Thursday, October 21

More guts - this time they're edible!

I attended a potluck birthday party that was also a screening of The Shining. For the potluck portion of the evening the only guideline for food was that it had to be gross.

So, I made baked intestines.

I found the recipe for these Faux Stuffed Intestines at 365Halloween. I almost made bloody jello worms, but as the birthday girl is vegetarian, I thought this vegan dish was the better option. The guts were quickly devoured at the party and they're so good I think I'll make a version of them throughout the winter! Mmmm, healthy vegan intestines.

Now back to putting the finishing touches on costumes and watching Hammer Horror movies. Tonight, one of my all time favorites, Horror Express!

Monday, October 18

We've Decorated!

Not that we don't have Halloween stuff up most of the year, we do, but weekend before last we added a little extra seasonal charm: cobwebs, tombstones and giant pumpkins!

I've also already had some carving fun. My friends built a nice fire in their backyard and we sat around disemboweling pumpkins.


Mine is the disgruntled, drool-eyed pumpkin on the left.

Pumpkin guts for all
(this Halloween seems to be guts themed)

And here's a little something to watch. Yeah, yeah, I know they did something similar on So You Think You Can Dance, but there's something so charming about this small Halloween gathering version that I love:

Wednesday, October 13

Guts: A How-To

Materials needed:
- Used bike tire inner tubes (make sure they're tubes for thicker tires and not skinny racing bike tires)

(I got these for free from a bike shop)
- Paint (red, blue, white, black, green), acrylic or tempera
- Batting (I just got a couple of not-too-thick sheets of the stuff)
- Needle and *strong* Thread
- Elmer's Glue (or some kind of generic white glue that will dry clear and not too hard)
- Backing fabric (thin canvas or cotton works well, fleshy colored fabric if you can get it)

Step 1.
Cut off the valves of the tire inner tubes so that they tubes are cut in half.

Step 2.
Cut a couple lengths of batting all the same width so you have uniform strips.

Roll the first strip lengthwise and secure with safety pins.

Next roughly secure the roll with stitching - doesn't have to be pretty, just has to keep the batting in it's rolled state.

Since the tube will probably be longer than the length of the rolled batting, connect two or three rolls together.

Step 3.
Cut a length of thread that is almost three times the length of the tube. Thread needle and knot. At one end of the batting roll, stitch and wrap the thread so it is securely attached to the end of the roll.

Put the needle into the tube and feed it through until the needle comes out the other end of the tube. Stuff as much of the batting roll into the tube as possible,

(I used a chopstick to force more into the tube, no need to be gentle), then grab the needle and thread coming out the opposite end of the tube and pull. You'll want to pull as steadily as possible and not yank. It's hard to start the batting sliding through the tube, but gets easier as you go along.

Step 4.
Now comes the fun part: Painting! I first painted the intestines (which is what I'll call them from now on) a grayish blue and let them dry.

Step 5.
Arrange the intestines how you want by using a piece of backing fabric and then superglue into place. I just used the vest that Igor will be wearing. Once everything is securely glued, stitch the guts to the fabric in a few places to make sure they stay put.

Step 6.
Next brush on some green and brown to give the intestines that special "I move the body's waste" look they should have. Also, if you used tempera paint and forgot to spray on a sealant before arranging the guts (like I did) this last painting can be used to touch up any bits of the intestines where paint has flaked off.

Mmmm, still gooey looking.

Step 7.
This step is really called "glue-blood" because that's what it's all about. I mixed about two-parts red paint with a little less than one-part brown paint, and one-part glue to make this mixture. By adding the glue I can let the blood dry and it still looks a bit shiny and slick like it's fresh. This is important because although my big bad wolf is tough, he hates having a cold, wet stomach. (I found this out on the first zombie walk we went on together and he complained that his guts were making his tummy cold - ha!). It also means you can have a pre-made, ready to use stash of guts that are easy to store and won't get moldy as when nylons and wet paper towels are used.

Below is kinda my blood and guts pallet. The darker glue-blood sample is from mixing black and red paint together, but I like the one that's a bit lighter mixed from brown and red because it looks a bit fresher.

Step 8.
Coat guts with the glue-blood and let dry (this can take up to 24-hours depending on how thick you pour the glue-blood). If you're using tempera and blood coat on the intestines dries with a bit of a chalky look, just go back in and re-coat the intestines with glue so they have a shinier finish.

Because I attached the guts directly to the vest, I didn't included a step where they are attached to some sort of other mounting material (a long strip of cloth or a thin belt) so they can easily be positioned around the waist. Still, that's the way to go if you really want ready-to-wear guts for all occasions.

Finally: Right before stepping out with your new guts, drip some fresh fake blood over them for that just eviscerated look. En voila!!!

With slashed vest

I don't think the guts are perfect - this is the first time I've made them - but I like 'em and hope to improve on the design in the future.

P.S. I learned everything I needed to know about fake guts from this film

So funny, so good!

Thursday, October 7

Dress, Hood, Hatchet, Teeth, Guts - Action!

I've conquered the sleeves, tamed the zippers and answered the eternal question: just what the hell can I use to make realistic looking guts? I'll come to that in a minute, but first the dress:

And here's a detail of the arm (I didn't have enough of the red fabric so I improvised)

I've also revamped the cheap prop hatchet I got and it has been transformed from this:

to this:

Igor has had his teeth fitted:

(I think he really likes them)

And (essential to my costume) my hood is done!

Now, as to guts. I was fully prepared to work with pig intestine casings to make realistic looking guts for Igor. Fortunately for my budget, my vegetarian friends and perhaps those who will have to smell Igor on Halloween, I've found an alternative: old bike tire tubes. These should be thin and flexible enough to mold into the configurations I need, while being more durable and (let's face it) won't rot. Perfect!

Next up on The Strange Stitchery: How to make the best fake guts ever!