I have hundreds of them.
About a year ago I started saving the foil wrappers from my gum habit. I liked their shiny look and I suspected that they could become a dress. And now it’s time to let them shine. When you wear metallic stuff there’s always the chance you’ll end up looking like a giant, foil-wrapped baked potato. But I’m not scared of that possibility. There are worse things in life.
Several people asked me how long it took to make this dress. 1 year of collecting. Six hours of sewing and gluing.
Total cost: less than $3 (zipper on sale, plus hot glue sticks).
I glued the wrappers onto a dress I made from fabric given to me by a friend of a friend (thanks, Rechelle). If you’re wondering why I used blue and white gingham as my base, there is no intended reference to Dorothy’s dress from Wizard of Oz. The fabric was in my stash, it was free, and all of it would be covered by the gum wrappers.
Many of my costume ideas begin when I see something that others might think of as trash, and I say to myself, “That needs to be a costume!” Things most people throw away (gum wrappers) can become something awesome to wear. To me it’s exciting to look at something ordinary in a different way…
Today is my 55th Wacky Wednesday post, and it’s the 52nd consecutive Wednesday that I’ve worn a costume I made myself. My first three WWs were not on consecutive weeks but on May 6th last year I started my weekly creations. I’ve done this every week for a year, and it’s been meaningful to me.
This whole thing started quite by accident. A little over a year ago I wore a costume I’d made and it happened to be on a Wednesday. A month later I wore another fun costume, by coincidence also on Wednesday. Those first few times were fun, but I hadn’t planned to do it every Wednesday--until I realized how happy it made me. Before long I began wearing funny things I'd made every Wednesday. Having a platform to show what I make has been wonderful. It’s been a good creative challenge. It’s been fun. It’s brought people laughs--and everyone needs that.
This year has taught me something about finishing projects. In my life I’ve sometimes been a procrastinator, leaving a project unfinished because I felt unsure of how to complete the last 5-10%. But over the last year--because I had a self-imposed deadline each week--I finished costumes, and that alone felt good. Even if the costume wasn’t exactly as I’d envisioned, completing something felt satisfying. I feel proud that I finished so much wearable art in the last year. I’ve loved hearing from friends and strangers that my humor and my creativity entertained them. Making kids laugh or smile each week while in costume has meant a lot to me.
But after today I’m going to take a little break from making costumes every single week. I’ll still make them, but not weekly. I need to recharge. Honestly, I hate the idea of disappointing people who read this blog each week and get a laugh. I still have more WW costume ideas so I’m not stopping—just taking a breath. I plan to keep blogging about parenthood, art, funny moments, and whatever else comes to mind. I have a public art idea that I want to bring to life this spring, and I’ll post photos and stories about that here. To my weekly readers, thank you for reading my blog over the last year. Thanks for giving me feedback in person, or emailing me or posting your comments and letting me know how much you liked my creations. It’s meant more to me than I can say…