Andryn Arithson’s goldfish puppets

Tips & Tricks for Creating Your Halloween Costume

Note: Enter our Power of Costume contest and you could be one of the FIRST to see Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume. Contest ends Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. May the Force be with you!

The Denver Art Museum Costume Studio opens in November. We asked local designers who will be participating in our Weekend Demonstrating Artist program for tips on how to create an unforgettable Halloween costume (which you can wear to Untitled Final Friday) Below are their top five tips:

  1. Forget the rules: The number one advice we heard is to let your personality shine. Kathleen Sherman, a local mask maker, notes, "This is the one time of year that encourages you to be as creative and outrageous as possible. Take advantage of it and allow yourself to become a kid again. There are no rules that you need to follow."
  2. Consider the weather: Whether you plan to spend your Halloween trick-or-treating or at a party, consider the conditions you and your costume will be enduring. Keep in mind that it might be cold outside and maybe a little hot inside, so have your costume match the occasion. “Most of all,” Kathleen says, “enjoy the chance to become someone (or thing) that you've never been before. Have fun!”
  3. Shop your closet: Are you on budget? Can’t seem to find the perfect costume in-store? Get inspired with materials you already have. Take a look at what’s in your closest or at items lying around the house. Kathleen says: “No need to spend a lot of money. I'm a great believer in using what's available: paper plates, colored paper, odd buttons, old jewelry, feathers, fabric and fur, and always remember—glitter!
  4. Pay attention to details: Local puppeteer Andryn Arithson said, The best costumes have details that help bring out the personality of the character. If you were to be the Queen of Hearts, try incorporating playing cards into your costume (such as on the belt buckle, shoe buckle, crown, or scepter). On that note, props make characters more complete. What would your character carry with them?”
  5. Don’t forget makeup: Sometimes makeup is all you need for the perfect costume. If you’re feeling fantastical, creature-like, or spooky, decorative makeup will make your costume come to life. Check out these tips for zombie makeup. FYI, if you're planning on dressing up for Untitled Final Friday, keep in mind that full face paint is not allowed.

Colleen Audrey will be in the Costume Studio in March and April 2017 showing how to do costume makeup. Photo courtesy Colleen Audrey.

LEARN MORE: Schedule of Weekend Artist Demos in the Costume Studio.


Top image: Andryn Arithson’s goldfish puppets, paper-mache, wood glue, wire, toilet paper rolls (for the scales), hot glue, feathers, foam and acrylic paint. Photo courtesy Andryn Arithson.

Holly Nordeck is a program facilitator in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum. She loves the museum’s modern and contemporary art collection.

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