I have been making my own costumes for a few years now and my motto is…”The bigger the headpiece, the better”. Every year I try to come up with some kind of elaborate headpiece that no one else would think of.
One year, I came up with pageant costumes. Not your normal everyday pageant but a drink pageant. So, I drew up a funny little picture of what I would want the headpieces to look like, asked my girlfriends what flavor they wanted to be (Miss Blue Hawaii (me), Miss Margarita, Miss Tequila Sunrise and Miss Pink Lady) and got started shopping for all the supplies.
We needed to get:
Felt Welding hat inserts Glue sticks (for the hot glue gun) Rigid Wrap Scribbles fabric paint Beads Feathers (ordered from featherstore.com in New York….great selection, fantastic quality) Ostrich boas Marabou boas Floral wire (very rigid) Foam (firm but bendable closed cell type) Dremel Fabric Peel and stick lettering Fringe Acrylic drink glasses Zip strips Smooth On Acrylic ice Food coloring Straws, drink umbrellas
We started by placing the felt on our heads, then the welding hat insert (making sure to fit the insert to our heads using the dial at the back). Hot glue the felt to the insert then covering the whole thing in the Rigid Wrap making it look as neat as possible. Using the scribbles fabric paint, we then painted the base the color it needed to be. I used the Smooth On with some food coloring and filled the acrylic glasses with what would look like the drink and then added the acrylic ice while it was still wet so it would stick (this part was tricky because I didn’t really know the ratio of Smooth On to use so it wouldn’t overflow. I had to make a few attempts before I got it right).
I used the foam and my Dremel to cut and fashion the fruit pieces and then painted them with the scribbles paint (I love this paint…use it for everything!). We used floral wire and beads to fashion a kind of tiara to sit on the front of the base. Positioned the glass on the base to see where it would look best and drilled holes in the base and in the bottom of the glass and used zip strips to secure the glass to the base. I then glued a strip foam behind the glass to use for adding more floral wire and boas. I poked a hole in the foam, filled the hole with hot glue, added a pre-determined length of floral wire and held it in place until the glue dried. I used 5 pieces of floral wire, the middle piece was about 12” and then the others are shorter to get that tapered effect. I then glued the ostrich boas to the floral wire. I ended up having the headpiece be a bit back heavy so counteracted that with sand filled sea shells in the front. I will keep that in mind if I ever build another similar to this and maybe push everything forward a bit.
We then decorated the rest of our headpieces with beads, marabou boas, feathers, scribbles paint and hair extensions. Anything really that we thought would make them look great!
The dresses are really just an accessory (it’s all about the headpieces). We picked a simple pattern that was easy to sew. We didn’t forget the sashes though. Every pageant has to have sashes!
If you decide to build one of these for yourself, or something similar, just remember one thing…..your imagination can be endless!!
Enjoy making your own Homemade Pageant Contestant Costumes!