Friday, 10 February 2012
Everything is better with beads, especially costumes! Whether the occasion is to celebrate Mardi Gras, Halloween or a New Years' masquerade gala, everything is better with a dash or three of beadery!
A belly dancer's costume is the perfect canvas for extra beadwork! Whether you are adding a pre-fabricated strip of dangly bead embellishment or shiny, jingly coins, this costume will be the hit of the festivities! The idea with a belly dancing costume is to make it as tacky as possible. Garish and over-the-top is necessary for this outfit to look its most authentic. Be sure to include a beaded headband, lots and lots of jewellery, and tinkling, metal anklets on both legs.
For jewellery, the belly dancer's costume can carry really wild, elaborate items! Bead embroider a necklace from a piece of suede cloth that has been studded with gemstone cabochons. Use flashy gold and oil slick seed beads and bugles to make something amazing.
You can even use bead embroidery on the wispy skirt for extra flash.
Many other costumes lend themselves well to bead embellishment such as ballerina, princess, fairy, butterfly, vampire, 1920s flapper, tooth fairy, bag lady, 1950s housewife, crazy cat lady, hoarder, corpse, renaissance-style, and zombie to name a few.
Make your own baubles for truly custom costume fun, but really neat items can also be found in charity shops. Be sure to clean them using a mild soap and water before wearing or refashioning them into something else.
Goth, vampire and renaissance costumes look really great with period pieces designed by weaving crystals and drops. Using Czech fire polished beads and right angle weave or netting, design really stunning pieces of jewellery you will want to wear long after the party is finished.
Use leather cord to fashion barbed wire jewellery. Twist strips together, then wrap and tie smaller strips of leather to the twists, leaving small tails to resemble barbs. Decorate with red beads to mimic droplets of blood, if desired.
Layers of chains with charms in the shapes of crosses, keys and hearts also work well for these costumes. Affix crystals to the chains for extra colour and style.
For corpse and zombie costumes, anything goes, although something that looks dusty and dirty would probably complete the look more nicely.
If you would like to be a corpse bride, you can even fashion a circlet or headband using wire and beads to wear as a wedding tiara.
If you are in need of mummy jewellery, you could go Egyptian with elaborate neckpieces and cuff or slave bracelets, or armlets. Try using organza ribbon and stringing or knotting Czech fire polished beads for billowy trinkets.
Ballerinas, fairies, butterflies and tooth fairies all look great with crystals in varying shades. For fairies or costumes for characters that fly, keep the design lightweight. Use multiple strands of monofilament and string baubles on each one. Space the beads so they are not too close together, and use epoxy or superglue to hold them in place on the monofilament. The idea is to stagger the stash treasures on the strands so they do not lie together. The beads should give the appearance of floating around your neck.
For crazy cat lady, hoarder, bag lady and flapper costumes, it is fun to go crazy with both long strand and multiple short strand necklaces. Choose large or small beads, or combinations of the two. Make long necklaces, or several short ones.
Flappers have a distinctive look that everyone recognizes, but the crazy cat lady, hoarder and bag lady costumes do not. Those outfits can be strictly on your terms. Wear as many items of jewellery as you possibly can. Every finger should have a ring, especially large cocktail rings that you make yourself from wire and stash treasures. Both wrists should be festooned with numerous bracelets. String or weave your own bracelets, or buy blank metal bangles and wrap them with seeds and small crystals so they match your ensemble. Create several necklaces with fire polished amulets of varying sizes, and wear them all at once. Earrings can be any style you enjoy.
If making entirely new jewellery does not seem feasible, simply decorate a mask with beads. Masks of all types can be found in most craft stores. Embroider baubles to the surface, or use glue to hold everything in place and pave the surface of the mask with seed beads, cabochons and bugles.
No matter what you plan to be for your next masquerade ball, your costume will look smashing with your very own beaded designs. Happy haunting, and happy beading!