Sunday, October 29, 2017

In Which the Author Makes a Library Costume. Plus, a Bonus Babadook!


This year, for Halloween, I was a library.

Kevin took most of these pics with Fancy Camera. Click on any pic to embiggen/get a more focused view.

Last year, while searching for appropriate teapot/flower fabric for my Mad Hatter costume, I stumbled across the book fabric shown in the skirt above. That's when I realized I wanted to be a library this year... I've been planning this costume for over a year :o).  

I made most of this costume myself, including the skirt, top, and hat. The "QUIET PLEASE" sign on the top is cut out of felt. I glued it on while wearing the top and looking in the mirror (bugging Kevin every three minutes to ask if any of my letters were backwards), because that was the only way to know how it would look while I was wearing it.


Same with the book spines that make up the torso. I found old, falling apart books no one wanted, removed the spines, and attached them to a bustier, with staples, thread, and fabric glue, while wearing the bustier... because the bustier was stretchy, and this was the only way to know exactly where and how things needed to be attached. This bookshelf torso took FOREVER, way longer than I was expecting, and was physically challenging. I kept having to take it on and off, and a bustier has about 7 million hooks that are hard to reach. AGH. I've decided that my costume next year is going to involve fewer headaches. Of course, that's what I think every time I start writing a new book too, and it always turns out that every creative project comes with its own surprise headaches :o).

It might be hard to see in the picture below, but I attached stickers with the correct Library of Congress call numbers to each book.


Now for the accessories... Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen book. I got the book necklace below from PetitePages on Etsy.


Kevin loves Sherlock Holmes, and, as anyone who's read Jane, Unlimited knows, I love Rebecca :o). I made the earrings below out of miniature books I got from LDelaney on Etsy.



I wore library card socks that came from Out of Print Clothing.


Finally, my library catalog fascinator.


Kevin found two tall drawers for me on a dollhouse furniture website (after talking me down from trying to wear a drawer-parts cabinet like this one on my head). I glued them together and put little stickers on them showing ranges of letters.

I also gutted a book, gave it cardboard supports so it would look like it had pages, cut a hole in it for my head, and attached ribbons to tie it behind my head. I slapped on a piece of felt too, because it was cutting into my scalp a little bit in the front. (Thank you, Jay, for that suggestion ^_^.)


In the interest of making it as light and steady as possible, I took out all the drawers but one and broke off all the wood behind the front pieces, then glued the front pieces in place. Then I glued my one open drawer and all its cards in place too.


Two books sat on top of my card catalog, Tom Sawyer and Fahrenheit 451. I made these little books out of matchboxes I got at Out of Print Clothing.


Finally, the tiniest detail of my costume, shown below: the one visible card in my card catalog. I made up a fake card for The Babadook, which is an indie horror movie that doesn't actually have a Library of Congress call number. Why did I do that?


Because Kevin was the Babadook for Halloween :o).


He made that mask out of papier-mâché, using a fan case as his base.


He painted the face, using a printout of the real Babadook as a reference. If you look between the eyes on the mask, you'll see the holes he made for his actual eyes.


He cut the fingers out of a frozen pizza box, spray-painted them black, and attached them to black gloves.


Halloween is over now and our house is a cluttered mess of art project residue, but we are very satisfied. And I'm already thinking about next year. :o)

Happy Halloween everyone!