Get ready to tap into your artistic side with this Georgia O’Keeffe costume tutorial! I will say yes to any tutorial with giant paper flowers, and this Halloween costume did not disappoint!
Georgia made her home in New Mexico and often depicted the setting around her: skulls, desert landscapes, desert flowers. We included those elements into our costume as symbolic touches. Of course, you probably won’t want to walk around with a huge bull skull (or do you?), but a microscopic version like the bracelet is a good alternative. We’ll show you how to make the oversized poppy as inspired by her paintings (see here), the dyed kaftan inspired by her close-ups, and a hair and make-up tutorial.
Georgia O’Keeffe costume recipe
- Grey hair tutorial
- Creepy make-up tutorial
- Dyed kaftan
- Bull skull accessories (find some cheap options here or here. Search for things like “taxidermy skull” or “faux taxidermy skull.” The bracelet is gold-leafed a bit for more flair.
How to make the paper poppy flower
- Watercolor paper
- Shallow dish
- Petal template
- Aluminum foil
- Watercolors (dark orange, light orange, and purple)
- Glue gun
- Pom pom template
- Use the petal template to cut four petals out of watercolor paper.
- Fill a shallow dish with water and soak petals in water for about two minutes. While wet, place a petal on aluminum foil and paint one side dark orange. Paint broad edge of other side dark orange, paint middle section light orange, and narrow point purple. Repeat will all petals. Let petals dry.
- Hold narrow point of petal and the handle of a paintbrush in one hand. Press paintbrush against petal with thumb and use other hand to pull petal upwards, bending the petal around paint brush handle. This loosens the fibers in the paper. Repeat process in other direction on petal. Repeat with all petals.
- Cut slit in the narrow point of each petal. Overlap the two sides of the narrow point to make a cupped shape and hot glue into place.
- Bend broad edges of petals backward.
- Glue two petals together (see photo) at narrow points. Fill in gaps with other two petals.
- Use pom template (see tutorial here) to make a pom. Glue pom to center of flower.
Georgia O’Keeffe costume: makeup tutorial
The real Miss O’Keeffe has such a unique, fierce beauty that just slaps you in the face. It’s hard to replicate, so instead, I wanted to just bring out different “feels” of O’Keeffe in the makeup.
First I started with a matte makeup base (get it here) to take away any shine from the face. I wanted the model, Carly’s, beautiful skin to be able to come through without shine, so I added almost no foundation after the base. What we did do though, is bronze. This evokes the haunting, desert beauty that I felt from Georgia and her artwork, so I bronzed and bronzed and bronzed, concentrating on the edges of the face, under the cheekbones, and below the jawline. I kept going down the neck, focusing on the hollows. I had Carly awkwardly flex her neck and shoulders so her collar bones popped out, and then bronzed around them.
Her lips were nude and natural, but you can mix some concealer with a tiny bit of pink or peach lipstick if you don’t have your own nude color lip wear.
For her eyes, we fierced up her brows with ELF eyebrow kit (get it here) and created some drama in her eyes with dark matte grey eyeshadow only on the inner and outer corners. Think ghostly! In the end, Carly carried it all with her modeling.
- Fabric (we used a white cotton sateen from onlinefabricstore.com)
- Sewing machine
- Thread and bias tape
- Measuring tape
- Measure your height and multiply that by two. This is how much yardage you will need. Depending on how wide your fabric is, you may need to measure how wide you want the fabric to be and cut. I tried to keep the selvedged edges so that I wouldn’t have to finish that seam.
- Fold the the fabric in half and mark center with safety pins on both sides.
- Dye fabric following dying instructions on package.
- Cut out a hole for your head. Make sure to start by cutting a small hole and then increase the size to fit your head through. Stay-stitch to keep the fabric from stretching.
- Finish neck edge. I did a bias tape facing. Quick and easy.
- Put on the dress and pin fit both sides of your body through both layers of fabric. Sew a straight line down each side.
- Sew in a button hole at the stitching near your waist to allow for a belt (optional).
Grey hair tutorial by Aubrey Nelson
- Start by coating the hair in white hair chalk to give it texture and grey appearance. A favorite chalk of mine is this one from Kevin Murphy
- To give a wispy & effortless look we gathered all the hair with just our fingers and held straight out fem the head holding it by the ends
- Then roll the hair up sideways into a simple twist and secure with bobby pins
- To give a more tousled look, massage the hairline and perimeter of style with the palm of your hand to loosely free hair
- Make finishing touches with white chalk
THE END! You’re now ready to show off your costume masterpiece, with skull and poppy in hand!