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  • 2013 DIY Costume Contest Winners – Adult Couple Costume Category

2013 DIY Costume Contest Winners – Adult Couple Costume Category


The 2013 Halloween Express DIY Costume Contest winners in the Adult Couple category definitely showed that being a gruesome twosome isn’t the only way to get a double dose of attention while dressed up in Halloween costumes. We’re pretty sure you will agree that these very imaginative duos are not only positively epic, but are simply paired to perfection! 

FIRST PLACE: Ernesto Valenzuela, Houston TX

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My twin brother and myself while growing up we were always fascinated with the Alien vs. Predator movies, in fact some of our first toys were those characters. Halloween has always been our favorite holiday, because it lets us express ourselves in our costumes. My twin and I have always been in competition with each other so the rivalry that alien has towards predator really fits us. This Halloween we decided that these would be our characters. We also like to make jewelry and accessories out of recycled bike tires as a hobby. So with Halloween approaching we figured we would fabricate our own costumes trying to one up each other to win the battle!


For our costumes we used all types of bicycle tires that have been saved from the trash and reused. This includes road bike tires, mountain bike tires, and inner tubes. Bike parts that were also used: sprockets, spokes, and brake cables. The rest of the materials used were vacuum hose, newspaper, plenty of glue, pop rivets, zip ties, lights (store bought). Both of the costumes took about 2 months to make, different design was put into each with their own aesthetic. The Alien is more symmetrical while Predator is asymmetrical just like the movies. For the Alien I started with the head piece was all made from papier-mâché. This was a one month process. First, I blew up long balloons and started covering it with newspaper and a flour glue mixture until enough coats were added to become strong. Second, the mouth was created by extending jaws with cardboard and newspaper. Third, the teeth were created and mounted, and then I took Dracula teeth and mounted 8 of them together to make it look like the inner mouth. Fourth, the body armor was created using recycled tires, first the main chest piece was made like a rib cage structure out of road bike tires then the vacuum tubes were added to the back, then the rest of the extremities were created to be very symmetrical with mountain bike tires. Finally everything was painted using silver paint, as well as an addition of Lights that were placed in the head and back pieces. For the Predator a lot of research was made before anything was started to get it to as close as movie possible. There are plenty of weapons for the Predator to duplicate all made of Bike tires, Zip ties, and pop rivets! In the costume there are about 50 different tires used to make the armor. All of the tires are recycled from local bike shops to make this creature. The shin armor has by itself 5 different tires cut and shaped to conform to the leg. The weapons like the plasma cannon which is shoulder mounted has a rear bike HUB spokes and sprockets all interwoven to make it sturdy then fiber optic lights to make it “POP”. The right arm which has the dual blade was a very interesting piece to produce cutting and shaping the two blades to match then 4 rivets to attach the two and a few zip ties and spokes to hold the straight shape. The utility belt has a leg armor layered to the knee and around the leg there is also vinyl which is the base for the loincloth then has the v shaped hybrid tires zip tied on to it to make it protective and have that look. The final weapon which is a hundred percent is the disc Blade which is a chain guard wrapped with sidewall and 5 blades attached. The Only thing store bought would be the mask which has been modified by adding the dread locks which are a combination of inner tube and sidewall tire. Then all the weapons and armor was painted matte silver.



The people cannot get enough there were basically lines to take pictures at times! It was ridiculous how people would see predator walk and say oh look! Then the Alien followed and then they were like “no way”! How much did you pay for that was a frequent question and we said it’s all bike tires most had a confused look to them until I let them feel one of my arm pads which shows the tread and the feeling of tire. Battling here and there was always fun and very entertaining. The lights which we added made the costumes come alive at night time, showing off the accent of the alien’s head piece and the predator’s eyes and weapons. Overall the costumes were a hit and we got to go out multiple days this Halloween. After many photos and scared people we couldn’t be happier with the way they came out!



SECOND PLACE: Rowena Rasberry, Hayward CA

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I had this idea about 10 years ago. But I always worked for a Halloween retailer and was never able to take Halloween off to dress up. This year I no longer work for that Halloween retailer, and couldnt wait to put this costume together. I always thought, how cute would it be to see glowing stick figures walking around.


“Now that the idea is in place, the next thing is….. how do we get it to work? We headed off to the store to buy black pants and a black long sleeve shirt. Now we need to glow. Glow sticks! Armed with black clothing and a hand full of glow sticks, how do we get the glow sticks onto the clothes? Tape? Nope that didnt work. HOT GLUE! Woo hoo. We use the connectors that came with the glow sticks and hot glued the connectors onto the clothes. With doing that, the costume is now re useable. All we have to do is take out the glow sticks, and the connectors are still on the clothes. So next time all we have to do is get more glow sticks and place them into the already glued connectors onto the clothes.

For the face, we cut out a circle from a cardboard box and used the same method of gluing the connectors on, and a piece of elastic on the back of the mask.”


The attention that we get in these costumes is so exciting. Kids love it, adults love it. People stop us to take pictures, ask us how we did it, complement on what a great idea and costume it is. The best costume they have seen. We took more pictures Halloween night, then we did on our wedding day


THIRD PLACE: Jerod Walker, Minford OH

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Planning for our ice queen and king costumes started on November 1st 2012! The day after Halloween, we decided that next year, our costumes would have an icy twist. Inspiration from shows like The Chronicles of Narnia, Once Upon a Time, and Cinderella was used to plan and construct these time consuming creations. The Ice Witch from the Narnia series was a major inspiration for the queen. Her makeup and ball gown dress inspired us. The prince’s shoulder pads and light blue colors from Cinderella was also incorporated into the costumes.


The ice queen costume was hand sewn from a light blue satin fabric combined with a white sparkle overlay of mesh. A pattern was used, but altered to fit our needs. The queens shoes were covered in the sparkle mesh to match the dress. The ice king shirt was purchased from a gothic merchant online, but requested in white to fit the theme. The white pants were handmade to fit. The ice king fabric was airbrushed after all parts were complete. The airbrushing consisted of liquid blue fabric paint, fading the bottom parts of the pants, shirt, and half skirt from light blue to white to incorporate more light blue to match the queen costume.

The backs of each costume may not be well represented in the photos, but were equally as intricate as the fronts. The back of the ice queen dress has an open back design that was adorned with rhinestone necklaces and trim that hung in swags across the back. This aspect of the costume was hand sewn and really sparkled under the spotlights of the party’s decor. The kings cape was hand made from a decorative silver and white satin and was lined in the light blue satin that was used in the queens dress. On top of the cape was a hand made faux fur topper that came down to the shoulders.

Both the king and queens costumes had shoulder pads that were hand made. The queens shoulder pads were made from foam that were hand carved and painted silver. Attached to the costume by velcro. The kings shoulder pads were made from foam as well but was covered with the light blue satin fabric. The tops were covered with decorative sheet metal and the out side was lined with pillow cording and fringe. These were also attached to the costume by velcro.

Hot Glue Accessories

Much of each costume was made in a rather unusual way. The ice queen’s collar was the first piece we made from hot glue. The design was drawn on a piece of parchment paper and floral wire was laid for support. Then, high temperature hot glue was used to trace the pattern, incorporating the floral wire as we went. Once dried, the hot glue design stood on its own and could be bent to suit whatever shape we needed to fit on the dress. Other parts of the costumes that hot glue designs were made in this manner include both king and queen’s crowns, the king’s military sash, the designs the staffs, and the queen’s belt. All were spray painted with silver mirror metallic paint and flocked with faux snow. Inspiration for the look of the crowns and queen’s collar came from the wicked queen’s character from the TV series “”Once Upon a Time”” The king’s metals on his sash were made from air dry clay and painted with silver mirror paint.


All of our makeup was applied ourselves with an airbrush and alcohol based makeup. First a white foundation was applied. A stencil was used on the second layer to get a cracked appearance, a light blue was used for this. Shadowing was used with a purple. It was used to hollow out the queens face and show anatomical structures of the neck. On the kings face it was just used for hollowing. The king also has facial hair that was individually laid with liquid latex. Then finally liquid latex was placed on the eye brows of both the king and queen and flock, for christmas trees, was placed on on the latex for a snow appearance. The queens checks were also accented with this technique. Both the king and queen had blue black light contacts in that appeared to be ice blue in normal lighting and when under black lights would glow blue. The queen’s earrings were teardrop crystals obtained from a crystal chandelier.

The hair styles for the king and queen were achieved with hair teasing,white hairspray and baby powder. Both were finished with christmas tree flocking.

The Staffs

The staffs added the final touches to our costumes. The main part of both staffs was a hollow flag pole. Our staffs did illuminate, this was achieved by attaching a light bulb upside down on the pole with hot glue. A small flash light was then put in the inside of the pole and was secured in place by drilling a screw through the pole and locking it in place with a nut. This allowed our staffs to stay illuminated the whole party. The construction of the tops of both staffs were made from foam poster board and was decorated with hot glue accessories and icicles. The queens staff was also accented with crystals.


The main debut of our costumes every year is our annual Halloween party that we have on the Ohio River. We hand out best costume awards every year at our party, and every year, people want to vote for us at our own party! Granted, we won’t let ourselves win at our own party, but this has been the reaction year after year. Some comments thats we had this year were; ” you guys seriously look frozen!”, “you look like your 100 years old!”, “you look like stone sculptures!”, “you guys look like you just walked off a movie set!”, ” I didn’t even know it was you two! You guys look awesome!” “Are you sure we can’t vote for your costumes?” After putting some photos of our characters on our Facebook accounts, they went viral and soared to 140+ likes with over 40 comments!


FOURTH PLACE: Emily Sigler, East Lansing MI

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After I had Paul watch both Despicable Me movies with me, we both concluded that we would be minions that stand above the rest.


Items used:
• Trashcan: body
• Overalls: overalls.
• Screen door mesh: mouth covering.
• White and red felt: teeth and tongue.
• Pipe cleaners: hair.
• Hat box, flower ring, wood knobs, push light, Styrofoam, cardboard, copper wire, tie-wraps, black and brown paint: goggles.

• Yellow fleece: body exterior.
• Yoga mats: in lining.
• Cardboard: head extension.
• Bike helmet, cardboard, yoga mat: securing head movement.
• A lot of duct tape and hot glue!!!!

Even though we built our minions using the same concept, we went down different paths of construction.

We both initially started with a plastic trashcan. Using a drywall knife, we cut out holes for our arms and a hole in the shape of each mouth. Since the bottom of our trashcans were completely flat and had unnatural looking divots, we both came up with different techniques to create a rounded top for the head. For my two-eyed minion, I cut strips of cardboard and used duct tape to tape each end of the strips to the outer edge of trash can; using a sort of pinwheel effect to create a dome for the yellow felt to cover. For the top of Paul’s one-eyed minion, he cut a circular wall from cardboard and placed a cut out circle of the trash lid on top. To keep it from caving in, he took a bunch of cardboard z shapes and used them to prop it up for support. Then he cut a circle in the fleece and placed it over the top and wrapped the seam in black duct tape to shape the strap of the goggle.

For the fleece we cut it into two pieces and measured slits so it would be perfectly taught when we wrapped it around. To fix the indents of the can we took bell shapes of yoga matting and placed them in the indents. To make sure the fleece wouldn’t have any wrinkles, we did about five inches of wrapping at a time and hot glued it down. Once it was tight enough, we cut holes for the arms and mouth. By making crosscuts we were able to wrap the fleece inside to make it look flush. We used duct tape and hot glue to pad it down.

For the teeth and tongue we used white and red felt. For the black mesh, we used screen door mesh that’s easily seen through from inside, but difficult to see in from the outside. For the hair we used pipe cleaners and shaped them each differently. Hot glue, yellow electric tape, and duct tape were used to seal it down. Next were the overalls, we got them from a salvation army. We cut them in half and hot glue the front and back on. To fill in the missing fabric, we cut up the pant legs and put them on the sides with the suspenders. Next we hot glued and duct taped the fleece and jean and the bottom and tucked it inside. Then we took helmets with cardboard boxes and placed them deep in the top. This prevents the costume from moving around when worn. We fastened them in with lots of hot glue and duct tape. Then for finishing touches, we drew on the Gru symbols on the front and did some painting touch ups. Paul bought a long sleeve yellow shirt plus some yellow rubber gloves. He then spray painted them with Krylon gloss black.

Since Paul had the one-eyed minion, he constructed his goggle using the hat box, flower ring with wooden knobs hot glued around it, and a push light in the center which he painted an eyeball onto. He then fastened it with copper wire, tie-wraps, and black duct tape. As for my minion, I purchased a Styrofoam sphere which I cut in half, spray-painted white, and then painted to resemble the eyeballs. I then cut a tall spherical box in half and painted silver to create the goggles. I cut out two cardboard circles for the backing of the goggles and painted them black. I then used epoxy to assemble the pieces of goggle together. In order to secure the goggles to the costume, I fished two copper wires under the black duct tape band and layer of felt, then through the back of each goggle where I then twisted the copper ends together. (This was done separately for each half of the goggles. I then gouged out a bit of the back of each eyeball so that it would lie flat against the back of the cardboard and used epoxy to secure it in place.


“Dude, check out those minions….is this real life?”


“Oh my gosh your costumes are so cute!”

“Those are the best costumes I have ever seen!”

“Did YOU make those?”

“You win Halloween.”

Everyone seemed to love our costumes and be very impressed by the fact that we made them from scratch.



Some Additional Contest Entries in the Adult Couples Costume Category

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