Friday, November 18, 2011

Monika vs. the Volcano

I was a Mountain for Halloween. I did a lot of ranting about pyroclastic flows and Plinian eruptions (while constructing my costume I was watching documentaries on Mt. Vesuvius...and the X-Files...and Doctor Who).

I will take you through how I created the look.

Green Meadow Skirt:

Basically I started with a white dress--this one was purchased at a local thrift store. With its fitted corset top and the pleating which created a bell, it made an ideal mountain-esque shape.

To get the background color for the lower altitude meadows I used a basic RIT dye powder pack. Because I only wanted the bottom of the dress dyed and the top to remain white (for the snow cap) I used the boiling water stove top method. I twisted the bottom of the dress and submerged it for a short period so it took a moderate amount of color, wringed out the excess water, and laid it on a dark towel to air dry.

Once it was dry, I used some basic fabric paints to create texture and give the impression that there were various flora scattered about. I just used a small and medium sized brush to dab on the different colors, overlapping and fading as desired.

Yarn from Paulanna at Pergolina. Thanks, Paulanna!

To give it some actual texture, I sewed feathery green yarn sporadically throughout the skirt,
creating patches of tall grass.

These patches were accompanied by small red and yellow flowers which I embroidered.

And after I added my flora I made sure to strategically place a little fauna.

 Sweet little stag.


Icy Terrain:

For the base of my snow cap I used cornflower blue fabric paint and added contour coloring and texture. I also added some little silk flags for a tiny skier to have a fun downhill slalom. I hand sewed these with a little embroidery thread and used a black fine tipped marker to draw the flag posts.

Fun Fact: the peach silk flag (fabric purchased at a garage sale) was actually the same fabric used as the lining in Natalie Portman's dress from the tornado scene of Where the Heart Is.

I also made a bird necklace from miniature doves and wire. You always need to accessorize!

Snow Cap:

I was going to be more of a Mt. Saint Helens and have a cloud headpiece, but then I decided to go with an actual peak so that my costume was a little more discernible, more Mt. Rainier. Luckily, I had some household items to fashion it out of: a white microwavable leftover bag, thin black head band and cornflower blue paint (leftover from above).

I know the microwavable leftover bag seems a bit odd, but it just happened to be on my table. Free from any food stains, I figured it was worth a try to use it to construct the spire, and lucky for me the silver thermal lining gave the paper more memory when I molded it and it stayed in place without any adhesive or rigging. Basically, all I had to do was twist and shape. I used the paint to create some color and contour shading and fastened the head band underneath.


Not a super-long project, maybe a total of five hours all together. But I love it and will always keep my dream of finding a bunch of ladies to form a mountain range with me...

Me and Crisp (aka Olive)

Need a few other DIY costume ideas? Why not go as snazzy skeleton, a fantastic fox, or Jon Snow and Ghost?


  1. Wow really inventive I love it!

  2. oh what a fabulous idea! and you have a lovely smile :)

  3. i watch those same shows when i'm crafting lol!!

  4. Fabulous!! You are so creative to think of that! My boyfriend and I were the sun and earth for Halloween this year. I drew him an earth shirt and smeared dirt all over his face. :P Do you live in the PNW??

  5. Thanks everyone.
    Rachel, the sisters are all from the PNW!

  6. Oh Rachel I love it! Any excuse to smear dirt on my boyfriend's face. :)

  7. This is great! Good idea!

    1. Thanks! I am exhausted just thinking about what I'm going to do this year.


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