Note: This is a guest post written by my dear and crafty friend Stacey. I defer to her in all major craft projects.
I know its not Halloween yet, its not even time for most people to think about Halloween. However, we are traveling to Disney World at the beginning of October and will be attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. It’s a fantastic event where the whole family can dress up, trick or treat and hang out with your favorite characters in a significantly less busy Magic Kingdom. I knew I’d be making their costumes so I thought I’d get a head start and ask them what they wanted to be for Halloween. We always try to think of fun homemade halloween costume ideas. My daughter wants to be Rapunzel, which works out fantastic because we already own that dress. My son, however, is currently obsessed with Disney-Pixar’s Planes and Dusty Crophopper. Everything MUST be Dusty.
I looked online at Dusty costumes. The Disney Store one was a weird polyester suit that looked NOTHING like an airplane and the one at Target looked unwieldy and uncomfortable. Therefore, I decided to make him a simple, comfortable costume. Dusty is a pretty simple character, orange on top, small blue strip, white on bottom, large eyes, propeller and a Jolly Wrench logo. I can do this!
- White Cotton T-shirt (I bought mine from Walmart for $3.47)
- RIT dye in orange and turquoise
- Salt (1 cup for 1 bottle of dye)
- Soft Fabric Paint : white, blue, black, yellow
- Assorted Paintbrushes
- Cardboard piece
- Binder clips (optional)
Total time: 5 days — 2 days for dyeing, 3 days for painting (so give yourself some lead time!)
Day 1: Dip dyeing the top half of the shirt blue
I used my stainless steel kitchen sink, and wore an apron and kitchen gloves. I filled my sink approximately 1/3 full with hot water, dissolved ½ cup salt and mixed in half a bottle of turquoise dye. I didn’t want a dark turquoise on the shirt because I knew I was dyeing over most of it with orange and I didn’t want to create brown. I pinned the shirt where I wanted the blue to end, then I pinned where I wanted the orange to end (roughly 1 inch difference). I then dipped the freshly laundered white shirt collar-first into the dye being careful to dip it straight and to stop about ½ – 1 inch short of the pins (the dye will run). I dipped it twice for about 1 minute each time. Then I rinsed the blue (keep the shirt upside down, so the dye doesn’t run into the white part) until the water was clear. I laid the shirt outside on my drying rack overnight.
Day 2: Dip dyeing the top of the shirt orange (over the blue)
I followed the same procedure as before (water, salt, dye) but with orange dye. I knew this step would be longer because I was dyeing a turquoise shirt orange. I dipped the shirt in to about ½ – 1 inch above the pins (being sure I could see at least 1 inch of turquoise still). I held the shirt in the dye for about 2-3 minutes, checked the dye, dipped again for another 2-3 minutes. It seemed decent so I rinsed and rinsed, then dried the shirt overnight. (Day 2 ½ : My orange wasn’t as bright as I wanted it to be so I dipped the dry shirt in dye again (making a new solution) for about 5 more minutes. This gave me a nice bright orange that matched Dusty).
Day 3: Painting Dusty’s eyes
Before painting a shirt, find some cardboard and put inside it to keep any paint from seeping through to the back. My cardboard was thinner than the shirt and you really need a taught shirt to paint, so I grabbed a couple binder clips to stretch the fabric. I started with the largest and easiest part, the whites of his eyes. I painted it all freehand, but if you feel unsure with a brush, make yourself a freezer paper stencil. I’m not terribly artistic but Dusty didn’t seem to complex so I went for it. Paint 2-3 thin layers, let the paint dry between coats and then dry overnight before painting more.
Day 4: Painting more of Dusty’s eyes
I next painted the blue circles for the irises of his eyes, I made a happy Dusty with eyes wide open, but googling images of Dusty gives a lot of facial expression options. This blue needed two coats and to dry for a few hours before painting more. I let it dry over night.
Day 5: Finishing Dusty
This was the most paint intensive day, but I managed to do it all in about two hours . I took out black paint, white paint and yellow paint. I painted the pupils of his eyes and the blades of the propellers. Recommendation: Paint the top two propellers in black, then paint the gray (mix white and black) nose cone. This makes it easier to center the bottom propeller. The using my black, I painted the Jolly Wrench logo. I WAS DONE! Wait, wait, wait…my daughter saw the shirt and said “Dusty’s not right, mommy. He needs a mouth and YELLOW on his propellers.” Well, gee, of course, why hadn’t I thought of adding details? So I painted on small details, a smile, the white parts on the Jolly Wrench logo and the yellow on the propeller.
So if you have a few days and a few supplies, making a Dusty Crophopper shirt is actually pretty easy. It didn’t take more than an hour each day (except the last day) and my son loves the result!
Don’t forget, you can also download FREE Planes Activity Sheets here.
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