In true cosplay style, I bring to you my version of Margo Gru from Despicable Me 2.
If you haven't seen the movie(s), Margo is the oldest sister of the three adopted daughters of the main character "Gru."
In the first Despicable Me movie, Margo is wearing a Lorax on her shirt.
In the second Despicable Me movie, Margo is wearing a graphic of Wangan-Kun from the Japanese series Bayside Shakedown. (Yeah, I didn't know either until I started searching for info on her....) You can see more about that in Step 8.
All of this information can be found on despicableme.wikia.com/wiki/Margo_Gru.
Why did I choose to be Margo this Halloween?
As with most cool mommy's who choose to dress up, it's usually because of their children. My youngest had originally decided that he wanted to be a purple minion. My daughter told me that I looked like Margo and I should be her for Halloween. I couldn't pass up that compliment so I got to work to specifically be Margo from Despicable Me 2, because purple minions only show up in that movie.
My youngest ended up changing his mind about three times in the course of a couple weeks and finally decided that he was going to be Mario from Super Mario Brothers. You can see my kids dressed up in their respective costumes in the last step of this Instructable.
I finished my Margo costume over the course of two weeks. The thing that took the most amount of time was painting the shoes (Steps 2-4.) I spent about $60, and that was because I couldn't find a plaid skirt at the second-hand stores in my size, so I ended up buying it new online.
I had many reservations of "putting myself out there" for the world to see, but I believe in the purpose of this website (to share what I made) and I know that the many respectable people who will read this Instructable will hopefully see the enjoyment I had into making this costume just by reading about it.
Thank you so much for "being nice."
Step 1: Articles of Clothing & Accessories Used
As everyone who may come up with a Margo Gru costume would get the components of the outfit in different places, I will tell you what I used, how much each piece was and where I got it from.
Clothing I Used
- one black t-shirt - purchased at the flea market for $1
- one green colored jacket - purchased from a second hand store for $3.50
- one white shirt that shows under the black one - purchased from a second hand store for $3.25
- one plaid skirt - purchased from Amazon for $39.95 plus shipping*
- one pair of socks with stripes on them - purchased at the dollar store for $1
Accessories Used (not shown here but throughout the Instructable)
- one pair of Converse shoes - purchased at the flea market for $4, cleaned and painted as shown in Steps 2-4
- one pair of glasses - my own pair
- black ponytail holder
*Note: I looked high and low for a plaid skirt (like a schoolgirl skirt) at the flea market and second hand store. There were skirts available, but not in my size. I could have purchased a smaller skirt and modified it I'm sure to make it fit me, but I chose to purchase one because I could and it was easy. Obviously, this would be something that one could save money on.
Step 2: Modifying Used Shoes - Clean
I bought the pair of canvas type high-top shoes that Margo wears at the flea market for $4.
I was truly amazed to find a pair of Converse shoes at all, and even more amazed to find them IN MY SIZE. It's like it was meant to be or something....
Anyway, the shoes had to be cleaned, for multiple reasons.
First, I removed the shoelaces.
Second, I got out my baking soda, vinegar and scrub brush.
I systematically proceeded to apply vinegar to the area I was trying to get the grass stains off on the base of the shoe, then sprinkled baking soda, and then reapplying the vinegar over the baking soda.
The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar is a bubbling one, that makes the area the baking soda is applied to loosen the dirt & stain under it.
I applied the solution to the white portions of the shoe, until I was satisfied that it was cleaner than it was when I bought them.
Before I put them in the washing machine with some old towels, I added a generous amount of baking soda inside the shoe where I will put my foot. That was to remove dirt as well as any smell I could get out.
I chose to dry the shoes on the gentle cycle for about 20-minutes and let them air out after that. The shoes were incredibly cleaner than when they started and ready for me to paint.
Step 3: Modifying Used Shoes - Prep
I used Scotch Blue Painter's Tape,1.41-Inch size painters tape to cover up areas of the shoe that I didn't want to get paint on.
I covered up the converse symbol by measuring out a circle on two overlapped pieces of tape stuck on the bottom of a baby food jar. I cut the traced circle out for each symbol.
I also measured the rivets using a circle template and cut out each individual tape circle to protect the rivets as much as possible.
Finally, I placed painters tape around the white base of the shoe to protect it from the paint.
Step 4: Modifying Used Shoes - Paint
I first used white acrylic paint mixed with the fabric paint, and followed the bottle's directions of 2:1 paint to medium ratio when mixing the two components. The fabric medium helps the acrylic paint to be softer on the canvas, rather than break apart. I also used this method to paint one of my son's costumes from last year.
I placed two coats of the white paint/medium mixture over the front end of the shoe, before painting the rest of the shoe. I waited about an hour to dry so I could place painter's tape over the top of the newly painted area.
After mixing the fabric medium with the red acrylic paint, I began painting over the canvas part of the prepared shoe. Because the shoes were originally brown, the red came out very dark at first.
I painted a second coat of paint on the outside of the shoe, but only one coat on the tongue of the shoe.
I made a mistake in originally painting the entire shoe with red and didn't have to do that. But it was too late.
I ended up having to prep the shoe all over again to paint the shoelace line white. Please don't make the same mistake!
I was able to use the white paint to clean up the front of the shoe as well as complete the shoelace lines on both shoes.
Step 5: Add Stripes to Your Shoes
In my case, to make the shoes look more like Margo's, I added felt to embellish the outside of the shoes as they are shown on the example photo that I had.
There are two stripes on the outside and two stripes on the inside for her shoes. I didn't want to mess with the Converse symbol, so I only added felt stripes to the outside of the shoes.
I measured the stripes by good old fashioned eye-ball measurements, aligning the stripes for each shoe by using the eye holes as my reference.
I took a white embroidery thread and embroidery needle and hand sewed the felt stripes onto the sides of the shoes.
Step 6: Add the Back to the Shoes
So the back end of Converse-brand shoes are reinforced with an additional piece of canvas on the inside of the shoe. It would have been a nightmare to try to sew the back white piece of felt onto the back end of the shoes.
In order to achieve the same look for the back of Margo's shoes, I cut two pieces of white felt to the size and shape I wanted, that resembled her shoes.
I used the same embroidery needle and thread in the previous step and stitched lines around the curved portion of the felt piece.
Then I took Aleene's OK to Wash-It fabric glue and glued the back pieces to the back of the shoe. As I plan on only wearing this outfit twice and maybe if I ever get to go to a comic-con, I knew the glue would last the two times I plan on wearing the shoes.
Step 7: Modifying the Shirt
The black shirt was tighter than I expected and because I got it for a dollar at the flea market, I couldn't be too picky about it.
Rather than wearing a bulky white shirt under the black shirt, I chose to modify the black shirt by cutting off the bottom of the white button down shirt and sewing it to the bottom of the black shirt.
I have a sewing machine so after cutting the piece and sewing a hem on the inside, I pinned the piece to the inside of the shirt and placed my sewing line along the same line the T-shirt had.
I had to gather the white shirt on the sides, as the white shirt was much larger than the black shirt in diameter.
Step 8: Create a Shirt Transfer
In order to create the image transfer for the Wangan-Kun image (from the Japanese series Bayside Shakedown), I used a dark-shirt transfer package made by Wilton that I have had for years. I couldn't find much as far as why the image was used, but I'm sure there is significance.
I tried looking for this exact kind of transfer package, but decided to give a link to another version: InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers.
I found the image from here, where I copied and pasted the image to my computer. The image was/is being used completely for personal use.
From that photo, I selected the Wangan-Kun image from the picture and blew it up using Word. Yes, the image is VERY pixeled (is that a word for lots of pixels?)
Anyway, I continued to cut around the photo until it filled the top half of the 8-1/2x11 sized paper. I printed it on a regular sheet of paper FIRST, to ensure I was satisfied with the size of the image on the shirt I was wearing.
My printer was running out of ink so I had to change the ink to get the color right as well.
You may or may not be able to tell from the last photo that the picture has many pixels. When looking at the image from a relatively good personal-space distance, say 3-ft, one can't tell that the photo is so pixelated.
Anyway, I finally printed the Wangan-Kun image onto my dark T-shirt transfer to iron on to the shirt.
Step 9: Add the Image to the Front of the Shirt
I read the instructions on the shirt-transfer package and it specifically asked that I place a pillow case over the ironing board, so that's what I did.
I then placed the shirt over the pillowcase-covered ironing board.
I peeled the image of Wangan-Kun from the backing and placed it on the shirt.
Using the provided transfer paper, I ironed the image onto the shirt as directed, by putting it on a cotton setting, no water in the iron and not moving it around. I held the iron in the same place for a count of 30-seconds, as my iron has burned things after that amount of time so I lift it straight up for a few seconds before placing it back down again in another place.
The direction say to let the image cool to "warm" for a matte finish, which is the look I wanted for the image. Apparently if you let the paper cool longer, the image will look glossier. I was very pleased with the way the image turned out on the shirt.
Step 10: Modifying the Jacket
Because I was not placing the white shirt under the black one, I also wanted the sleeves from the white shirt to look like they were sticking out of the sleeves of the jacket.
I cut those off the white shirt and hemmed the inside. I placed the sleeves inside the jacket and pinned them onto the jacket to get the look I was going for.
Using a matching colored thread, I hand sewed the white sleeves into the loose part of the jacket, so that the thread wouldn't show on the outside of the jacket.
There is one photo of where I went through both layers of the jacket and the sewing shows. Oh well.
Step 11: Putting It All Together
I'm a total minimalist on a regular basis when it comes to putting make-up on thus, I didn't over-do my makeup for the final product.
The hair is pulled back into a low pony tail and I tried to get my hair to make the small loose strand on the sides of the face but my personal hair cut wouldn't allow for that to happen.
The last photo in this step is of me and my three children in his/her respective 2014 costumes. We are all very happy with our choices!
My little Super Mario was a homemade costume, and I made his hat. You can see that Instructable under Super Mario Hat Tutorial.
My son's Jedi outfit is a modified Luke Skywalker Costume. I made the robe based on this Instructable and made a new belt as well as new shoe coverings. It looks like a Qui-Gon Jinn outfit, but he wanted to be known as "just a Jedi."
Happy Halloween everyone from DeAndrasCrafts and Family!