We’re finishing up our Halloween series with Bath and Body Works (you can see the first one here and the second one here) with 2 showstopper costumes made from everyday materials. We were inspired by Tahitian Island Dream to create a mermaid and Warm Vanilla Sugar to create a gilded mummy. By “showstopper” we mean that these ones will take a bit more time, but the results are so so worth it, no?! We had every intention of going the traditional fabric/sea shell route, but after seeing how much fun it was to create the unicorn, hippies, and Marie Antoinette costumes, I wanted to get my hands on some non-traditional items again. Can you guess what we made the mermaid costume out of?
How to make a gilded mummy by Danielle Wilson
Lightweight cotton muslin or gauze, in white or gold (we used about 6 yards)
Acrylic metallic gold paint in various shades
Wide foam paint brush
Plastic sheetingDirections:1. Cover a firm work surface with enough plastic sheeting to fully contain your fabric when it is laid flat. (Note: you may want to split this fabric painting step into smaller batches)
2. Dampen fabric and wring out excess water gently. Lay fabric flat on plastic sheeting. A few wrinkles are OK!
3. Mix metallic gold paint with a little bit of water. I used about 1/4 water to 3/4 paint. Your ratio might differ depending on the openness of the weave of your fabric. (Note: The goal is that once the fabric has been painted, it will seep through and coat the other side as well. If it’s not pooling slightly on the plastic beneath the fabric, add more water. If it’s too watery and not coating the fabric well, add more paint.) Paint the entire surface of your fabric, ensuring it seeps through to coat the other side as well. Feel free to experiment mixing different tones of gold to give a more dimensional look. Let the fabric remain slightly raised away from plastic and wrinkled in some spots. This will add to the overall texture when it’s dried. Leave fabric on plastic until it dries completely.
4. Once fabric has dried completely, carefully peel it from the plastic sheeting. The side in contact with the sheeting should have a beautiful faux gold-leaf sheen now, and the reverse should look rich and lux.
5. Snip a small cut every 2″ or so along the length of your fabric. This does not need to be precise- in fact variation is welcome! Tear the fabric into strips at each cut.
6. Put on your full body suit and if necessary, mark and remove a circular section covering the face, leaving the head and neck portions in place. You may want to wear a protective layer of old clothing under your suit while fabric is being glued on. Occasionally the fabric glue might seep through the body suit while strips are being applied.
7. With a helper (or 2!) begin gluing strips of fabric to your body suit, in a mummy-wrapped fashion. Let the fabric overlap, making sure to cover all bare spots. Alternate lux and shiny sides of the fabric as you wrap. The strips only need to be attached at a couple of points (not their whole length) and with a very small amount of glue. Take care not to wrap too tightly, and be sure to leave a few loose draped bits. (Note: once the ankles, wrists, hands and feet have been wrapped it’s difficult to get out of the costume. Save these bits until right before you plan on wearing it, OR detach them at the wrist and ankle like socks and gloves, to get the costume off and on more easily). Once all the fabric wrapping has been applied, make a cut to the fabric strips along the length of the body suit zipper, being careful not to cut into the bodysuit or zipper itself. Secure the now loose cut edges with glue to the body suit along the length of the zipper, making sure not to get any glue in the zipper. You should be able to unzip and get in and out of your costume now.
8. For added luster, apply bits of gold leaf at random to your mummy, following manufacture directions.
Get the full mermaid tutorial on the next page