Friday, October 21, 2016

We All Float Down Here, Georgie

A few months ago, I was at Spirit Halloween and I saw some of their clowns. It was a 5' tall hanging clown. The main difference is that the one I got actually says about five different phrases.

He wasn't anything fancy, but I thought he had good bones and could fairly easily be turned into a clown reminiscent of Pennywise from It, at least the movie version, anyway. With my coupon and another special discount, I got him for $31 and change. Normally, he's $39.99 plus tax.

This is what he looked like when I got him home.

From the product page:
"This Hanging Clown animated decoration is quite the lively jokester! At 59" tall, this clown features light-up eyes, sound and kicking legs. There's mot much creepier than a well placed hanging clown!"

Fun note, a few years ago, Spirit Halloween released a 6' tall  animatronic Pennywise, but Lord almighty, that thing was UGLY! Not that mine is going to be much better, but at least I don't recoil in horror from it.

So, to get started on my lil'Pennywise, I ripped off the tuffs of green hair, the suspenders and the one lone pom-pom. There was residue of the glue from the suspenders and pom-pom left on his shirt, so I treated the glue like it was melted candle wax that I wanted to get rid of. I was able to heat it up with our iron and got rid of almost all of it, letting it absorb into a paper towel.

My inspiration...Pennywise as portrayed by Tim Curry.
I masked his eyes and mouth, and then primed and painted his entire face with new white paint. I liked his jacked up teeth and gums the way they are. Then I painted his clown face on. I would have liked to do his clown paint much finer than I did, but his lips and eyelids are raised (there's a lot of texture in this face). I thought it would look odd if the eyes and lips weren't filled in all the way.

Pennywise has a blue and purple stripped top and sleeves. I went to Joann Fabric to get remnant fabric and added some more neck ruffles and a little shrug. I tried to make him some new sleeves from the blue and green dotted fabric I got, but I just wasn't getting them right. I also made him three new pom-poms, although his are pink and the real version had orange (I used what I had here already).

I also got him some new yellow satiny-type fabric and made him some new pants. I had to remove the striped pants he was wearing, because the new yellow is sheer enough that you could see the stripes through it. It's not a complete match to his yellow top, but it's close enough. I also added a bit of elastic to the bottom to make them flare just a little.

The clown, in it's original form, was completely floppy. There was nothing to him. So I went in and stuffed his body with some Fiber-Fill from two old pillows I had here.

But something still seemed like it was missing. I didn't like how the clown didn't have feet. Pennywise wore black shoes. I got some scrap wood from the garage and traced around a pair of my Converse. I didn't down-size the shoes, because clowns wear big shoes anyway. I primed them and painted them the same color as my Han Solo blaster from earlier this year, not really black but more of a dark walnut, I think. I used two eye hooks,screwed in at an angle, in the heel area, to attach them to his legs. I think those eye hooks will create some good movement once he (hopefully) starts kicking his legs (he's motion activate).

The red hair was the hardest to come across. I called two different locations of Joann Fabrics, because the website said they each had red faux fur in stock. Turns out their website was wrong. I tracked this stuff down to Amazon. I hot glued it to his head in strips. As he's pictured below, I'm actually thinking about removing the last section I put on, to move his hairline back a little more.

The downside to all this is that he really doesn't kick so good anymore. His legs are hooked to a mechanism in his hips. The legs are just wire rods, about as thick as wire hangers, inside a foam tube. I keep having to adjust his legs like I'm some kind of weird chiropractor.

All in all, I think I spend, or used what I already had, about as much on him in supplies as I actually spent on him. But he'll be a welcome addition to my Halloween decorations.

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