Halloween 2014: The Corpse Bride

Due to some forthcoming nuptials between Toby and I, I wanted to go as some sort of bride for Halloween this year. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride seemed pretty cute so that was the winner. I had originally planned to make the entire wedding dress from scratch, but after visiting the fashion district downtown and finding an extremely cheap dress that was generally the same shape as Emily’s, I decided to just enhance that one and save the time and frustration that usually accompanies sewing for me.

The Corpse Bride

Original Dress

First the beading had to be stripped off the dress and the corset needed to be covered in lace. I didn’t care if the non-delicate way I shaved off the beading with a saw ripped up the corset since I’d be covering, aging and distressing it anyways. I made sure to create the correct shape of the front of the dress with the new piece of lace.

Sawing off the beading  Overlaying the lace

Lace overlay

Adding the Lace on Make A Gif

After shredding the bottom of the dress and cutting the slit up the middle, discoloring it was handled in a very simple way – brown and black acrylic paint mixed with water in a spray bottle sprayed all over the dress, and also painted on by brush.  To get the hint of blue I picked up some blue fabric dye spray. This is a lot easier than dying the dress the usual way, however, the spritzer drips a lot of dye from the nozzle and gets a little messy. It’s also not a very even way to dye fabric, but for this costume, I wasn’t worried about it looking messy – the idea is to really go nuts distressing it… the girl did crawl out of the grave after all.

Aging the dress on Make A Gif

Color added to corset

Color added to bottom

Blue fabric dye spray and acrylic paint spray

Next, swirly vines were painted on the gown with dark blue 3D fabric paint. I brushed it on with a small paint brush and let it dry for a while. A hole in the corset where her ribs pop out was then added. The ribs were created with small pieces of thin pvc that I had laying around my shop. They were aged down to dull the bright white and glued onto the dress with a hot glue gun.

Extreme aging and ribs added

Not really photographed is the veil… basically it’s just a piece of tattered tule, aged down to match the dress and fitted with a flower headpiece that was dyed in the same way as the dress. It was attached to the wig, which was purchased at Aahs, and then aged with the same acrylic spray.

The makeup part of all this was fun. As usual, I visited my favorite makeup store for the right face paint, Frends Beauty Supply and got some basics to make this work. In addition to the face, I painted bones on my arm and leg. I picked up some little white shoes – Despite being a stickler for accuracy I opted for flats so I could comfortably walk around the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival all night.

Corpse selfie  Painting my arm

The final costume

 The night was fun, even when it began down pouring rain on the 300,000 people that were there. The scene was quite surreal as people in all sorts of costumes ran through the streets cheering for the rain and trying to keep dry. The rain kind of cut the night short, but it was all good. We did the same thing the next night anyways for our engagement party!

Toby and I  Engagement party!