Our daughter’s nickname is Moe so we thought it would be fun to dress her as the “Mo”na Lisa.
Structurally, we built the piece kind of like one of those foam fingers you see at sporting events. We cut two large pieces of 1” green upholstery foam. We glued it together on three sides and wrapped the back and edges in canvas.
We then found and printed an enlarged version (matching the size of the foam envelope we’d created) of the painting on the same canvas we used on the back. We glued this printed canvas onto the front of the foam and cut away the excess. We then cut openings for the face and the arm openings in the top layer of foam.
Net we needed to add dimensional elements to the painting to make it look more like Mona Lisa was standing in front of the painting background. Hair and a veil helped mask opening around her face while the sleeves of the dress did the same for the arm holes.
To extend the illusion, we built a skirt from the same fabric as the bodice.
We created a frame from the same green foam as the rest of the costume. This was so it would be flexible when needed. We printed the frame canvas and wrapped and glued it around the foam. This was glued to the front of the painting.
When everything was done we felt the back was a little plain so we added a bit hanging wire like you might find on the back of a painting.
We also made an information card like the one found next to the real painting in the Louvre. This was surprisingly hard to do but we were finally able to piece it together from a tourist photograph I found online plus the information about the painting on the Louve’s website.
We were very happy with the effect of the finished product. We of course showed our daughter the actual painting so she could mimic the smile and hand position of the real painting. Folks have responded to it amazingly well. We continuously have had people come up to get their pictures taken with her. The only drawback has been because of the position of the arm holes she can’t reach her face while in costume so we have to be nearby to scratch her nose and feed her candy.
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