If your child wants to dress up in a historical costume for a school play or fancy dress party, you don't have to buy expensive costume accessories to make the costume look accurate. Instead, you can make some of the costume accessories yourself using arts and craft materials. For example, you can make a Roman soldier's helmet using papier mache.
Blow up a large, round balloon, and knot the end tightly. Tape a large ostrich plume onto the top of the balloon using masking tape.
Fill a bowl with 500 ml (2 cups) of hot water, and add 750 ml (3 cups) of papier mache pulp. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes undisturbed. The papier mache pulp will combine with the hot water to create a paste.
Cut pieces of cotton gauze to measure 30 cm (12 inches) long, and dip each piece into the papier mache. Lay the strips of papier mache-covered gauze over the balloon and over the base of the ostrich plume. Cover the balloon with six layers of papier mache gauze. Allow the structure to dry for three hours.
Pop the balloon with a straight pin, then remove the balloon from the bottom of the papier mache shell.
Trim the bottom of the shell, opposite from the ostrich plume, so that the opening is 30 cm (12 inches) wide. This will allow the head to fit through.
Cut out a large curve from the helmet, starting from the bottom edge, and cutting within 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) from the top. This will be the area for the face.
Paint the helmet using bronze acrylic paint. Do not paint the plume. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes before wearing the Roman soldier's helmet.
Things you need
- Ostrich plume
- Masking tape
- Papier mache pulp
- Cotton gauze
- Straight pin
- Bronze acrylic paint