Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween costume and parade

Well, I finally walked in the annual Baxter Avenue Halloween Parade this year. My dad helped out; not only did he hold the chanin that was around the neck of my 10-foot-tall monster, helping me present a ferocious appearance, he also helped out in driving back from the end of the parade, and provided back-up in case I had costume trouble. It was very helpful to have a "spotter" to let me know if I was falling too far behind the float in front of me, or to let me know if there was someone I needed to pay particular attention to (or avoid) along the route, or to simply point out an object I might trip over. The costume is manageable as a one-person affair, but assistance really makes it easier.

We got a few photos, but it was dark and people were moving, so the pictures aren't great. The last photo here is actually from last year. The first one is from the parade last Friday.

I've been trying to find a few photos of my costume as it was under construction, but I think most of them are on our external hard drive at home, and that is inaccessible right now because our home computer is out for repair. I do have, however, a picture of the arm being made. As you can see, it's made with a framework of scrap wood and cut-up wire coat hangers. To this, I hot-glued cardboard and shreds of cloth. I used lots of hot glue. Then I added a little paint.

The head of the costume is a plastic pretzel bucket to which I glued stiff packing foam, sculpted to a general skull shape.. Over that went a few layers of paper mache, then latex caulk, then paint.

The whole skeleton is scrap wood held together by screws, with eye-screws and carabiners for articulated joints. The beige fabric is an old bed sheet combined with the remains of the fabric from a collapsible gazebo that was destroyed in the Hurrican Ike windstorm, given to us by the Schrodts; most of the black fabric is a sheet given to me by the Ailstocks. It's held on by glue and staples.

It's awkward, and I worked up a bit of a sweat in the parade, but it's really not very heavy or uncomfortable. I guess my years of on-and-off planning and experimentation paid off in that regard.

I keep getting ideas for improvements, or for whole new costumes. I'd love to make others in the same vein, if I only had the time.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Lot's of labor into this costume. And well worth it - the crowd loved you.


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