A couple of weeks ago my friend Sharri hosted a “Summer Halloween Kiki” in her backyard. We’re a DIY-costume-oriented group of friends, so the idea was pure genius. In New York City, weather often places limitations on great Halloween costume ideas. For example, a few years ago I traveled to Brooklyn in a blizzard for a Halloween party. (I was comfortably dressed as Johnny Depp…as himself.) Last year, the Halloween parade was canceled by Hurricane Sandy. (Luckily, I was invited to a party the weekend BEFORE, so I got to wear my Rosie the Riveter costume.)
My cousin Kathryn was visiting, and I’ve had a lot of work lately, so I didn’t want to go all out with making a costume. (I cosplayed for a few years in my early 20s and NEVER AGAIN.) In fact, my plan was to take parts from my New 52 Wonder Woman costume from a few years ago and call it a day. Summertime Wondy! But my bestie Andre peer pressured me through text messages into doing something new. And so, in the hours leading up to the party, I made Summertime She-Ra: Princess of Power. And I am so proud of the way it turned out.
Modified She-Ra was surprisingly simple and cheap to make. I drew four templates on big paper: wrist gauntlets, headpiece, shoulder details, and chest detail. I cut them out, traced them onto craft foam sheets, cut those out, and applied a few coats of gold acrylic paint. (It needs a few coats because the foam absorbs the first two.)
Gold metallic spray paint would have been faster, and I have some left over from that Wonder Woman costume, but I didn’t want to get in trouble for doing it in my building’s courtyard. And I know from prior experience that spray painting in a bathroom with no windows is a bad idea!
In the end, I liked the streaky quality that resulted from the paint. I used brown paint and a thin paintbrush to outline the details on each piece, then mixed the two paint colors to add shading for a 3D look. The red circle in the tiara and the blue oval on the shirt are cut out of craft foam, and I’d eventually like to add shading to those parts, as well.
I bought a white spaghetti-strap tank top at Old Navy for $4, and hot-glued the chest and shoulder pieces onto it. I also hot-glued velcro squares to the gauntlets (they needed re-gluing at the party, but Kyrk had brought his glue gun) and a piece of elastic to the headpiece. The wig was purchased at Fifi Mahoney’s in New Orleans in 2003. (It’s the “Farrah.”) I wore capri jeans and flats with it, but I’ll probably buy a white swingy skirt later and reuse the costume.
The party was SO much fun. Another guest wore a Jem costume, so we were the 80s cartoon divas. In fact, most of the costumes were inspired by something from the 80s or 90s.
This was the costume guest list:
- Miss Honey/Moi Renee (hostess)
- Summertime She-Ra
- Scary Spice Guy
- Ruby Rod (Fifth Element)
- Urban Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
- Summertime Doctor Strange
- Baseball player
- Soul Eater
- Dia de los Muertos