On Friday we celebrated Keith’s 50th birthday in style. STAR WARS style.
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Coming to you a day later than usual (I’ve been helping out with a community project to do with coronavirus which I thought was more important than getting the linkup post out on time!), this was my first #dressupFriday. Luckily it coincided with Keith’s birthday, and as it was his 50th we knew we had to do something – within the rules of lockdown and StayAtHome – to celebrate.
In fact I think we had MORE fun than the original plans we had, which didn’t involve dressing up or anything Star Wars-related at all, really.
After I sent out a request on stories asking for ideas for ways to celebrate a lockdown birthday, a few suggestions came up for a Star Wars fancy dress party. And what do you think a 50-year-old man (who was 7 when Star Wars came out) will say when you ask him if he wants to do that for his birthday?
His wide-eyed answer: “OMG how am I going to make a lightsaber…?!!!”
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Making the costumes
Now, as I mentioned in my post featuring these outfits on Insta a couple of days ago, I’m a big fan of sh*t fancy dress. And by that I mean fancy dress that’s made out of any old sh*t, not sh*t fancy dress costumes!
Growing up, our family were big on fancy dress. Always, the whole family. And although I probably protested somewhat at wearing homemade costumes when all the other girls had pretty shop-bought fairy or princess costumes, I’m really glad that my parents encouraged us to make fancy dress costumes out of whatever you could find around the house. Because as they used to say to me:
“ONE DAY YOU WILL NEED THESE SKILLS IN THE APOCALYPSE!”[Joking, of course. Imagine if they HAD said that to us, now we’d be going Whoah you were right about fancy dress in the apocalypse, Mum and Dad…]
Seriously – we actually rose to the challenge of making two costumes out of whatever we had in the house. We never, ever buy pre-made costumes, but we do sometimes raid charity shops or order small things off eBay that help to get the costume right.
This time? Nothing from the outside world. Not a thing. We didn’t even start the costumes till the day itself – no planning. We just winged it.
I’d already decided I wanted to be Princess Leia, but thought that the dress she wore at the END of Star Wars Episode IV (see here) would be easier than her main outfit, as was the hair. (You just can’t get Chelsea Buns for love nor money in the apocalypse, no matter how long you’re prepared to wait in the queue at Tesco.)
I suggested Luke or Hans Solo to Keith, but then a light bulb went off because OF COURSE – he has grey hair and a beard: he HAD to be Obi Wan Kenobi (see here). It all depended upon whether we could find the brown Slanket I knew we had somewhere in the loft, or had we donated it to charity when we moved two years ago…?!
Both outfits involved a lot of tape, cardboard, silver foil, safety pins and on-the-fly chopping up of old bed sheets. (All the “sh*t stuff” I described.) Here’s what we did…
Princess Leia fancy dress costume
The dress: A white t-shirt, chiffon wide-leg trousers* (they come with a floaty panel bit on top) and a big piece of white fabric pinned under my armpits – I think it was protective packaging for something. I actually kept it specifically for fancy dress. It stuck out a bit as the fabric was somewhat stiff. I didn’t care.
The belt: A wide belt crossed over at the front and taped together, then wrapped in silver foil.
Boots: My new sparkly Madonna-in-Desperately-Seeking-Susan boots bought a few weeks ago (not yet worn)!
Jewellery: A silver necklace and bracelet from my collection.
Hair: Piled on top using a hair donut (remember them from a few years ago?) and some extensions pinned to hang down in a plait.
Mine was actually pretty easy: onto Keith…
Obi Wan Kenobi fancy dress costume
Hair: All his own silver. No intervention required.
Beard: His own, but it’s still quite dark so I painted it whiter with some Snazaroo face paint. It worked a TREAT.
Robe: We found the Slanket! As it comes with sleeves nothing needed doing, but it didn’t have a hood. We actually safety-pinned the bag the Slanket comes in to the back of his neck.
Dress (? or whatever the under bit was): An old white duvet cover we’d kept for painting and decorating. Cut off to the right length and the chopped bits used to make the Obi belt and hangy down bits. Kept all in place with a brown belt.
Top: A v-neck sweater worn backwards.
Boots: Model’s own.
Lightsaber: Probably the most creative part of both outfits. This was made from a long length of wooden dowel we found in the shed with a handle made of rolled up and taped thick cardboard that was then covered in silver foil. And the blue shiny stuff? You know when you buy white gloss furniture or kitchen cupboard doors, it comes with that blue protective film all over it? It’s that. We had about seven doors for the wardrobes in our dressing room, and I kept the blue film rolled up to make stuffing tubes for my knee-high boots – much cheaper than shop-bought ones. We just unrolled it (it’s sticky but not permanent sticky) and wrapped it round the dowel. HOW lucky were we that protective film is blue and Alec Guinness’s lightsaber was blue?! You can imagine Keith’s face when it was completed…
If you missed the groovy dancing videos on Instagram we made, check them out on this post (swipe left to see them). No you’re absolutely right, we have no shame.
And, I have to say, I think our outfits were FREAKIN’ AWESOME. We were PROUD 😉
What was YOUR most creative home-made fancy dress costume ever? Are you planning any fancy dress/dress up parties in lockdown? Tell me in the comments…
Stay home, stay safe XOXO
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