I first got the idea for a jellyfish from a costumed bar crawl in a Jersey shore town. A group of girls showed up with clear umbrellas that had streamers hanging down, dressed in white bikinis. It was clever, but I knew I could one-up it, so I took the idea and ran with it.

Right after Labor Day, I got started. First, I decided jellyfish needed bubbles, so I went to work cutting between the lines of a big roll of bubble wrap to form the bubbly tentacles inside the head. After about 2 days, I think I had carpel tunnel from zig-zagging between bubbles trying not to pop them! After about a week, I ran out of bubble wrap. I couldn’t believe it! I cut through every bubble of all that bubble wrap. I had to go out and get more. I decided with extra bubble wrap I would hang some long thin tentacles from the outside edge of the umbrella too.

With the bubbles finally finished and still plenty of time,  I thought it was still lacking. I went back to the store and found some luminescent fabric that would look like the jelly and reflect in more of a translucent/semi-transparent way. I cut strips of fabric and taped it between the bubbles and it created an amazing jelly effect. Still, it needed something to give it that wow factor. I scoured the Internet for battery powered lights that I could hot glue to the top spokes of the umbrella. Blue LED Christmas lights did the trick, making it look like an under the sea creature and really reflecting through the murky translucent fabric. And since I started the whole project 2 months beforee Halloween, I had more time to add little things to it. I needed something on my head to tie myself into my prop. A bridal website had the solution: a light up headband with mesh rings that looked like more tentacles. However, this idea may have thrown people off because a lot of people thought I was a bridal shower (which makes sense, with a bridal headband and an umbrella, however when I told them what I really was, they instantly said a jellyfish made more sense).

Between the lights and all of the different textured tentacles, the final product really came together nicely! I had only planned to make this costume as a G-rated costume to wear (I planned a Princess Leia costume to wear at night to the bars) to work but my coworkers created such a buzz over my jellyfish that I had to make this my primary costume! I had no idea it would have ever been such a hit! Even though it was awkward and cumbersome to carry in crowded bars and my tentacles tried to attach to everyone (luckily no one was stung because I didn’t add stingers), I felt like a celebrity walking into places. People would come up to me from left, right, front, behind, passing by, grabbing me to tell me how great it was and I should be entering contests, trying to take pictures of me and with me, telling me stories of how they love jellyfish or their friend has a tattoo of a jellyfish or how jellyfish scare them more than sharks. I got shout-outs from the DJ booths wherever I went, and people were constantly staring and talking about me. I felt like Lady Gaga walking into a bar (you never know when Lady Gaga will show up with tentacles!) Now I have a big problem: how do I top this next year?