This rotten olive has moldy spots, a soft olive-like outer texture, and a rosy pimento.
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Step 1: Make a Diagram of What You Envisioned the Olive to Look Like.
I knew I wanted the olive to be green and round, so I had to come up with a way to construct a round, rigid shape that would house my pimento. I drew a design of what an olive costume would look like, which helped me remember a previous costume I made using chicken wire for an outer structure. I was then able to come up with my list of materials needed for the costume.
•6 feet of chicken wire from the hardware store (was better than any metal mesh at the craft store)
•10 feet of rigid wrap (gave a smooth appearance and held the shape greatly)
•1 canister of spray foam (spray home insulation from hardware store)
•3 feet of black felt
•2 feet of green polka dot craft material
•2 feet of purple patterned craft material
•1 package of quilt batting (for added insulation against a cold, windy Halloween)
•2 feet of stuffing (like that used for a stuffed animal)
•3 yards of green material for the outer covering and 1 piece of elastic
•tow straps for a harness
•1 65 cm exercise ball
•1 roll of duct tape
•some red craft material
The amount of material depends on the size of the costume and how many moldy spots you decide to make. I didn't make that many spots so I had a lot of material left over. I did use an enormous exercise ball, though, which resulted in a wider olive than I had imagined, but the height was perfect.
Step 2: Structure the Roundness.
This step requires using your chicken wire, the exercise ball, and some plastic wire ties.
Inflate your exercise ball. Wrap your chicken wire around the ball to estimate how much you will need. It's okay to have overlap - I had some overlapping and it did not affect my intended outcome. This is usually a 2 person job since the ball rolls around and the chicken wire is quite stiff.
Once I had the ball completely covered by the chicken wire, I marked a spot on the chicken wire and cut off the piece I needed. The first picture shows what not having enough chicken wire looks like, and so I had to redo my measuring.
Before using the wire ties, I tilted the wire sideways and wrapped duct tape around the middle so that I could properly adjust the wire ties, as no one else was around to help me hold it together.
As the tape held the chicken wire in place, I could add wire ties to the open ends by the middle of the exercise ball, above and below the tape.
From there, wire ties can be added above and below the tape to suit how round or boxy you want the olive to look. To achieve the rounded top, I cut about 7 inches from the top, in several places, folded the chicken wire in, and wrapped a wire tie around
each separate piece tightly to hold the chicken wire in place.
I left the bottom wider than the top so that it would be easy to crawl into the costume.
Step 3: Give Your Olive Some Texture and Insulation.
Follow the directions on your rigid wrap, or some other paper mache-plaster equivalent, to get each strip tacky enough to apply directly onto the chicken wire. I went from top to bottom and applied 2 layers. The olive shape really started coming together and became hard and strong once dried. I tried not to leave any visible gaps to minimize the mess the next step might potentially make.
Here comes the spray foam. The spray foam makes the costume heavier but it gives you a concentrated area where you can confidently grab the costume and not fear that it'll come apart. It also adds another layer of protection from accidentally cutting yourself with any exposed pieces of chicken wire.
When spraying the foam, roll the costume on its side so that the foam will easily grasp the chicken wire and not fall off, as it would if you spray while holding the costume upright. You can get a pretty good coating from one can. Then let it dry.
The foam hardens and makes a solid shell. At this point you can grab the batting, which came in a package at about 6 feet, and wrap it around your hardened olive shell. I gave a good tug and was able to cover the exterior smoothly. To avoid any bumps I cut the batting and held the pieces down with duct tape, which worked surprisingly well. I wasn't able to completely cover the inside of the shell but I used excess pieces of my black felt to cover the interior. Now it's ready for you to hold it up...
Step 4: Make a Harness.
This step will make the costume wearable and give your arms back their range of motion.
Take the tow straps and make a harness that will sit comfortably on your shoulders and hold the weight of the costume.
I used two tow straps approximately 8 feet long each. I wrapped 1 around the costume first, tightened it with a few knots, and then let it hang inside of the costume. Then I repeated the same process with the other tow strap.
When both tow straps were ready to connect to one another I measured how large a hole I needed to squeeze my head in between the gap. According to my original diagram, I had a square shape in mind for the top of my harness, so that the weight would rest on my shoulders and my head could snugly squeeze through the opening. This measurement will also come in handy when handling the red fabric to make a portion of the pimento inside the olive. After connecting the loose straps, and achieving my square-shaped opening, I wrapped some stuffing around the part of the strap that would rest on my shoulder. All of a sudden the costume didn't seem that heavy.
I used countless YouTube videos for reference on how to make knots and how to form body harnesses.
Step 5: Make Arm Holes.
Try on the olive shell with your newly formed harness. Make adjustments as you see fit. Then take notice of where you think your arms would be most comfortable poking out of the costume.
I marked the area with a marker and cut a hole around that area with a box cutter. The hole I made had a diameter of a little over 6 inches, which was fine for me. I made the arm holes closer to the front rather than the sides because I needed to carry things using both hands, instead of individually. I used duct tape to cover the exposed chicken wire.
Step 6: Add Some Green.
The sewing machine broke so I had to sew everything by hand. Luckily, the fabric was long enough and wide enough that I didn't have to do any weird stitching.
First, I sewed the top. I measured about six inches from the top of the inside of my green fabric and marked it with pins straight across. Folding over the fabric halfway of those six inches, I stitched across the length of the fabric.
Second, I repeated the same process for the bottom of the fabric.
Then I inserted a portion of my elastic in between the gap at the top and cut off the excess. I held the ends of the elastic piece inside the top gap together and stitched. This gave the top part of my costume a round shape.
Using the excess of the elastic I cut off, I inserted the elastic into the bottom gap and stitched the ends together, as I did with the top. Now I could easily slide the green fabric on and off the olive shell to test it out. Using more pins, I marked where I should stitch the last part of the green fabric to complete the olive.
Step 7: Cut Out the Arm Holes and Add the Details.
Using the holes you already cut out, cut out the holes from the green fabric. I stitched the cut green fabric to the inside of the shell. Then I stitched some of the green fabric I used for the moldy patches at the top of the arm hole.
I had some red fabric from a previous project and used it as my pimento inside the olive. I measured how much room I would need to squeeze my head through and stitched the red fabric to the inside of the green fabric.
To make the moldy patches, I layered the green dotted fabric over the people patterned fabric over the black felt and stuffing. Everything was cut and stitched together to look round. Then each patch was stitched to the olive green fabric randomly.
I threw on a red headband, red gloves, olive green tights, and a red shirt to complete the look.