The behind-the-scenes for K’s costume

Okay, last week I posted a picture of us paper mache-ing K’s Halloween costume. I was able to get some of the other pictures off my cameras (laptop is still in repair though 😦 ) and here’s some of the work in progress…

First you gotta go find a 36″ balloon and blow it up…


Then you apply paper mache all over it.  (this is the picture I posted last week)Image

Then the next morning you go and check on it and see that it has cracked all over. 😦 And you feel really sad and frustrated because you’re not sure how it happened and how to avoid it.


You patch it up as best you can and apply another layer of paper mache all over. Repeat a couple more times before you catch on to what’s going on. You realize that the balloon is contracting and expanding A LOT over the course of the day. (working on it at night and in the garage where it’s cold means the balloon was contracted a bit while at the same time the paper mache was damp and flexible, then during the days, the warmer temps expand the balloon and the paper contracts as it dries — double whammies, a very bad combo.) So… you try to relieve some of the pressure by piercing a hole in the balloon ever so carefully, which worked the first time, but not the second time, and the balloon pops. Thankfully, you had to buy the 36″ balloons in a six-pack, so you blow up another balloon.  THIS time, you’re smart enough not to tie it in a knot, you tie it in a way that you can expand it when you’re applying the paper mache and need the firm structure, and then let some air out as it’s drying. Repeat a couple more times.


(note different color balloon inside, this is at the “relieve some of the pressure, I’m bursting at the seams!” phase)  At one point, the rip was so bad (and the paper mache was already several layers thick) that I had to just pull out the glue gun and some fabric and bandage it up.  But we eventually got to the point where it wasn’t ripping any more and it seemed solid enough to let the air out of the balloon entirely.  Then it was time to cut holes and color it…


(view from inside)

Test if it fits… (it fits!)


Time to spray paint it.  (I hate pictures of my messy garage, and I hate blah pictures of myself even more, but I figured I should include myself so someone years from now will believe I had a part in this.)  I think I killed several of our brain cells from the spray paint, P-U!


Then you apply the very important sticker…


Yes, my 10-year old is revealing that she is a pool shark, haha!  No, really, did anyone ever think her costume would be in this direction???

Well, I have a video of K’s costume, but I can’t seem to figure out how to post a video here.  Hopefully I can do it tomorrow so you can get the full “reveal” of the costume.  Also need to post about A’s costume, which is ENTIRELY different, and I’m awaiting permission to post a picture with her friend. More to come…


5 thoughts on “The behind-the-scenes for K’s costume

  1. That is an AWESOME costume! Very original. I have never seen an 8-ball on Halloween EVER. K is super clever. How on earth did she come up with that idea?

    • I have no idea how she came up with that idea, but it was definitely her idea to be the Magic 8 Ball! She needed some help with the implementation (deciding to do paper mache vs other 3D options we considered, using the ipad for the screens), so that’s where Mom is useful. 🙂

  2. You are so incredibly persistent–and smart!–Judy. All the contracting and expanding would have completely done me in! I think this reminds me that you like a challenge… 🙂

    • I think I got the balloons at Party City. I’m sure you can find them at party stores or online at Amazon. I’d recommend getting the hand pump, they are huge balloons that require a lot of air! Hope your kids have fun with them!

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