Monday, October 21, 2013

Easy as Pie... sort of

A few weeks back, my cousin sent me a text asking if I could help her make a costume for her beautiful baby girl who has an obsession for Bette Midler like none other... I don't know first hand, but I've heard that new parents will do just about ANYTHING to get their babies to stop crying/fussing and to go to sleep.

Enter Bette with "Blueberry Pie"... it's pretty catchy... and who doesn't love pie?

So I got to work... I was bad at taking step by step pictures, but here's a sort-of-tutorial in case you want to make your own pies... or in case your 12-year-old sister and her friend decide they also want to be pies for Halloween and you need to remember how the hell you made the first one.

First things first - get your shit together...

4 pieces of decent sized foam board or card board: for baby/toddlers, it can be about 12-15 inches, for bigger kids/smaller adults, you'll need about 20-25 inches, and for taller people you can do about 28-30 inches but I wouldn't go much bigger or you run the risk of not fitting through doors.

Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks. I went through a ton!! like 20 (of the large ones)
About 2 yards of tan felt
1 yard of whatever kind of fabric you want: for this one, I used blue polka dots...  for Clara, I used pumpkins... pretty much whatever kind of pie you want, that's the kind of fabric you need and if you need to fake it because the fabric store doesn't sell 'pecan' themed things, you can use maple leaf and oak/acorn fabric like I did for Cara's. Ribbon - 1 roll of 18 ft or 2 rolls of 9 ft (you're going to need 8 pieces of ribbon about 12-18 inches long depending on how big you want the bows to be once it's tied on you

Aluminum foil

Spray glue/mod podge/any kind of glue - except hot glue because it will heat through the foil and you risk burning yourself when you press it onto the foam board. Believe me, it's not fun...

About 2 yards of quilt batting or fake snow (it's cheaper and thicker)

White felt - less than 1 yard (or just use the snow - it works)

1 foam ball about 3-4 inches or a couple pieces of packing tissue paper (the stuff you get from Homegoods works like a charm) rolled into a ball about 3-4 inches wide.


Beer/Wine/cocktail because 1) you are insane to agree to make 3 Halloween costumes the month before your wedding and you are fairly certain the glue gun is the weapon of choice for self-destructive crafters and 2) sometimes alcohol is the only solution when you get one too many globs of steaming hot glue on your finger tips. better make it a double... and keep um coming.

Once you've gathered your supplies, get the glue gun plugged in and heating up so it's ready when you're done cutting out all these pieces.

We're going to start with the Back piece for the pie first - pie plate/crust. Easy-peasy!

*3 foam/cardboard circles (above left)
*2 pieces of tan felt - about 1-2 inches wider all the way around than your foam circle - make the edges a little squiggly so they look like a pie crust. duh! (above right)
* as much aluminum foil as it will take to cover 1 side of the back piece of foam (usually 2 pieces slightly longer than the diameter of the foam so you can fold it over the edges. Crinkle it up a little so it looks more like a pie plate but don't ball it up or you wont be able to get it flat again without ripping it.
* 8 pieces of ribbon
* 4 pieces of batting/snow cut into circles the same size as your foam board
* 1 piece of fabric cut about 6-8 inches longer than your foam board diameter


1) Creating the "pie plate": Spray the back side of 1 piece of cardboard and glue the foil to it. Fold the foil around the edges of the circle so 1 side of your board is completely covered.

2) Glue on the ribbon: the ribbons get tied over your shoulders and about waist-high. (you can kind of see this on the top picture).  Hot glue the ribbon to the "inside" of the back piece of foam board. I made a strip of glue about 5 inches long and pressed the ribbon to it so that we decreased the risk of a ribbon coming loose.

3) Make sure if you use ribbon that has a pattern on only 1 side that you glue it so it shows when the costume is tied on - for the blue berry costume, I had to glue it 'face down' since I did it on the insides of the costume.

4) Now, take 1 of your big felt tan ruffly circles and glue it over the "inside". I used hot glue for this since it's fabric and will stay better than with spray glue. if you're using hot glue, it's easier to glue down in sections. Take this as a drink break. Glue, press, sip. Glue press, sip. Start at the top and work your way down, otherwise the glue sometimes dries faster than you can get the whole circle covered.

That's the back of the costume - DONE! Set it aside, you won't need it for a while.

* 4 pieces of 2 yd x 3 inch felt, also cut ruffled/squiggly - these will be your pie crust (below)
*14-20 pieces of squiggly/ruffed felt - these are the lattice for the top of your pie - only need them if you are, in fact, making a lattice-topped pie... so that means, pumpkin and pecan get to skip this part. They should be about 4-6 inches longer than the diameter of your pie foam pieces so you have length to fold over

For the front side of the costume, grab another piece of foam board, 4 more pieces of ribbon, and the other felt circle and repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for the "inside" of the back piece above.


Flip your "front side" over and grab your glue and a few strips of "crust". Working in about 6 inch sections, squeeze a strip of glue around the perimeter of the foam/cardboard circle. Lay the edge of the felt strip on the glue and then pinch it quickly before the glue sets to make it look gathered. When you finish1 strip, layer the next one over it, you can see how I did it in the photo below (see the bottom left side of the picture).

 You could probably use another drink by now. Treat yourself.


Now for the fun part, where it actually starts to look like a pie. Lay the fabric face down on the table then stack 4 pieces of batting on top of it so it's centered and all even. You can glue in between if you feel like it but the batting usually sticks to itself pretty well and shouldn't move too much. Lay the last piece of foam board on top of all of it and start pulling the fabric up around the edges (like you're re-upholstering a chair). You can glue it if your foam isn't too sturdy but if it's thick foam, grab a stapler and go nuts. (I used glue because the display foam board I had left over from another project for this blueberry pie is lighter weight so the staples didn't hold well - for the pecan and pumpkin pie, I used industrial foam my dad had at his warehouse so the staples worked GREAT!)

Next weave the lattice on your table top/work surface so it looks like a pie crust. Then place your pie face down and start gluing your lattice pieces down on the back side (below).

Once you are finished gluing down all the lattice, glue the entire back - work quickly so it doesn't harden on you - and flip it over onto the ruffled front piece and press... get your whole body into it... just lay on it.

Set it aside- under a case of beer to make sure it really sets tight - or something equally heavy.

You're costume is finished now except for the head piece. Drink up, buttercup!

Turn heads
Grab the scissors and get moving. For the headband, we need:
*6 white felt ruffled circles - 6-7 inches in diameter
*2 white felt circles - round is fine apx. 2-3 inches in diameter
*1 piece of fabric used for filling -about 1 square foot  to wrap around the foam/tissue ball

Glue a little triangle and fold each white circle in half onto itself.

With the open edges facing the same direction, glue each piece on top of the last to make a little flower. Glue a small round circle in the middle of the flower (covers all the edges and makes it easier to glue the berry in the middle/the whole thing onto the headband).

Set the flower aside to dry.
Lay our your fabric face down. Place the ball in the center. Pull up from one spot and start gluing the fabric to the ball. Pinch and pleat so that the ball maintains a round shape. 

One the whole ball is glued and dried - glue it to the center of the flower. Make sure you keep the smooth side up (see below).

Glue the whole thing onto a headband - for the blue berry costume, I used a crochet head band (since it's for a baby). The head bands for Cara and Clara were different and I used ear warmers I got for $1 at Jo-Ann Fabric! Which will be cute and keep them warm while trick-or-treating!!

For the finishing touch on the blueberry headband, I used lime green thread to sew a piece of lime green striped bakers twine to the top like a stem. It looked cuter as a bow, so I left it like that.

More on Cara & Clara's pie costumes in another post coming soon :)