Our five year-old daughter wanted to be Jack Skellington for Halloween. I made the costume, and was planning on making a paper maché head, but then we happened upon a great pre-made head. My daughter then said she wanted a Zero dog to go with her costume. Well, since she needed a way to collect candy while trick-or-treating, I decided to combine the two. The candy goes in his mouth, and the tail end lifts up so that you can get the candy out. (I didn't exactly mean for it to mimic nature so closely, but it works!)
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
• A small plastic basket. this is the oval type that has molded-in flat handles. It is a smaller version of what a lot of laundry baskets look like now days. I got mine from a dollar store.
• White satin fabric
• White, semi-sheer, pearlescent fabric
• Heavy-duty fabric stiffening spray
• Large shaker of white glitter. I used a glitter Martha Stuart had out for decorating pumpkins. You can't see it in these photos, but the glitter glows in the dark.
• Black felt
• A long, cone shaped styro-foam
• Hot glue and glue gun
• A small, light-up novelty pumpkin
I placed the basket on a double layer of the satin fabric. I pulled it up and marked how much I needed to cover the basket with a seam allowance. I cut out the pieces, sewed them together, hemming and leaving an opening on each side for the handles, so that I could slip the basket between the layers, push the handles through the holes and push the top layer into the basket to line it. Holding the handles together, I wrapped cord around them the full length of the handle. The handle was together now, and there was an opening in the front and back of the basket.
For the flowing body, I layered the pearlescent fabric over some satin fabric. I placed the basket on the fabric, and marked a long triangle shape (the long point would be his tail and the opposite flat edge would be the front of his body). It was sized so that it would cover the basket body, the flat edge would hang down to nearly cover the front of the basket, and the tail would trail off a bit from the back. I cut the two pieces out together and cut a perpendicular slit from the center of the front, straight up to where the flowing body would meet the neck. I also cut a slit so that the handle could slip through and the flowing fabric would rest on the basket body. I stitched the two flat together, turning over a small hem in the front and along the handle-hole.
I placed the flowing fabric on the basket with the handles pulled through. I put the whole thing on newspaper. I then balled up paper and placed in in places under the flowing fabric to give it the shape I wanted. Using gloves and a face mask, I sprayed fabric stiffener all over the flowing fabric and let it dry. I did an additional coat, but this time, I sprinkled a liberal dose of glitter all over it, too.
For the head, I took a long, foam cone shape, shaved it down a bit to give it a bit of a curved look to match the general shape of Zero's head. I marked where his mouth would be. I covered the head with wax paper. Using several glue sticks, I put a couple layers of glue down to make a form for the top half of his head - everything except his lower jaw. Once it hardened, I took it off. The wax paper stuck a little, but that didn't matter. I re-wrapped the styrofoam in wax paper and did the glue again to make the lower jaw. Eventually the pieces, when held together, looked like Zero's head and had a large enough throat opening to accommodate candy. I cut off any areas I didn't want and tacked the two together with hot glue.
I made two long ears by cutting out two pieces of satin fabric layered with the pearlescent fabric, stitching them together flat along the sides and the point. I took wire double the length of the ears, bent it at the half-day mark and pushed it into an ear and did the same for the other. At the base of each ear, I bent out 3/4 inch and taped them to the back of the head.
I cut out satin fabric to cover the top part of the head. It came down off the back and side of head so that it would be able to tuck into the basket and form the back and side of the neck. The fabric turned under and about a half inch into his gums. I glued it on. Slits were cut, so that the ears could come through, and the edges were turned and glued under. I cut out and glued a piece of black felt to line the roof of his mouth, ending towards the back, but not so far that it would interfere with the throat. I did the same with the jaw, leaving fabric for the front of the neck. I sewed the fabric throat pieces together on the sides as far up as I could.
I attached the head to the front end of the basket with wire, right to the last part of the handle. I pushed the throat fabric into the front basket hole and trimmed the excess. I sprayed the head and ears with fabric stiffener and sprinkled with glitter. I glued on black felt circles for eyes and a light-up novelty jack o' lantern for his nose.