What an exciting adventure to think about costuming my first musical. Of course I sew, but could I attempt something this big? Would I make the deadlines? Is my talent and skills enough to meet the task? Do you ask yourself these questions too? They used to always hold me back from saying yes. I didn’t often believe in myself, especially if it was a job type circumstance. Volunteer positions were low risk and easier to commit to.
I decided to go all in anyways, jumping in mid-musical season in 2017 to pull together remaining looks for the cast members of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. I was honored to be asked by my friend and thoroughly enjoyed working with her and these kids. Most of the main character costumes were rented at Costume Castle in Loveland Ohio. We rented Lumiere, Cogsworth, Gaston, Beast, and Mrs Potts, and a few others.
Still with gaps in our support cast, I learned how to reach out to local community theatres in our area to borrow costumes, form new relationships, and rent from a few local schools. I didn’t realize it then, but how valuable this information would be for me for years to come.
The world of costumes occasionally collide with props, and when you need a mask is it a prop or costume accessory? We searched all over for wolf looks for a few young boys who would end up taunting Belle in the Forrest. I made a wolf headpiece out of fur as my first attempt, thinking we would paint the kids’ faces and give them a tail. But then who would paint the faces on? I mentioned the idea to my super crafty husband, and within minutes Steven had a tangible solution to the Wolf costume.
USING EVA FOAM
Steven remembered he had referenced the Cannon website before for costume mask ideas, and so when he pulled up https://creativepark.canon/en/contents/CNT-0019398/index.html, we knew it was just what we needed!
With Steven’s knowledge of Eva foam construction (for how to videos we recommend watching Evil Ted on YouTube), he decided the masks would be more durable and stay low cost if made out of craft foam. He purchased the black, brown and white sheets of medium thick foam at Hobby Lobby, used the templates from Creative Park and adhered them with contact cement.
To give the masks a more real feel, we added felt manes to the back of each mask. I bought a yard of each color of felt, and hot glued the cut pieces to the back of the mask, while still allowing plenty of room to get them on one’s head. We tried them out on ourselves to make sure they worked!
Three masks were made, and one of those three was changed up a bit to become the lead Wolf. On his face, his colors were different, a scar was added to his eye, and his ear notched out as if in a fight. The masks were a huge success, were fun to play with, easy to see out of, and lightweight and durable.
We hope you’ll find the enjoyment of using this free pattern too for your musical, or personal use!
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