So You Want To Enter Challenge #3….

Challenge #3 – “Clean-up on Aisle 10!” – Costumes made with items not typically found at craft or fabric stores.  Hardware stores, office supply, junk-yards, you name it!

Here at Shear Madness HQ we thought it might be helpful to show some examples of different outfits that incorporated lots of crazy things and how really fun and creative they can be!

1.  Alisa’s Black and White Steampunk Costume

Steampunk is a genre that lends itself very well to making amazing outfits out of things found pretty much anywhere – the hardware store, the fabric store, etc.

Lis wanted to make a Victorian lady costume with a twist.

The Mistress of Time!

The Mistress of Time!

She re-purposed an old skirt as a blouse and collar, she found buttons at the dollar store, and she found old bottles and miscellaneous bits at various reuse stores to make an amazing belt to store her “time tools.”

Scissors to cut time, bottles to store the sands of time....

Scissors to cut time, bottles to store the sands of time….

But her wings are perhaps the coolest part.  Made of copper wire from Home Depot, Modge Podge and PAPER TOWELS.



Lis said they were fairly easy (if messy) to make and she has gotten a ton of positive feedback on them.  They are one of my favorite things she has ever made.

2.  The Strongwoman

This costume has been featured here before in regards to referencing different creative materials, and it deserves another mention.  A member of the Steampunk Circus of 2013, this is our Strongwoman.

The Strongwoman (Jessica) chose to make her wig out of tubular mesh ribbon.  She used various metallic colored mesh and built it on top of a foam head to get the proper shape.  The inspiration was metal bullion wigs of the 1920′s.

Her barbells were made out of gerbil balls!
Her belt was modeled after a vintage Strongman’s belt and was cut using a laser saw to get it to the right shape.  She then made the leather belt to go with it.  She also used leather and grommets and hooks to create a pair of spats that she sewed onto a pair of shoes.  
And her barbell was made of gerbil balls, fittings and a dowel.  
Gerbil balls!!!

Gerbil balls!!!

3.  There is a Dalek in your Office Supply store…

I saw this amazing piece of craftsmanship at Gallifrey One in 2013.  A young man and his father made and entered this in the Masquerade and won several prizes.

The Dalek itself is made of cardboard, plastic cups, chicken wire, styrofoam balls and various other hardware supplies.  The operator was able to fit inside and roll it around easily without being seen.  It was incredibly sturdy and really a well done job.

It also liked to wear River Song's hat...

It also liked to wear River Song’s hat…

4.  The Camouflage Elizabethan

Many years ago I heard about a renaissance festival in a little town called Kenosha.  They were known at the time for also having a “Day of Wrong” where people could dress very differently than what you would see in a renaissance village.  Several friends and I decided to attend and wear outfits that were historical looking, but made of crazy things.

As an Army Veteran I still had various bits of pieces of uniforms, and decided to make my outfit from those, as well as other found items.  My underskirt was made of an old parachute.  My overskirt was the fabric used to make Army poncho liners, and I retro-fitted my original jacket into a doublet.  Camo netting was used as my sleeves, and I took apart several Army issue t-shirts that I then sewed into a proper partlett.  My girdle was made of Army men (thank you Ashley!) and my earrings were two little men in camo.  All my undergarments were made from historical patterns.  I also wore my own socks and combat boots and I have never been more comfortable walking around a festival.

Pictured with my buddy, the Green Bay Packer fan, wearing her Cheesehead top hat.

Pictured with my buddy, the Green Bay Packer fan, wearing her Cheesehead top hat.

Hopefully these examples will give you some ideas about some of the different ways you could approach this challenge.

Good luck and happy crafting!

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