wire hanger (and a wire cutting tool) AND a headband. You probably already have both of these things. This will be for the eyes. You will not be able to assemble this together until everything is completely done, as it will not stand on it’s own unless it is on your head or mannequin head (this really came in handy). You will need headband to keep wire hanger in place within the headpiece.
- Fabric fuse tape & Outfit: I mostly used things I had and then went to Goodwill to find the rest. Since Oblina is black and white, I just cut off a sleeve off one arm and replaced with another shirt sleeve and same with the one leg. To do this, I bought fabric fuse tape (the stick on kind (not the head/iron kind) because I didn’t want to spend more time then I needed and sew everything. If you are good at sewing and you have the time, go for it.
Overall, I probably spent about: $40
1. Write out a step by step plan first. I did this so I didn’t overwhelm myself and think I had to get everything done all at once. Hardest part was just getting started.
2. Create the Head
- Use the mattress topper material. Keep in mind that you will be cutting two pieces to create the head.
- You can either use a measuring tape and measure your head or just wrap the back of your head with the material to see what size you need to cut. Make sure this is slightly larger than your head and there is plenty of space above… you will need the extra material for folding and fusing pieces together. Don’t worry if you mess up, I did the first time and ended up starting all over again… there should be plenty of material to use. Don’t cut round at the top, but a rectangle, since you will be folding these inward and fusing together.
MAJOR TIP HERE: The best way to fuse the two pieces together is inside out. Once you have hot glued these together (so the bumpy mattress side is out and smooth side is in), wait til the hot glue dries (an hour, just to be safe) then flip it back to the smooth side.
- Once it is dry, try it on and get someone else to use the black sharpie to mark where you need to cut. For me, I marked halfway into my eyes and halfway at my mouth and then straight down from the ends of my eyes to make an upright oval. You don’t want to overcut and show way too much of your face, better to start small then cut more if you need to.
- You can go ahead and mark will you will paint black (check out the photos for reference)
- Paint and set aside to dry overnight (I also painted the top of the head white because the mattress pad material was a bit off white and I wanted a nice clean white)- stuff the top of the head with bubble wrap to keep the shape, it will be WAY easier to sit up straight.
- Attach two of the small black pipe cleaners to the head
3. Lips + teeth
- Not an exact science and plenty of trial and error for me. Just try your best to draw out lips that look like Oblina on another piece of mattress pad, but make sure you draw on the bubbled side and not the smooth side (I ran out of time before Halloween and you can still see some of the bottom lip markings) ALSO make sure they are large in size like the head.
- Once you have drawn and cut out the two pieces, paint them red then let dry overnight
- Fuse lips together on the sides
- Make the teeth. Cut out little rectangles from a cardboard box or from a box material, paint white (wait til they are completely dry) then fuse on lips
- Fuse Mouth to Head (check out my pictures)
- Durafoam balls. Draw it out first, then paint.
- Paint one side at a time, dry overnight or with a hair dryer for quicker results.
- Set eyeballs to the side and create your headband/wire holders for the eyes
- Start with headband and have wire even on both sides, tape/wrap it up so it is not going to budge from that headband. Place headband inside the headpiece and adjust so it will fit correctly on your head, then figure out where you will need the wires to come out each side, then attach eyeballs.
- Stick black pipe cleaners into the eyeballs (3 on each)… this is the easiest part since no glue is needed (unless you want to make sure they are extra secure)
4. Outfit- Search your own closet for things you can use or go to a Goodwill or local thrift store. Use the fabric fuse tape or just sew your pieces together.
Done! What should I create next?!