19 Jul DIY SPACE COSTUMES – A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Continuing on from this post….
We’re getting ready for Camp Bestival. It’s time to sort out some costumes to go with this year’s theme, outer space. I’ve made bunch of outfits with varying levels of craftiness, from absolute beginner to craft ninja… I myself am not a sewing ninja… but I tried my best, just don’t look at the inside of the dress! Let me know how you get on with it, I’d love to see the results!
THE SPACE ALIEN
This one is super easy and you can buy all the bits from a craft shop. I actually found most of this stuff at Poundland. Great to make with kiddies.
A plastic headband
Some washi tape – or masking tape will do
A black marker
- First draw black dots on the balls to make eyes
- Dip the end of our pipe-cleaner in some glue
- Push it into the polystyrene ball.
- Trim the pipe-cleaner. If it is the full length it might be too long to stand upright and it will flap about.
- Start wrapping the washi tape around the headband at one end. Once you get about a third of the way along, stop to add a pipe cleaner.
- Continue wrapping the tape around (keep it all in one piece, don’t break the tape off, it will lose strength).
- After you have wrapped it around a few more times, add another pipe-cleaner, then continue wrapping around.
- Bend them all up into an up right position.
- Now keep an eye out for Sigourney Weaver!
THE ROCKET SCIENTIST
No need to learn calculus! Now all you need to be a rocket scientist is to drink a whole load of Pepsi Max and make a jetpack…
For the jetpack:
Two soft drink bottles
Some cardboard – the lid of a shoebox will do.
Tulle for the hot jets
Elastic for the straps
Silver paint & a paintbrush
For the scientist:
A lab coat. I ours mine on Ebay
A NASA patch – also available on Ebay
A button up shirt and bow tie
Some glasses – I took the lenses out of some 3D specs from the cinema.
- Drink all the Pepsi Max
- Paint the clean bottles silver. I used silver acrylic paint rather than silver aerosol paint because I had some little helpers and aerosol is hideous stuff to be around. We only needed two coats.
- Cut the cardboard so it is slightly smaller than the two bottles next to each other. Paint it silver on both sides.
- Cut your tulle into zig-zaggy flame shapes on one end
- Roll up the tulle and tape the ends to form a thick bunch. Stuff the bunch into the bottle hole. You could add some PVA glue so it doesn’t fall out.
- Cut two slits in the bottle and feed a cable tie through. Make sure it’s long enough to join up to itself to form a loop. I had to bend the end of mine into a little hook to get it to stick back through the second hole easily.
- Cut 4 slits into your card for each bottle. (See above)
- Loop the cable tie through the middle slits to fasten the bottle on and repeat with the other bottle.
- Thread the elastic through the other slits to make the straps and tie the ends in knot to for a sturdy loop. Perhaps get the scientist to try it on first, before you tie it off). I used the scissors to help wedge the elastic through the slits because it was a bit tricky.
- 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, blast-off!
LITTLE RAE & BB8
This is a great ‘no sew’ costume for little girls and Rae is the ultimate kickass role model for fierce little women! BB8 is really fun, he might not last a long time, but he’s very cheap to make and fun to paint. You could strengthen the body, or make his head out of papier maché, but I always feel like that’s a bit of a faff. this is a simple version that involves a lot less mess.
Some grey leggings or hareem pants
A white or grey vest top
Some old grey tights – cut to form arm bands
Black boots – or wellies would do.
A brown belt
Some grey fabric strips – I got some grey jersey from John Lewis.
Hair ties for her awesome badass hair style.
This is super easy, just cut the strips of fabric and cross them over at the front. Add the belt on top to hold the fabric strips in place. Cut the tights to form armbands, then go and kick some ass.
BB8 ON A STRING
This guy is really fun, he might not last a long time, but he’s very cheap to make and fun to paint. You could strengthen the body, or make his head out of papier maché, but I always feel like that’s a bit of a faff. I’ve done a simple version that involves a lot less mess.
A white paper lampshade – I got mine from the local hardware store, they also have them at Ikea.
Some string or wool
A bamboo skewer
A colander or salad bowl
White tissue paper
Paint – silver, orange and black to be authentic
- First construct the lampshade.
- Take a sheet of tissue paper and putting it in the colander. (Stay with me, I know that sounds like a weird thing to do.)
- Stuff the bowl with bubble wrap, then fold the paper on top like you are wrapping a big bowl shaped present.
- Put loads of clear tape all over the top so it stays in shape and no paper bits stick out.
- Pop it out of the bowl and it should hold its shape.
- To thread it onto BB8, tape some wool to a bamboo skewer. This will pierce his head right through the middle, so make sure the tape is very tight so it won’t come off half way through.
- Pierce the centre of his head and force the skewer all the way through.
- Pull the skewer through then pull the string through the body and tie it to the wire part at the bottom of the lampshade.
- When you hold him by the string he should look like BB8. Tie the wool to the top wire part as well so it doesn’t slide around too much.
- Now it’s time to paint him. I painted the circles on the sides by tracing circles around a side plate. Don’t be too precious about painting him, just go with it if you make a mistake. The kids finished it off looking at pictures of him and working out all the shapes. I love his wonky face and the kids are really proud of themselves for working it all out.
- Tie the end of the string to a stick, then watch him dance when you wave it about.
- Go and fight the evil galactic empire.
RICHARD BRANSON’S MAIDEN VOYAGE
Not content with a regular old red festival wagon, Richard has added some serious power to launch himself into space. If you start saving now, you might be able to join him on his maiden voyage, mud permitting.
A space suit – we got ours online here, only £9.99. Richard loves a bargain.
A wagon, or you could use a bike or a scooter.
Two soft drink bottles
Cardboard – we used a pizza box
White paint or tippex
Some fluff for a beard and talcum powder for lightening his hair.
- Made yourself some jets, like the ones for the jetpack. Then stick them to the side of the wagon, we used a glue gun to do this. You could also do it with cable ties.
- Paint some cardboard red and cut it into a super fast rocket sort of shape.
- Add a white Virgin logo to it with tippex or paint.
- Stick it to the side of the wagon.
- Lighten hair with talcum powder and stick on the goatee.
- Put on the space suit, then fund and build a research facility for figuring out the commercial viability of space travel for private use.*
*This part may take a while.
THE BIG BANG!
<< CRAFT NERD >>
Just because you’re going to a space themed festival, doesn’t mean you can’t live out your Coachella flower crown fantasies – just add a cosmic explosion!
Some wire – I got mine from the craft shop
Tape – washi tape or masking tape is best
Polystyrene balls – for the asteroids
Some paint for your asteroids
Bamboo skewers to help with painting the asteroids
Loads and loads of exploding tulle
- Start by making a loop of wire that fits around your head, then make it slightly larger because all the tulle adds to the size of it.
- Tape the loop of wire, then wrap the tape around and around adding pieces of wire as you go. Similar to making a flower crown.
- Once your wire is all on, start adding the tulle.
- Cut long strips, then loop them around the wire.
- Keep adding and adding to the tulle until you’re pleased with your explosion.
- Then add your asteroids.
- Stick the ball on a skewer to paint it, this will be much less messy than painting it while holding the ball.
- Let the skewers dry by standing them all in a jar, so they don’t touch anything until they are done.
- Stick them on the ends of the wires. I poked a new hole for this because the wire was thinner than the skewer. I also added a dab of PVA to the end of each wire before jabbing the ball on.
- I ended up trimming a few of the wires down so my asteroids were flying out at different levels.
<< SEWING NINJA >>
There aren’t many times in your life when you get to wear silver lamé but a space party is the perfect excuse! I’d love to make an adult sized version of this one because it looks like a lot of fun.
A dress to model the pattern on.
Silver lamé – I used 2 meters to make this dress for a three year old.
Cotton jersey fabric – I used this to line the dress so it wasn’t scratchy and hot.
Orange tulle – for the under skirt
White, green and black felt for the alien
Googly eyes for the alien
Some clear plastic for his window – you could get this from a plastic sleeve if you don’t want to buy loads of plastic.
Some glitter for the alien’s window
Glue to stick him together.
I haven’t used a pattern to make this dress, I just traced around one of my daughter’s dresses that is a similar shape. I made it slightly larger to account for mistakes. Things always turn out smaller than you think they will be!
To make the dress:
- Trace around the template dress in chalk on both types of fabric. Give it a good inch more than the dress you’re tracing around.
- Cut it out, then add a slit at the back of the neck which will allow for the head to get through.
- Also cut out some triangles that are the length of the dress from under-arm to hem
- Sew the lining to the silver lamé around the neck, arms and side seams. Leave the bottom hem and shoulder seams open. Do this for the front and back.
- On the back, sew around he slit for the neck hole, so that when you turn it the right way around, it doesn’t gather ar the bottom of the slit.
- Turn it the right way around – the arm hole and neck will now not need any hemming.
- Check that it fits over your alien’s head. Some aliens have large heads, so you may need to re-adjust the slit at the back to be longer.
- Sew the shoulders together to form a sort of flappy apron.
- Before you sew the sides of the dress, make your wings. Sew the two pieces of lamé together along the bottom and diagonal side. Leave the side that gets sewn into the dress’ side seam open.
- Turn you wings the right way around and iron the seams flat.
- Pin the wings into the side seams of the dress.
- Sew the side seams to make the full dress.
- Now hem the bottom by hand, folding the lamé inside the dress, and sewing it to the lining, tucking under the raw edge so it doesn’t fray.
- I added an orange tutu under the dress for the fire. I already had the tutu, but you could easily make one using tulle and elastic to make a basic elasticated skirt. Remember – you always need twice as much tulle as you think you’ll need.
- Finish it off with a button at the top of the slit on the back if you feel really fancy.
To make the hat:
- Cut some lamé into a quarter of a circle. Two layers of lamé, one layer of stiffer lining. I used some canvas fabric that I had left over from a beanbag for mine, but any stiff fabric would do. Denim, felt, cotton drill.
- Lay the two sheets of lamé on top of the lining layer
- Sew the curved edge and one of the straight edges.
- Turn it the right way around so that the lining is in between the two layers of lamé, and the crown of the hat (the seam that runs around the head), will be nice and neat.
- Iron the crown seam flat.
- Bring the two corners together to form a point hat shape.
- Sew along the edge where the two straight sides meet, then turn it the right way around to for the hat.
To make the alien:
- Cut two circles of felt. One for the background (I used white) and one for the frame of the porthole (I used black). Make the background circle slightly smaller than the frame. Cut the frame to be about 15mm thick,
- Cut out an alien to sit inside the window.
- Glue on his eyes
- Glue him to the back ground
- Add some glitter if you want
- Draw a ring of glue around the edge.
- Cut your plastic, for his window, to fit the circle and glue it down, sealing the alien and his glitter in the window.
- Now glue the frame on as well and let it dry.
- Position the porthole on the rocket and carefully sew around the frame to attach it to the dress. This might be easier by hand. Make sure you sew through the lining too, the lamé might not be strong enough to hold the heavy porthole without tearing.
- Now get ready for blast off!
Let me know how you go with your creations! I’d love to see them. And look out for me at Camp Bestival. I’ll be dancing to Bananarama dressed as The Big Bang.
For more tips for festivalling with kids, take a look at my What To Pack list for a concise guide of what to bring, and Peckham Mama’s list of survival tips.
If you’re looking for more fancy dress ideas check out my Terrors of London and our crafty minx tag for more crafty posts.
Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child
Models: My lovely, very patient children Elliot and Frida. Thank you for being stupidly adorable.