This Halloween she wanted to be Lady Gaga, in particular she wanted one of the outfits from the video for "You and I". If you are unfamiliar with the song, I recommend an interesting experiment: listen to it before watching the video. It's quite a straightforward, tame pop song. The video is, you might say, a tad on the weird side. India would kill me for saying so, but I think she falls more to the Perform This Way side of things than the Born This Way.
Musical criticism aside, I was of course happy to help India work on the props for her costume. It was a nice break from the ridiculous difficulty of my own costume, I got to build something with my daughter, and the results looked great!
Here's a quick shot of her in her full get up, being annoyed with me:
Step 1: Gather Materials
For the hat, we used:
- Duct tape
- Chicken wire
- Hot glue
- Black spraypaint
- Window screen
- An old baseball cap
- Washers, rods, other shiny metal things
- Silver spraypaint
- Red and black wires
- An old phone cord
- Rubber bands
- Hot glue
- Some stiff wire
Step 2: The Hat
The hat was simply a long, about 2" wide strip of cardboard, formed into a loop and brought to a point at one end--instead of making a full circle at the cut ends, I just brought the ends together at a ninety degree angle and taped them. Next, I took an old scrap of chicken wire and formed it to the inside of the hat, then cut a cardboard teardrop and glued that on as well. That whole thing was then taped up and painted black.
Once that dried, India and I cut the bill off an old baseball cap and glued it inside the hat itself. We cut various sized strips of window screen and glued those around the baseball cap, to hide it from view.
Step 3: Robot Arm
The robot arm essentially had four sections, the shoulder, upper arm, forearm, and thumb. With India modelling, I cut each section to size and then painted them silver. Once dry, we fitted them to her arm, attaching each section to the other with a series of black and red wires, as well as a short section of old phone cord. This was all held on with hot glue.
The forearm and upper arm sections used rubber bands on the inside to hold them on her arm. The thumb simply stuck over her thumb. The original plan was to spirit gum the shoulder on, but we worked out a way to use a length of stiff wire to hold it in place instead.
India dug through my stuff drawers and found some shiny bits and pieces, which she glued up and down the length of the arm. Among them are several washers, a couple of rollers, and the disc from an old hard drive.
Step 4: Bonus: Chin and Cheek
We built a whole chin, cheek, and neck piece, but it was too inflexible for the neck. We ended up chopping that part off and just spirit gummed the rest in place! This is built from the same stuff and at the same time as the arm.
Just a word to the wise: it seems normal stores don't carry spirit gum any more. I seriously checked everywhere I could think of before driving all the way out to the stupid mall to go to that Halloween store that pops up this time of year.
Step 5: Final Thoughts
India got a lot of compliments from her friends for her costume. We had a great time working on it, and I think she really liked it, even with all the trouble we had with the spirit gum. This would be a very easy costume for someone to do their own version of, and if you do we would love to see pictures! Post some in the comments and we'll send you a DIY patch!
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