I want to share with everyone the product I use that has truly changed my Halloween costume making and has made anything possible. After years of experimenting with paper mache (too heavy), wire and fabric (not stable enough) and many other methods, I finally found plumbing pipe insulation. This is extremely light weight, bendable, sturdy when glued into forms and is really inexpensive. All you need is a little imagination, some pipe insulation, lots of hot glue and time!
Our dog Sawyer just turned a year old and is a very big part of our family. I wanted to make a costume for him that was special because he is so very special to us. In the past I have used Greek Mythology for inspiration when making my children's costumes and decided I would make my dog a Homemade Cerberus Costume, the three headed dog that guards the gates of Hades.
Initially I was going to make the other heads with snarling faces but decided to do faces that resemble my dog. Quite often his teeth get stuck on his lips. I began with rough measurements of his head. I attached two Styrofoam balls with a small piece of dowel and began to form a rough head shape with strips of pipe insulation. The trick is to use very little hot glue as it will melt the insulation. I used small clamps to hold the materials in place while it sets.
The original form looked king of like a turtle but as I added the strips to fill in the spaces, the dog's head began to take shape. I used craft foam to make eyelids and teeth and added strips of insulation around the base to form the necks. I covered the heads in felt and painted them using acrylic paint. For whiskers I cut off bristles from an old paint brush and glued them on.
I used a small piece of wire to attach the two heads together and then added extra felt to cover the harness that the heads would Velcro too. To make the harness I used strips of pipe insulation covered in fabric. One strip for a collar that Velcrod at the front and at the side. I attached them together with a strip that runs along my dogs back.
To make a tail I used a long strip of insulation and put triangles to form ridges and a point at the end. I attached this to the harness. I made collars for all three heads using plumbing insulation for the collars and spikes. I painted the collars black and the spikes silver. The heads ended up being bigger than my dog's head so I should have made the initial forms smaller, but from what I understand his head will continue to grow until he's three, so maybe he'll catch up!
This Homemade Cerberus Costume cost about $5.00 to make excluding paint and glue which I already had. It took 4 nights to complete.