My personal October project was to transform this Fisher Price Dollhouse into a Gothic Haunted Mansion in time for Halloween. Either this year is zooming by or it was more time intensive than I thought it would be but here we are. I did not yet get to the inside of the dollhouse but perhaps that is a project for next year.
I got these foam carve-able pumpkins at Dollar Tree and I wanted to do a small floral pumpkin thing with them. The stems of the pumpkins broke off so it worked out for me.
I painted one of them with white acylic paint. I had to use a few coats because the neon orange was hard to cover up. After a few coats however it had a pinkish hue to the white which I really liked and I think went well with the flowers. The also had a paint color called “Oatmeal” which I liked for that rustic look. I painted the second one white first to cover up the orange and then a few coats of the Oatmeal color and it turned out better than I expected. The oatmeal color went better with the darker color flowers and overall had a really nice effect.
The flowers I had lying around and most of them are from the dollar store, or if not i found them at garage sales. I have them in literal bags in my closet. Here is a post about my obscene amount of cheap fake flowers and how I store them (spoiler: in large bags from Dollar Tree)
I was so happy about how these turned out. I think they are going to look great with my fall decorations.
This is part two of my daughters Plague Doctor Halloween Costume. If you want to see Part 1 click here. This post is going to focus more on the costume accessories.
Another lucky find we got the dress at Goodwill. It was plain, black, long sleeve and fit her perfectly! I was thrilled with it. The only downside though was it was made out of wool which gave it a really authentic look but we also live in Texas and even in late October it can be hot (I was not wrong she was sweatin like a sinner in church)
Goodwill find… I live at Goodwill basically. They should pay me to write these blog posts.
This little add on was a really head scratcher for me and we were just about to ditch it from the ensemble. I couldn’t find anything that was going to work in a pinch and I really didn’t want to make anything from scratch. I had already hit my fabrication limit. Eventually I stumbled across a curtain rod at Goodwill and I was like “sold”
The Incense Ball
For the incense ball I used a broken hamster ball. When I went to buy it (at Goodwill) the guy at the counter was like “you know this is missing the lid right” … he almost wouldn’t let me buy it till I explained what it was for. It was a weird conversation. There needs to be a goodwill for cosplayers. A no judgement zone.
I plugged up the air slats and made kind of a mess out of it. I drew on a couple of bad swirly designs with some puffy paint and let that dry. Once I knew it would hold water (for the next step) I spray painted it gold and distressed it with black acrylic paint.
Ok this part was fun. Kate wanted to go historically accurate on the costume and she loved the concept of the incense balls and lanterns the Plague doctors carried around. We came up with this wild idea to a ball that would hold a small piece of dry ice and we would pour hot water over it and it was steam up. It actually worked too! The effect was really cool but it was short lived and at the end of the day it was too much work for little pay off.
This was last minute addition to the costume because I already had the incense ball and I didn’t want her to have to carry around too much stuff. I saw this discounted solar lantern at Family Dollar (you thought I was going to say goodwill didn’t you?) and I snatched it up. It was already gold and distressed so I didn’t have to do much there. The solar component sadly didn’t work so I had to rig it up with some battery operated tea lights. This ended up being kind of cool because the tea lights flickered giving the whole thing a candlelit vibe.
The Chest Strap with Potions
I found two old and distressed leather belts and looped them together on themselves to do this chest strap thingy. I cut them where the met above the hit and glued them together. I added some of my googly eye “rivets” for effect.
The potion bottles were from Hobby Lobby… but don’t worry I didn’t pay retail. I got them on a 50% day so they were $1 each. I just added some water and food coloring. I tied the tops of them with some brown necklace cord I had laying around.
The metal brackets that attach them to the belt are just picture frame hanging brackets or D-rings. I had these laying around.
In hindsight I should have found a way to affix the strap because the weight of the glass bottles kept dragging the belt down and it needed to be adjusted constantly. Probably shouldn’t have gone with glass bottles filled with water and picked something lighter but I really liked the effect.
Kate looked awesome and she got a ton of compliments. She won the award for scariest costume at the party and she was thrilled. At the end of the day that’s why I put so much effort into these things. I always spend too much time and money on her costumes but it makes her so happy.
I didn’t keep a running total on this costume (I usually do). There were just SO many small pieces. I got a lot of stuff from Goodwill on this costume but it was NOT in one trip. Kate and I talk about her costume months in advance and I find things as I go along.
My daughter wanted to go as a plague doctor for Halloween last year. I usually make her costumes but this was an exceptionally involved costume. I did my best to document the process which I didn’t have the forethought to do with her other insane costumes.
This was the most time consuming portion of the costume, but it was something that I wanted to get “right” otherwise the whole thing would end up looking hokey. I didn’t know if I was going to attempt to make it or just find one to buy. I ended up making because the good masks were way out of my price range for one night of wear.
I ended up buying a pattern off etsy and it was worth it. I will link it here: Plague Doctor Mask Pattern.
The pattern calls for leather… there was no way I was making anything out of leather here so I decided to try my hand at sewing craft foam. You heard me right… sewing craft foam. It is a lot more delicate than leather would have been but also more lightweight. I got the extra thick 3mm foam sheets.
Now I sewed this all by hand so it is not always straight or matched up in the right places. If you look at the mask straight on you can see the centerpiece is crooked. That is why all these pictures are in profile.
I only deviated from the pattern with the eye pieces. My daughter got a pair of costume goggles from the Spirit Halloween store link to those here: Steam Punk Goggles. and she really liked the steampunk look of them so I have to make it work with the existing mask. I also had the added problem that my daughter wears glasses and can’t see a thing without them. The goggles gave me just enough room for her to wear her glasses under the mask. There was a lot of gentle carving with the Xacto knife, gluing and some cursing but I got the goggles affixed to the mask.
I pulled the belt buckle off of a ladies slim fashion belt and used it for the back.
The rivets were a challenge for me. I didn’t want to add anything too heavy to the mask and I certainly didn’t have anything to do actual rivets with. So what I used may shock you #clickbait
GOOGLY EYES! Yes!! I spray painted googly eyes gold and distressed them with some stippled black acrylic paint. Then glued those bad boys on the mask. It was funny because you could still hear the googly eyes rattle when she turned her head too fast. We all got a laugh out of it.
The hat was a lucky find at the Halloween store. It was called a “Farmers Hat” and it was perfect (Link to it here: Black Farmers Hat). We looked for a long long time to find a good hat for the costume. I was worried I was going to have to make it out of craft foam too! Thankfully I didn’t have to.