SUBVERSIVE GURGLINGS.

Archive for the ‘costumes’ Category

Specially for the 30 strong Katamari Cousin flashmob happening at New Zealand’s Christchurch Armageddon con in April– here’s a tutorial on how to make your very own Katamari cousin head! (: Personally, Katamari is one of the best games I’ve ever played, and being able to spread the love like this is kinda special. Plus, rolling stuff up. Yeah. Yeah. So! Today I’ll be taking you through making Marcy’s head, which is this delightful cousin here:

MATERIALS
– 1 x foam mattress topper.
You can find these at The Warehouse for around $25, with dimensions 1830 x 900 x 30 for a single. They make two heads.
– 1 x hot glue gun, hot glue
– fleece/knit in appropriate colours for your cousin
Make sure not to use anything too see through (as it may show the glue/eyeholes).
– yellow (face frame)/orange (nose)/red (mouth)/black (eyes) felt
– 1 x polystyrene cone
These are at Spotlight in packs of 2 for~$3. It makes it a lot more cost effective to make cousins in pairs!
– peach tricot lingerie fabric
– fabric scissors
– 1 x sheet of plastic canvas
About $4 for an A4 sheet, this is to help keep structural integrity for your eyeholes.
– 2 x plastic dinner plates that match the circumference of your cylinder
– 1 x small polystyrene ball (if you can buy them in red, do it. If not, buy some red paint.)

STEP ONE.
Take your foam and measure out a rectangle 90cm x 80cm. Cut.

STEP TWO.
Curl the rectangle into a cylinder and hotglue the ends firmly together. I recommend pinching them together until the glue sets so that it soaks through the cells of the foam. After doing this, cut the hole for your head. Mine was 20cm wide and gives me just a wee bit too much room, but you’ll have to adjust this to your own head size. Just keep trying it on until it works for you and keep in mind the foam is pretty flexible.

You should end up with something like this.

STEP THREE.
Next task is to cut a space for you to see through! Put the head on and use a sharpie or pen to mark the rough level your eyes are at. Then mark the 40cm point at the head (the middle) and cut a wee rectangle something like 15cm across to see out of. Don’t make it too big, though.

STEP FOUR.
Take your plastic canvas and cut out a rectangle that will just overlap the hole you made for your eyes. This will make sure that the hole isn’t obvious and it helps to preserve the structural integrity of the cylinder. Hotglue it down around the edges and then cut a small amount out again for your eyes as the canvas is a little hard to see through.

STEP FIVE.
Cover your Katamari head as per your cousin! Once you’ve done the base, cut out the rectangle around the eyeholes.

STEP SIX.
Take the tricot fabric and cut out two pieces 20cm x 25cm. This is for your cousin’s face. Pin them at a suitable level and make sure you’ve got them centered (40cm mark). This photo was taken with only one layer of the fabric that I bought and because it is so obviously see-through, I used a second layer. Depending on the fabric you have, this may or may not be necessary. Hotglue it down, making sure you keep the fabric taut if stretchy.

Two layers!

STEP SEVEN.
Cut a square of yellow felt just slightly larger than the peach tricot square you cut out, measure 3cm in from the border and cut. This is the frame for your cousin’s face. Use the rest of the felt to arrange your Katamari cousin’s face accordingly– you may want to look up a reference of what their face usually looks like. Though they’re pretty much all happy… all the time…

STEP EIGHT.
Take your polystyrene cone and cover it in yellow felt, hotgluing the bottom by making wee cuts every 1cm or so.

Glue this to your cousin’s head. Then take your polystyrene ball, paint it red and glue it to the top of your cone. The antennae is done!

My flatmate was playing Ratchet and Clank 2. But that’s unimportant.

STEP NINE.
Finishing touches! Decorate your cousin’s head appropriately, take the two dinner plates and cover them with the right coloured fleece. If you want the ends slightly rounder, take some dacron or stuffing and insert it between the plate and the fleece for volume. Hotglue them to the hollow ends of your cousin’s head– these will also help you keep a solid cylinder shape.

My slightly unfinished but extremely blindness-inducing cousin head.

AND SO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN KATAMARI COUSIN. Wear it out. Go to the shops. Roll some stuff up.

I was going to do a post on Lightning’s gloves instead, but since I don’t have enough photos, SERAH’S SHOES IT IS. Serah seriously has the most frustrating shoes in existence. For one, they have a small heel, but then they also have black soles, sawtooth lacing, an odd tan colour, a weirdly odd hi-top and… well, you get the picture. Literally.

Actually, her shoes were what scared me the most about the costume (apart from the chiffon shift) simply because they were so simple but so easy to screw up. So, the first step was to acquire a pair of shoes that I could mess around a bit with. In the end I got a pair of plain white sz 38 Converse-lookalikes off TradeMe, which were perfect due to the lack of the silly Converse logo on the sides of their hi-tops.

Something like these, although mine were a weird Chinese brand.

Next step was to make them tan! Having had mixed results with Dylon dyes before (and many, many stressfits), I wanted to try a different brand of dye that’d hopefully have better results. Since the shoes were made out of canvas and therefore a natural fibre, I went with the Procion MX Acid dyes which actually turned out to be extremely awesome. They were easy to use, quick to fix/set and the colour was really vibrant… a little too vibrant, actually. For Serah’s shoes, I picked their Straw colour, though in hindsight I should’ve fixed a duller tone because they ended up too yellow. This problem arose from picking a colour off an old coloursheet! So always be careful.

For the New Zealanders using this blog, I bought mine from Tillia Dyes & Fabrics which had great customer service, plus they have a wee dying tutorial on their website which was really useful! Postage was fast and they have a pretty decent range of colours to choose from as well. Plus they supply soda ash at a very reasonable price (which is needed for fixing the acid dye.) So, the shoes! They were dyed, but turned out a bit too yellow, after much deliberation.

GOSH MY FLOOR IS MESSY

Since Serah’s shoes are much duller/tan than this sorta beige colour, I spent a long time trying to figure out what I could do to dull them. It was a week before the convention, so ordering more dye would be useless as it wouldn’t get to me in time, plus then there’s the drying/fixing stage– so, as a last resort, I dyed the shoes with tea. Plain black tea. I was EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL about whether or not this would work, but it actually turned them amazing! The exact colour I wanted.

Here’s the method I used for tea dying.

1.) First, soak all the fabric and make sure it’s wet through. Warm water is probably best, though I think I did mine in cool. This is to help the dye adhere evenly to the fabric.
2.) Get a vessel that’ll fit the item you’re dying and put in about a litre of warm/hot water, as well as half a teaspoon of salt (to help fix the dye from the tea).
3.) Put in 3-4 teabags for a mild colouration and wait for them to steep. If you want an even colour on your fabric, remove the teabags before putting your item in the water.
4.) After that, I then kneaded the fabric for a wee while to make sure everything was mixed evenly, then I left them for about 6-7 hours with one teabag left sitting in the water.
5.) When they’re done, just wring them out and wait for them to dry!

Visibly duller, and everyone can go home happy.

After that ordeal, the next task was to make the soles black. Our Hope and I went through a number of options (as we both needed to somehow blacken the soles of our shoes) that we could go for. Acrylic was one, but it’s pretty poor at staying on when faced with friction, so that was ruled out. We were at the point of losing hope (PUN) when she discovered something magical– TYRE PAINT. Yes, the paint you use to make your car tyres all lovely and shiny. We used that on the soles of our shoes and it stayed on through the whole convention which was much more than I was expecting, and it had great coverage! I only wished it came it more colours, it’d be incredibly useful for other shoe alterations.

The laces were placed with black ones and then done up with the sawtooth method (though Serah’s have them going opposite sides!) A tutorial for this is here, with a pretty diagram that makes them way easy. (:



  • Lucy Morris: I'm super glad it was of use to you! Do you have any photos of your cousin? (:
  • DHB - Jaeger: Thank you for this tutorial. I "borrowed" a few ideas from it to make my own KD cosplay, which premiered last weekend ^_^
  • serafiki: I got them off of my country's local auction site, TradeMe. (:

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