Introduction: Quick Costumes: Extreme Double Dare Contestant

This Instructables is intended for those looking for easy-to-make costume ideas. It ran about $15 for materials (many of which you may already have lying around) and took about 5 hours to make altogether. This one is perfect for those looking for some kind of 80s reference and it also makes for a great group costume (one red team and one blue team of two or four people each). Plus, it's worth a few laughs, especially if you're pretending to play the game, but while attending a party or something.

What you need:

For the whole costume:

1 red t-shirt you don't mind ruining
2 armpads and/or knee pads, preferably black and white
3 plastic safety goggles with the elastic strap
4 some kind of bike helmet (rounded or tear-drop shaped work okay)

For the Double Dare logo:

5 freezer paper
6 an ink jet printer
7 fabric medium (it's sold in a small 2 oz tube in the craft stores near the acrylic paints)
8 black acrylic paint
9 white acrylic paint or silver-colored sharpie
10 spare cardboard
11 X-acto knife
12 an iron and a hairdryer

Additional materials (option):

13 Anything that you can use to make a mess out of the shirt and helmet

Step 1: Making the Double Dare Logo

If you do a Google search for the Double Dare logo, you'll find several versions, since there were several variations of the show, including Family Double Dare and Super Sloppy Double Dare. I use the very basic logo here which I found online and printed onto freezer paper in order to paint the logo onto the shirt. (Add "Extreme" to the logo if you prefer).

Freezer paper is a cheap alternative to the paper used for iron-on graphics (a couple feet of paper runs about $3.50 and you can simply pick it up in a grocery store). But either one will work. Note: if you do use iron-on transfer paper, be sure you are using the type designed for dark fabrics and be sure to keep the iron on long enough so that the full image transfers to the shirt.

This particular logo was about 8" square. Take a piece of freezer paper and cut it down to the size of a regular piece of paper (8.5" x 11") to fit in your paper. Some ink jets nowadays can detect variations in paper sizes, if not, you'll have to adjust the settings. Print the image on the non-glossy side and then go find your handy X-acto knife.

The tricky part about a duo-tone logo is figuring out how to cut it so your not leaving out pieces. Take a look at the image here and notice the sections along the way where i cut across to keep things in place. It takes a little figuring out, so don't rush the process. Leave space around the logo, so that when you paint, you can catch it on the paper and not mess up the shirt.

When you've got your logo cut out, place it on the shirt glossy side down and get ready to iron it on the shirt. Freezer paper is pretty good to work with - it stays in place and is easy to remove when you're done painting your logo. Set the iron on high and run it over your image a few times (make sure everything is laid on the shirt as you like it, and then press into place). Don't go crazy with it, freezer paper is pretty good about adhering right away.

Note: As it is shown here, the cut out I have made will allow you to paint on only the black outline of the letters. You will have to remove the paper to paint the interior of the letters, or use a gel Sharpie (see further instructions below).

Turn off your iron once everything is in place and grab a spare piece of cardboard. Stick it between the layers of your shirt where the logo will go so that, as you begin to pain the logo, it won't bleed through the other side and cause the layers to stick together. Grab your black and white acrylic paint (or black paint and silver gel Sharpie) and your fabric medium and something to mix paints in. Whichever you decide to paint first -- the black of the logo or the white (or whatever colors you chose instead of the ones shown here), squeeze out a small puddle of the paint and add a few drops of the fabric medium, mixing them together.

The fabric medium is designed to allow the paint to withstand the washing machine and it does a great job, but it's really only necessary if you intend to keep the shirt. Also, fabric medium does dilute the thickness of the paint, so you'll need a few coats. It's a good idea to paint one color first, then the other and I typically use one of those foam brushes and use a hair dryer to dry the paint after each coat so the job doesn't take forever. It does take a few coats to get paint to show up well on the shirt, so don't get discouraged if after the first two or three, the paint doesn't appear to be going on thickly enough. It will. Use your blow-dryer between coats and keep adding on until you're satisfied with the way the logo looks. Just don't go overboard. If the paint is way too thick, it will flake.

When you're done, gently pull up the freezer paper. If anything sticks, just lift it up with the X-acto blade. And then you're all set.

Another way to substitute the white paint (or whatever color you chose for the inside of the logo) with a gel paint pen. Silver gel Sharpies show up dark unless there is a rough surface underneath. You could dab in a quick coat of fabric medium alone into this section of the logo, dry it with the blow dryer (and dry it well so you don't ruin your markers), and then go over the space quickly with the Sharpie. It will show up bolder. Again, it all depends on how much time you want to put into the logo, and whether or not you intend to create a shirt you want to keep afterwards. Since I purposely tore mine up, I didn't plan on hanging on to anything.

And that's your logo. Next step: assembling the rest of the costume.

Step 2: Assembling the Costume

Assembling a Double Dare costume is usually fairly easy and can be done rather cheaply, depending on what kind of things you have lying around or can obtain second-hand.

I found a Schwinn helmet at the Salvation Army, although I had to paint it red myself using acrylic paint mixed with glue so it would stick to plastic (They also wore white helmets on the show). The safety goggles came from a hardware store.

Finding the kind of knee and armpads worn on the show may be a little harder to find since they were pads designed for volleyball whereas the pads today are often designed for biking and board sports. With that said, they also wore pants to match the shirt colors for each team and white sneakers, which for some reason, were abundant in the 80s. Go with what works for you.

Step 3: Transforming to the Extreme

The idea for this costume was designed around the concept that, if there was an all-adult Double Dare, game play would be much rougher. I was going for the look of having finished competing. I took a scissor and cut holes in the front and back of the shirt and used paints, food coloring, and baking soda to stain both the shirt and helmet.

The tricky part is finding an equivalent to slime or the blobs of whipped cream that contestants on the show were typically covered with after going through the obstacle course, something that would solidify and hold shape, while not creating a mess wherever I went. I had thought of using blobs of modeling paste mixed with green paint to drip over the shirt and helmet and let dry, but I have not tried it. If anyone knows of a better option, please let me know.

And finally, you might also consider using some black cream make-up as a black eye and stage blood. It really all depends on how dedicated to Extreme Double Dare you want to appear. These are just some ideas.

And that's basically all there is to an Extreme Double Dare Costume. Except of course, staying in character.

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