Friday, October 28, 2011

Fish Scales and Candy

Whew! Starting around this time of year it just seems like go go go go go, doesn't it? Well, in between a two part birthday party at two different locations and a trunk-or-treat extravaganza, I just have time to show you the Halloween costume I made for my daughter this year! There are two little known facts about me: #1- I used to work in costume design and #2- I am a licensed aesthetician (skin care/makeup artist) in the state of California since I was sixteen years old. These two things serve me well this time of year, and Halloween has long been a favorite simply because it's an excuse to let my inner drag queen out! I know ya'll know what I'm talking about...we all have that campy, feather boa wearin' side we gotta express every once in a while! Well this year I let her out vicariously, in the form of a mermaid, through my daughter. I wasn't much in the mood to make myself a costume, but I had a lot of fun making this one!

My daughter has been watching "H2O: Just Add Water" about three girls who are magically transformed into mermaids via the 'moon pool' and has been obsessed with all things mermaid ever since. Of  *course* she chose to be a mermaid for Halloween! I checked the fabric stores for a costume pattern, but didn't see anything I really liked. I'm not much of a pattern follower anyway, so instead used a method I like to call 'hack and slice' to piece together a tail and fins. I Picked up some shiny blue and green fabric that was something between a vinyl and a lame, some iridescent pailette trim, shells, glitter paint and a foam crown.

Now I had to figure out a way to put it all together. This is the fun part!

 The crown was the wrong color, but not to worry...glitter paint to the rescue! It was also too tall and 'princess' looking, so I cut it down to smaller points. Then I hot glued shells all over it.

This is what it looked like after many coats of glitter paint.

Next, the tail. The construction was easy, basically just a tube that tapers to a 'V' between the ankles and then heavily gathered fabric inset into the sides. A little elastic at the waist holds it up.
So far, so good, but it was looking a little plain to me. Mermaids *must* shimmer after all!

Out came the puff paint to make some scales. I used glow in the dark blue! I also used puff paint to make lines on the fins, like a real fish tail would look.

And this is what it looked like so far.....I liked it, but still not enough. So........

            ........I painted some more on the fins. I liked where it was going, but needed some sparkle.

I layered and layered and layered glitter paint in green and blue, to get a good fade from blue to green to yellow. Wish you could see how much this glistens in the light!

Finally, we were ready to pair the costume with the makeup and this really is my favorite part! I have been accused of being willing to paint just about anything, my children included! I can't argue.......

This was a test run of some makeup. It was my daughters idea to put the jewels on her eyelids....I wanted to put them over her eyebrows, but this works. After some final color tweaking, this is what I came up with:

The top was another tube of fabric, ruched at the sides, with a cowl neck that I cinched up and pulled around her shoulders. At that point the whole shell-bra-mermaid cliche seemed to, well, cliche. She begged me to let her show her belly. NO WAY!

I LOVE IT!! SHE LOVES IT!! I was secretly a little jealous that I can no longer pull this off.......well there is always next year. Thanks for visiting, have a safe Halloween!


All About Vignettes said...

Oh my Laura, it's fabulous and your daughter is absolutely beautiful. So talented.


SimpleTruth said...

I love your idea for the puff paint! I'm going to be making myself a full-body (chest to toe) black mermaid tail soon, and I was trying to figure out how to jazz it up! I think some sparkly black or gloss black puff paint will be perfect!

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