Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Halloween Favorite: Do-it-yourself Centaur Costume

This DIY project is the all-time winner of The Happy Badger. My thanks to Mama Beja. Check out what else she can do at The Zen Toolbox. So without much ado, I share it again.

(Remember, if you're going to do this project for Halloween, best to get started early!)

This Greek myth themed costume is for the ambitious and/or Advanced Level Crafter.

Walk this way.

It calls for a lot of time, ingenuity, and effort...and better directions than I'm going to offer here. But if you can pull it off, like Santa Barbara's own Mama Beja did, you and your kid are gonna become the stuff of local legend.

For this project, you will need the following:
A Walker with wheels
A horse-colored blanket (you know what I mean)
Straight-haired wig/ponytail extension... in color complementary to blanket
Pillow stuffing
Heavy duty needle and thread
Thin cardboard, and lots of it
Long-sleeved t-shirt of same color as blanket
Twin sheet in white
Large sheets of paper to make pattern...or wing it, whatever
Straight pins
Laurel wreath, horns, or whatever head accessories you see fit
Matching boots (optional)
Pleather or leather scraps for hooves (optional)
A stronger ability to sew than I have...

Step 1: Chimera orientation
Get that walker. Set up the height to correspond to your child's backside, as the walker will become the backside of the centaur. Wheels go to the back, so that your centaur's back legs will roll behind him or her.
Set some time for this project--like, days.
Step 2: Legs, legs, legs!
Slice about 12 inches off one side of twin sheet. Wrap sheet around other two legs and affix. Once toga is draped on your centaur, these legs will be effectively camouflaged.
The looser the wrap, the more it will blend in with the toga
Measure the walker legs. Cut thin cardboard into long, triangular shapes for lower legs, and wider trapedoidal ones for upper legs. Pad with pillow stuffing, then wrap with blanket pieces. Sew inner vertical seams, stack upper leg on, and sew the horizontal seams connecting the two.

Detail of heavy duty stitching.

HEEL! Glue pleather/leather to thin long oblong-shaped cardboard.
Cut bottom of leg at angle and glue on "hoof."
Step 3: The End
Good luck with this part. I recommend that you play with the paper and/or play with the fabric and pins to see how to connect the rear to the hips before you start stitching.

Leave space to pad the haunches, or you'll end up with a bony old nag instead of a powerful centaur.

Attach the wig/hair extension to an appropriate place for a horse's tail. Sew it or stick it on well because chances are folks will be pulling on that thing all day and night.

Step 5: Come Together
You may well be asking, "How does my kid get in to this thing?" Here's what I know: Attach the leftover blanket piece back to the already-dressed walker, leaving a hole for your young hero to crawl in from underneath. The flap can be attached with safety pins to the brown long-sleeved t-shirt and pants.
Now, your young centaur can walk about freely and not lose his or her behind. 
I have no idea what to say about this photo that won't sound wrong, wrong, wrong.
Step 6: Final Touches
Riordan's characters might get huffy about mixing Roman and Greek elements, but the best way to pull this horse-human look together is a toga, so drape that sheet carefully to achieve maximum leg coverage and movement. Top with a laurel wreath.

If you actually finish this project, YOU will deserve a laurel wreath, not just your suddenly quadrupedal kid.

Apollo cranked up the sun on this kid to indicate his approval.

"Will the Happy Badger or the Badgerettes be centaurs this year?" you ask.

Umm, no. The Badgerettes are more inspired by the natural phenomenon that is my BedHead than by mythology, so they're going as flowers, and I'm going to go as a six-foot tall, white-puff-head Dandelion.

Happy Halloween!

Copyright 2014, Tanya Monier

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