Barbara and Adam Maitland Costume
'This commute is killing us!'
|Costume type:||Costumes for Couples|
This homemade costume for couples entered our 2015 Halloween Costume Contest.
A word from Christopher, the 'Barbara and Adam Maitland' costume creator:
Creating Adam and Barbara Maitland from the infamous 1998 cult-classic film “Beetlejuice” was not an easy task, but a challenge worth taking on. My boyfriend (Brae) and I agreed to wear a couple’s costume for the first time (usually, we dress up independently), and were up to the challenge of trying to recreate the classic scene were Adam and Barbara Maitland stretch out their faces in an attempt to scare away the family living in their home. The success for these costumes relied on sound execution of the masks, which took about 3 weeks to make.
To create the mask for Adam’s face, a bike helmet, paper towel rolls, and cardboard from a deconstructed shoebox helped form the frame. I used poster board to round out the nose and form the eye sockets. A rubber glove stuffed with cotton balls attached to the top of the head with masking tap formed the skin flap. To achieve the “stretched skin” details, drinking straws were taped along the sides of the nose and head with masking tape. The entire mask was then covered with two layers of papier-mâché, made from a basic mixture (water, flour, white glue, and strips of newspaper). A balloon was inflated and also covered in papier-mâché. Once dry, it was cut in half and attached to the base of the mask with an additional layer of papier-mâché; this would later become Adam’s mouth and chin. The entire mask was primed with white acrylic paint. Once dry, peach-colored acrylic paint was applied, and brown/grey paint helped provide shadows, detail, and dimension. Adam’s hair was made from a shaggy brown pillow, attached with Velcro across the back and sides of the mask. We used black air-conditioning filters to cover the eye sockets and prevent people from seeing into the mask. These filters were thin and allowed Brae to see out. Ten eyeballs were painted onto Ping-Pong balls using acrylic paints (blue, brown, green) and a Sharpie marker. Holes cut into the back of the Ping-Pong balls using an exacto knife allowed for easy application to the fingertips. Adam’s clothing was simple to assemble: Black and white Buffalo Flannel purchased at Target, red t-shirt, khaki pants, and black shoes.
The outline of Barbara’s mask was made from wire hangers (take THAT Mommy Dearest!) and cardboard from a shoebox. Tissue paper (the kind stuffed into the toes of new shoes) was attached to the tips of the mask to help form the rounded shape of the nose/chin area. Poster board was used to fill out the rest of the mask’s shape. Straws taped to the side of the mask helped form the “stretched effect..” Tissue paper rolled and taped along the inside of the mouth (top and bottom) would later become Barbara’s teeth. The entire mask was covered in papier-mâché and primed in white acrylic paint. Peach acrylic paint was used for skin-tone; brown/grey paints helped create detail, shadows, and dimension. Red acrylic paint was applied to the inside of the mouth. The teeth were painted white and a maroon red acrylic was used for the gums. The teeth were defined and given detail using a black Sharpie marker. A black invisible mask was worn to cover my face.
Barbara’s tongue was made of tissue paper covered in masking tape. The entire tongue was covered in papier-mâché and primed with white acrylic paint. A dark pink acrylic paint provided the final color. The tongue was attached with Velcro on the underside. Ping Pong balls served as the eyeballs, attached with hot glue. The wig was purchased at a Halloween store and attached with Velcro along the back of the mask.
Finding the right dress was also critical to complete Barbara’s look. The goal was to find a vintage housedress or prairie dress in a Small Floral Calico print. After visiting 10 vintage stores throughout NYC and not finding a close match, I turned to the Internet. I purchased a close match on Etsy.com. Nude stockings and flats completed the look.
To finish off our costume, we even created a replica of the “Handbook for the Recently Deceased.” A must.
This costume was about the details, and in the end, people really appreciated it. We were stopped on the streets for pictures, people screamed "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice" all night, tourists posed with us on the subway, and there was a line to be photographed with us at the club. We tagged this photo on social media and even caught the attention of Alec Baldwin on twitter, who re-tweeted our photo. All in all, we were happy with the result!