So you've got a family of 4, a ton of time on your hands and a deep desire to create costumes from scratch? You can do it with patience, a little running around town, and a whole lot of random materials. You're going to have to think through how warm you need your costumes and whether or not you need to be prepared for inclement weather. In our case, I was creating for costumes to be worn in the Pacific Northwest so cool temperatures and possible rain were my concerns.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Here's what went into our costumes:
- black fleece
- silver rain coat material
- black vinyl
- black spandex
- swimsuit lining
- black polyester (medium weight, from the dressy collection at the fabric store)
- 600+ silver studs
- spray paint
- plain white masks in child sizes
- sharpie marker
- hook-and-loop tape
- face paint
- hot glue
- contact paper
- blue tape
- football pads
- rocker hair
- silver paint pen
- contact paper
- sewing machine
- Silhouette (or similar) stencil cutter
- overlock machine (optional)
- drying rack for spray painted items
- space heater if using spray paint in high humidity
Step 2: Create Peter Criss' Costume
Peter Criss likes to show off his chest and well built arms. His mask (or makeup if you're dealing with someone who won't mess with it) should be cat-like and his outfit should be close fitting. I chose a costume design that mimicked Peter Chriss' in a photo I found online (for a Vegas event I believe). For my little guy, I created the stretch pants and vest using black fleece. I didn't bother finishing the edges knowing it really wouldn't matter (one of the benefits of fleece). The silver accents are made out of silver rain coat material I purchased at the fabric store. I also used my stud setter to accent various parts of the costume with 4.5mm studs. His muscle shirt is double layer swimsuit lining material to provide warmth as well as a place to stuff his arm, chest, and abdominal muscles that I carved out of foam. The belt is a strip of black vinyl that I spray painted using chrome spray paint and a stencil I created on my Silhouette. Finally, I finished the outfit with his black and silver winter boots (we were pretty luck that's what we already had). His rocker hair is an adult wig safety pinned in the back to stay on his head.
NOTE: Put the mask on BEFORE the wig so the string of the mask stays hidden.
Step 3: Create Ace Frehley's Costume
Ace Frehley, aka The Spaceman likes LOTS of bling on his costume. I started with a close fitting pants and top set that I created out of black fleece and accented with randomly placed 4.5mm studs. His guitar is a toy guitar that I spray painted silver and black to be more rock-and-roll. I also later added a black and silver flames strap I created using craft trim I found at the fabric store. I created wrist cuffs using black vinyl, silver raincoat material and more studs. The collar was something I found at a costume shop within a thrift store. It was originally black and gold but I spray painted the gold part silver and added a TON of studs to look like star clusters and shooting stars. His belt and boot covers were made out of silver raincoat material as well.
Step 4: Create Gene Simmons' Costume
Gene's costume required fewer pieces but much more detail than the others. I used football shoulder pads with many of the cushions removed for his armor. I spray painted the whole thing silver (not chrome). The wings are made out of black polyester fabric (I think it was from the dressy collection at the fabric store) that I cut, finished the edges then sewed strips of silver raincoat material as accents. The wings are snapped and safety pinned to the football pads as well as to his wrist cuffs which were made out of silver raincoat material. He wore a plain black t-shirt under his armor and tucked it into his codpiece and spandex pants. I created the codpiece out of black vinyl with wide elastic at the sides for comfort and spray painted it using chrome paint and a stencil I created using my Silhouette and cut out of clear contact paper. His boots are actually ladies heeled boots that I hot-glued lots of pieces of raincoat material to and then formed the monsters on top using various folds until they looked right. The monsters are held up with stuffing so that they create the illusion he's wearing platform shoes.
Step 5: Create Paul Stanley's Costume
Paul Stanley pretty much always wears a very low cut top to show off his abs and pecs. For this costume, I was creating for myself, a woman, so I started with a tight shirt made out of swimsuit liner material. The body of it is double layer and between the layers, I sandwiched abdominal muscles that I formed using stuffing in a triangular pouch. I constructed the ab muscles to end up even with my bust so I no longer looked like a woman. The hair is drawn on with a fine tipped sharpie marker. I created my vest out of vinyl and modeled it after a blazer that fits me well. You could use a pattern or wing it depending on your level of skill. I added lots of 4.5mm studs as well as some chrome spray paint to add bling and sparkle to the look. My pants are fleece leggings that I created then adorned with lots of 4.5mm studs. My fingerless gloves are fleece with black and silver flames trim on them. My boots were ones I had. I used theatrical face paint and a rocker wig to finish the look. Paul Stanley digs the "duckface" in photos ... you should do it better than me.
Step 6: Gather Your Friends and Family Members Who Don't Have Costumes
Tell them to dress up like groupies.