My partner and I both have a love for 80’s movies. We really wanted to be something together for Halloween that was unique, which neither of us had seen done before. As we gathered a ‘costume list’ throughout the year, we finally settled on a Homemade Gremlins Gizmo and Stripe Couple Costume in September.
We scoured the local thrift stores for both inspiration and supplies. We found an awesome knee length ladies jacket that was lined with brown fur, so we cut it up and the fur worked PERFECTLY for Gizmo’s face and body. We also found a green and black sweater and some polyester/suede ‘grandma pants’ which we painted scales on for Stripe’s body. I collected quite a bit of cardboard from empty boxes at work, bought some screening at Home Depot, duct tape and lots and lots and LOTS of glue sticks to work on the paper mache faces.
We also bought snakeskin printed material, white fur,vinyl, felt and Styrofoam balls (for the eyes) at various craft stores. The paper mache was a simple mixture of 3 parts water to 2 parts flour, and some Elmer’s glue thrown in for good measure.
GREAT TIP: for the final coat of paper mache, use white computer paper. It gives a nice even coat and makes it easier for painting.
Tape, glue and staples ALL came in real handy! The finished costumes were HUGE! The masks were about 5 ft wide, but the arms were sewn onto the bodies so the characters would appear smaller than our 6ft frames. The ears were made out of foam and cardboard, then covered in material. We hinged the ears with tape and perforated cardboard so we could bend them and fit through doorways.
Neither of us sew, but my partner used a simple stitch with a thick needle to apply the costume hands onto the arms which we stuffed with quilt filling and made a white fur ‘pillowcase’ body for Gizmo. Stripe’s body was snakeskin material loosely sewn onto the pant legs. We were able to hide our faces with a Santa hat for Gizmo and white fur to accentuate the ‘stripe’ on Stripe’s head.
It was a really fun night and very popular on the Halloween streets of Chicago!