Okay you guys, I’m pretty proud of this craft. My son wanted to be an alligator for Halloween, so naturally I turned to Pinterest for ideas. The one I liked best was featured in this blog … written entirely in a foreign language (of course!). But I thought the pictures gave me enough to go on.
So I did a lot of problem solving, and it ended pretty much happily ever after. And best of all, it cost me less than $20!
Here is how I went about it:
- Low-heat glue gun and glue
- quilting needle and green thread
- A plastic jug or cardboard box that snugly fits the head of whomever will wear the costume
- Some scrap cardboard
- Packaging Tape or Duct Tape
- 2 Styrofoam craft balls 1.5 inches in diameter
- Approximately* 1 yard of light green felt
- Approximately 1 yard of medium green felt
- Approximately 1 yard of dark green felt
- Some batting
- Scraps of white felt
- White yarn
- Mod Podge
- Scrap pieces of green tissue paper
- A black sharpie
*the amount of yardage you need depends on the width of the bolt and the size of the person who you’re making the costume for. You may want to do some math here.
First I made the head. It seemed like the most difficult part, and if the project was going to fail, I wanted to know right off. I made the structure for the head out of a plastic, 1 galleon apple juice jug and a random piece of cardboard pulled out of our recycling bin. I picked the apple juice jug because after I washed it and cut it, it fit snugly on my son’s head. The base of it was rectangular instead of being square, like a milk jug. I cut one of the short sides about 5 inches up from the base and the other short side I cut 3 inches up from the base. Then I cut a slanted line along both long sides in order to connect the two uneven cuts on the short sides.
Then I cut the cardboard piece into the shape below (along the solid line). The longest part of the cardboard was about 13 inches and the widest part of the cardboard was about 4 inches wider than the apple jug base. Then I scored the cardboard along the two dotted lines. You’ll want to score the exterior-side of the cardboard in order for it to bend properly. As you can see in the picture above, the score is visible. That’s okay because the entire head will be wrapped in fabric.
I attached the jug base and the cardboard with packaging tape, as you can see in the image above. Next I wrapped the whole thing in green fabric. I used a stretchy, synthetic fabric that I found on sale, but the whole thing can be done in felt. I covered the snout in one piece of fabric, hot-gluing it in place on the bottom/interior of the snout.
I covered the scull in a separate piece of fabric, stretching and gluing it in place along the long sides of the scull first, and then folding it over the short front and back of the scull like a present.
Once the whole thing was covered there was a messy seam in the front at the junction between the snout and the scull, but I planned to cover that up with felt, so no big deal.
I made the eyeballs from 2 styrofoam craft balls. I banged them on the counter top in order to create a flat area on the back that would glue more easily. Then I cut out circular scraps of green tissue paper and mod podged them to the balls. Once they dried I hot glued them in place on the upper sides of the scull.
The decoration of the snout and the eyes was the most “artistic” the part of the project. By that I mean I relied less on measurements and a lot more on trial and error. I used big scraps of paper, like newspaper, to make a pattern. That helped me estimate how long to make the piece of felt decorating the snout, for example, since I wanted it to roll up and down, tacked to the snout at intervals with hot glue. I feel like the end result was pretty simple, but also expressive. I’m happy with it.
To finish the head piece I glued some batting inside the scull because my son said the apple jug bottom was digging into his head uncomfortably.
Then I turned my attention to the vest-piece, which I’ll discuss in my post next week.