My husband and I do a different Halloween theme every year, and I make our costumes to go along with the theme. Last year we did “It’s a Jungle out there!” and this is our Head Hunting Shaman Priestess and Unfortunate Safari Trekker Couple Costume.

Some of the scenes we created in our garage included: a jungle river with a Croc & animated Hippo chomping on kicking legs; a Safari guy trying to crawl out of quicksand and getting dragged back in; a cannibal family’s hut with cannibal kiddies watching as cannibal mom stirred the missionary in the cauldron (who continually lifted and returned his head) while cannibal dad waited ominously nearby; an abandoned temple overrun with monkeys and a king orangutan (like in the Jungle Book) as well as an animated gorilla and chimp swing back & forth from a vine; finishing off the jungle were an elephant peeking out of the foliage (with a head I paper mached) and a stuffed lion & tiger, oh my!!

Now on to the costumes for the Jungle Theme. I was a head hunting shaman priestess and my husband was an unfortunate safari trekker who was mauled by a tiger, captured by natives, and got his head shrunken by me!

His costume consisted of the following: a pith helmet with the inner headband removed to make it look too big for his “shrunken head”; a really large khaki jacket with a really big set of shoulders created from a foam pool noodle cut down and carved to fit comfortably. This reinforced the look of the “shrunken head”. We also did some shading makeup on the sides of his face to help the effect. For the tiger mauling, we used torn khaki paints and a t-shirt with spray paint for dirt & blood, as well as some exposed guts and wounds made with spray foam insulation sprayed directly on the clothes and then painted. He was not having a very good day!

My head huntress costume consisted of lots of layers: strange snake skin leggings from an estate sale; an old beige linen dress spray painted with native designs and shredded into slits at the bottom; a black faux fur “cape” (a remnant just pinned at the shoulders); a painted straw “collar” made by cutting the top off a straw hat and splitting it up the back (sealed the edges with masking tape to keep it from scratching) – it was held on by several jungle looking necklaces; a painted feathered mask (it was a purple Mardi Gras mask b/f it was painted with jungle designs); I accessorized with moccasins, more long primitive necklaces & belts as well as a “staff” made from a decorative straw broom embellished with feathers and shells, and a battery operated shaking shrunken head.

Yes, we do know that we are crazy – but we certainly have a lot of fun!