Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DIY Halloween: Elsa Cape Snowflakes Tutorial

Everyone wants to be Elsa.  In light of this (and the fact I got to make an Elsa costume this Halloween) I thought I would share my method for tackling those snowflakes on her cape/coat.  That might be of help for those trying to get this project checked off their list before Halloween next week!  Or, for anyone who is looking for a DIY solution to finding a good Elsa costume.  I hate to say it, but the store bought ones are pretty yucky.

First, have you noticed how horribly itchy and rough all that organza type fabric is that they're pushing for these costumes?  It has got to be 50% plastic and 50% awful.  And when I went to pick out fabric for my little Elsa, I couldn't even stand touching it, let alone handling it for long periods of time during the creation process.  And then worse, I can't imagine her wanting to wear it.  She's 7 and has way better taste in fabric than I do, so I needed a better option....and I really love how it turned out:

Isn't she so perfect??  I had nothing to do with that...just the costume.

I used a nylon chiffon tricot from fabric.com for that cute little Elsa "jacket".  If I could live in this fabric, I would.  The drape is beautiful and it's SO SOFT and sheer.  No itchy Elsa allowed.

Basically, I used this fabric to make a basic shrug/cape combo to go over a satin skirt and already owned sparkly dance top.  This is a great "pattern yourself" shrug option from Modest Prom which I used to get down the basic shape of the shrug (with long sleeves versus capped).  Then, I gathered the rest of the tricot and sewed it on the bottom for that awesome drapey skirt/cape look.  Once finished, I had this to work with:

Cute but basic.  And Elsa is not basic.  Elsa needs wow.  Elsa needs GLITTER (so much glitter).  Elsa needs SPARKLE!

To make just a basic fabric of any sheer nature Frozen appropriate, I used the following:

-Glitter (so much glitter).  I chose clear and I'm glad (it will look white in the bottle)
-straight pins
-wax paper
-snowflake print outs
-modge podge and/or aileen's tacky glue (the decision between to two, I'll talk about later)

The basic method is simple.  Your fabric is sheer, so place your computer print out of a snowflake (do a google image search and pick your favorite), underneath the fabric.  The take a piece of wax paper and put it BETWEEN the print out and the fabric.  So from top to bottom:  fabric, wax paper, print out.  Pin into place.  This is what it looked like while I was making several at once.  

Let's start with modge podge.  Using a paint brush, follow the lines of your snowflake and paint the modge podge on.  It doesn't have to be super thick, just a nice layer.

I did both thick snowflakes like this one and a few that were more intricate with thinner lines.  This one was my favorite, but the others worked, too.  It felt like a big ol' mess while I was in the process, but they all turned out pretty...it's amazing what a TON of sparkly glitter goodness can hide.

Once the modge podge is on, cover cover cover with glitter!!!

I let mine sit for about 10 minutes.  Modge podge doesn't take long to dry (bonus!) and I wanted to move on and do more.  Once I dumped and saved the excess glitter, it looked like this:

You can see the smaller and not so neat one next to it.  I was disappointed that shape didn't come out so well, but when it's all together, no one will notice.  Also the different sizes and shapes really made a nice effect.

You can also use Aileen's Tacky Glue and squeeze it out of the bottle with the exact same method.  But, the Aileens requires a longer drying time.  It's also very thick, so your snowflake will drip if you move the fabric to work on another part of your costume.  I will say, the squeeze option is nice for control but if I did it again, I would only use modge podge.  If you use Aileen's, don't panic that the flakes are white.  It does ultimately dry clear (usually over night).  The end result is surprisingly similar to the modge podge:

Once all good and dry, remove the pins and peel the wax paper off the back.  The modge podge does dry pretty quickly.  I did a large section at a time with multiple snowflakes and left it for an hour which is overkill.  I would say 30 minutes and you're good to go.

The biggest tip:  make sure your wax paper is covering the entire area in which you plan to put the modge podge/glue.  If you fail to do this, the printed image will appear on the back of your fabric and it is not fun to try to get it to come off.

Here's the finished effect:

I'm having a terrible time trying to photograph it properly without Elsa in it.  So here she is again!

The best part?  She's smiling!