My oldest son wanted to be "Two-Face" from Batman (aka Harvey Dent) for Halloween this year.
As the eight-year old that he was when I wrote this Instructable, his main exposure to Two-Face was the LEGO Batman Video Game.
I searched and searched the web to find a pre-made costume, as I am a busy working mommy that has way too many commitments. I didn't have any luck with a quick on-line purchase so instead of asking him to change his mind, I decided to make him one.
This is the Instructable that describes how I made his costume.
It took me about eight (8) hours to paint, iron, wash, and dry the suit (that's not including the 24-hour mentioned dry time here and there) and about 30-minutes to put his make-up on. I also estimate the total cost to be around $60.00, as I had a few of the items in my craft stash.
He loved it and to me, that was the only thing that mattered.
Step 1: Research on Two Face
Here on Instructables, there is a really good tutorial for an adult version of the Two Face Costume, obviously scarier than my version:
Two faced Harvey make up and costume by Sarah_hoyle
I researched the web and found a pretty cool kids version that just wasn't what I was looking for, but I would have used it for back-up if I couldn't get the costume you see in this Instructable right. At the bottom of this blog post (BabyCenter Blog,) the author shows a pretty easy way to make a costume using electrical tape and sewing different clothes pieces together.
I go into more detail for the fairly simple make-up I did for his face in Step 11. He wanted a version of the Tommy Lee Jones-styled Harvey Dent make up, and I wanted to go with more of the Lego Batman Version. I did the make-up so we compromised on the color (more purple/grey) and did the make-up with the stretched out lips.
The photos are tagged with the website name source and of course, all my research was for personal use only.
The main reason for the photos was to look at the black and white suit used in the Lego version of two-face. Turns out that the suit also appears on Batman: The Animated Series. Most of the photos you see in this Step are from that show.
Step 2 begins the process of acquiring and making the suit.
Step 2: Materials, Tools & Equipment
The gist of what I did was paint a white suit half black - based mostly off of the Lego Two-face character's style.
I looked up how to paint fabric on the web and read up on what products I could use from this website: Create for Less. I knew I needed a larger quantity of fabric paint, so after reading the aforementioned website, I decided on a fabric medium to add to acrylic paint. I've experimented with other types of painting clothing before, but never to this large scale. I've also done clothes dying, but never for just half of a piece of clothing.
I considered purchasing two suits and sewing them together, but my limitations on sewing were not worth the cost of two suits, as I just don't feel that confident sewing anyway. I also considered making a suit out of duct tape, but again, that just seemed like it would take too long.
That's where this list of materials I used came into play:
- Please see the photos for the suit components. The one I purchased off of Amazon (Formal White Dress Suit Set)was all white with a shirt, tie, jacket, pants and vest for $40.
- black acrylic paint (I used about one 12-oz bottle)
- three (3) bottles of textile medium (2-oz bottles each)
- various sizes of sponge brushes
- a container to mix the paint in
- wax paper
- 3/4" wide blue Scotch Painter's Tape
- Optional: black fabric pen and ruler (Step 6)
You will also need a place to paint and let the paint dry on (I used a disposable plastic tablecloth on my kitchen table), a washing machine and dryer, an iron and an ironing board (or a place to iron.)
The make-up/hair color:
- Two purchased Halloween make-up kits - The colors I used were purple, grey, red, yellow, white and black
- Matte-type powder
- Make-up sponges
- black hair chalk
- white hair chalk
- hair spray
A quick note on Halloween make-up: Not all kits are the same. Before you buy make-up, read the cautions on the back and check if the yellow and white can be used around the eye, and if the red, white and black can be used on the lips. See Step 11 for more info on the make-up.
Step 3: Pre-Wash Your Suit
I added soap, used the gentle cycle with cold water.
Step 4: Label & Wrap to Protect
After the suit pieces were washed, I set about labeling the pieces so that they matched the final look of the black and white suit I was trying to re-create. I wrote the word "white" on five different pieces of blue painters tape and placed those pieces on the side that was going to be protected while I painted the other side.
I had my computer open to the photos of the suit I was trying to recreate and began with the tie to place wax paper around the half that was going to remain white.
Most of the photos in this step show the tie being wrapped and taped, and I included the shirt in there just for reference.
I began by placing a piece of painter's tape down the center of the tie. I was generous with the painter's tape and wax paper and as I placed a piece of wax paper on one side of the tie, I flipped it over and placed the painter's tape on the back, again, down the center.
For the shirt, I first placed a piece of painters tape down the center of the outside of the shirt and the inside. I used the wax paper to wrap up the shirt, kind-of like a present, covering the edge of the wax paper with a second piece of painters tape, over the previously delineated center-line. I did not know at the time how helpful this was going to be when actually painting the shirt.
A few tips:
- Feel free to overuse the painters tape.
- Placing a line of painters tape first to delineate the shirt on both sides was good to determine the centerline.
- Don't start painting until you have wrapped every article of clothing. This is just so there isn't an "accident" if something spills or little fingers want to help.
Step 5: Mix & Paint!
Unfortunately, that also meant that I spread this project over the course of about three weeks, but that was because I am just busy. Good thing I started early September!
The instructions on the textile medium bottle stated:
(1) Pre-wash fabric (see Step 3)
(2) Secure to wax paper covered board. (Kind of did that. See Step 4.)
(3) Shake well
(4) Mix two (2) parts Medium to one (1) part Acrylic Paint. I used one tablespoon medium to 1/2-tablespoon acrylic paint. (This step.)
(5) Clean up while wet with soap, cool water.
(6) Before washing, air dry 24-hours, then heat set. (Step 6 & 7)
(7) CARE: Wash inside out in cool water. (Do not recommend for this project after my results! See Step 8.)
Using my plastic tablecloth, I set out to paint the tie and the shirt the first evening. I did not complete the shirt because at the time, I thought it might be best to NOT have the arm stick to the body of the shirt.
The second night I finished painting the shirt, and painted the vest and a part of the pants. (Now I wish I had done at least one exposed-half of the pants - see the "what I learned" section of this step.) The reasons I only painted part of the pants was that I had not mixed enough medium and was getting tired. The pants had different stroke lines from one day to the next, and I think I should have mixed more medium and completed them that night.
The third night (about ten days later as we were having some family drama with my mom) I was able to finish the pants and the suit.
What I learned/Helpful Hints
- I found that one-eighth (1/8) of a cup of paint to one-quarter (1/4) cup of textile medium was a good amount to cover the suit. I also think that amount would have covered the vest, tie and possibly the shirt.
- The 2-oz textile medium bottle is about 1/4-cup.
- As I did this project over the course of several days, the mix didn't always "match" the previous paint coverage. I didn't think that one day to the next would make a difference, but in the end, it sort-of did. (Again, my son was very happy with the result. I just note that it wasn't perfect.)
- The shirt was by far the thinnest material. There are at least two photos showing the coverage, but in the end it was not a big deal that I could see through the fabric. The more important thing I found was that the shirt was uncomfortable for my son, something I did not think about while painting it.
Step 6: Touch-Up Straight Lines
I do consider this step optional, as again, I wanted sharp lines on each piece of clothing, but if you are a good painter and have the right kind of paint brushes, you may have been able to get a straight line without this step.
I placed my pieces on a sturdy cardboard box to get a straight line and it was also there "just-in-case" the fabric marker went through the material I was working on.
I used the black fabric marker from my fabric marker set and a ruler to touch up the straight lines and the spots that needed to be covered.
Photos show areas on each piece of clothing except for the vest. The vest met my expectations of having a straight line in the back and I did not have to use the ruler and fabric marker to make straighter lines.
As the pants had a seam that I could use as my guide for half of the garment, I did not have to use the ruler on that article of clothing.
There are photos for the tie, the pants and the shirt. I waited ANOTHER 24-hours in between placing the fabric paint and ironing the clothes.
Step 7: Iron the Pieces (Part 1)
I set the iron for polyester, the type of material the suit is made out of.
Some more lessons learned for this....
- Clean the iron in between ironing the white and the black OR use a ironing cloth. I have an old iron and it rubbed something onto the white part of the clothes! I just hope that mistake helps someone else pay more attention.
- The directions for the textile medium state to iron for 30-seconds. I did this by moving the iron after about 5-10 seconds in one spot. I would pick the iron up and move it to another location, until I felt that the entire piece was heat set for 30-seconds (at least).
- Not once did I hold the iron in one location for 30-seconds. Perhaps new irons don't cause the brown burn stain?
- I did not iron (or purposefully anyway) the white part of the clothes, because I knew I was going to wash it again. This ironing was strictly for setting the paint into the fabric.
Step 8: Wash-n-Dry ... Maybe
In my example, I did not like the result, BUT, I will say that I did not follow directions EXACTLY either and that might have had something to do with it.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO WASH-N-DRY (as recommended by the bottle):
(1) Turn the clothes inside-out
(2) Set the washer for GENTLE cycle, cold water
(3) Add a tiny bit of fabric softener
(4) Dry on low heat or fluff setting
Please let me know if this works for you.
What happened to me:
(1) I forgot to turn the clothes inside out (that's in the photo if you look hard enough)
(2) I set the washer for gentle cycle, cold water
(3) I added half-a-cap-full of fabric softener (mainly because my son was complaining about the stiffness of the painted shirt)
(4) I added a dryer sheet and dried the clothes on low heat
What resulted from the washing was faded color AND like a "linty" look to the black side of the suit.
It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was hoping for either.
If I were to theorize what could have happened, I would imagine that my main problem was NOT turning the clothes inside out. With the exception of the vest and the tie, the suit, pants and the shirt (the sleeve at least) probably would not have turned out so faded.
Also, logically, there is a reason why many of us have been told since kids to separate whites from dark colors when doing the wash. I think that might have had something to do with it as well.
I am happy to report that the white part of the pieces did not turn black though, something I was risking when I washed the garments together.
Step 9: Ironing, Part 2
This time, I used a ironing cloth over the tie, and the grime from my old iron did not get onto the tie or the white arm sleeve as before.
Step 10: The Complete Suit
I did not make him wear his shoes for these photos, as at the time, I didn't think it mattered.
Other than being shoe-less, I think my own child could pass for a young Harvey Dent.
All he needs is the two-face make-up and a coin.
You DO NOT have permission to use the photos in this step unless you are using them to link back to this site and tutorial. Thank you for understanding.
Step 11: The Make-Up
There are so many video tutorials on how to do the make-up for the Two-Face character, that I really do not go into much detail as to how I did mine.
What I do want you to know though is that I learned quite a bit about Halloween make-up during this process.
A couple of the photos show the "Cautions" that were clearly shown on the back of the make up kits.
I purchased two kits for a total cost of about $15. They complemented each other as far as what colors from which kit I could use around the eyes and the mouth.
I wish I could say that I looked on the package before I bought them, but alas, I did not and completely lucked out when I opened up the kits and read the cautions on the back!
I used the Youtube tutorial to create my son's look. Both of us wanted it to be simple, and we also learned that my son does not like wearing make-up.
The photos for this step were taken on "practice day".
I was going to have to do this make-up three more times in October and I wanted to have an idea of how much make-up I used, how long it took and if I needed to buy something else.
The only thing I wanted to improve on in the future was the mouth, as I realized much later that the teeth could have been more in line with his jaw and the teeth could be more defined. I tried to get better, but coming home from work tired and having to put make-up on a squirming child is not easy. Oh well.
What I did:
- I started with the main color (purple in my case) to create the dividing line between the two halves of the face. I did not use a gauze-type tape as suggested in the tutorial and just winged it to make it straight.
- Next I traced the mouth area on his face with the purple, using the smaller make-up applicators.
- I filled in the remaining portion of his face with the purple, and would have completed the neck area, the ear and behind the ear if I were doing the make-up for the upcoming Halloween events.
- After the majority of the face was covered, I worked on the mouth and began by outlining the mouth with a red make-up crayon.
- The top and bottom of the gum line were applied with a small applicator and the pink make-up.
- Next I filled in the remaining area with white, again using the white that I could after reading the precautions.
- The teeth were drawn with the small applicator, and I both highlighted and defined the drawn teeth with grey, yellow and black.
- After the teeth, I colored around his eye with the appropriate make-up crayon. This step shows yellow, but we ended up using white make-up for the actual events around his eye.
- I drew on a crazy eyebrow, based off of the You tube tutorial using the black make-up crayon and a fake scar.
- Finally, I used a make-up sponge to apply a pressed matte powder over the make-up with a very light coat as it does have a tint to it.
Step 12: The Hair
We used hair chalk to color half of his head black, half white. It's a temporary way to color hair, and I have both types one could use.
Hair chalking can be done by using a commercial product or pastel chalk. We tried both, and both worked.
The purchased one I got at the County fair (really!) and you can buy something like it on Amazon.
The "pastel chalk" you see in the photo is literally over twenty years old (giving out my age, I know!) and I got it in high school when I thought I wanted to be an artist for the rest of my life.
The directions for both types are pretty much the same, and you can find tutorials on how to use pastel chalk (not-"hair" intended) many places on the net.
Here's how I used it:
- For the costume days, I made sure my son was wearing his under shirt when I applied the chalk. I could have placed a towel around his neck, but he has short hair so I wasn't too worried about it getting on the clothes or even on his neck.
- I wet his hair with sprayed water.
- I rubbed the white chalk onto the left side of his head/hair, (the side the make-up was going on) trying to get the longer pieces as white as I could because they would be sticking up.
- I rubbed the black chalk onto the right side of his head/hair.
- I sprayed his head with hair spray and waited about five-minutes (5-min).
- After the five-minutes, I used a comb to brush up the white side of his hair, chalking it even more in certain places as I need it.
The last step is where I put it all together.
Step 13: Putting It All Together
The first occasion was to take photos at a professional portrait studio (a tradition we have done every year since his birth.) The second was for a friend's halloween party and the third was Halloween.
The photos for this step are from the two first events.
I was able to track down a pair of black shoes, but no white ones to do the mis-matched shoes part. I don't think you notice it anyway.
My son chose to wear two different colored socks, even though you can't see those - but that tells you how important it was to him to look the part.
You may also notice that the make-up looks different from one set of photos to the next, and that's because I did the make-up without the tutorial open, as I was getting better at it (or so I thought.) We also changed our minds about the eye because he wanted the white around his eye after all.
I ended up having to clean the collar of the shirt with some stain remover after the second event, and I hand-washed it and hung it up to dry for Halloween. (There are a few photos for that process here too.)
Don't forget the coin!
My shameless plug: PLEASE vote for me for the Kids Halloween Costume Contest. I take much pride in making this costume, but more importanty, in my children who have fun with dressing up in something they want to be, even if there isn't a ready made costume available for it.
I would have been remiss if I didn't include my other children in their store-bought costumes. Happy Halloween everyone!
Please do not use these photos in this step for anything EXCEPT linking back to this site. Thank you for your understanding.