woodland creature costumes

48 hours and $48 to create an original character!

An insanely fun creative challenge for you and your friends! 

48 & 48!  Where you have 48 hours and $48 to create an original character!  It’s sort of a cosplay meets thrifting and crafters dream come true.

This project  would be fun for friends, or a girls weekend, or even a bachelor or bachelorette weekend for those not as inclined to nightlife and partying, or could even be done through zoom with your friends if they live far away.  It could also be simplified and adapted as a party idea for older kids or teenagers.

Myself, along with three of my greatest friends set out to transform one of us into a majestical… something or other! Between the four of us we have a pretty large array of art and crafting skills, but even if you don’t, I encourage you to roll up your sleeves and see what you can make happen!  It will be an adventure no matter the outcome!

We met up for breakfast, to come up with a game plan.  We hit the thrift store first for some inspiration. We originally planned on making just one costume and dressing up Ashley, (The tall stag in the corner!) but, we found so many great pieces and so many great deals, that we all ended up morphing into human/ animal hybrids.  So we had 48 hours and $48 each to spend.  If you aren’t a fast crafter, or you feel overwhelmed, start with just one costume, because I would by lying if I told you it wasn’t a push to get everything done in time, and we had to cut more corners than we would have if we had more time or were focusing on just one costume.

The first inspiration piece we found was a werwolf mask that we thought we could use as a snout and ears for a deer, but little did we know, that mask would work it’s way into nearly all of our costumes.  Once we decided an anthropomorphic theme, the ideas came rolling in.  Soon there was a bunny, and raccoon and ram roaming wild in the isles of Arc.  We found nearly everything we needed there.  The only exceptions were the horns that we picked up at Goodwill, and a few odds and ends that came from Walgreens. We went with a touch of a victorian, or old time feel to unify us together.  Here is a list of what we got for each costume and what we ended up using it for if we altered it:

Werwolf Mask: Used for Ears
Antler Decorations: Put on a headband for antlers
Fur Infinity scarf: Warn around her head
Blanket:  Cut and used as shawl
Candle holders and decor: used to make a staff
Lace Dress
Gold stretch pants
Brown driving gloves
Fur hat: made into fur for hooves

Vintage Dress
White Coat
Victorian Hat
Slippers: Made into ears
Mask:  Used to make bunny face

Lace Dress
victorian hat
Furry cow leg warmers: used to make into tail
Mask: same mask that made the bunny mask, made the raccoon nose
Werewolf mask: used for fur on ears and nose

Military jacket
Werewolf mask: used for beard fur
Fur Vest: Turned into Ram Pants

We also used plenty of things we had on hand. I encourage you to do so and use whatever resources you already have:  We had paint, makeup, hot glue, wire, foam, a sewing machine, a green bustle, and a fancy pink wig, that we incorporated into our looks.

Even if all you have is some tape, scissors and cardboard, go for it!  I have seen the most amazing things created with very few supplies, and lot of creativity.  One of the most beautiful art shows I have seen in my entire life was portraits of nudes made out of nothing more than layers of masking tape on cardboard and pencil.  That show to this day has inspired me to create no matter what limitations I may be facing.  Heck if the $48 is too much, work a budget that you can handle, or use what you already have. Don’t be afraid to repurpose your stuff, or ask your friends and neighbors if they have old clothes or supplies that they’d be willing to let you use.  

Anyway, back to our craft weekend:
Mirelle quickly became the time-manager and ring leader of the group, partially because we were crafting in her beautiful space, and she has fancy sewing equipment  (She has a jealousy invoking craft castle in her back yard… well technically it’s a shed… but no, really it’s a castle.) She also has a brain that runs a million miles an hour and by the time I’ve poured some paint onto a tray, I’m pretty sure she has planned out nine different ways to take over the world.

All of us work really well together, and helped each other with all aspects of the project.  Kelly really shinned when it came to brainstorming and to putting the makeup on, she had a a lot of knowledge and skill, really pulling us through that last stage of costuming when our gas tanks were running low.

Now for the cameras!  We enlisted the help of photographer Hallie Semonin. We then tromped through the snow and did our best top model impersonations with frozen fingers as she snapped away and we tried to squeeze the last few minutes of light out of the day.  Then back to the craft castle where Ashley hit the runway and stole the show, and Mirelle showed her first sign of weakness and the deer in headlights wasn’t the deer at all, it was in fact the rabbit. After some good laughs she pulled through, and I think we all made a little something to be proud of!

I can only hope this truly becomes an annual event, as it was truly a highlight of my year!

-Deanna Wardin-

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