After I saw Bohemian Rhapsody last year I was really taken aback by Rami's performance and by Freddie Mercury in general, and that made me start thinking about incorporating him into a future costume somehow. I usually go DIY and very out-of-the-box so I wasn't going to just do the standard Freddie Live Aid getup (as cool as it is), so I started thinking of ways to mash it up a bit and really add some original flare to it. When Rocketman came out in May I was considering doing half Freddie and half Elton, which would have been a lot of fun, but somehow my brain shifted to the idea of a Freddie + Freddy Krueger combo since they're the most famous Fredd(ie)/(y)s of all time and I just kind of ran with it. Once I had the idea I did a quick search online and noticed that others had incorporated the two together in bits and pieces but nobody had really split them down the middle, so that's when I made the decision to go for broke and give that a shot.
Let's dive into A Tale of Two Freddies to piece it all together!
For this project you'll need:
The Krueger Side:
- Striped olive green + red sweater
- A foam (or other cuttable) Fedora
- Trademark bladed claw, from Party City or other accessory store
- Three latex burn kits (actual one here)
- One small tube of liquid latex
- One small tube of spirit gum
- Some fake vampire blood
- One roll of thin, transparent elastic thread (actual one here)
- A few shades of dark red costume makeup
- 2-3 packages of 24 in. x 3/4 in. white fabric velcro (actual one here)
- A dark boot or sneaker (the older and more raggedy the better)
The Mercury Side
- A mustache (though this can be grown in)
- A studded arm band that you can wear on your bicep (like this)
- A standard tank top
- A studded pyramid belt like this one from Hot Topic
- A microphone
- A sneaker
- Hair Gel
- Dark/Light half and half Jeans (I used these)
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Step 1: Cutting and Threading the Fedora
A lot of people asked me throughout the night how I got my hat to stay on, and it was simply by cutting a few small holes in the hat and threading some elastic tape through them and around my face. The first step is to cut the hat in half though so make sure you're able to do that. I bought a foam fedora (this one, in particular) which was easily cuttable with scissors.
Once the cut was made we punctured 3 tiny holes at the top of the hat and three holes towards the base, and slid the elastic thread through one end. The length of the elastic really depends on your face shape as it has to come all the way under your chin and around to the holes at the base, so make sure to measure it carefully. You'll need to knot the thread both at the top of the hat and at the base to ensure that it stays put.
We used 3 holes here because three threads provided a good level of tightness without being too uncomfortable. If you do find that the thread is hurting your ears though, feel free to stick a little bit of tissue around the back of them to act as a barrier.
Step 2: Sticking Half a Sweater to the Tank Top
For this costume you won't need to do too much manipulation to the tank top itself, and you can wear that as a base layer. The real work comes in when you need to attach half of Krueger's sweater to it so it appears to be split down the middle.
First you'll obviously want to cut the sweater in half, and make sure you go slowly so that you don't fray any of the edges (although Freddy was a bit raggedy so no worries if you do this by accident). Once that's done you'll have to attach the half-sweater to one side of the tank. It's definitely possible to sew this if you want to go that route, but we stuck this on with 24 in. x 3/4 in. white sticky fabric velcro tape that you can pick up at Home Depot. This works really well with holding the two fabrics together and it lasted two separate days (the Sat before Halloween and the day of), so that was my preferred option here.
A couple of notes:
- The picture shows this on a floor but this will be MUCH easier to do while the person is wearing both of these at the same time, especially if the fabric has some stretch to it.
- You'll need to do this on both the front and the back of the tank top
- Don't worry about the top of the sweater sticking to the neck for now, since that'll be part of step 4
- You will want to tuck the tank top into your jeans all the way around, but do NOT do this for the Krueger sweater since we need the bottom of it to overlap the belt. As funny as it would be for Freddy Krueger to wear a studded pyramid belt, we cannot let it happen for this costume.
Step 3: Applying the Krueger Makeup!
There are several ways that you can attack the Kruger melted burn look and we decided to go with 3 burn kits from Cinema Secrets FX, who tends to make really good Halloween stuff. If you're allergic to latex then definitely go the all-makeup route of course, but if you're not I definitely recommend this. One of these pieces is around 4 inches tall and 2 inches wide so you'll probably want to cut them up and piece them together like jigsaw pieces like we did to get the best fit and look but that's up to you as well.
We used 3 basic steps in applying this:
- Cut the pieces out and measure them on the face
- Apply a small amount of spirit gum to both the face and the back of the latex once they are ready to be applied. You'll want to stick them on and peel them off a few times to really get that gum tacky so that it lasts a lot longer and holds better.
- Once the pieces are on, apply dark red makeup and some vampire blood to really amplify the effect of the burns. This step is crucial because the latex itself does not look super realistic.
For step 2 it is possible to use liquid latex instead of spirit gum but we found that the latter worked better for this.
I also want to note that the latex pieces did not cover my entire face (like my ear for example) so for all of the uncovered spots you'll definitely want to add some dark red makeup and blood if desired to continue the look. Any uncovered spots will look abnormal on Krueger's face so make sure to get every area covered!
Step 4: Sticking the Top of the Sweater and Mustache to Your Skin
The tough parts are really out of the way now, but now our liquid latex can really come into play and help us spruce up this getup even more. Cut your mustache in half and if it's a fake one, simply apply some liquid latex to the back of it to glue it onto your face (on the Mercury side, obviously). Liquid latex should really last an entire day but feel free to reapply it if your sweat is causing it to loosen at all, which I did encounter a couple of times during this experience.
Keep that bottle of liquid latex out because now we need to make sure that the top of the sweater sticks to your skin on both the front and back of your neck! Apply some LL directly to the skin and hold the sweater onto it for a good 30 seconds and then test whether the sweater holds for good measure. If it doesn't you may need to apply some more of it, and don't worry I promise you it'll come off later (I'm a test dummy for that). You can probably do this yourself on the front of your neck but you'll want to have somebody else apply this to the back so that they can make the sweater as taut as it needs to be and then stick it on good.
Step 5: Slick Back That Hair!
If you've seen pictures or video of Freddie Mercury performing at Live Aid (which is what we are representing here with the white tank, light jeans, belt and arm band), then you know that he had his hair slicked back pretty good on that day with a fair amount of gel. My hair isn't naturally easy to push back so for this I had to:
- Wet my hair until it was damp
- Push back my hair with my hands and then hold it in place (flat) for a good minute or two
- Use a comb to continue to push the hair backwards while simultaneously using my hands to keep it from rising
- Apply some strong hair gel to hold it in place. I used a really sticky, firm hold gel from American Crew but the brand shouldn't matter here too much. Just make sure that the hold is firm.
Step 6: Add the Other Accessories!
With all of this in place now, you need to finish the costume with the rest of the necessary items:
- Krueger's claw and boot/old dark sneaker
- Mercury's arm band - which was actually a studded choker that I converted into this (here). The circumference was perfect for my arm but you may need to add some velcro or liquid latex to it if your arm is smaller in size.
- Mercury's belt
- Mercury's sneaker
- Mercury's microphone (the more realistic, the better)
And voila! You have yourself A Tale of Two Freddies, Freddie Merkruegery, or whatever weird combination of names you'd like to use.
Step 7: Take All Your Key Items With You!
I do want to stress that it is crucial to keep reinforcements on you to touch up and/or fix this costume when needed because it deals with a lot of little parts. Specifically:
- The dark red makeup
- The spirit gum
- The liquid latex
- Extra elastic thread
- The fabric velcro
If one of the threads breaks in your hat it could totally shift the weight of it to one side and cause it to appear to be falling off your head, so definitely keep that around in a pocket or something. Extra spirit gum for the burn pieces and liquid latex for the sweater and mustache are really helpful to have as well for touchups, and you'll want to keep some extra velcro on you as well just in case your sweater starts to fall off a bit. The latter didn't happen to me but you never know!
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019