Posts Categorized: Costumes

Costumes + halloween + Party + Projects / Monday, 27 Oct 2014

Tortured Artist Halloween costumes

We’ve had a ball recreating some of our favorite artistic historical characters for you during this season of All Hallow’s Eve. I thought I’d gather all of the costumes together and show you what you guys are liking–the first being the most viewed. Enjoy!
  1. 2 Frida Kahlos
  2. Marie Antoinette

5. Vanitas
6. Picasso’s Old Guitarist

7. Van Gogh
8. Birth of Venus

9. Georgia O’Keefe.

Which one was your favorite? Thanks for playing along with us! Stay tuned tomorrow for some last minute costume ideas! There are some goodies.

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Hair by Aubrey Nelson
Make up by Rubie Huber
Props from Mary Lee
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Costumes + halloween + Party + printable + Projects / Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014

How to throw a Tortured Artist dinner party

It’s all come down to this! After 9 Tortured Artist costume ideas (10 if you include the double Fridas), one full menu with 3 delicious recipes and a skull cake for dessert, 2 free illustrated printables from Danielle Kroll here and here (and one more on the way), 1 playlist, and 5 decor ideas here and here, it’s time to reveal the full dinner Tortured Artist party. 
I mentioned that I’ve always wanted to throw a party where everyone comes dressed as an artist. For this party, we added in a creepy adjective “tortured” because so many of the greats were just that and it’s perfect for Halloween. We applied the term loosely and had some of our favorite artists and paintings in attendance. Can you recognize them all? 
If you’re planning your own Halloween party, here’s how I would do it:
  1. Costumes. It’s the only time of the year when it’s truly permissible, so why would you avoid it? Embrace it. In the invitation mention the dress code. Here it was “Arrive dressed as your favorite Tortured Artist.”
  2. Decide on a decor theme. I mentioned here that our decor was inspired by vanitas, the term used to describe the brevity of life and nearness of death that was reflected in rotting fruits, skulls, taxidermy, and candles (see our decor ideas here) and a costume based on it.  We chose not to do rotting fruits but just living fruits as we didn’t want to gross out our guests. A piece of fruit at each place setting is the perfect adornment (see above image).
  3. Add in the Spooky. I’m not generally a fan of the spooky element, but to make the beautiful vanitas work we needed that extra creepy feel. To the table runner, we added in some ghost faces. I wanted something subtle that you wouldn’t detect right away. Surprise! I’ll be doing the full DIY tomorrow.

4. But also make it gorgeous. Though it’s a bit spooky, it should also be a bit gorgeous, right?! That’s how we like to do it here. Sarah Winward did the gorgeous flowers and used the styrofoam skeleton heads as vases. I love how they turned out. Drip fruits and flowers across the table for that lavish, over-the-top feel.

5. Black candles. Good, subtle lighting is a must. We lit our party with black candles, the only way to go. We got ours from Save-on-Crafts, who is the cheapest and has the best supply around.

6. Customize the event. Danielle Kroll created these gorgeous name tags to go at each setting. I’ll be providing the printable in the next couple of days. She also created these gorgeous invitations and menu cards, which you can get here and here.
7. Artwork. To transform your space feel like a haunted house no matter where you are, we covered up the walls with these free printable portraits, which feel spooky and hysterical at the same time. Check out the tutorial here.

 8. Dessert that mimics the theme. It’s all in the details folks. I was so excited for this vanilla bean skull cake. I think it truly made the party. And it was delicious so there’s that. Get the full tutorial here.

9. A delicious autumnal menu. Ramblin Rose Cafe created the most gorgeous and gorgeously delicious menu for the party including a roasted garlic and cauliflower soup, a perfect autumn cheese board, and roasted root vegetables and a pomegranate ginger elixir to wash it all down.

We had a ball putting this party on, but there’s still a bit more. Two more tutorials and a behind the scenes look at the making of the party. Stay tuned!

Costumes + halloween + Party + Projects / Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014

Georgia O’Keefe costume recipe

Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe

Today is our last costume in the Tortured Artist party series (see the rest here). We’re closing with fellow flower lover, Georgia O’Keefe, whose macroscopic depictions of flower parts seem as current as they were last century.

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. Here 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.

Poppy paper flower tutorial for Georgia O'Keefe
Skull as a bracelet for Georgia O'Keefe
Georgia O'Keefe costume recipe
Paper poppy tutorial
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

This post was sponsored in part by


  • 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.

To make the paper poppy flower

Materials: watercolor paper, shallow dish, water, scissors, pencil, petal template, aluminum foil, watercolors (dark orange, light orange, and purple), paint brush, glue gun, pom pom template, yarn
Step 1: Use the petal template to cut four petals out of watercolor paper.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: 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. 
Step 5: Bend broad edges of petals backwards.
Step 6: Glue two petals together (see photo) at narrow points. Fill in gaps with other two petals.
Step 7: Use pom template (see tutorial here) to make a pom. Glue pom to center of flower.
Make-up tutorial
The real Miss O’Keefe 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’Keefe in the makeup. 
First I started with a matte make up 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. I wanted to evoke 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 cheek bones, and below the jawline.  I kept going down the neck, focusing on all 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, you can mix some concealer with a tiny bit of pink or peach lipstick if you don’t have your own nude color lipwear.  
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. 
Kaftan pattern

Materials: Fabric (we used a white cotton sateen from, dye, sewing machine, thread, and bias tape, measuring tape, ruler.
Step One: 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 selvaged edges so that I wouldn’t have to finish that seam. 
Step Two: Fold the the fabric in half and mark center with safety pins on both sides.
Step Three: Dye fabric following dying instructions on package.
Step Four: 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.
Step Five: Finish neck edge. I did a bias tape facing. Quick and easy.
Step Six: Put on the dress and pin fit both sides of your body through both layers of fabric. Sew a straight line down each side. 
Step Seven: Sew in a button hole at the stitching near your waist to allow for a belt. (optional)

Grey hair tutorial by Aubrey Nelson

1. 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.
2. 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 
3. Then roll the hair up sideways into a simple twist and secure with bobbi pins 
4. To give a more tousled look, massage the hairline and perimeter of style with the palm of your hand to loosely free hair
5. Make finishing touches with white chalk THE END!

Costumes + DIY + halloween + Party + Projects / Monday, 20 Oct 2014

Birth of Venus costume

Birth of Venus Halloween costume
Happy Monday! We have just a couple more costumes and the final dinner party to share with you to complete our Vanitas Halloween. Let’s continue with the Birth of Venus! 
Birth of Venus was painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1486 as commissioned by the Medici family. It depicts the goddess of love, Venus emerging from the ocean as a full-grown woman. There are a lot of interpretations on the painting, but it’s generally thought to be a depiction of the birth of love and spiritual beauty as a driving force of life. Read more about it here.
We decided to do an adaptation of Birth of Venus (shockingly, we don’t do nudity here on Lars). But for those of you who like to do artistic sexy Halloween, I suppose this is your chance. We went with a body–you’re welcome.
Birth of Venus Halloween costume
Crafting and modeling by Hillary Gallup
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Birth of Venus Halloween costume


To make the skirt:

  1. Wrap the decorative net around the waist & secure it with wire or safety pins.
  2. Remove from body and place paper under netting.
  3. Use hot glue to apply the shells onto the netting. 

For the wig:

Once you get your wig (we got ours from here), you will need to trim it to your desired length and fullness (as this one is REALLY long and unshapened). Just get out your handy scissors and go to town!


If you don’t feel comfortable going with bare legs, you can try these nude leggings.

Make up tutorial by Rubie Huber

Venus!  The epitome of natural beauty!  I wanted her (and your!) own natural beauty to shine out, so go for minimal foundation. Instead, spread a BB cream or tinted moisturized across your whole face for a healthy glow. Use just small bits of concealer under the eyes, around the nose, and on any blemishes.  
Define those eyebrows subtly with the ELF eyebrow kit (get it here). I love ELF! so cheap and easy.
To get a golden look I used the same shimmery bronzer (get it here) for both cheeks and eyes. In fact bronzer as eyeshadow is one of my favorite things.  Yay for multi-use! Go for an all over bronze shimmer on the eyelid, and the cheekbones.  Sweep it back into the hair line.  Spread a thin layer everywhere for an all over glow.  Use your finger or a smaller brush to swipe across the brows and down the bridge of the nose.  
Find a peachy nude lipliner–I like Revlon colorstay in rose (get it here)–to lightly fill in the lips. I like to line, then smudge inward so you get just a little color, and add on a shiny clear chapstick for the fresh natural lips. 

image of painting from here.

Costumes + DIY + halloween + Party + Projects / Monday, 13 Oct 2014

Girl with a Pearl Earring costume

Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween costume tutorial
This might be my favorite costume of the Tortured Artist party bunch. Think of the looks you could give at a party! You wouldn’t even have to talk to anyone…just look. To the side. Carli made Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring costume with some gorgeous fabric from our sponsor,, which has an amazing variety of fabrics.
For this costume, we have tutorials on how to make the pearl earring, the head wrap and shawl, as well as a make-up tutorial. See all of it below after the jump.
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween costume tutorial
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween costume tutorial
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

  1. Cut the blue fabric into 2 strips about 6-8 inches in width. 
  2. Cut the yellow fabric into a strip about 10-12 inches in width.
  3. (optional) Press the cut edges under on both sides so that they don’t show.
  4. Imitate the painting as best you can. I started off by putting the model’s hair into a high bun and draping the yellow fabric over top. The bun gives the yellow fabric the volume. 
  5. I had her hold the tip of the yellow fabric against her forehead as I wrapped the blue pieces around her head, making sure to cover her hairline. 
  6. Hide the ends of the fabric by tucking them underneath the folds. You can cut off extra fabric that isn’t needed. If your worried about it staying put, you can use safety pins to keep everything in place.
For the brown wrap, simply drape the fabric around the shoulders and secure with safety pins.
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial
  • inexpensive craft clay (the kind you bake in the oven)
  • dangle earring clasps
  • metallic acrylic paint (Folk Art has a Pearl White color)
  • paintbrush
  • baking sheet 
  • oven
  1. Form clay into the desired teardrop shape.
  2. Bake clay in oven following packaging directions and then let cool.
  3. Paint the clay. I had to put on about 4 coats of paint. Let dry.
  4. Attach dangly earring claps. I just used clasps from a pair of old earrings!
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial
Girl with a Pearl Earring Halloween earring tutorial


This face was so much fun to do but also a challenge!  While our girl Morgan did look strikingly like the gorgeous original painting, she also had VERY dark eyebrows we wanted to down play.  Getting rid of eyebrows can be tricky. You’re going to have to use elmers glue sticks if you want it to look super legit, here’s a good tutorial for it here
For Morgan I just combed out her brows with normal brow brush and set them with gel.  Once that dried I used a Maybelline Cover Stick (get it here) in white to go over them a few times. I set that with transluscent powder and then covered the full top half of her face with a pale full coverage foundation.  Spreading the pale base from the top of the forehead over the eyelids and to the top of the cheekbones really gave her a light and airy look.  
For her eyes I used white eyeliner on the lower waterline, then some light grey shadow underneath to create the same effect as the painting.  Finish the eyes off with a single layer of mascara.
My favorite thing about this look is the wet lips.  I used a pinkish red lipstick all over her lips, then covered it with juicy wet lipgloss, the kind you had in jr. High that just goops on deliciously. 
I set the whole face with a few sprits of NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray (get it here) instead of powder, so her makeup would stay, but keep that oil painting sheen. 
Here are some items you will need to get the look: