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Freaky Bug-Like Costume On Stilts

I got the idea to make a freaky bug-like costume out of nowhere. I imagined something of a mix between a queen bee, praying mantis, and humanoid type thing. Basically, I wanted to make something that would freak people out!

And of course it had to be huge, ridiculously tall, how would I be a bug person if I was just normal human size? But I had a dilemma, where would I find 2-3 feet tall platform shoes for a reason price? After getting tired of finding these strange bouncing stilts that were way out of my budget, I decided to make them of course!

I used a Styrofoam dome for the back of the head for support and carved out the back to fit around my neck. I then took this black plastic sphere I found that splits open, and used them for the eyes. I then duct taped the spheres to the Styrofoam dome, using the most ghetto methods ever as I am a poor starving artist – hah! – and made a base for the mask. On top of the mask, I carefully sculpted the face, going purely off of my imagination. I used acrylic paints for the skin texture, splashing for spots and textures, and detailing the cracks. For the hair, I simply used the kinky hair extensions, and a metal wire as a base to hold up the hair horns.

The top, started from a nude colored bra that I spray painted gold. I built on top and around it creating the spikey concoction you see there. The fabrics are a mix of things I bought around the world – Japan, Korea, New York, and my hometown in Virginia.

The platforms were a pain to make, so I had to enlist the help of a professional work shop, explaining exactly what I wanted. I bought 4 of the cheapest blocks of wood I could buy – which meant they were ridiculouslyyyy heavy!! I had holes opened on all pieces, and cyclical doles carved out. I took two blocks and connected them with he doles, holding them in place with wood glue. And I only had one pair of sneakers at the time and I was so low on cash but I wanted to finish at all costs… so I took my only, and favorite pair of sneakers, and proceeded to nail them onto the top of the make-shift platform base. I was cringing the whole way through, haha! I then glued and nailed a wider thin piece of wood to the bottom for balance and stability so I could actually walk around. But they are so heavy!

However, now that I was ridiculously tall and clothed from the waist up, I had to figure a way to hide up these ghetto looking make-shift platform shoes I made. Making a 4-5 foot long skirt isn’t easy. I had to make a gigantic metal wire frame that I duct taped onto the mannequin, while taping the mannequin to the ceiling so it didn’t topple over while I was constructing the skirt. It took a while but all went well!

I found 2 dark bamboo sticks to use for support, which kind of reminded me of insect legs. When it was time to dawn the costume, I made-up my face to blend in with the mask, and smothered black make-up all over my neck and chest. A -lot- of work went into making this costume, but I am so pleased with the result!

I get all kinds of reactions, most people ask me where I bought the costume. That makes me really happy, to see that people think it looks professional enough to be store-bought! They are blown away when I tell them it`s completely hand-made!

This was completely a spawn of my sheer imagination and I worked so hard on this piece, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!

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