Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Phoenix Rising

About a month ago, the conversation turned to Halloween costumes. Magoo and his buddies threw out some ideas and somehow Magoo landed on a Phoenix - a fire red bird that rises from its own ashes. Most kids know it from Harry Potter. I thought it was a super cool idea and one of the great things about Magoo is once he settles on something - he settles on it.

So I started to sketch. Now, I probably should say how very giddy I am about this whole thing. I decided long along that I wasn't going to force my craftiness down my child's throat. If he wanted to wear a plastic Power Ranger Costume from Cheap-Mart, I was going to let him do it because it's his Halloween - it's his time. And there certainly have been years when I haven't had to do a thing to make his costume. Last year he was Indiana Jones so we threw some stuff together and I bought a whip and hat. The year before he borrowed his friend's Darth Vader costume. But this year - this year I get to go whole hog craftastic and I'm loving it!

I did some mask making in my younger years so I knew just what to do.

Step 1: Make a cardboard skull cap to fit Magoo's noggin.

Step 2: Using wire, wire mesh, and cardboard - form bird head. (This is a fairly tricky step.)

Step 3: Paper mache'.

You can see that I've started the paper maching process on the far side. I like to use brown paper grocery bags and mod-podge. I used plastic Easter eggs for the round eye forms.

After the paper mache' was dry, I painted it white with gesso.

Then I pulled out my ancient acrylic paints and started painting. I used a photo of a hawk to help with the shading of the beak and eyes.

I planned to cover the back with red feathers but it's still a good idea to paint it red. Then you don't have to worry about complete feather coverage or a feather falling out and exposing a patch of white. Nothing kills the idea of a firey Phoenix more than bald patches!

Here's a well-lit shot of the finished project.

I also added some red sequins around the eyes b/c the fabric I bought for the wings is fairly glittery. Magoo is going to be a disco-fabulous Phoenix, for sure! But he likes it so far so I'm tickled pink.


Angela said...

That mask is super-awesome! He is one lucky kid!

Robin said...

That is STUNNING! If I had that I would wear it all the time!

Julie_c said...

Robin - I can totally picture it!

Jay said...

see, my issue is that I WANT MY KIDS TO HAVE AWESOME costumes. Now, I have no idea how to sew and fudge it but come on.... I lived with the plastic costumes and feel the pressure to step it up. If they would let me make masks, I would have a sit in at your house ASAP. Magoo is very lucky and so are you that he doesn't yet want a plastic costume.