Bird mask, jester shoes and playing with muslin

Recently I have been helping out with some costumes for a high school musical production of "Once Upon a Mattress"  Mostly it has been doing alterations and minor mending but I did get to do a couple fun projects.  My special additions were making a head piece for the Nightingale and goofy shoes for the Jester.  To do both I used a method, that I have not really played with much until recently, of taking muslin fabric and hardening it with white glue.  It is pretty easy but a bit messy.  But those of you that know me know that I love a good messy project.
To start I found something to form my pieces around.  For the bird I used a hat form that could sit on the actor head securely.  And for the jester shoes I used an old pair of shoes that the actor donated to the cause.  I cut small strips of muslin and started to glue them to the form.  After I created a layer of fabric I covered the whole piece with glue.  I continued this process a few times to make sure the piece would be stable.  I also started increasing the size of the pieces so there would be fewer lines in the finished product.

 After the glue is dry and I am happy with the structure it is time for finishing work.  For the bird mask I trimmed the fabric to make the eye holes where I wanted them.  This is a great thing about working with muslin, you can cut and form it very easily.  It is also still flexible so bending it and moving it around won't tear or break the same way that paper mache would. 

For the bird mask I painting the base the colors to match the costume and then hot glued on fabric pieces to give the appearance of feathers.  For the jester shoes I just painted them to match the existing costume.  And then there are two new pieces for the show that really took very little money or time completed.

I will try and get pictures of the actors in their gear this weekend during the show! 

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