I’m working on a tree costume for Starshine. She’s going to be a disgruntled and morose British tree in a children’s play later this month. I’ve been working on her costume for a while now. This time, I’m pacing myself, being sure to take time for important things and time to rest. The elements I needed to include were a trunk, leaves, a bird’s nest, and baby birds that move.
For the trunk, I chose a brown stretch knit fabric that had a nifty pattern and lots of glitter. (This is Fairytale Land, after all!) I didn’t have a pattern in the style I wanted. So I had to create one from scratch. I had Starshine lay down on some brown packaging paper and traced out her body lines. I marked where her knees were because I wanted a very straight dress with a flair at the bottom…like a tree trunk and its root base. The sleeves I kept as small a diameter as possible but made them longer than her arms so she could cover her hands with the fabric. I couldn’t make the dress have a turtleneck like I wished. So instead, I cut out a simple head cover out of the leftover fabric that will cover her hair and neck.
For the leaves and treet0p, I created a leaf garland out of green sequin dot fabric and beading wire. It’s light-weight and should make very nice foliage. I’ll attach it to a brown, floppy-brimmed hat we used to use for our SCA events. I’m still working on how to extend some of the leaves out in many directions without making the hat top-heavy.
For the bird’s nest, I’m going to make an overly large scrunchy out of burlap and decorate it with twine and twigs and maybe some leaves. I wanted her to have complete mobility of her hand and not have to worry about the nest falling off during the performance.
The baby birds were a bit of a challenge. I thought right away to use a glove but how to make the fingers look like believable baby birds was another matter entirely! I ended up gluing lots of brown craft feathers to the fingers, enough to cover the color of the glove (though, I did use a black glove). I cut somewhat large triangles out of bright yellow felt and glued those to the tips of the fingers. The audience should have a nice view of those yellow beaks. I have a photo of the baby bird glove that I can share with you today.
Baby Birds for Tree Costume ~ The dress fabric is in the background and the burlap I’m using for the nest is wrapped around the bottom of the glove. It’s still just a piece of fabric right now but tomorrow should see it form into more of a scrunchie nest. 🙂
I still have a good bit of work left to do on this project but it’s coming along quite nicely! I hope you’ve enjoyed this update. I’ll share more photos as the project progresses. If you’re in the area and would like to see the play, it will take place at the Eunice Players Theater in Eunice, LA on June 25-28 @ 7 pm and the matinee performance will be on June 29 @ 2 pm.
“Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on.” ~River Phoenix