The girls have their first ever play performance of the Little Mermaid Jr., coming up next month. Being the maker that I am I couldn't wait to jump in a help with sets and costumes. Over the course of the month I ended up making some sea and lagoon creatures and a 10 foot long ship (with the help of my brother, father and husband who helped to build the frame.
The ship was by far the most time consuming and frustrating. I had a friend of mine how works at Home Depot rescue as much sign board and cardboard as she could and pile it up in my garage. Then I sat there looking at the pile for weeks trying to figure out how on earth I was going to build a ship that would hold five kids and look good form both the side and front angle. I ended up enlisting the help of my brother, father and husband to construct a wooded frame. I popped off to work one day and when I got home there was the frame and ribs of a 10 foot long ship. From there we just got in the groove and while we tweaked the frame and added on a rear level and a mast I also cut the panels out of sign board and painted them too look like wooden planks. I constructed the anchor out of cardboard and paper mache. The wheel was a supplied to us from an art house and was constructed out of foam. Once we had it all assembled we had to take it all apart and rebuild it at the school since it was too large to get in the van or even through the school door. Once on the stage we added casters so the student could roll it on and off stage.
On to the costumes.
Using an existing fish hat that we already had in the costume trunk I adjusted and made a new hat based on it. I ended up with an orange and white fish and a blue and yellow one. Along with those I made fleece arm sleeves with semi transparent fins hanging from them made out of sheer material.
I also constructed a seahorse hat/backpack that sits on your head and stretches down your back, worn both like a hat and a backpack at the same time. I didn't have a pattern for this one or any idea how it would turn out. I think it was a success in the end. And when you're not wearing it, it makes for a great cuddly stuffie.
Next up was a frog. The hat was fairly simple and I decided to use the remaining material to make froggie gloves. I think the gloves were my favourite part of the costume.
I had a shark costume I had made for my husband one Hallowe'en (He was a Rhett and Link Clown Shark) that I repurposed as a costume for the play.
The seagulls all had white shirts and brimmed hats with feathers glued to them. I finished these costumes off by sewing orange fleece leggings with bird toed feet that was elasticized on top of the actors feet.
Lastly I whipped up a snail costume made from two pairs of leggings sew into a long tube and rolled up to make the shell, which was then worn like a backpack. The hat I modeled after a balaclava and added a headband inside to attach the garden wire eye stalks to. Add a nice brown or tan pair of shorts and kaboom...you're a snail.
It all looked amazing in the end, the kids loved it, and we received many wonderful comments on how awesome the ship looked. On closing night after the show we dismantled the ship again to get it ready for shipping it off to another school who is doing the same performance. Many of the costumes went along too.
The performance was amazing. I am so proud of my girls for getting up and performing in their school play and I loved being a part of it all.
Here is a catalog of my creative adventures and experiments