Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Making the Peanuts Gang Costumes.....

Each year, a group of friends and I, get dressed up for Halloween. This year we are going as the Peanuts Gang...Charlie Brown, Pig Pen, Linus, Sally and Lucy to be exact. Here is a sort of tutorial on how I made the costumes:

We started out covering 24" beach balls with the old fashioned paper mache'....newspaper strips dipped in flour and water mixture.

After a few coats of this newspaper method, I began to realize that these balls were going to take a TON of layers to make them as strong as I would like them. So, after much research I switched to a pulp/clay method and this went on right over the existing newspaper paper mache' that we had started with. It actually was much quicker and dried harder.
The paper mache' clay
Fully covered and waiting to dry!
After the first coat dried on Charlie Brown, I added ears. I just took some duck tape and tissues and made a little stuffed ear (wrapped in duck tape, stuffed with tissues) and duct taped it on the side of his head and then did another light coat of paper mache, making sure to blend it in smoothly with the rest of the head.

This is Charlie's head all dry and painted with a white base coat. The face is just a quick penciled on face.
Next I painted the head a flesh color. Painted the eyes on, cut the mouth out with a utility knife. And he was just about done.

Charlie Brown - just need to add the black netting across the mouth.
When I put the head on, I found that it wobbled around alot and my head didn't quite touch the top. It hit my shoulders, so I knew I needed to figure something out to stabilize it. Here is what I came up with:

I purchased replacement head gear that goes in a hard hat, very inexpensive, under a dollar. I just googled it and found it online.

Then I cushioned the top of the head, inside, with  some bubble wrap. This made the head lift off of my shoulders. I simply used Gorilla Duct Tape (that stuff sticks to everything). Then I duct taped the hard hat head gear in and now the head sits secure on my head.

 I did the rest of the heads in the same basic fashion. Sally was a bit of  a challenge. It took me a number of tries to get the hair just right. Her hair is made of yellow felt and yellow pipe cleaners, hot glued on.

I love the way Sally turned out!
For Pig Pen, I drilled holes in his head and hot glued black pipe cleaners in the holes. I used a black oil pastel crayon and made him smudgy and dirty. He may be my favorite.

Pig Pen!
 For Linus, I drilled holes in his head (just like in Pig Pen). Only this time I stuck each end of the pipe cleaner in a hole so it appears that his hair is combed backwards.

Now, Lucy...she was tough for me. I couldn't get her hair just the way I wanted. Took me hours...and I still am not completely satisfied, but she will have to do. Her hair is felt with toilet paper rolls covered in felt, for her curls. I added some batting under the felt on top to give her more of a lift on top of her head.

And here they all are!!! Finished with 1 week left to go! Phew!
I will post pictures of us wearing our costumes after the big Halloween bash!
You can see where I linked this to on my side bar of the blog.
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment!


  1. These are so cute and look so much like the characters! Fantastic job! Would you link them here?

  2. Wow, how cool!! I would have never thought to do that. Great job.

  3. These are insane! I love them. Awesome job!

  4. where did you find the hard hat materials? We can't seem to find anything under a dollar!

  5. Hi! I used your design for Halloween this year and it was incredible. Thanks so much for this guide!