When I made my Flying Monkey costume, I never dreamed that I would meet a Wicked Witch of the West! Chelphie Cosplay is the creator and wearer of this fantastic witch costume and she has a pretty spectacular cackle too — just ask! Our dynamic duo has been spotted at a few events and we even placed 2nd in the 2013 Dallas SciFi Expo Costume Contest. Check out some of the photos:
When the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a Wizard of Oz-themed Late Night event, I couldn’t resist making a Flying Monkey costume with my own twist! I already had the black feathered wings, so I just needed to make the outfit. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos of how I put it all together:
The hat is made from a Laughing Cow Cheese container, craft foam, and cotton fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t document it well while I was working on it. The side of the hat is craft foam covered in fabric. I used spray glue (Super 77) to glue the fabric to the craft foam. I drew the zigzag design on paper, then traced it on the red, white, and black fabric, and made each one slightly larger than the last. The zigzag pieces of fabric were also glued with spray glue. I also added a chin strap with thin elastic, like the elastic on party hats.
Laughing Cow Cheese container (empty)
Cotton Fabric: light blue, red, white, black
Spray Glue (Super 77)
The wig started out as a weird Moses/Zeus wig from Party City. I didn’t have enough time to order anything online, so I used what I could buy locally. Armed with scissors, I slowly cut away at it to give it the signature widow’s peak of the monkeys (and most simians) in the 1939 edition of Wizard of Oz. I had my doubts at first but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
I created a paper pattern for the jacket based on reference photos and an existing fleece vest I own. Using plain cotton fabric in light blue, red, white, and black, I cut out all the layers to create the zigzag pattern and jacket base. I glued the zigzag layers together with spray glue (Super 77), attached it to the blue part of the jacket, and added interfacing to give the whole jacket the structured shape. I also added slits in the back of the jacket (not shown) for my wings to poke out.
Cotton Fabric: Light blue, red, white, black – measure the amount you need based on your paper patterns and don’t forget about the hat!
This costume, like my dragon costume, features a hand-dyed and painted bodysuit. I first tested the dye on a scrap of Lycra (1st image). I used Jacquard’s Dye-na-flow black, watered it down, added a few drops of Jacquard’s AirFix, and brushed the dye onto the bodysuit. Once it was dry, I painted on the fur with Jacquard’s Neopaque and Lumiere fabric paints.
1 white Bal Togs body suit
1 bottle Jacquard Dye-na-flow black
1 bottle Jacquard AirFix
Jacquard Fabric Paints: Black and White (Neopaque), Pewter and Pearlescent Blue (Lumiere)
I wanted to look like I was barefoot without actually being barefoot! Using some white socks (synthetic fabric), I stuffed them with polyfill, then dyed and painted them with fabric paints (same as used on bodysuit). I applied Zombie Skin (a creamy latex) to the toes to reinforce the toe area. I pulled the stuffing out of the socks, added some foam insoles, then cut out holes for each my toes. When I wear the costume, I paint my toes with same blue bodypaint I use for the face (see #7).
White Socks (synthetic fabric, like liner socks)
Zombie Skin (latex)
Polyfill (or rags to stuff inside)
Fabric paints and dyes (see #4 Bodysuit)
I made these wings a few years ago for my Harpy costume but they worked well for my monkey costume too. The frame was commissioned from Danielle Hurley and she does amazing work! I used chicken wire as the frame for the wings and hot-glued it to black canvas. I hot-glued approximately 350 black turkey feathers for the wings and used down from a black feather boa for the top. Needless to say, these wings are a tad heavy but they are definitely sturdy!
Materials (for the wings, not the frame):
Black canvas fabric
Gloves and wire cutters
Black turkey feathers
Black feather boa
I followed reference photos from the movie so I could capture the big smirk of the monkeys. Since I wasn’t using any prosthetics, I also needed to give the illusion of monkey features with makeup. I painted my nostrils black to make them look wider and added accent lines to widen my nose and mouth. I used professional water-based bodypaint to paint my face, hands, and toes and red lipstick on my lips.
Bodypaints (all water-activated cakes):
light blue (Kryolan)
light grey (Kryolan)
storm grey (Mehron Paradise AQ)
red (Mehron Paradise AQ)
And there you have it!
I’ve also been known to hang around with a certain Wicked Witch of the West (Chelphie Cosplay) at various events. Have a look at photos of our dynamic Oz duo.
Need Maleficent horns ASAP for Halloween? Here’s how I made a headpiece, inspired by the 2014 movie version of Maleficent. I made these pretty quickly so the process isn’t documented as well as I would have liked, but hopefully you’ll find some useful tidbits!
You will need:
Reticulated foam (upholstery foam or styrofoam could work too)
Black faux snakeskin or pleather fabric
Tin foil and duct tape (for the helmet template)
Paper and sharpie (for the helmet and horn template)
1. Make a helmet with craft foam.
I learned out to make this helmet from Evil Ted Smith’s Youtube tutorial. Watch his video to learn how to make a helmet template that fits your head. Instead of using thick EVA foam, I used craft foam for a more flexible headpiece. I was a bit rushed so the seams aren’t as smooth and rounded as they could be.
2. Draw a horn template, trace it onto reticulated foam, and carve it out.
Draw your horn shape onto your block of reticulated foam then carve it out with your utility knife. Make sure the blade is sharp. Compare your horns with each other to be sure you’re getting the right shape.
3. Cover the horns with electrical tape.
Instead of wrapping the tape around in a spiral, I cut each piece individually. Fold over the top edge of the tape to achieve the ridged effect.
4. Glue snakeskin fabric on the front of the headpiece.
Use contact cement to apply the fabric to the front and fold it under the front edge.
5. Glue horns on and cover the helmet with electrical tape.
Glue the horns on with contact cement. To cover the rest of the helmet with tape, start at the base of the horns and weave your pieces of electrical tape around the helmet. I cut shorter pieces instead of trying to wrap long pieces all the way around. Continue to fold the top edge of the tape over to achieve ridges all the way down.
I’m so thrilled and honored to have taken part in Living Art America’s North American Bodypainting Championships in Atlanta, GA. My presentation took 1st place in the Emerging Artist category!
About the art:
Event Theme: Future Vision This piece is a tribute to Voyager 1 — the first human-made object to travel outside our solar system. Contained on Voyager is a golden record with music and images of life on Earth (DNA, human figures, trees, plants) to hopefully be discovered by beings somewhere in the universe. The headpiece takes inspiration from H.R. Giger’s biomechanical female aliens and hints at the idea of an alien discovering the record and incorporating into her body. Voyager 1 and 2 also gave us the first hi-res images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and beyond. So order to gain a clear vision of our future, we must reach forward through the solar system and light years, but also look back at the past, to see where Voyager is taking us.
About the event:
Artists have 6.5 hours to paint a model (with the help of an assistant if you have one). Then we each have 1.5 minutes to present our creations to a panel of judges. After the judging, there is opportunity for photos and then an evening runway show. Artists can select music and prepare a statement to be read by the MC while their model walks/dances/twirls down the runway for 2 minutes. It’s the most amazing spectacle of art!
About the paint and props:
All the paint is professional grade body paint and artists can do a combo of brush/sponge or airbrush. I only used brush and sponge for my piece. Models must also wear some sort of thong and pasties. I created the headpiece ahead of time with EVA foam (anti-fatigue mats), craft foam, and pipe insulation. The record was a real record (Barry Manilow to be exact) and was painted gold. The shoes were also created ahead of time and are heel-less shoes with craft foam vines/plants built on top.
This past May at Dallas Comic Con 2014 I opted for a scan session to have my dragon costume 3D printed as a small figurine. It was a really cool process and such a unique way to capture all the hard work that went into the costume.
Step 1: Scan Session
It was like being a movie star! Lots of flash bulbs and cameras capturing me from all sides. I did a couple different poses but this was the final one we chose.
Step 2: Creating the 3D model
These next steps were all done by Captured Dimensions. All I had to do was approve the final model before they sent it off for print. Check it out below! It even earned a “Staff Pick” badge on Sketchup. Twirl the model around to see all sides.
Halloween 2013 was the year for a dragon! I took most of my inspiration from Ysera in World of Warcraft. I’ve outlined most of the process in my tutorial on instructables.com. Go check it out there or take a look at my process photos below. I also won a 2nd prize from Instructables for my dragon, yea!
Who could resist dressing up when going to “Avatar: The Exhibition“! Since it was December, dressing up as Dr. Grace Augustine (Na’vi version) seemed like a more practical option in order to stay warm. Here are some tips for doing this costume: