Original Pin Cushion Queen Costume inspired by Tim Burton’s Poem
Inpsired by the Tim Burton exhibit we saw in LA, and this poem:
Life isn’t easy
for the Pin Cushion Queen.
When she sits alone on her throne
Pins push through her spleen.
Obscure was what I wanted. I set out to make my own pinata head for this. I hadn’t done paper mache since 4th grade. A friend came over and we began by trapping air in a trash bag and shaping it with duct tape. Started this on the kitchen table.
We made a paste of flour and water and began dredging the 1-2 inch strips of newspaper through and building the shape – one layer at a a time. When it got too heavy and began to smell like old bread in the kitchen, we hauled it out to the garage and suspended it with a newspaper drop cloth below.
Make sure to leave a hole big enough for our head to slip over, but not too big so it doesn’t go over your shoulders. Once the head was completed and dried thoroughly, I painted it an off white to resemble muslin and seal the paper. We painted wood skewers with silver – the big ones and painted small styrofoam balls yellow, red and blue. Dipped the dull tips of the “pins” in glue and poked them into the balls.
Over the head, I draped muslin and had it long enough to be a dress of sorts. Then, it was time to pain the face and cut out my holes to see. Boy did it smell like old bread inside. I wore red and white striped tights bought online. I bought an extra pair and cut a hole in the crotch to use a a shirt of sorts.
For her crown, I went to the paper store and bought fancy handmade gold paper and cut it out to be flexible. Foil tears too easily. Affixed the crown to the head and slipped it on.
The head process took the longest. Did it over a period of a week because it’s so damp here. We put a heater on low in the garage to help it dry better. The rest was done in a day or two.
I won a Halloween costume contest with this in 2011.