Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to Make Sydney's Bubble Bath Costume

I've gotten a lot of comments in the Happy Halloween from Tokyo blog entry, messages on Facebook & emails and nearly 25 people have written me via the "Contact Katie" form on the right side of the page asking how I made the girls' costumes...so tonight I'm going to post the step-by-step instructions on the bubble bath costume.

The girls took pictures of our progress, so I'll include those to help give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.

Soon I will post the instructions for the spaghetti and meatballs costume. Last year I wrote the instructions for Keanna's
bucket of popcorn costume and Sydney's movie ticket costume.

It's simple, I promise, just a little time consuming! Gambatte (try your best/good luck) if you make this next year!

Here are the supplies you'll need, and what they cost me.

  • clean styrofoam cooler from the fish market- $0
  • bag of pillow stuffing (300 grams) - $5
  • bag of 200 cotton balls - $2
  • shower cap - $1
  • back brush (or any accessory for that matter) - $4
  • rubber ducks - $0
  • rubber ducky sponge - $1
  • bath tub letters/numbers for outside of the tub - $0
  • slippers, slippahs or flip flops - $0
  • hot glue gun with a lot of glue - $3
  • white scrap material or a white pillow case - $0
  • for a grand total of $16
First step is to cut the bottom out of the cooler. I used an old steak knife and it worked fine. Next are the straps that'll hold the cooler up. I cut the pillow case on the lengthwise seams (so I had one large rectangle and made two 2" wide straps). Use the hot glue gun to glue the straps on the inside front, and criss-cross them and glue them on the back. Have your child hold the cooler around his/her waist so you know the right length. Glue cotton balls on the straps to hide them. I used 200 on the straps and shower cap. Well, 199 because I burned myself on one and got so ticked off that I threw it away!

I took the rest of the pillow case and hot glued it to cover the surface of the cooler. I glued about 1" below the top edge and went all the way around. The batting will rest on this. In retrospect I wish I glued the pillow case around the edges before putting the cotton balls on the straps. It wasn't a big deal, but probably would have been easier. Once the entire surface is covered cut a round hole for Peter to fit through. I made it big enough for her head, then cut slits on the four sides of the circle. I found that the best way to put the costume on is to hold it over her head and put iton like a shirt; it's easier than having her step into it.

I started putting hot glue down on the pillow case and piling the batting on top of it until it covered the whole surface. The batting will come loose, so I put glue in random areas to help keep it together. Let some "over flow" over the side and put hot glue down to keep it in place.

Find some bath toys, rubber ducks, etc. and hot glue them to the top. We have two bigger ones and one tiny one, so I put the smallest one on the cotton balls on the shoulder strap and the two larger ones in the batting. I found a rubber ducky sponge at the ¥100 store (like the dollar store in the U.S.), hot glued his feet and butt and stuck him in the back making it look like he was standing up. We have these animals with letters inside (a giraffe with a "G" inside) so I took the letters and used those and hot glued them to the outside of the tub. If you can't find letters or numbers for the bath, look for magnets, that's what I used when I made Keanna's a few years ago (see last paragraph).

In my opinion the accessories make the whole thing come together, so when I was buying the cotton balls I looked and found the shower cap and back brush. Anything you have will work, but the cost of both was so low that I bought them, and I have a brand new back brush now! My neighbor, Sarah, gave Sydney a small bottle of bubbles to blow, and you can see [in the first picture at the top] that she's holding them but forgot to open them up. Sarah thought having bubbles floating up around her would be cute and it hadn't occurred to me. Thanks Sarah!

the costume contest at the New Sanno in Tokyo on the 25th Sydney wore a pair of shorts, a bathing suit top and slippers, but on Halloween she wore jeans and a white sweater with sneakers.

I actually made this costume for Keanna in 2006 while we were in Hawaii, so she went out with the bathing suit on and slippahs (Hawaii's way of saying "flip flops"). I did a better job this time around and felt like it came together a lot easier.

Here's Keanna in the costume the first time I attempted it. I didn't do the pillow case lining then, but I got a piece of felt instead and attached it on the left and right sides letting it kind of drape around her. The way I did it with Sydney's was much better and certainly more sturdy, and it was actually easier with the larger cooler too.


Anonymous said...

Mahalo nui loa! I want to make this for my daughter next year.

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Alyssa said...

This is so gorgeous and unique. I just wanted to let you know I have a kids activities submission site (www.simply-creative-kids.com) and I am linking to this post if you don't mind. You are welcome to submit your projects to my site if you'd like!