This year I had two ideas for Christmas ornaments (to go on our FINALLY full-sized tree after a decade of tabletop trees)– an ornament depicting our newly-purchased house, and one depicting the insanity that has been 2020.
I’m actually very proud of the house ornament– I took a photo of our house, plotted it out on graph paper, and built it using layers of cardstock, cut to size with my rotary paper cutter (best way to get tiny strips in the right dimensions), and ordinary Elmer’s glue. There are a few issues with proportion– the door should be taller and the windows aren’t quite right– but it’s recognizable as our home and looks great on the tree!
The second ornament was a quickie– I just bought a basic wood cutout and set it on fire. Can’t get simpler or more appropriate than that…
Once the dress was structurally complete I got started on the belt (which had to sit a certain way over the dress to look right). The original belt for the gown appears to have been made of metal links with a raised design on them– the belt wraps twice around the waist and ties in front with a length of twisted fabric.
Initially I thought I’d repurpose some belly-dancing belts with similar metal links to make my own belt, but they were pretty expensive and didn’t have the right overall look– too much filigree, not quite the right shape. I decided to make my own, because deciding to spend ridiculous amounts of time and effort to closely replicate a costume element that I’d intended to shortcut is apparently what I do.
Since I didn’t have the time, knowledge, or supplies to make my own stamped metal links (yet), I opted to use thick black cardstock– it’s called “museum board” and it’s pretty stiff while still being cuttable. I figured that once painted with metallic paint, the links would be close enough to pass for a stage costume.