November 1, 2015

DIY: Gumball Machine Costume

Oh, hello.

You didn't think I was going to let Halloween pass without an update did you? Of course not.

I'll just say it: it's unreasonable that we only have one day a year to wear costumes. I fantasize about a Second Halloween - we'll give it a catchier name, probably - in late April, about six months after the big day, so everyone gets another chance to dress up and fit in those costume ideas they never got around to. Plus, topical costume options will be doubled! When something great happens pop-culturally in the winter, it's way too late to costume-ize it at Halloween. With Second Halloween, this MAJOR problem is solved.

My brain is basically a snow globe of raining costume ideas all year long. I make mental notes and ponder construction options pretty much weekly. I just love costumes! I generate a lot of ideas; some I try to force on others, and some I'm storing away for future Halloweens when I have it in me to wear another costume that I can't sit down in. This year, though, I actually pulled inspiration from my own past brain! When I made this post about DIY Halloween costume ideas, I included a gumball machine option, and this year it struck me as a fun thing to try. Thanks, 2014 brain!

Here's how I made it:

The Gumballs
There are a lot of ways to go about this portion of the costume - last year I suggested a glass bowl full of pom poms, but I was committed to using real gumballs so I bought enough bags of those at Target to arouse suspicion at checkout. 

I then cut a 15" circle from cardboard, covered it in white felt, glued approximately one million (ok, like 300) gumballs to it, and used black felt as a trim to give a finished look. 

I added that cartoon-style "shiny" detail at the top to imply that the circle was glass. Just like when I was drawing a balloon as a child, it just seemed like the right thing to do. 

Finally, I attached some black straps to tie around my neck. Side note: that kind of hurt so BEWARE.

The Hat
The base of this hat is a paper bowl. Yup, that simple. I snipped off the lip of the bowl to give it a straighter side.

Next, I cut a circle out of red fabric, wrapped it around the bowl and glued it on the inside. I suggest glueing in small sections to keep the edges as neat as possible. I have some folds, but I made peace with it after some soul searching.

The top piece is the bottom of a small plastic cup covered in gray felt. If you're keeping track, that means this hat is about 95% disposable dish ware.

Finish by gluing some elastic string to keep it on your head.

The Machine
For rational people, step one should be: Buy a red skirt. Since I always have to be a hero, I made this one myself after deeming all store-bought options "too red," "not red enough," or "lacking the spirit of a gumball machine." Don't be a hero.

I used gray, white and black felt to make a metal-looking piece for the coin slot and spinny dial. I attached this to the skirt with tape, since I wanted to wear the skirt again.

I put a "hole" at the bottom when the gumballs would come out, and glued a gumball there, as well.

Finish with some silver trim courtesy of duct tape if you wish.

The Finished Costume

Classes are starting now at my distinguished photo posing academy! You'll be a pro after covering such topics as "Why are these hands on my face?" and "Hey, what's over there?"

So now I have to know - what were you for Halloween? If you didn't dress up, what do you wish you could've been? Because sometimes imagining costumes is just easier, right?

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