Lena Sekine's Statue of Liberty costume was a favorite in our Green Halloween Costume Contest. Her daughter Maya decided she was over princess costumes and wanted to be something completely different. After learning about the Statue of Liberty in school, she asked to portray Lady Liberty for Halloween. Being a lover of creative challenges, her mom, Lena, accepted. She started by printing out a photograph of the real thing so she knew what she was aiming for. Read on to find out how she created this stunning DIY Statue of Liberty Costume. Then, if you're feeling inspired, enter your kid's homemade ensemble in the 2014 Inhabitots Green Halloween Costume Contest.
Step 1: Gather the Materials
Realizing that Liberty’s costume required a lot of draping, Lena raided her closet as well as her husband’s looking for old clothing in adult sizes that would drape naturally on Maya as a base to work with. She used a plain white T-shirt from her husband’s closet, due to the large arm openings and open neckline. She also used an old cream-colored skirt and a light blue blouse for the added draping and details. The articles of clothing were all destined for Goodwill, so they were perfect for creating the green Halloween costume.
Step 2: Hand-dye the Fabric
Lena hand-dyed the T-shirt, skirt, and blouse to a unified color using non-toxic teal-colored dye, leftover from a previous project. Inexpensive fabric dye can be purchased at any local craft store in an array of colors. To dye it, she put everything in a large pot, added the dye and water and stirred. After achieving the desired color, she hand washed the clothing and put them in the dryer to dry.
Step 3: Construct the Dress
With daddy’s T-shirt as the base, Lena used the waist tie from the skirt to first gather the sleeves on both sides at the shoulder. Next, she cut the waist tie in half for each side and fed it through the neck hole, then arm hole, and tied a knot at each shoulder. This simple step already gave the desired bunchy look at the shoulder just like Liberty’s dress. Then, she cut off the wavy trim off from the blouse and sewed it onto each side of the T-shirt arm opening for added frills. She cut off the lining from the skirt and added it to the end of the T-shirt for added length and detail. Since the lining was more lightweight then the rest of the fabric, it dyed to a darker richer color, which made it perfect for added flair. For the sash-like draping around Liberty’s dress, wrapped the whole skirt around the whole T-shirt, gathering it at one shoulder. She sewed it down in the front, then in the back at the same shoulder to complete the dress.
Step 4: Craft the Crown
Maya’s old headband was used for the base of the crown, but any headband you have could work. Lena did purchase 2 sheets of light blue foam 8″ x 10″, to make the crown and torch – but it was all she bought for the costume! You can find craft foam at your local craft store. She cut a strip of foam to the exact size of the headband, then glued it down on the headband to completely cover it. Next, Lena cut 7 triangles out of the same sheet of foam and glued them to the inside of the headband. Maya used a silvery grey sharpy to add the rectangles for the windows and lines to accent the triangles.
Step 5: Create the Torch
Since trick-or-treating or Halloween parties usually take place at night, Lena thought a ‘light’ feature would be fun, and came up with the idea of using a hand held flashlight as the base of the torch. She covered the flashlight with strips the same foam as the crown to keep the color scheme consistent and more statue-esque. Instead of using glue, she opted for tape which adhered better to the flashlight. She then cut three more simple strips from the foam to add depth and dimension to the top of the flashlight, wrapping it around the top and securing with double sided tape. For the top detail, she used the same strips of foam, but made even cuts into them and wrapped it around the very top rim. Again, details were added wtih a silver sharpy.
Step 6: Make a Flame
The flame could’ve been made out of any orange or red colored tissue paper, cellophane, etc., which can be purchased at any craft store. However, Lena happened to have a loaf of “King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread” at the time which comes in bright orange packaging. She cut random-shaped piece of that for the flame, and simply taped it to the inside of the flashlight to complete the torch.
Step 7: Add the Final Touches
Lena added some silvery blue eye shadow around Maya’s eyes, along the bridge of her nose, across her cheekbones, and on her lips. Maya wore ordinary flip flops. Voila! a “Statue of Liberty” costume is born!