Saturday, June 23, 2012

DIY Greek Costume - Socrates

What do you do when your daughter comes home from school and says she has to be Socrates for a class project in two weeks and Halloween is still months away?... Well first you panic, then you hyperventilate, and then you eventually pass-out!.. Well, not necessarily in that order!!

What I did was search the web - you can find so many different ideas on the internet!!  What a convenience to be able to Google something and within seconds have what you're looking for!  After viewing several sites in search of Socrates' appearance and attire, I came to the conclusion my daughter was going to have to be bald, grow a beard, and wear some form of a toga costume.  Believe me when I tell you she was not pleased when I informed her of this!!  ... haha   Of course I wasn't going to shave her head or apply hair growth treatment to her face, but having her wear a bald cap.. well..  let's just say I didn't have to go THAT overboard with detail, I mean it was just a class project, not a Broadway production.

And with that in mind, I set off to create a Socrates costume that cost a whopping $4.32!! Here's how I did it....

Costume Supplies: Bed Sheet, Felt, Elastic

I headed off to my trusty Goodwill to find a bed sheet that I could use to make the toga or tunic costume.  It was a little tricky finding an appropriate way to make a male toga for a girl to wear since a lot of chest is typically shown in a male toga.  But I found this pretty cool video tutorial that was really helpful in creating this costume.  I picked up a pastel green Queen sized bed sheet for $4.00 that I thought about cutting in half or sewing together, but I didn't want to have to rip out stitches later or regret cutting it because I probably would re-use it again. (always thinking green!!)

The next step was finding facial hair.  There are a few synthetic beards online thru Party City, but by the look on my daughter's face I could tell I would need to keep looking. What better place to look than on! There are so many creative and artistic shops on Etsy filled with unique items you can't find anywhere else. Some of the most clever beards I came across were crocheted and yarn beards. My daughter seemed a little apprehensive about wearing one of these, but she did say they were a lot better than the Party City beards. (a glimmer of hope!!)

Then I had a brilliant idea to just make my own. ... like I don't already have enough on my plate!! I was going to need some help with this one and lucky for me I found a couple of tips and tricks on how to create a fake beard online.  This great tutorial was the easiest and most practical way to go and served as the inspiration I needed to get this project moving!  I purchased gray felt at Joanns for about $0.32 and drew a beard onto card stock that I already had at home.  I don't normally use patterns so this part was especially new for me.

Since my daughter wouldn't be dressing up and performing her character until about noon, I had to figure out the easiest way for her to put on the beard independently while she was at school.  The best way was to make it like a mask with an elastic strap in the back.  I found an elastic headband that's been sitting in my hair accessories bin forever, cut it to fit, and attached it to the felt. Applying the mustache so that my daughter could talk like a normal person was quite a nuisance.  But I finally finished and even though I wasn't ecstatic with the overall outcome, it was my first time working with felt and a pattern so I don't think I did too badly.
Next was making the poison.  Not too difficult a task, I simply printed a picture of the poison symbol and taped it to an empty water bottle. 

My daughter felt like a weirdo all dressed up as a famous Greek philosopher, but she practiced her lines like a champ and she did a great job!!  All said and done, I'm not sure I'm ready for the costume business, but I'm always grateful for another chance to strengthen my experience in crafting.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”  ~ Socrates

Have a Beautiful Day!

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