2014 Costume Contest Winners – Adult Singles Category

2014 ADULT SINGLES CATEGORY

Who says Halloween is just for kids? These very groovy big people prove once and for all that we are all just basically kids at heart. These stunning costume winners in the 2014 Halloween Express DIY Adult Singles costume category not only show a lot of heart, but the creativity and imagination that went into these designs is something we are absolutely in complete awe over. Kudos to you, people.

FIRST PLACE: Michael Corrigan – Tallahassee, FL

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HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

This year I decided not to be the dad that just stands on the sidewalk watching while my girls have fun. Since my three girls and their mommy chose to be either Elsa or Anna from the Disney movie Frozen, I thought it would be a good idea for me to be their guardian, “Marshmallow.” After looking for a costume and having no luck, the girls were excited to help daddy design and build the snow monster.

 

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

For this project we used cardboard to come up with the basic frame and shape. Then we used paper mâché to cover the frame followed by spray foam and quilt batting. The head is constructed using a hard hat covered with spray foam, mesh screen to look out of the mouth, springs and a chin strap so that the jaw moves as I talk. The arms are made of 4” PVC pipes that my hands slide into where I can control the movement of the fingers with strings, bungee cords and rings. The fingers are vacuum molded plastic, as well as the teeth and spikes. We finally added LED lights to give the eyes, icicle fingers and spikes the desired glow. I also added a fan with a dual purpose. With the use of tubing and a homemade bubble solution, the fan helps blow “snow” from the monster’s back. The fan also helps to keep the inside of the costume somewhat ventilated and cool.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

The reaction that I have received so far has been great. “WOW,” “That’s amazing,” “Did you really make that,” are just a few of the responses I’ve heard! People also wonder how long it took me to make it, which was about 3 months off and on (when I wasn’t taking care of my children and working my full-time job). I have also had several people inquire as to whether I plan to make visits to children’s birthday parties since Frozen is so popular.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

This project was fun and exciting! I enjoyed having my three little girls (and wife) help. It was a bit of a challenge to make some of their ideas come to life, but I did not want to disappoint them. Therefore, we ended up with something much greater than I expected. I cannot wait to see what they will dream up next!

 


SECOND PLACE: Diana Chimenti – Livermore, CA

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HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

For months , I planned to make myself into a giant “Sharknado” . You know the corny movie where sharks become part of a tornado and rain terror on New York City & Hollywood. Well, as Halloween approached & I excitedly told my friends what costume I was building, I kept hearing the same thing…. Sharknado, …..What’s that? Bummer !, I thought. So , I salvaged the shark I had labored on & switched gears. Then, I came up with the bright idea of being the cast of “THE SHARK TANK ” featuring me as the shark and I never looked back!

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

For the fore mentioned handcrafted shark, I started with a “to go” food container and painted it red to make the sharks mouth. I attached nails and screws to it’s rim to form the sharp teeth and painted them white with correction fluid. Hey, what can I say….it was handy.

I had bought a inflatable gold fish pool toy at the dollar store and set about transforming it into my shark prop. Paper mache & electrical tape can work miracles . I then hot glued glued wiggly eyes and a glowing blue LED “finger light” , both of which I bought at the Dollar Store. Gotta love that place! I made the two “Shark Tank cast mates” on either side me, with baskets that I ran two lightweight aluminum bars through. I printed their likeness off internet photos. I even printed and glued on matching hairstyles on the back side. I used paint sticks to make shoulders and also used them mounting device to screw the castmates in place on the aluminum bar. The dolls were “dressed” and then padded with bubble wrap to keep them light. My husband sacrificed his golf bag strap ( I knew I married him for a good reason) to support it all.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

My favorite reaction was the one my dog gave me. I had sat the costume on my couch overnight. See photo #2. My dog came into the room in the morning and nearly jumped out of his skin. Once he recovered his dignity, he loud out a loud growl. I knew right then that I had “nailed the costume! “

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

By adding the golf bag, this costume was a breeze to wear and slip in and out of. This becomes very valuable at a crowded party, when you need to fit into a restroom stall. One hint, ….Don’t wear it out in the wind though or you will become a human parasail.

 


THIRD PLACE: Marshall Camp – Woodstock, GA

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HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

I came up with this costume idea while I was at a local Halloween contest. The winner of that had created an illusion costume, which at that point I had never heard of. Over the next days, I spent multiple hours researching illusion costumes online. I wanted to find something to give me inspiration… But nothing really stood out. That’s when I decided to take my love of Halloween, Motorcycles and a favorite TV show and create My Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Illusion Costume.

 WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

To make my Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Illusion Costume I used materials that I mostly found at Home Depot.

Plumbing PVC pipe and fittings, PVC plumbing glue, Self-tapping screws, Rigid foam insulation, Plywood, Auto wiring, Auto on/off buttons, LED motorcycle headlight, Skull Motorcycle tail light, LED motorcycle, turn signals, Motorcycle horn, Black duct tape, Construction adhesive, Spray foam, Bubble wrap, Spray paint and miscellaneous hardware

I started the costume by making the frame for the PVC pipe and fittings. I was important to me to make sure the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Illusion Costume was as functional as I could make it. While building the front end I made sure that it pivoted just like a real motorcycle would. I think that was when I thought to myself “what have you got yourself into”. But I carried on, with more than a few setbacks in the construction phase… meaning more trips to Home Depot to get more parts for the ones I had broken in the process. I also used a commercial heat gun to bend the pipe where possible, keeping the core strength of the PVC. I painted the front end silver to resemble chrome, and the frame black. Next I moved on to the tires, which is where I used the rigid foam insulation. I cut several round pieces and glued them together, leaving the two sides with another large circle cut from the center. After the glued dried, I used the black duct tape to cover the tires as to resemble tread. Next I cut plywood disks and painted them silver also… These were designed to fit inside both side of the tires where I had cut out the center of the last piece of foam, which hide the ends of the duct tape and resembled a rim. I mounted the tires on on PVC which fit into the front and back end fittings I had already had in place to hold them… This allowed the tires to spin. After most of the framing and tires were done, I created the tank from the rigid foam and painted it, using a cut down spray can cap to resemble the fuel cap. Then I moved onto the engine which was made from thin hobby foam. I cut all the pieces and glued them together to make it look like a v-twin engine, and mounted it with some re-enforced trim boards. I used the wiring to connect all the lights and motorcycle horn I mounted close to the battery on the engine and then I mounted two switches on the handlebars I made. This meant that I had a full set of working lights on one switch and a horn on the other switch. I finished off the construction of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Illusion Costume with handlebar grips, an old motorcycle licence and some black fabric to hide my legs from sight. Since I was actually going to be moving the bike by waking in the center I needed to create fake legs to provide the illusion of riding it. So, I mounted an old pair of shoes to the frame, and then used jeans and a set of chaps filled with bubble wrap and spray foam to do the trick. When I was finished with the bike, I was able to step into the center of it and use the chaps tied around my waist to provide the transition of my body to the fake legs smoothly.

With the bike mostly completed I needed to find a patch set for the Sons of Anarchy Vest… I didn’t know you couldn’t get them some where… So, I ended up having to have a full set of patches made from screen caps of the cast of the show. I sewed these onto a new vest myself. Although I was basically done at that point I have continued to work on it. 

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

Everyone loved it, but I cannot tell you how many people actually thought I was riding on the bike, and that those were my real legs, even after explaining it to a few of them more than once!

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

I really bit off more than I could chew on this project, but I am happy to have “completed” it. I truly enjoyed the work I put into it and the reaction I got out of it. It took nearly four months of on and off labor with a total cost more than $800, everything considered. I think I have another idea in the works for next year!

  


THIRD PLACE (a): Eric Farmer – Valdosta, GA

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HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

My son decided he wanted to be Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy for Halloween and we had never done matching costumes, so I wanted to make this Halloween special. I was a big fan of the movie and thought it made sense for me to go as Groot. I’ve made my costume every year for the past 7 years, and this year wasn’t going to be any different. I knew it was going to be a long and difficult process, but I also knew it would be worth it to see my son’s reaction.

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

I started with a thin long sleeve shirt and pants. I cut up another shirt and hot glued it around the bottom of the pants to make room for the stilts. The majority of the costume was made from cutting pipe insulation tubes in half and hot glueing them in vine/root like patterns onto the shirt and pants. The plates on the chest and back were made cut from foam. The texture was made from coating tissue paper with Modge Podge and wrinkling it up over the the pipe insulation. The mask was made from a foam puzzle mat. I cut the pattern and shaped it with a heat gun so it would retain the shape. I cut holes for the eyes and placed sunglass lenses from the inside. The detail on the mask was cut with a rotary tool. The stilts (which are hidden under the costume) were made from empty paint cans and bungee cords. For the gloves I used an old pair of rubber gloves. I wrapped them in green duct tape and twisted the ends to make a point at the fingertips. For the neck I used a balaclava with pipe insulation glued to the back. I used brown, tan, and green camouflage paint for the color. The entire costume was coated in brown first, then the tan was dry brushed on, finally followed by the green. Once everything was painted I glued patches of dried sheet moss onto the mask and upper body. The last little touch was spray painting small pieces of rope green and glueing these “vines” over different areas of the costume. After a test run in the costume to make sure everything fit properly and moved I realized that the lenses were fogging up and would be almost impossible to see out of after a few minutes. I used an old snowboarding trick to take care of that… I rubbed some shaving cream into the lenses then wiped them clean to prevent the fogging.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

The reactions I got were amazing. Even the people who didn’t recognize the character appreciated the work and detail that went into the costume. Those that did know the character were elated. I got stopped to have my picture taken every few minutes. People were constantly touching me to see if it was made from real wood. I almost got knocked over by a girl who ran over to hug me. I tried to stay to stay in character as much as possible, but I had so many people asking questions about how I made it and how long it took that I had to break character every few minutes.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

This was by far the most comprehensive costume I’ve ever made. Even after giving myself 6 weeks to finish it, I wasn’t fully done until lunchtime on Halloween. My goal was to make a simple costume that people would recognize as Groot… but as I got further along, and it started looking better and better, I wanted it to be the best looking costume I could possibly make. I feel like I stole some of my son’s thunder, but we had a great time and he loved the costume.