Medusa headdress

My Halloween costume this year was inspired by a Medusa headband I found at a yard sale. It is pretty basic, but I thought it had potential.

I found some rubber snakes on Amazon–a dozen 11-inch rubber ones and another dozen smaller, but more realistic ones–for a total of about $14.00. I wanted to have a variety of sizes and shapes to work with.

I bought some gold spray paint and added a coat to each side of the snakes and to the headband. The headband was already gold, but I wanted everything to match. When the paint dried, I threaded the rubber snakes through the plastic headdress until I was satisfied with the look. I saw some Medusa headdress tutorials that suggested hot gluing the snakes together, but I wanted to be able to change them or use them for another project someday. I did tie a few in place using embroidery thread so they could move around a little. After I had the shape I wanted, I added another couple coats of spray paint.

I originally intended to paint the snake eyes black and the tongues and mouths red, but I couldn’t find my acrylic paints. I experimented with Sharpie and nail polish but found the whole process too tedious and abandoned that idea.

For the costume, I wore a white Greek tunic that I made years ago and added a long black skirt underneath. For Medusa’s wings, I bought a gold metallic wing cape on Amazon. I also bought a set of face paint–I saw a lot of Medusa makeup tutorials online and originally envisioned a green face. However, since my costume was pretty much gold, black, and white, I wanted to stick to a more neutral palette. I mixed some tinted moisturizer with metallic loose pigment and some white face paint. On top of this, I added some black details with a little hint of green. I put a fishnet wig cap over my face and used a brush to apply more metallic powder for a snakeskin effect. It didn’t show up super well, so I used black and gold eyeliner pencils to increase the effect. I brushed metallic gold powder liberally over my face, lined my lips in black eyeliner and filled them in with face paint, added some details to my nose and eyes, and that was about it. There was some green metallic body glitter in the face paint kit (’90s flashback!), so I used some of that, too.

I put my hair into a wig cap leftover from a previous year’s costume, put on the headdress and arranged it so the snakes looked good, dusted some more gold on my hairline, and that was it.

The costume looked great from the front but less so from the back and sides–if I wear this again, I will definitely get some more snakes to fill out the back and distribute the weight more evenly. I had a pretty killer headache by the end of the night.

Oh, and there was one little coral snake I couldn’t bring myself to spray paint, so I threaded it through my treat basket.


Project costs:

Headdress (yard sale): $2
Snakes: $14.12
Spray paint: $4.99
Face paint kit: $16.42
Additional makeup: $0 (already had)
Wings: $15.50
Dowel for wings: $1.49
Tunic: $0 (left over from another costume)
Black maxi skirt: $0 (from my closet)
Total: $54.53 

Not too bad considering I will get a lot of use out of the face paint and the wings. I’m already envisioning the wings in an Egyptian goddess costume.

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