The idea for this Homemade Cousin Itt Halloween Costume actually came to me after last year's Halloween. When I was 14, I made a wig for a Halloween costume using the same technique. Not that I'm 14 any longer, not have been for many years.
It is made using Sisal Baler Twine available from a farm supply store. This project is very messy with a lot of shedding, so is best not done in the living room.
I attached the work in progress to a board and suspended it from the ceiling. The 2 layers require about 60 or so strands of twine. Each strand is cut double the length of the height of the person wearing it. Soaked in warm water for about 5 seconds, folded in half and hitched onto a holding cord. NOTE: It is best not to soak anymore than about 5 twines at a time, also hang them separately as they will start to un-twist as they relax.
Each strand is then gently unwound and teased out for fullness. The soaking prevents the whole works from turning into dread locks. I made a cardboard mask for behind the eye holes, attaching it by spray contact cement and then hand stitching right through the whole works to hold the fibers in place. The cords over the facial area are shorter, only about 1 1/2 feet long attached, like a long beard. The ends of the holding cord were tied together to form a halo and were slid over top of the first Bowler Hat (purchased at a Dollar Store). A second Bowler Hat sits over top and covers all of the knots.
I made a secondary cloak which hangs around the shoulders. It covers the chest area under the beard and gives more coverage and fullness to the costume. Since the arms of sunglasses won't reach through the mask to your ears, I removed the arms from old glasses and using spray contact cement attached Velcro to the nose area of the glasses and also to the spot between the eye holes of the costume. At least the glasses can be removed so you can see in low light.
The last thing to do is have your person model the costume so you can do a final trim of the length a few inches off the floor.
This costume takes about 16 uninterrupted hours to build. I actually made 2 costumes, as Cousin Itt had a lady friend with him. My husband and I were going as a couple. Both costumes didn't quite use a whole roll of twine.
Warning this costume is very flammable. I figured that next Halloween I can hang the costumes in the trees in the yard to greet trick or treaters. Also except for the Bowler Hats and a bit of contact cement, these costumes are 100 % biodegradable.
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