Monday, October 31, 2011

Measure Twice, Cut Once part 2- My Halloween DIY projects

Back in August I posted (here) about my adventures into the do-it-yourself world of Halloween costume making. 

To recap, 
Joel Zimmerman, AKA Deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse") is one of my favorite house music producers. He is characterized by wearing a giant mouse head at all of his shows.

My vision finally came to life this past weekend after countless hours of preparation.

I found an instructable that actually walked you step by step on how to make one of these bad boys. (Read it here to give you a detailed description of what I went through!)
The author of the instructable, Intrica, was quick to answer questions of fellow Mau5-makers, and her detailed instructions helped make life 10x easier. 

I will say that I underestimated the amount of time, effort, and pre-planning that needed to be put in. 

It was hard, y'all.

Here are some abbreviated step-by-step photos of beginning to end.

Step 1:  I measured and cut the globe to make the mouth, and cut the small globe to make the eyes.

I used a dremel and was covered in tiny acrylic bits by the time I was finished. And kinda smelled like burnt plastic.

Step 2: I used high-density construction foam and cut out strips to make the lip, and cut out 4 ear shapes. I glued the lip to the mouth opening, and glued two of those foam ear pieces together in between a threaded rod. 
I had to cut out channels in the foam for the rods, and was covered with little bits of foam by the end of this step.

After the ears dried I drilled two holes in the head and attached the ears with a wing nut and fender washer. Now we're starting to look like a mouse!! 

Step 3: I covered the ears with a four-way stretch fabric and used Stitch Witchery to steam the sides together to make it nice and smooth. To hold stretched in place while steaming, I used sewing pins and then cut off the extra after it was secured. 
For the hat, you have to make holes in the sides so that you can attach/adjust the ears inside the helmet. Otherwise you can't get to the wing nut. So, I busted out the dremel again. I must say that hard hats are challenging to cut! 
After it was cut I used a mixture of hot glue and gorilla glue to secure it in place inside the globe. It wouldn't stick initially, so I ended up gluing the helmet to a small piece of the foam, then securing the foam into the globe. 

By the end of this process I was covered with small strings of hot glue. I looked like a spiderweb. 

Step 5: Covering the head in fabric was the most challenging part of this entire process. I used a four-way stretch fabric so it would stretch in all directions, but keeping it smooth with no creases was a pain in the $%&. It took a good 4-5 hours of stretching, holding, gluing, taking off and redoing. If you don't have patience, you may want to call someone to come over and keep you calm. Because it's maddening. 

I don't have any photos of this portion of the process because quite frankly the last thing on my mind at 2AM after scuffling with this fabric for 5 hours was taking a photo.

Step 6: The mouth was cut out from a mesh food cover dome and covered in a chiffon/nylon fabric. You can get the dome at Chinese markets. I cut out the shape of the mouth with wire cutters,spray painted it black, then covered the edges with electrical tape. Then I covered the mouth with the fabric trying to keep it as smooth as possible. 
I stuck the mesh into the mouth opening by attaching a few small screws into the foam lip.

Step 7: The eyes were the fun part, because I bought battery-powered neon to go inside them so that they'd glow. I also used small purple rhinestones to make the eyes with, instead of just black stripes. 
I stuck the neon through a previously-drilled eye hole and wrapped it around some aluminum foil to make the light reflect brightly. I glued the white eyes on top, and secured the battery pack inside the globe with double-sided velcro.

I added a rhinestone crown to the top to give my head a little feminine touch. 

This is Intrica's photo, giving you an idea to show how it looked pre-eye placement since I forgot to take a photo
Finished product

We went to a Halloween party and I felt like a complete celebrity. I was surprised at how many people knew who Deadmau5 was, and I was bombarded with people wanting to take pictures with me all night!

Prateek's costume was also a DIY - he went as the MetroPCS Indian guy from Tech&Talk commercials.

After I finished my Deadmau5 I felt like I had so much extra time on my hands! So, I finally broke down and joined Pinterest where I found inspiration for a few other DIY Halloween projects.


Owl Cupcakes

Fabric Wreath

I doubt that I will ever top this year's costume. But, at this rate, who knows WHAT I'll have up my sleeve by the time Christmas comes around!


  1. holy crap, Mary!! That costume is amazing!!!

  2. Do you have a list of all the materials you used by chance? I am trying to look up many different lists so I can judge them for myself. If so that would be greatly appreciated.

  3. It's a long list! I used the list provided on this instructable -

    I made adjustments based on materials that were/weren't available in my area, and had to buy some things online. The beauty of making it is you can do it however you want! Good luck!

  4. Awesome Mau5head, this was mine from last Halloween

    1. Nice!! I love the blue and black combo, and love the blue mouth!

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