This costume may look difficult to create but it really is much easier than you would think. You do need to know some basic sewing skills or be really, really good with a glue gun. Ready here we go!!!
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Step 1: Lets Work on the Wig
I tried sculpting a wig out of lightweight modling clay but ultimately this wig was much more comfortable and easier to create than the sculpted one so I went with it.
Supplies for wig:
One large skein of yarn grey, white or black or a combination of all three. Really it doesn't matter too much what the color is since you will be painting it later. But I would stick with these shades since it might be harder to cover other colors.
Acrylic craft paint or toll paint a bottle of both white and black so you can mix various shades of grey. I would actually buy a couple of large bottles of both colors since you will be using it on all parts of the costume.
Pantyhose an old pair you have will work just fine or just buy a cheap pair. you will be cutting the legs off to make the base of the wig.
Styrofoam wig holder optional but very helpful, you can find these online or at beauty supply stores and they are fairly inexpensive. Otherwise you will need a person handy to wear it while you arrange the yarn and paint the wig.
Material for headband you should have some left over from the dress you make otherwise a small scrap in a grey color will work
Fabric glue one bottle to make the yarn hold together onto the wig base.
Step 2: Step 1: Unwind the Yarn
Unwind whole skein of yarn onto your hand into a large loop. You will need to have very large loop so that your hair will be long enough to arrange. Try to keep your loop fairly uniform but it doesn't need to be perfect. Once the whole skein is unwound cut one (only one) end of the loop. Note: For these photos I just unwound a small portion of the skein you will end up with a much larger amount of unwound yarn.
Step 3: Step 2: Make the Base of Your Wig and Stitch on Yarn
Cut the legs off of the pair of pantyhose. Hand stitch or hot glue the leg openings together to form a hat or base for the yarn.
Now find the middle of the yarn you just looped. Lay the pantyhose hat you just made on a large table or the floor and lay the middle of the yarn so that it lines up with the middle of the pantyhose hat. Then evenly spread out the yarn along the middle line of the hat so that it covers the hat front to back with equal amounts of hair on each side.
Hand stitch down the middle of the yarn and cap to attach the yarn to the cap. You are trying to recreate the look of a part. I got out my daughters doll so that I could kind of visualize the best way to arrange the yarn. If you don't sew you could also hot glue it to the cap but it wouldn't look nearly as good since the stitching simulated the look of a part in your hair.
The last photo is a close up of the finished part you can see how the stitching really creates the look of a part.
Step 4: Step 3: Arrange Hair and Paint
If you don't have any experience doing hair you might want to call on a friend who knows a little bit about braiding or twisting hair. For this wig I made a twist along each side gluing or stitching to the edge of the cap as I went. You will want to keep trying it on someone to make sure the yarn goes down far enough to cover the top part of your ears and hair.
Once the sides are twisted and secured (with hot glue or thread) gather the ends and make a large bun in the back. Tuck and glue or stitch any loose ends under the bun in the back.
Now go through and secure everything, you can do this by stitching any loose ends or hot gluing them. I stitched as much as I could instead of using hot glue. I didn't really want any hot glue clumps to ruin the look of my wig.
Use a bottle of fabric glue to cover the entire yarn hair do. And let dry overnight. This will make everything stay nice and secure without making the wig too stiff.
Add the fabric headband if you wish. Just hot glue it on. Tuck the rough edges under part of the yarn to hide.
Now you are ready to paint. Start by covering the whole thing in a medium grey color and let dry. Use a very dark or almost black color for the crevices of the twist bun and part. And use a very light almost white color to highlight most of the wig. Experiment with this don't worry you can always paint over any mistakes. The above picture is the bun or back of the wig you can see how I used the black in the crevices and the white to highlight the top portion of the bun.
Step 5: Lets Create the Wings
Here is what you will need:
Four pieces of foam poster board I didn't want my wings to be too large and cumbersome so I just used a poster board size. I found black foam poster board at the dollar store. Kind of cheap looking but works great for this project. If you want larger wings you will have to get the large presentation boards. There will be a seam but it won't matter for the finished project.
Craft foam the kind you find in sheets. I found large grey sheets of craft foam at Hobby Lobby for a dollar each. I bought 5 and that was enough to cut out enough feathers for the outside of my wings. I just painted the feathers on the inside since that wouldn't be seen as much. But if you want to cover both the inside and outside of the wings you will need 10 pieces.
Light weight balsa wood You can find this at most craft stores
batting or something soft to cover the wood so it won't dig into your back
Grey material to cover the wood frame and batting
Hook and eyes
Acrylic craft paint you can use the same paint you used for the wig, once again you will be mixing to make various shades of grey.
Step 6: Step 1 Cut Out Your Foam Poster Board
Decide how large you want your wings. The ones I made for my daughter were out of one piece of poster board for each wing. If you want larger wings you will need to get a presentation board.
Draw the outline of the wings on one of the 4 pieces of poster board. Don't worry if you mess up and have to draw over the top because it will all be covered up with paint and craft foam anyway.
Cut out your first wing with an x acto knife (for a nicer edge) or with scissors or a sharp knife. Use it as a template to draw the rest of you wings.
You should end up with 4 wing pieces total. You will sandwich two of the wings around a wire attached to a wood frame for a backpack.
Step 7: Step 2: Cut Out Your Foam Feathers
I used 5 large sheets (around 12x18 inches) of craft foam sheets like the ones pictured above. I found grey ones for one dollar each at a craft store. I only covered the outside of the wings. You may need to buy more depending on how large of sheets you find and how large your wings are.
Cut out individual feathers, and a strip for the top to cover up the feather tops. I cut a slice out of the middle for the stem of the feather and notches on the side to make it look more feather like.
Hot glue feathers to foam board. Be sure to overlap feathers a bit.
If you are not covering both sides with foam feathers then you will need to paint feathers on the other side, but we will cover the painting in the next step.
Step 8: Step 3: Paint Your Feathers
If you are painting the feathers on the inside like I did instead of using craft foam. You will want to paint this first. Cover the entire wing with a coat a medium grey paint. Use a darker grey for the edges of the feathers and use an almost white paint for the middle highlight. Then sort of blend them together. If you are not a great painter then It might be a good idea to just do foam feathers on both sides.
Now for the foam feather side. This time start with a dark grey and get into all the cracks and crevices of the feathers. Next use medium grey to cover most of the rest of the feather. Use almost white to creates highlights, and somewhat blend the two together.
Step 9: Step 4: Make the Base of Your Backpack and Attach Wings
Use flat pieces of balsa wood or thin flat wood like the one shown in the photos to create a rectangle base for the wings to attach. If using balsa wood you should be able to score and break it without using a saw. If using other kinds of wood you may need a saw. Use wood glue to attach the pieces as shown and then let dry overnight.
Once glue is dry staple on two long pieces of wire. Make sure your wire is heavy duty enough to hold the weight of the wings. I think mine was 12 or 14 gauge.
Now take your painted wings and match the fronts and backs. Use duct tape to temporarily attach the wire to The wrong side of the wings. I don't have a picture of one in progress but the picture above with the frame and wire laid on top of the finished wings should give you an idea of what I mean.
Once the wings are duct taped to one side of your wing use hot glue to sandwich the wire between the two sides (front and back) of the poster board wings. Now go along the whole wing and hot glue the whole thing together. This will take some time as you need to do small parts of the edge and then hold them together while the glue cools. Once you are finished you will end up with a very sturdy wing.
Step 10: Step 5: Cover the Wood and Attach Ribbon and Eyelets
Use cotton batting or another type of soft material like fleece to cover up your wood and make it more comfortable to wear. You can just hot glue this to the wood.
Now use some extra material from the dress you made and cover up the batting and any wire still visible. You can stitch this on or simply hot glue it.
Attach ribbon to the bottom of the backpack (see the first photo in the wing instructions) This ribbon should be long enough that you can tie it around your waist and will keep the wings from flopping around your back. You can hide the ribbon under your dress so you don't really need to worry about what color it is. But I chose black just in case it showed a little.
Attach eyelets to the top portion of the backpack. These you will match to hooks you place on your dress. Now your wings can easily be taken on and off. The wings are surprisingly lightweight so this was a great way to attach them. They didn't pull the dress down at all.
Make a panel out of the same material you make your dress from, you will paint it when you paint your dress to match your dress. This will be safety pinned over the backpack and tucked into the belt of your dress to cover up the ugly part of the backpack.
Step 11: Now for the Dress
For this you will need:
Grey Broadcloth: Around 4 yards more depending on how tall you are. I made this for my 10 year old daughter if that gives you an idea. Don't forget you need to make a headband, belt, cover for your backpack frame and a panel to hide the backpack. So get extra for that.
Under dress with zipper: If you have an old dress perfect, if not go to your local thrift shop I found a perfect one for only $4 at my thrift shop. It was a black sleeveless dress about knee length and a zipper in the back.
Acrylic craft paint black and white you will need a lot to cover the whole dress.
Step 12: Step 1:Pattern the Overdress
Make a pattern for the overdress. Sorry I wish I had a pattern for you. But each dress will be different according to the under-dress you use. If you don't know how to sew this might be a good time to bribe a friend who does into helping you. For someone who sews it is a fairly simple process.
Above is a picture of the under-dress I used. This is the back of the dress and I have it pulled out so that you can see it better. In the next picture you can see it tucked in and how big of a slit I left open in the back. It is important to leave a large slit in the back so you can get in and out of the dress easily and also tie the ribbon from the wings around your waist between the under-dress and the overdress.
First make a yoke. If you don't know what a yoke is check out this tutorial on how to construct a basic yoke, it will explain what a yoke is and how to make a basic pattern for one. Tutorial on making yokes Use the under stress as a pattern for your yoke and cut out pieces about a half inch larger than your under-dress for seams. This is where you really need to know how to use a sewing machine. If you don't you could hand stitch the pieces to the under-dress or even hot glue them. But a sewing machine would be the fastest and best. I didn't worry too much about everything being perfect as it all gets covered with paint and it covers up most of your mistakes. Attach the yoke to the dress except for the bottom edges and back. The back needs to be left open so that you can get into the dress and the bottom must be left free so that you can sew the gathered skirt to it.
Now for the skirt, measure how long you want your skirt and sew two large rectangle pieces together. I used 2 45 inch wide (the width of the fabric I bought) by 1 yard (because that was how tall I needed it for my daughter) If you are a bit thicker around the middle than my daughter you might was to find fabric that is 60 inches wide :) or sew 3 panels of 45 inch material together. Remember to leave an opening about half way down the back so that you can get in and out of your dress. Now gather the top by hand stitching large stitches all across the top and pin it to the yoke right sides together. If you need a tutorial on how to gather here is a great one How to gather by hand sewing Once again sewing machine is best but you could also hand stitch these two pieces together. Once the bottom is sewn to the top, iron it and hem the bottom (make sure to leave enough length that when you add the tie at the waste it won't be too short). When hemming the bottom leave enough space to run more wire through so that the bottom will poof out a bit. We actually took the wire out later on because it was hard to walk in for trick or treating but at that point the dress was stiff with paint and held it's shape.
Last make a tie for the waist. I sewed mine but really you don't need to. Just fold a strip of material about 2 inches thick when done and make it large enough to fit around your waist. You could add a hook and eye to the belt. I just safety pinned mine onto her.
Step 13: Step 2: Attach the Hooks
Now attach the hooks for the hook and eyes from your wing backpack. Simply hold the eyes to the dress and mark with a marker where they hit on the dress and sew them on.
Step 14: Step 3: Paint the Dress
Sorry this is a bad picture, it shows us in the process of painting the first coat of paint on the dress. You will want to mix a very dark grey color and coat the whole dress. We hung the dress from the chandelier in our kitchen. It made it easy to paint and we didn't have to worry about getting paint on the floor since it was tile and we could just wipe it up.
After that coat dries the person who is wearing the dress must be in it for the rest of the painting process. Or you need a mannequin with your proportions to put it on. Just make sure to cover your mannequin with plastic. If a person is wearing it make sure to cover their neck and arms with plastic or plan on them doing a bit of scrubbing when they are done. Put the dress on the person and attach the waist band. It is important to fix the dress just how you want it to look when it is done. Because once the paint dries that is how the dress will be.
Do a coat of medium grey. Cover most of the dress but leave it dark in the cracks and crevices. On the bottom part I liked to use a downward stroke. I never went side to side. Use a dry brush to blend when needed. Now add a very light grey to a few spots as highlights. I liked to just get a small amount of paint almost a dry brush when doing this. Keep a dry brush handy to blend.
Have the person wear the dress until it is dry. Otherwise the dress won't keep it's shape.
Step 15: Optional Gloves
You don't need the gloves, but they are nice so that you don't have to spend time painting your arms every time.
You will need:
Black tights You can also use a thicker pair of nylons. If using tights just don't get them too thick or they won't look as realistic.
Fake fingernails to glue on finger to make them more realistic. Found some at the dollar store.
Needle and thread to stitch up fingers
Acrylic craft paint same black and white as you used before
Fabric medium (optional this will make the gloves a little easier to get on but it still works okay without it)
White chalk to mark fingers before cutting
Step 16: Step 1: Cut the Neck Hole Out of a Pair of Nylons
Cut the crotch out of a pair of old nylons or tights. If they are nylons just make sure they are on the thick side or they will run when you try to sew them and be a nightmare. If they are tights make sure they are not too thick or they will be bulky and not look right. Don't cut the hole too big it will get bigger on it's own and then you will just end up having to sew it back up. You will still have to sew it up some. Try it on it will fit like a shirt. Then see if you need to sew the hole up tighter. You don't need to worry about how nice this looks this will all be under the dress anyway.
Step 17: Step 2: Sew Fingers
While you have the nylons on use white chalk to measure where the fingers need to be cut. Make sure to put the thumb down lower like shown in the drawing or you will make the fingers too tight. I know because that is how I did the first pair and ruined them. Finally I figured out to drop the thumb down and it was much better.
Take them off cut down chalk marks you made with scissors. Now whip stitch the fingers together. You can also do this with a sewing machine with a small tight zig zag, but it is tough to do so I would only recommend it to those with lots of sewing experience. If you decide to do the zig zag on the sewing machine don't cut the fingers first. You will need to do your zig zag stitch on each side of your chalk line and then cut down the middle. I used a combination of both machine stitch and hand-stitching. When hand stitching make sure your stitches are very close together to avoid holes.
Once the fingers are sewn, try it on again and you will need to gather it up at the wrist area and pin it so that it fits tight around the bottom of your arm. Cut off the excess and sew it together either with the sewing machine or the whip stitch. In the last picture above you can see where I cut along the bottom of the arm and sewed it tighter.
Try it on again. Sometimes the fingers need a little adjusting. Once it is just right, turn it right side out and you are ready to paint it.
Step 18: Step 3: Add Fingernails and Paint
I found cheap fake fingernails at the dollar store. They were not grey but it doesn't matter since you will be painting them.
At the same time as you paint the gloves you can attach the fingernails. You must paint the gloves while wearing them and let them dry before removing them or they will shrink and you won't be able to get them on.
Put the gloves on and hot glue the fingernails in place... be careful it will be a little hot. At this point you can paint the fingernails with grey fingernail polish (lasts better) or just wait and paint them with the acrylic paint you will use to paint the gloves. You may need to use a little baby powder or petroleum jelly on your arms before painting so that the paint doesn't make the gloves stick to your arms. We didn't use it and it was kind of a pain getting the gloves off when they dried.
Mix fabric medium with your paint. This is optional but will make the gloves easier to get on and off. Mix black and white acrylic paint to make a medium grey. If you tights are black it is okay to leave a little of the black showing here and there just don't go overboard with it. Now go back with almost white paint and dot it on here and there, kind of like if you were stenciling. This gives a mottled stone look to it.
Now just make sure to let the paint dry before removing. The first time you take them off they will be a bit fragile so be careful. After the paint dries for a day or two they are very durable and you can tug and pull all you like.
Step 19: Finishing Touches
There are tutorials out there on how to do a weeping angle mask. And even some great ones on how to do a scary face paint weeping angel. But we opted to just do a more peaceful looking angel with face paint. We had school parades that don't allow scary make-up. I highly recommend this brand. wolf fx It is what I used and I felt it covered very well and I was able to do detail work. Best of all once it dries it doesn't feel like you are wearing anything. I ordered a 6 pallet the one with black and white so I could mix them and make various shades of grey. It comes in a cake that you wet, it goes on very smooth and when it dries it does not crack.
Cover the face and neck with a light shade of grey. Use a darker shade and blend it in under cheek bones and around and under nose. Accentuate the eyes and eyebrows with the darker shade of grey. Also use the darker shade to go along jaw line. Now go in with a very light almost white grey and highlight cheekbones, the bridge of the nose the chin and parts of they eyelid.
Finish up with detailing the lips and adding a strong line around the eyelids.
For the cracks I first went in with pure black and drew random squiggly lines for cracks. I went around the edges with white to add dimension to the cracks.