Thursday, November 01, 2012

Liberace Wheelchair Halloween Costume 2012

Things were a bit of a bust this year for Halloween. As I mentioned previously, I had planned this costume for last year however they did not allow Halloween costumes at school due to religious reasons. This year, still no party but they said the kids could dress up if they wanted.  Of course, I decided Dear Son would dress up!
I decided on the Liberace costume after seeing a photo on the internet of a piano.  I wanted a costume where I could utilize his wheelchair and I wanted a costume that incorporated sitting in it. Once I decided on a piano, since he'd be sitting, I brainstormed on the most flamboyant costume or character that would play the piano and that's where I came up with Liberace. It's easier to create a costume with a character that is "over the top" than say, just a standard paino player.
Unfortunately, Dear Son began having more seizures the last week. I was called to school yesterday for an emergency since he was seizing. I am guessing his Vagus Nerve Stimulator's battery is low; that is the device that is implanted to control seizures. I spoke with the doctor this weekend and yesterday and we will be going to the doctor on Friday so he can check the settings on the device (they have handheld software that they put near the implanted device and it gives the current settings and battery life). As a result, I couldn't send Dear Son to school since I knew he was having seizures. So, he didn't get to wear the costume anywhere:(
I decided to dress him up today and get some pictures at the clubhouse at our apartment complex. I called a friend of mine to help me out. We live on a golf course and the clubhouse is nicely decorated for fall so I thought it would make for some great pictures. Unfortunately, Dear Son had some seizures today so he didn't smile at all and he closed his eyes for most of the photos. 
Moving on, here he is in his Liberace wig. I purchased an Elvis wig and then put some red blush on his cheeks to ramp up the costume.

Here is the completed costume: a piano with a chandelier.  Liberace was known for his "over the top" costumes that were luxurious and attention getting. He was known as much for his costumes as he was for his talent.
Here is a nice photo of the piano I made. I added fur boas to his wrists and added some rings for bling!
Here he is as Liberace. I think he looks more like a young George Washington, lol.
Here are the rings, which I found at Walmart for only $5 that I thought would be great. I actually love this floral one!
 Here I am with Dear Son. It's sad that he's not feeling well with these seizures.
Here is a photo of the back of the piano with Liberace name on it. I used silver glitter stick on initials for this. There were some pumpkins at the clubhouse so I added those to the top of the piano to add some color.
Here are the rings! Liberace often wore rings on every finger!
Now, for the details and a mini tutorial.  To create this costume I had a few obstacles: I had a wheelchair but also, it's hard to get a button down shirt on Dear Son with his disabilities. As a result, I need to find a way to make the costume formal without resorting to a tuxedo or velvet dinner jacket. Here are some photos of Liberace that I used for inspiration. Notice the chandelier on the piano.

I chose these photos because they had fur, or a cape and a broach, which I thought I'd use for Dear Son's costume. Notice the chandelier on the piano.

Notice the rings.

From there, I decided to get my supplies. First, I order the wig. Since there weren't any Liberace wig, I ordered an Elvis wig and cut off the sideburns.

Here's my Liberace with the Elvis wig...

Next, I purchased some supplies: wig, boas, a cape, chandelier, foam for the piano keys and glitter ribbon for the piano keys.
I used a store bought cape and added a fur boa to the collar and then stapled two black boas down the front to add opulence.
For the costume, I used a broach to attach the collar. I decided to use a simple white turtleneck since that's easier to get on Dear Son with his disabilities.
Next, I worked on the piano. I attempted to find a box that was wide enough however most were too tall. I was at Michael's and noticed some styrofoam sheets but when I return to purchase them, they were sold out. Instead, I purchased some floral foam that was 36 inches wide, 12 inches deep and about 4 inches tall. It was perfect. I also purchased a display board in black, the three sided type that kids use for science projects and such. I like using those boards since they are pre-painted and it eliminated a step. I didn't take pics of the this mainly because I was called to school for an emergency while I was making it, so I didn't take pics.
I think the keyboard turned out great. I cut the black display board and glued it to the floral foam. I cut a larger piece for the bottom so that I could glue the white foam to the cardboard to make the keyboard. Once I cut and glued the white foam on, I simply drew keys on the white foam. I used the black glitter ribbon that I used for the keys to measure the width of the keys.  Next, I used the black glitter tape and cut some black keys, then stuck them on the piano keyboard. I purchased some gold letters at Walmart and stuck them on to create the "Baldwin" logo.
I needed to fill in the seams and originally, I planned on using some silver Christmas garland to fill in the seams however it would stick so I used the black glitter tape and added that. It's very hard to photograph since it sparkles so much but in person, it's awesome. It looks like a tuxedo stripe with glitter. I wish I had purchased more glitter tape to finish off some of the seams however I couldn't get to the store so I just made do.
 Another closeup of the sides.
 On the back of the piano, I used some silver stick on letters to spell Liberace. I tried to space them evenly however they fell off one by one and when I glued them back on, the spacing seemed to suffer a bit, lol.
 Here is a photo of the piano that I made sitting on the table at the clubhouse. I thought it showed up better here. I added a black glitter crow and chandelier.  The little pumpkins were from the clubhouse but they added some nice color so I used them.
 I think the "Baldwin" logo I made helps it look authentic.
 Here's a picture of the back . I added black satin fabric to the bottom of the piano to cover Dear Son's legs to make the pictures look better. In hindsight, I am not sure if it really helped or if I should have left it off.
Here is a photo of the chandelier. I purchased it at Michael's however it was the last one there and a few of the crystals were missing so I removed the crystals and added the silver Christmas garland for a more graphic effect. Unfortunately, the glittered chandelier doesn't seem to photograph very well.

The rings were important to Liberace so I knew I needed to include them in the costume. I purchased two rings from Walmart for $5 each for the costume.

I added the broach to the cape to add some glamour as well. Here they are before I added them.

Here are the rings on Dear Son. I thought they made the costume.

And last, another picture of my son and I. Not sure why my eyes look odd, lol.

I hope you enjoyed the Liberace costume I created.
Happy Halloween!


Anonymous said...

Dear Sue,
You are the most amazing mom. This costume is razzle dazzle super, though I'm sorry DS wasn't feeling well. Your attention to detail is extraordinary.Your handsome boy knows how much he is loved and cherished. will write to catch up.Cindy

Allison L said...

I love this costume! How creative! Sorry to hear that Dear Son is feeling so awful due to the seizures.

Hopefully the doctor's appointment went okay on Friday.

Dream Mom said...

Thank you both! I am glad you loved it!

Anonymous said...

A lovely blog- though I read it years after the fact- hope all's well Dream Mom

Dream Mom said...

Thank you! Yes, all is well with Matthew and I. He no longer goes to school so I just don't have any time to keep up the blog. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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