Fandango Costume

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For my giant candy corn, I cut two big kernels out of some blue styrofoam. I used an exact knife and finishing sander to shape them into two nice dull fangs.

I tried tearing some fabric strips into hair, but the strands were a frayed mess, so I switched plans.

I was overjoyed to find the cheap paper at Wishing Well on my lunch break.  I unrolled ten yards for $5.

When I was in line at the checkout, I noticed they were having a costume contest on Saturday. This was a full week before Halloween. I asked what the prize was for the best costume.

The cashier feigned excitement,  "$10!".

After work, with the help of our hydraulic paper cutter, I stacked and cut the paper into a hundred strips, two inches wide by six feet long.

The strands looked really good, but I didn't know how best attach the hair so it could withstand some hair-pulling. Staples? Hot glue? Hair plugs? a Scrunchie?

I screwed two pvc uprights to the backpack frame, and pieced together a crossbeam.

With two sprinkler heads, I could have saved that back lawn.

The plan was to have the paper bag supported above my head on a sheet of thin plywood. 

I drilled and zip-tied the plywood to the crossbeam, creating a sturdy hinged flap.

Halloween 2005 fell on a Monday, which meant that potential costume contests were on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. The only contest I knew about at this point was the giant Zone Ball held each year at Cal Expo in Sacramento. The top prizes in the costume contest were $500, $1,000 and $2,500 cash. 

I had finished fourth last year with the Dr. Octopus costume, and I did not have great confidence the Fandango bag could finish better than that.

Here are the two dome-shaped push lights, now painted black, inside the tupperware. They looked great!

Because the clear plastic was textured, it was not as crystal clear as I wanted, but glass would have been expensive and fragile. My solution was to apply a bit of corn oil to the plastic, which rendered it a bit more transparent.

In this photo, hopefully you can see it. The googlie-eye on the left has oil applied, the eye on the right does not have oil, which makes the black pupil a bit more blurry.

Shoving the backpack supports into the bag was a hassle. There was no good way to support the bag while it was open. It just collapsed under its own weight. I was hesitant to glue up the side-folds because it would eliminate my best access to the back of the face.

please continue reading page 4 of the fandango costume.

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November 8th, 2005.  

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