Our work recently hosted a “Wild West” theme party. Instead of going as the usual cowboy/girl we thought we’d go as cacti. It was very easy to make and walking to the venue we received many laughs, comments and even some tourists who wanted some photos! It was great fun.
1 x green coloured tarpaulin (ours was 1.9m x 2.7m) from hardware or variety stores
2 x packets of fawn/tan coloured pipe cleaners from craft shops
1 x roll green tape
1 x sheet of thick cardboard
Scissors, stapler, letter opener or other sharp implement
Make a round ring the circumference of your head with the cardboard, cut it down depending on how high you would like the costume. Make sure it fits securely as this holds up the tarpaulin. At first it was uncomfortable and put undue pressure on the tops of the ears but we fixed this by purchasing a cheap Santa hat and lining the inside of the cardboard ring with it.
Next, staple the middle of one end of the tarpaulin to the top of the cardboard ring. Put the ring on your head and have someone help you to cut out the face and arm holes. Trim the tarpaulin to size length wise and width wise ensuring you have enough to meet up at the back, but not to much or it can be quite bulky.
Use these off-cuts to make into “branches” (to cover your arms) and to cover your shoes.
Next, using a letter opener or other sharp implement, make random piercings all over tarpaulin for the cactus “spikes”. Cut down pipe cleaners to suitable length (approx 6 cm), insert pipe cleaner through each piercing just a little bit (about half a centimeter) and bend it inside, using green tape stick down the inside bit. This is important as it ensures that you won’t get stabbed whilst wearing the costume and none will fall off. This is the most time consuming part, but it’s up to you how many you would like on your costume.
Once ready to go to your venue have someone help you to dress. Wear minimal clothing and EXTRA deodorant, as it can get hot. Have them tape you up from the back but don’t tape to far down so you can still walk easily. Don’t forget to tape some off-cuts onto your shoes and tape up two long off-cuts onto your arms for the branches.
Now enjoy your cactus costumes and try not to get into any “prickly” situations!