*Post from last Halloween*
For a few years now, I’ve been home-making my little brother’s costumes. This year, with the launch of the ridiculously popular movie, Frozen, our family decided my brother just had to be Olaf! So that’s what he (and I) was and it was a HIT. I finished it the night before Halloween and put it in my car so I could bring it to my mom’s after work. I showed a picture of the completed project to my coworkers and they insisted I throw it on for the costume contests that were going to be held at work later that day. So, as a huge believer of bringing fun into the work place, I threw it on, and boy did it become a full day job being Olaf! I was taking photos with employees left and right & even an employee’s daughter that was in the Child Care Center and was dressed as Elsa! Someone mentioned wanting to rent me for their daughter’s Frozen themed birthday party and someone’s already placed an order for next year’s Halloween – What did I get myself into?! Just kidding, I enjoy this kind of stuff!
*FOR ORDER INQUIRIES, MY EMAIL IS LISTED ON MY HOME PAGE.
Now, I made Olaf before I started up my blog, so I apologize I don’t have any progress pictures but if you’re curious to see know he came to life, just keep reading! 🙂
THE (Over-detailed, Still not too clear) PROCESS
Collect your base material. I stopped by the Salon I used to work at to say hi and, lucky for me, that day they received a new product shipment and they had tons of boxes just waiting to be molded into something amazing! (Be resourceful people! There are always a lot more things already around you that you can use that you don’t yet realize!)
The First Snowball. I cut the boxes up into smaller rectangular shaped pieces. Then I began the shaping of Olaf, bending and rolling the cardboard to create his voluptious curves. Piece by piece, and countless staples later, I had the makings of my first snowball (hollow, with the bottom and top open so that it can be worn). *Note that the cardboard shouldn’t be too thick depending on the staples you’re using. As soon as I had a significant amount of it completed, I told my brother to step in so I could see just how tall it should be and how wide of an opening it would need for him to fit in it.
The Second Snowball. Comparing my bottom “snowball” to a picture of Olaf I printed off the internet, I eyeballed how big the Second Snowball should be in proportion to the first. By this step, I got smarter and didn’t cut my cardboard pieces too small. I created the shape WITHOUT any holes for the arms, only for the neck and bottom first. Then when I went to go try it on my brother, I was able to pencil where his arms should be. (My brother had a cast on his right arm at the time ~ as if this wasn’t difficult enough already!) I used a regular box cutter to cut out little holes for his arms.
The Head. Oh Lord, the head. An intimidating process which of course my overambitious mindset thought could be a breeze. Again, I cut out cardboard pieces, this time even larger. I had one large piece on the back, rounded (honestly it was more folded than rounded ~ couldn’t get the smooth curve I originally hoped for), smaller pieces for where the eyes would lay, and then one large piece that I used to shape the mouth. To create the dimension of the nose I simply folded over the cardboard (using maybe a third of the piece) and connected it to the pieces where the eyes would lay. On the same piece of cardboard, I cut a slit about an inch long on the bottom corners and folded them into each other to create the shape of the jaw. Using a boxcutter, cut out the mouth shape! I had to be flexible and resourceful with the way pieces attached, often ripping apart, adding little pieces, removing others, and then re-stapling – keep in mind I was just going with the flow and had no set mold!
Connecting the Body. If I had spent more time measuring and constructing this, I could have probably done it a lot smarter and created one complete body piece instead of two separate pieces. But because I didn’t, I used 3-4 additional cardboard pieces in the shape of long rectangles along with more staples and this time the help of duct tape to secure the upper body to the lower body. I lifted it up and put it on and back off a few times to make sure it was secure.
The Snow Affect. A quick trip to WalMart provided me with the perfect fabric ~ white, fluffy, and only $3/yd! BINGO. I also picked up 4 pieces of Black Felt and one piece of Orange Felt for the final steps. Ah, this part was tricky. After seeing that one layer of fabric wouldn’t be sufficient to create the Snowman effect since you could see the box print and cardboard color underneath, I doubled the layers. I used separate strips to cover the upper body and the lower body. If I had used one single sheet of fabric instead of two separate, it would of created a lot of bulge on the upper body due to the size difference. Towards the tops and bottoms of each snowball, I made 3-4 inch long cuts in the fabric – this way I could let the fabric overlap instead of just scrunching it up which I think really helped create better definition of his shape.
I took more time with the second layer of fabric. Since the lower body was bigger, that was my first goal. I held the fabric parallel to the floor with enough excess fabric on the bottom to tuck under neath and completely cover the cardboard, and then began to hot glue the fabric all the way around. (Begin hot-glueing through the equator of the snowball and leave the upper and lower parts for last). Being a stickler about details, once two ends of the fabric met, I cut the excess off in a straight line up. As I did for the bottom, I cut the excess from the top, leaving enough fabric to be later tucked in. I repeated the process for the upper body.
Covering the Head was the most difficult part! Especially for a perfectionist like me; it got stressful. I used one large piece of fabric to avoid unnecessary seams, and would definitely do my placement differently the second time around. Just cover the head and nip and tuck where you can!
The Details. The eyes, nose, and buttons were all made with the felt squares I bought earlier. I hand cut and sewed the nose and buttons leaving a small opening, flipped the fabric inside out, and then stuffed it with pillow stuffing that had already been coming out anyway! Again – always be resourceful! 😉 I proceeded to finish those off with a hand stitch. The buttons I was able to just hot-glue onto the body, but the nose (due to its weight and minimal surface area connected to the face) needed a little extra. In addition to hot-glueing the nose in place I also sewed it in for added support. *Note to self: Sew before you glue next time! Do you know how hard it is to get a needle through dried hot glue?! The ‘hair’ was made with brown pipe-cleaners and the attachment of those got a little ghetto, with just tons of tape and attempting to hide the evidence with any fabric already on top of his head. Once, I got that on.. TAH-DAH!
MISSION FINALLY ACCOMPLISHED.
Btw, here’s some ridiculously accurate insight on my emotions throughout this process and I will DEFINITELY be taking progress pictures of all future projects!: