Introduction: Recycled, Latex, LED, Costume Build
Hi again fellow instructables!
This is my second instructable posting though I have been custom designing my own Halloween costumes for over 5 years and winning many cash prizes with them here in NYC!
This one was about a 36 hour total time build with 10 of those hours being on the day I suited all of the pieces up...the execution day is ALWAYS the longest yet most rewarding in the end!
All of the objects are cheap and I collect them throughout the year, always holding on to house hold trash items or other things that I think might be put to good use in one of my costumes. One constant building material that I use every year is liquid latex...a lot of liquid latex!
I hope you enjoy or at the very least are inspired...because every year I am...to outdo my previous years design!
Step 1: Gathering Materials...
1: vintage fake fur coat (for the chest and leggings)
2: cut the tops off of soda bottles
3: shower hose
4: latex mold (most Halloween shops sell them, they can be expensive, but a great once you spice them up and paint and or incorporate them into a larger build).
5: chains (to wrap all over body at the end)
6: Hot glue gun
7: various other props...Belts, vampire shirt, purple pants...
8: Liquid latex
9: assorted makeup colors and a variety of brushes
10: light up LED light cubes (Halloween store)
11: white colored contacts
13: anything else you can find that inspires your build!
...and wine, its a long day!
Step 2: Creating the Light Cells...
I used the halved soda bottles and found clamp hooks at a hardware store that fit perfectly around the perimeter of the bottle top. Secure the shower hose into the bottle top and hot glue. Around the base of the halved bottle, I completely lined it with velcro. I then created cardboard pieces with the other side of the velcro and circular red cut lighting gels. I made three sets of these. IMPORTANT: the velcro made it so if I had to replace an LED light bulb I would simply be able to open up the holding cell to replace.
Step 3: Latex, Latex, and More...
I then covered my body, in the areas needed, with liquid latex. (BE SURE TO SHAVE...I learned that the hard way on a previous year's build!).
I attached the accented latex ear molds and covered my eyebrows with scotch tape as to avoid tearing them out when it was time to take off the costume.
You can never have enough latex...this is about 7-10 layers...
Step 4: Add the Light Cells!
This was the fun part...really seeing the design start to take shape.
Simply latex layer the cardboard parts from before (with the red light gels) into the previously set latex where you are going to want the light cells to live.
Once you lock in placement its time to add the remaining latex molds and secure into place. Latex is a magical thing during this step...Just place/align and latex the edges all around it...throw some toilet paper around the edges of all of the molds to blend in the mold so it doesn't stick out as a mold. There is no wrong way to do this, I just layered the toilet paper, painted over it with latex, and repeated it and messed with it until the molds blended into the skin.
Step 5: Detail and Paint...
Exactly that...just paint and go nuts! The "jewelry" I used were soda bottle top round pieces...the ones that stick on the bottle sometimes after you take off the caps. The others were little old circuit board pieces in the middle of what was a 6 back bottle soda caddy that I cut the circles from. I find painting while wearing the piece to be the best as you can create a natural light source to help create natural and realistic shadowing.
Step 6: Cant Forget the Feet...or Hair...
I found an old fake fur coat at a thrift shop, cut it apart, and sewed it to fit around my feet. I used an elastic band around the top so they would fit firmly around my calf muscle and I tacked it into a pair of boots.
Step 7: LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Now, with all three of the light cells attached I played around with many wrapping techniques using the attached shower cord...this took a while to get it JUST right. The remaining piece of the fake fur jacket I cut/sewed into a vest to wear over my vampire style shirt. You can't see the third light cell in these pictures but its actually on my upper back and protruding through a hole in the back of the fur vest.
Step 8: The Final Product...
This particular build won me a $500 cash prize is 2013...
Having spent some time looking through other Instructable costume builds for inspiration I have already come up with my 2014 idea and am excited to dive into foam, resin, and a custom pepakura design. Looking to score a HUGE cash prize this year!
Step 9: Peel Your Troubles Away....
And...the best part...if you carefully cut into the latex mold and remove it you can save the mask and use it again and again...to scare your wife or neighbors! I have 3 custom masks from previous years and eventually want to get my friends to join me and really let our creativity soar!
Hope you enjoyed and were inspired!