Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing ................Olaf and Marshmallow the endearing snowmen from Frozen!
My latest costume inspiration came from the popular Frozen movie. I wanted to make a costume that my grandchild and I could wear together. Frozen is her latest obsession and she loves the Olaf character.
The Olaf costume is super lightweight and comfy for my grandchild and has good visibility. The base of the costume headpiece is butcher paper and duct tape. The base is covered with a layer of batting and then a top layer fleece fabric. There are craft foam eyes and a fleece nose. The body is tulle tied onto a crochet band at the top and a small hula hoop at the bottom. The body was then covered with fleece . I used a thrift store t-shirt for a liner so the scratchy tulle doesn't come into contact with skin. I am proud to say it is one of the most comfortable costumes I have ever made!
All the pieces were glued together using a silicon cement from the hardware store . The cement is strong ,flexible and waterproof.
In an effort to make the costume easier for others to replicate, I had to go backwards and make a pattern after the costume was complete. I had no idea that it would come out so well. I surprised myself!
The pattern pieces can be used for all layers. First cut the pattern out of stiff paper like butcher paper. I used a roll of brown paper from the home improvement store. Using lots of duct tape I rounded out the shape. This is by far the most tedious step, but if everything is in the right shape and proportion after this step then the rest will be easy. Sometimes at this step I will have to enhance some areas by added a little more paper or tape or a may have to trim away with scissors if some part is too large. This step took a couple of hours before I was satisfied with the look and expression that I imagined Olaf would have.
When you are satisfied with this step then cut out front and back pattern pieces from batting ( found at fabric stores). Form this over the paper and tape base making sure that everything is very smooth. trim away any excess so that the area where the pieces meet is as seamless as you can make it. This step is solely for the purpose of giving your finished product a smooth texture. This is the step where you want to eliminate any imperfections. Make sure everything is symetrical at this point. I either use loose stitches to hand sew the sections together or I use glue.
For the top layer use fleece fabric and cut out the front and back pieces. Repeat the same process as with the batted layer. I would definitely hand sew the pieces together after formed over the headpiece.
Make the lining bu cutting out 2 lining pieces from the fleece. Sew the 2 pieces together across the top and at under the chin area. leave the face and neck open. Put his inside the head and hand sew the mouth section of the lining and the top layer of fleece over the headpiece together. Also, hand sew the neck and back opening to the top fleece. At this point looking inside you should only see the lining. The paper and tape should be covered.
The nose is cut from fleece and stuffed with polyfill. It is sew into position on the head
The eyes , eyebrows and hair are made of craft foam that I painted and glued on. For stability I glued wire to the back of the hair to keep in erect.
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Step 1: Paper /Duct Tape Base
You can stuff a bag or fabric with newspaper or stuffing to make a form to work over.
Cut 2 pieces of paper in the outline of the headpiece. Tape the sides together over the form.
Tape all the way around except for the neck opening.
Cut out a mouth. Cut 1 rounded rectangle about half the size of the head for the nose and upper lip..Snip the bottom lip edge with 1 1/2inch cuts. Round in the lip of the paper and tape in shape.
Tape this mouth/nose extension onto the face.
Cover the entire head with tape.
Step 3: Inner Body
I made a body form out of duct tape in my child's size , but you could use a pillow instead.
For the costume's body lining start with a plain white t-shirt.
Construct the tulle layer:
Buy a white crochet headband.
Cut 4inch wide strips of tulle. The length of the tulle should be about the length of the wearer's body measured from the shoulder to the floor x2. The tulle is then folded in half and looped through the bottom row of the headband.Go all the way around the headband looping tulle in all the spaces/holes in the bottom row of the headband.
Buy a hula hoop. The hoop can be opened by removing the tape/staple seam and pulling the hoop open. Resize the hoop to be slightly wider than the wearer's shoulders. A serrated knife works well for cutting the hula hoop. Retape the hoop closed .
Tie the loose ends of the tulle to the hoop . Try to keep the length and tension equal all the way around.Turn the loose ends to the inside of the costume. Tie one piece of tulle at the waist to cinch it in.
Cut 2 rectangles of quilt batting . One will cover the chest area and one will cover the stomach /leg area. The top rectangle has arm openings at the sides . Measure the arm opening of a t-shirt that fits the wearer comfortably and use that as a gauge for how large to make the costume arm openings. I usually add an extra 2 inches to make sure the costume is comfortable.
The top rectangle of batting goes at the top third of the costume above the waist. Wrap the batting around the top and cut it so that it meets smoothly in the back of the costume . Hand sew or glue closed at the shoulder area and the back.
Repeat for the bottom. The bottom is almost double the size of the top layer.
Step 4: Top Fleece Layer
The top layer of the costume is made exactly like the batting layer. I allow an extra inch around the fleece pieces so that I have extra fabric to roll inward.
With the t-shirt base covered with the tulle/batting layer and then topped with the fleece top layer, I check to see if everything is smooth and all the openings in the different layers meet .
The top layer and the lining are now hand sewn together trapping the tulle layer inside.
Glue or sew the top section to the bottom section.
Now you will need to cut an opening through all the layers .At the back of the costume at the neck edge cut an opening in the exact center about 1/2 of the way down . Hand sew the edges of the opening. Place a large snap at he neck .