Wondering what to wear to the next luau, concerned that your "girls" might not fit properly into a pre-made piece, of just think its nifty to be able to say, "I made it myself" when people ask where you got that awesome hula costume? For under $10 you, too, can make your own coconut bra.
For this project you will need:
- a coconut
- thin leather strips or thongs for comfort, or thick twine for you masochists
- jigsaw or hand saw
- power drill or sharp pointy object
- power sander (optional)
- lacquer (optional)
Step 1: Purchase a Coconut
When purchasing a coconut, you'll want to keep in mind the size of your girls. Go with your gut, and look for one as spherical as possible. Don't be afraid to hold them up to your chest in the produce section - the odd looks are kind of fun, especially if you bring a friend or two. Unwrap the coconut, slap the sticker on your cheek and you're ready to go!
Step 2: Poke a Hole in the Coconut
Poke a hole in one of the eyes of the coconut using a screwdriver. We used a Philips head. You could gently tap the top of the screwdriver with a hammer if it's giving you trouble, but that will probably not be necessary. After busting through, wiggle the screwdriver around to widen the hole. Drain the coconut of its contents through the hole and sip while melodious marimbas play in the background (rum optional).
Step 3: Saw the Coconut in Half
Much like a magician with his lovely assistant, it's now time to saw your coconut in two. We went lengthwise with our cut, but again, size up the coconut for your breast-cradling needs. A hand saw would work just fine for this job, but we lazy artist types went with a jigsaw instead.
NOTE: Aaron is a trained professional, please do not use your knees as a vise.
Step 4: Remove the Meat
Remove the meat from the inside of the coconut using a spoon. Wedge it right between the meat and the shell. Unless you are skilled at this task, it will take some patience and effort - leverage is the key. At this point you may be famished from all your hard word, so please be sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Step 5: Sand the Outside
Sand down the outside of your coconut. A power sander will definitely be your friend here. We sanded the halves down to a dark brown with tan score marks. I think they give the shells character, but you may be able to sand them back further to remove any imperfections.
If you don't have a power sander available to you, try to trim off all the hairy bits before attacking it with sandpaper - or better yet, just go with the hairy coconut for a more rustic look.
Rinse off the coconuts and remove any remaining coconut meat. An optional coat of lacquer would add permanent shine to the shells, though we skipped that step.
Step 6: Fitting and Drilling
Apply to coconut halves to your breasts (bare, if you're going to wear them that way) to decide where you want them to stay. Now mark 4 holes with a marker in each coconut half - 8 holes total (this is easier with a friend helping):
- 2 on the inside where the halves will be held together
- 1 on the top, closer to your arms, for the neck straps
- 1 on the outside, closest to your arms, for the back straps
Next, drill the holes where you have marked, being sure to leave at least 1/4 of an inch between the hole and the edge of the coconut. An actual power drill is recommended, but an awl or similar pointy tool and hammer may work instead.
NOTE: Again, knees are not a vise.
Step 7: Attach the Straps
Thread your leather thong or thick twine through the holes you have just drilled. I started with the bottom middle piece, tied one end off, put the coconuts on again to check where I wanted them and then tied the other end off accordingly. Next I did the back straps, then the neck straps, then the top middle strap, all using the same method.
Once you're sure you've got it all adjusted for your own personal fit, trim off the excess from the ends, if necessary.
Step 8: Rock-a-Hula, Baby!
Congratulations, you are now the creator of your own, personal coconut bra, tailored just for you! I wore mine for about 2 hours right after I made it and found it to be much more comfortable than expected. Then I did some fire dancing, and found it to be much more secure than I figured as well.
We knocked this baby out in about an hour, but there were four of us with power tools, so your mileage may vary.
Thanks so much to Jo, Aaron and Aaron for their help on the execution of this project!