The Brains Behind our DIY Couple Costume
I have a rule for Halloween. I like to keep it traditional and dress up as something scary or at least scaryish (whether it is Jason Vorhees or Corpse bride…basically, I avoid a ‘mean girls’ outfit at all costs). So year after year, I’m getting closer and closer to exhausting the whole horror movie cabinet. This year, I was kind of stuck for a DIY couple costume. October had just hit but the idea hadn’t. A few thoughts here and there but nothing yet to make me go: “Eureka!”, in my wicked Jack Skellington voice. Until one night, my friend Erika and I, went to the movies to see a new horror flick. According to my opinion, the movie was pretty darn scary but she wasn’t impressed.
-I said: “Is there any horror film you like?”
-She said: “Yeah. There was that one movie that was pretty smart.”
(I’m waiting to hear about the Cabin in the Woods and sure enough she says…)
-“..The Cabin in the Woods!”
(I knew I should have bet some money on that).
-I said: “Eveeeeeeeeerybody likes the Cabin in the Woods.. Even I like the Cabin in the Woods… ..The Cabin in the woods! OMG! THAT’S IT!! THE CABIN IN THE WOODS!!!”
(She’s looking at me like I’m crazy)
-I said: “I’m gonna be the Cabin in the Woods!”
-She said: “And how exactly are you gonna do that? Are you gonna dress up as one of the characters?”
-I said: “OH no. No no no no. I’m gonna be the CABIN! I’m gonna make a cabin out of cardboard and I’m gonna wear it and… (bla bla bla).. and you’re gonna be the wood!”
(That last part didn’t go so well for our DIY couple costume.)
The Blood, Sweat and Tears
Somewhere deep inside me, I knew all these endless hours I spent doing crafts as a kid, would someday pay off!
This DIY couple costume started off as a very low budget project. I thought to myself, “I’ll get some free boxes off of craigslist, I’ll put them all together with some tape, I’ll start saving my toilet paper rolls andddd…voila!” Actually, I did go as far as breaking apart a bunch of boxes, taping them together and creating side A of the cabin. When I looked at my masterpiece, I knew I had created a monster.
DIY Couple Costume Materials
I told myself that if I wanted to make a good costume I’m going need some good materials. I needed some nice and flat cardboard sheets. When plan A (Staples) failed, I went straight to plan B (Amazon) which never lets me down. Five perfectly flat and sturdy cardboard sheets (30×60) for pretty cheap! One for each side of the cabin (front-A, left side-B, back-D, right side-C, and roof). I needed them shipped asap, so I told my grandpa: “This is a matter of life and death!” and so he let me use his prime membership. Hazzaaah!
Making the Cabin
Once I got all my materials, I measured the height and width of the cabin by laying on one of the sheets and jotted them down on piece of paper along with a fast free handed sketch. I needed a cabin that I could easily break down and store so it can fit in my tiny apartment and even tinier car. I was planning to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles for Halloween, therefore the cabin had to come with me.
So, I cut out 3 flaps on each side of piece B and C and made 3 slits on each side of pieces A and D. I added two slits on each side of the roof totaling to a number of 12. I used a box cutter to make precise cuts, even though if I did it again, I would have guided my box cutter with a ruler. After a few hours of marking and cutting and reminding my partner to keep working instead of watching scary movie 2, I propped up the 4 sides of my cabin and pushed the flaps into the slits. They fit like a glove and the cabin was very sturdy.
I folded the 5th piece in half and created a roof which landed on top of some more flaps (if I say flaps one more time, the paragraph is gonna take off). I was pretty happy with it but I wasn’t done.
The more I worked on it, the more ideas kept flooding into my mind. I took all the pieces off and applied a shelf liner with a wood pattern. Now I was really happy with it. I don’t go to the bathroom as often as I should which did not help my toilet paper roll collection, and therefore I had to buy a box of a hundred of them (Can you believe the stuff that people sell online? And the people who buy them??) and glued them on side B and C of the cabin.
Actually I placed them on the cabin before I cut out the windows to make sure they fit around them perfectly and I wouldn’t have to cut any of the rolls later (little trick). I used all-purpose glue. It worked well but I had to hold the rolls in place for quite some time. When I run out I bought Elmer’s Extreme glue-still all-purpose but for tougher projects like wood* hehe. That worked fantastic. Now our DIY couple costume cabin looked like it had logs!
Decorating our DIY Couple Costume Cabin
It was time to decorate. A brief overview of the movie-this isn’t your typical college kids-in-cabin-all-die-in-sequence-mandated-by-horror-movie-unwritten-rules. In this movie, scientists working in some underground lab place our favorite college kids in a cabin and manipulate every little piece of their environment to drive them to their deaths by their own “free will” while they watch the whole thing and make bets. Sounds terrible, but they’re really doing it as a sacrifice to the gods who will otherwise destroy the earth. You get the idea.
Cameras were made out of beer pong balls, painted black with a red center. Black pipe cleaners served as cables and were hung inside and outside of the cabin. An ipad playing the actual movie was held by the scientist who is watching everything going on inside the cabin. On the inside of the cabin’s roof, I drew all the symbols representing each one of the characters in the movie, outlined with blood (ok, red sharpie )- The fool, the whore, the virgin, the scholar and the athlete. Underneath the figures, I copied the Latin passage from a journal found in the cellar that is read by the main character “Dana”:
“Dolor supernivo caro, Dolor sublimus caro, Dolor ignio animus.” Which means: “Pain outlives the flesh. Pain raises the flesh. Pain ignotes the spirit.” Spooky stuff.. I hung a two-way mirror in the back, another scene from the movie, which I made out of a diploma frame and foil. Lastly, I propped up some battery operated string lights with Velcro along each side of the cabin to give it that mysterious glow at night. As a finishing touch, I added a real door handle and hinges by driving the screw through 2 or 3 small square pieces of cardboard, glued on top of each other, on the back of the door. I added a small hasp on the inside to lock my curious cat out. It was time for sacrifice.
Reactions to our Cabin in the Woods DIY Couple Costume
Let’s just start this off by saying… people loved it! So, we unveiled the costume Saturday night in the middle of Hollywood and we received mass amounts of reactions, ranging from “holy… that’s awesome!”, laughter following with a friendly high five to people yelling out from their cars. As we made our way through HORDES of people we received a lot of love! We heard from a lot of people (complete strangers with about 50% of them being way too drunk) that our costume was not only unique but showed a real dedication to Halloween! And to someone who loooooooves Halloween! My heart dropped and I became a zombie! :P.
More Fans of our DIY Couple Costume
When we had gotten to the party people were poking their heads into the cabin windows and commenting on it. We met plenty of people through our cabin alone and even sat and talked with “Jimi Hendrix” about each other’s costumes. After we left the from being cabin in the bar to cabin walking down the sidewalk, boy oh boy mix a cabin and us walking down the street with a crowd of drunk people, it turns from “oh wow that is a very creative idea and the amount of imagination and time that went into it is amazing! You guys rock!” (swear I’m not making that up! Thanks Jimi!) into “CABIIINNNNNNN!!!!” poke poke poke! :P we might have to invest in a fence.
DIY Couple Costume Conclusions
Ranging from bar staff to random people making their way to the bars, it was amazing to share our hard work and enjoy Halloweenie with a bunch of zombies and your friendly neighborhood sexy kittens :P It was great seeing people’s reactions (especially when people knew what our costume was from) and hearing from different groups of people saying they enjoyed our costume!
As “Dana” was walking around holding the cabin from its windows, the scientist was watching her every move through the cameras installed in the cabin transferring the image to the ipad (which was playing the actual movie). When we took out cabin to the watch, the scientist watched Dana as she dressed in front of the two way mirror. Some people hiking stopped and took pictures of our costume, and others asked if this is our house. We replied: “YES, we just moved in and looking for a roommate.”… another college kid right in the trap.
Cabin in the Woods DIY Couple Costume: The Real Thing
Journal Entry Oct. 31 2016- the Scientist
I’ve been a scientist here for 20 years and look this should have been easy, so easy even the college kids could have done it in class. The formula was simple, bring 5 drunk college kids (or at least planning on getting drunk), throw some monsters at them, bing bang boom!! Five dead college kids so the monsters don’t destroy the planet. Were we so bad? We were just trying to save the world! Sure human sacrifice isn’t “cool” but you know what isn’t cool? Monsters eating your dog Lucy! That isn’t cool! I love Lucy! She is so cute with her floppy ears “who’s a gooood girl? You are! Yes you are!”
Anyways… all they had to do was die!!! We have been doing this for centuries and we would of gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids and that… fool!! And that virgin, she had the gun pointed right at him, I mean COME ON PEOPLE! We were doing Gods work, the least you could of done was shoot the damn dude! I know I know I sound bitter, my mom used to always say “Frank you’re going to have an anneurism if you keep up with that yelling!” SHUT UP MOM!!!
Anyways it’s hard to not sound bitter when you are being attacked by monsters! So, Dracula left a hickey on my neck, a family of murderous werewolves were chewing on my leg like a toy and a mummy was tucking me into bed with fresh sheets. I have to get going, I need to clean up a bit before the world ends. Jeez, men-eating slugs are extremely messy!
Journal Entry Oct. 31 2016- the Virgin
Well tonight sucked worse than finals this year! It was supposed to be the start of a great vacation with my friends. Everything was going great, we all were having fun, I also finally made a move on my crush. For the very first time in my 21 years of life I met my true love… That’s until he was decapitated by some redneck zombies! They killed everyone and I was the last survivor. I’ve never been more scared in my life! But honestly… who dresses these people? Linens are for tables! This isn’t 1850 anymore. Then, after stumbling for what seemed like an hour, one of my friends jumped out of the bushes towards me:
“I thought you were dead!” I said.
“No” he replied.
He continued to explain to me that there were scientists underneath the cabin in a secret lab monitoring our every move and were sending monsters to kill us… those sick freaks are going to pay!!! So, we made our way down into their lab through an obvious trap door, down to a perfectly placed and unguarded switch board and we released all the monsters they had in storage on these suckers by hitting the big red button that read “release all monsters”. God there was so much blood. I saw a man being bitten by Dracula, his leg being torn off by werewolves and a mummy wrapping him up.
We left the switch room cause it seemed too safe, and made our way through the hallways. We figured it was our best bet to walk slowly as to not bring any attention to ourselves. So, we found this room with blood filled carvings on the surrounding walls then all of a sudden Sigourney Weaver was there… not strange at all… she said “ all you have to do as the virgin is kill the fool!”… wait, who said I was a virgin? I can clearly recall the last time I had a hardcore make out session. I thought about what Sigourney had said, I was deeply considering it. So, I even pointed the gun at my friend, until I was bitten on the neck by a werewolf… So I fought that dude off and had to kill Mrs. Weaver because after all, she did make a move on my gun.
I know brutal but its me or her right? Right? Sick freaks trying to justify murder with “saving the world” I’ve taken one psychology class my freshman year I know what she was trying to do and it wasn’t going to work! Anyways I’m going to bleed out now and the world is going to be destroyed but who cares! We are still alive!
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