It all started with the urge to make a bunch of fried eggs out of felt and then cover those in beans as my costume for the Red Bean parade on Lundi Gras. I thought I might make it more brunch themed and make myself a purse shaped like a waffle. But when my friend Emily (not referring to myself as my own friend) found out that the theme for Dead Beans was dead poets she was like omg you should be BEAN eggs & ham. Sold. Then my idea rapidly changed to I should make a hat that looks like the platter of ham on the front of the book and then I'll put fried eggs all over my dress.
With this brilliant idea in my head I needed to make it come to life! Here's how you too can make a very heavy, very ridiculous hat shaped like an enormous seuessical ham out of basically trash.
I started out with a wide brim sun hat I bought at walmart. I stitched thick gauge wire around the brim of the hat to give it stability and so that I would be able to shape it into cartoonish waves later.
Next I needed to start building out the ham shape. I decided that the materials I would use would be aluminum foil and batting because one they are both lightweight and two I had them both in my house.
To start the structure I pulled up a photo of the cover of the book and just trial and error kept shaping pieces and arranging it on the hat. Going back and forth between aluminum foil and batting to see what material was working best for what shape.
Now I'm not going to lie, at this stage I was like this is literal garbage and it's never going to get better. I'm trying to make what out of what and I think this is going to work how? What am I doing with my life? You've got to push past these thoughts and continue to glue more trash together until it starts to look less like a pile of nonsense and more like an absurd ham.
Still looks like garbage but keep hot gluing and using aluminum foil like it's a craft supply.
Right about now I'm like ok it looks better but also kind of like a tadpole or just a big lump with a dent in it and so I texted a photo to a bunch of friends who all said it looked like a mountain and were confused when I said it was supposed to be a ham.
Then I added some wire around the end to give it that tapered end of the ham look and it was a total game changer. I'm also pretty sure I added a lot more batting at this stage to smooth out everything so you couldn't see any more foil.
Then I sat on my bed and stared at myself wondering if it still looked like a mountain or not.
I decided it was good enough and this was the final base layer before I started to add beans the next day!
Actually getting to the part where I could start gluing beans was both relaxing and stressful. Relaxing because you don't have to think too hard about it and can totally zone out but then stressful because it takes so long and the hat was increasingly getting heavier and heavier the more I glued.
But also look at how seuessical and ham-like it is! I was so proud of it at this point. Next I spray painted the sucker because it needed to be green to get the full effect.
And then I got lazy about taking process shots and did not take a photo of me painting the rim pink & purple, adding tinsel, and making a wire/tinsel pitchfork but those steps happened and you'll just have to see the final reveal in the photos at the end!
Next, I decided I was going to make fried egg epaulets because things made out of beans are incredibly heavy and I didn't think my dress could handle the weight of several fried eggs made of beans scattered about.
Start out by digging through your recyclables for some thin cardboard like from a cereal box or in my case some crackers you served at your craft night the night before.
Cut out an egg shape that you like out of the cardboard and then turn it upside down and cut the same shape out of cardboard again so that you have two eggs mirroring each other. Repeat the same step out of white felt. Glue together the layers of cardboard and white felt together adding some batting or some kind of stuffing to give it some depth. I made two poms in a matching shade of green as my ham hat to be the yoke of the egg. I cut a little slit into the felt so that the poms fit a little into the egg like a yoke.
Then I layered on some white beans because it's a BEAN parade.
Then I got on a kick adding flair and didn't take any photos of the process. But just glue things to other things as you see fit. And then when you're like it's probably done like I was in this photo go back to your craft room and add 3 more layers of sparkles and then you're done.
Look at that glorious afternoon sunshine on those babies! To attach them I glued a piece of felt underneath so that I could safety pin it to my dress which didn't really work so in the end I hot glued them in place and they lasted me the whole parade that way going strong!
I'm super happy with the way they turned out and I think they look great but I was a little afraid that they wouldn't translate as fried eggs with all the additional flair and with them being on my shoulders. So I also made this big back patch out of felt that I was able to safety pin on the back of my dress no problem!
Additional things I did to make my outfit more seuessical was I added wire into the hem of my dress so that it had a little bit of a hoop skirt feel. I also wore a tutu petticoat type situation under my dress which gave it lots of wonderful fluffy volume. The dress itself I got at salvation army and it was a total steal for only $5! And so lucky that it perfectly matches the overall cartoon look. Everything else I wore was stripes in different colors and width - stripe bead earrings, stripe socks with stripe shoes, it was super cold that day so I wore a stripe shirt under the dress. I also had some yellow acrylic sunglasses because they matched my dress and make everything look like golden hour.
Here are a million photos from the parade. Enjoy looking at this costume from every angle possible.
The parade was a total blast and we had so much fun walking with our friends and serving red beans and rice to everyone along the route. We're already excited about costumes for next years Red Bean Parade!