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Cool DIY Bling Medusa Costume – What a Saga!

You’d better buckle up your seat belts because this saga actually began 3 years ago as a COVID project. I possess a 7ft Red-tailed Boa named Alala (Greek personification of the female war cry) that was an inspiration for this costume. I was in the garment district in downtown Los Angeles for the first time and was overwhelmed by all of the amazing fabrics that were available. I bought several different samples and ultimately could not decide so my answer was to find a way to incorporate them all into the costume, with the green metallic reptile fabric as the dominant component.

I was also lucky enough to discover 3-inch green reptile heels that matched the base fabric while I was down there. I found one of those generic Medusa headbands and decided I was not happy with its aesthetics so to improve it I would paint the rounded side with purple, blue, and green glittery paint, and then fill the other side with caulk and then apply crystals of those various colors. I got dozens of rubber snakes of various sizes, painted, and crystalized them as well (they all had tiny Swarovski crystal eyes).

To be more specific what I actually would do was paint the snakes with metallic colors and then dip them in tubs filled with glitter. Way too much glitter went into the making of this costume. I wove some of them into the dress in the skirt and the shoulders, as well as gluing them into the wig (by the time I was finished the wig was so heavy that it bored holes into my head, very uncomfortable). The next task was to make the belt which was done by wrapping the snakes in LED lights and putting the battery cases in the fanny pack. I also had contacts that I never figured out how to put in.

So attempt #1 occurred in 2020 in Hollywood and I lost to the pizza delivery guy from Blue Streak. Pardon my French but are you f-ing kidding me? Sweats and fake teeth! Turns out he was buddies with the DJ/Judge. Can’t compete with Cronyism. I would like to note that my boy toy was dressed in an awesome Perseus costume and he helped me pick up the pieces at the end of the night because I did not think it through and the snakes started to unravel and get tangled. Live and learn.

That Christmas, the costume became my snake tree (with the light skirt at the bottom and the wig as the crown. It was super dope. During this next year, I continued to bling out the snakes, and I had a friend suggest that I put lights in the wig as well. You must understand how much this complicates the logistics because now I had to trail 4 battery cases down my back and then connect them to the fanny pack. This limited head mobility to a major degree. Also, I got wise (or so I thought and stitched the snakes to the belt so they would not unravel) as well as dangled other snakes that were not lit up by fishing line (little did I know the fun that was to ensue from that decision).

It is now 2022 and I am ready to win so I entered 2 contests (I needed to make back the crazy amount I had invested into this, paints, crystals, fabrics, etc.) The first was in Pacoima and by this time Boy Toy was over it, so he did not attend. I was there to win, not necessarily be social (I had no money to buy drinks) so after learning the contest was to be held at midnight, I went back to my car to knock back a voodoo ranger and bide my time. Because the shoes and costume were increasingly uncomfortable contingent on time, I needed to limit myself.

It was 11:37 when I began walking back and what do you know? I heard them announcing the winners. I had a slight heart attack and raced into the bathroom to try and salvage what I could. There were between 10-12 battery packs that I had to coordinate for color and turn on. I made such a complete debacle of things that the people at the party felt so sorry for me that they gave me a prize for being so pathetic. Everything was disheveled, only half the lights worked and all of the wires and strings became a rat’s nest of madness. I did not allow anyone to take any pictures and consoled myself with the $100 I was awarded. It was not over yet, however. There was the contest the next day.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent at least 7 hours untangling the skirt and had to cut out many snakes to salvage what I could but the show must go on. Well, it may have if I hadn’t gotten the address of the second venue wrong and showed up to a place that was NOT having a contest where I was painfully conspicuous. (At least the valets didn’t charge me for my mistake).

That Christmas the costume became the peacock tree that was even doper than the snake tree. I would like to note that it was this Christmas that I finally became enlightened enough to realize that I had to purge the glitter from my life. (I saw an ad for a show on National Geographic that was titled “dangers of glitter” and to be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it). I have a Master’s Degree in Biology so it did not take much for me to realize the multitude of ways it was messing with animals and the environment. Especially the health of my pets. I had been selfish long enough and concluded that this was the last year for glitter. I did my best to purge (my place at Christmas was truly a wonder to behold, but I had to get rid of so much stuff).

So when I busted out Medusa for the last time, I did suffer a fair amount of guilt about what it was doing to my 2 cats, 2 spiders, chameleon, 2 bearded dragons, snake and fish. But this was it, I had to win! The first contest was in Sherman Oaks and was a Reggaeton event. There was some dude in a dirty Easter Bunny costume who I am convinced most of the people never even saw, who won heartedly when the name “Bad Bunny” was announced and the place erupted. Who the f*&$ is Bad Bunny? I am a middle-aged white woman out of the loop. My Boy toy did attend that event and was a great help with the logistics. I would like to note here that the battery packs from the wig burned holes in my back that were 2 inches in diameter because they were held together by duck tape and not properly assembled. I did not notice until the next day.

The next contest touted cash prizes and was held at the Vermont in Hollywood. You can imagine my frustration when after 3 hours being completely tortured in this costume I was to learn that their idea of a contest was taking a picture in their booth and sending it in online. $40 admission and all that time and energy wasted. I was alone and had to deal with the costume by myself which subsequently became a tangled mess in the car.

Fast forward to the next night at the Gold Digger in Hollywood. Part of the costume that is hard to appreciate unless I sent a video was my train. I needed something to hide the fanny pack and this shimmered in the light like a mermaid’s tail (there is a photo included that has the train and the stuffed snake that I painted). My boy toy had initially accompanied me and because we are both frugal ($20 for 1 drink is a little rich for my blood, you can buy a whole bottle for that) we were drinking in the car in the parking lot on the corner. We realized that I had forgotten the train at home and it was decided to try and race home and back in time to make it for the contest. He had to work the next morning and did not want to go back. I made it from Encino back to Hollywood in 14 minutes (which is record time).

Because I did not have him to help me when I returned, I basically was fumbling in the parking lot when the contest was being held. I missed it by 5 minutes!!! As soon as I came walking up everyone said “Oh my God! You would have won, no question!!!! Anyways at least that night I met a bunch of very nice people and didn’t have to cry myself to sleep like the night before with Bad Bunny.

Well never give up!! I had one more chance!! And this time I was determined to get the contacts in!! It took over half an hour struggling with my Boy Toy to get them in but I think it was worth it. This time we went to Pasadena to a club called Studio 54. They were touting $1000 in cash prizes. I was concerned when we arrived because there were some really good costumes there. At least though, I would be okay with losing to someone worthy. (But “Blue Streak!” Come On!!) Ultimately I tied for 1st with “The Hand” from the Adam’s family. I won $200. But alas, the story does not end there.

I could not get the contacts out and the following morning I went to the hospital to have a professional assist me. Weird thing was, when I arrived there was only 1 contact. I discovered why later that night because it had apparently been hiding under my lid and just decided to pop out later that evening. So I had to make another trip to the hospital. What drama!

I am relieved and happy to be retiring this costume (finally truly no more glitter)!!! I would like you to know that if I won this money it would be going to help pay for me to complete the credentialing program that I am currently halfway through so I may one day teach High School Biology. (I also included a door Halloween decoration that I did when I was substituting at Camarillo High School to give you an idea of how awesome a teacher I would be).

Thank you for letting me participate in your contest. I saw some of your past winners and have to say that they were exceptional so I would understand if I was not chosen but I am hoping that the saga was compelling enough for you to consider me a viable candidate. (I spent over $100 on batteries alone, being suckered by the rechargeable, I had to throw away dozens which I know is horrible to the environment but I promise that I recycle them responsibly).

Last but not least, I believe I am deserving of the most original prize because when have you ever had a costume entry that had quadruple purposes? It was a costume, my Peacock Christmas Tree, the Snake Christmas tree and finally I made it into a snake wreath! All the pictures have been included. Cheers! Thanks so much!

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023

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