Favorite Costumes from the Make/Craft crew: Part 2


I asked the Make and Craft crews to tell me about their favorite Halloween costumes and if they had any special costume plans for this year. You saw the first half yesterday, and here’s the conclusion to the roundup!


Rob Sullivan (DIY Halloween):
This year my son decided he wanted to be a pimp. He doesn’t know what a pimp is, only had an image in his head of who this character was (we did explain it to him, but he still wanted to do it). We usually throw together costumes the day or 2 before Halloween simply because it comes up so fast most times. Luckily we have a HUGE collection of old clothes and other Halloween stuff we’ve collected over the years. I’m telling you, if you’ve seen some of our costumes you’d be impressed knowing that they usually come together last minute. This year we decided to get it done sooner (at least for him) so we hit a couple second hand stores and got most of the clothes. The rest came from the Halloween boxes. Found the costume jewelry and cane at a Halloween shop. Total cost including the fir coat was about $40.


Bre Pettis (video producer):
Last year I repurposed the pumpkin cylon project and was Kitt from Knight Rider. I wore all black and the lights in the brim of my hat! I went to a bar and won the prize for best costume. If I remember right, my line was, “Have you seen Michael Knight? I’ve heard he’s on a beach.”

Gareth Branwyn, Dale Dougherty, and me (Becky Stern) after the jump…

Gareth Branwyn (contributing editor):
Before my hip replacement surgery in 2000, I needed to be in a wheelchair if I was going to have to walk or stand for long periods of time (like at a party). Sort of forgetting that, I would come up with some really cool costume idea and then ruin the impact of it by going to the party in the chair (which had nothing to do with the costume).

A few Halloweens before my replacement, I realized I should incorporate the chair into the act. (I’m rather *slow* sometimes.) For my first wheelchair costume, I went as John Glenn at 90 (The real John Glenn had just blasted into space for the second time a few days earlier). I got a silver lame’ Mercury Flight costume and used really good aging make-up. The results were pretty amazing. I looked sort of like Bowman in 2001 when he’s on his extraterrestrial deathbed. The concept was that I was in training for my third visit to space (…in my mind!). I went around telling everyone about my impending flight, the rigor of my training, old “Right Stuff” stories, etc. I would get up to show everyone my training regime, but then found I was too old/weak/loopy to stand. I remember spouting a lot of nonsense about the ice oceans of Io and the dust rings of Saturn. Okay, maybe it was a little “high-concept,” but it looked pretty good and was a big hit.

The next year, I went as Dr. Strangelove. It was a very simple costume: A skinny, mod ’50s suit, a blonde wig, dark glasses and a cigarette. Oh and black leather gloves. And I shaved all my facial hair for the first time since I was like 19. The result was kind of amazing. I freakin’ looked like Dr. Strangelove. I also went online and listened to audio clips from the film. The main one available was: “Mein Fuhrer, I can WALK!” This worked out perfectly. I was at a big art party in a loft in downtown DC. I would park my wheelchair on the edge of the dancefloor, sway it side to side with the music and fight with my sieg heil-ing paralyzed arm as Sellers does in the film. Every so often, when a song came on that I really wanted to dance to, I would act like a miracle had come over me, I’d cry out “Mein Fuhrer, I can WALK!,” stand up, and dance my ass off for a few minutes, then sit back down. It got a lot of laughs.

Dale Dougherty (editor and publisher):
At O’Reilly, years ago, we had a Halloween party and I came as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I did the usual hunchback thing, but I came up with a trick that was kind of cool. I took a piece of clear tape and place it over the top-half of one eyelid. It had the effect of halfway closing the one eye, which folks told me looked pretty creepy.



Becky Stern (Craft blogger):
My mom’s a whiz on the sewing machine and she’s whipped up some nice costumes for my brother, sister and me over the years. One costume that’s been around a long time is Raggedy Ann, which she made it for herself in 1981. It’s really well built; my sister and I have worn it several times each. Another time, my older sister and I were both Minnie Mouse (I wanted to be just like her), and my brother was a dinosaur. My mom always bought patterns made by Butterick or Simplicity, etc., and let us help pick out the fabric for the costume.

This year I’m using some conductive thread, LEDs and spirit gum to give myself some lightup bindis on my face. I’ll also wear my orange hallowig (it’s the same color as my real hair), and possibly my orange coveralls, making the costume essentially just the color “orange,” but I’d like to think that it it would be more appropriately titled “DIY preparedness.”

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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