October Crafting

October 11, 2010

This weekend I had the fun of a particularly interesting custom order. An individual who I had previously built a big plague doctor mask for came back to buy my steampunk queen of hearts mask.

They also had a special request for a Pumpkin Chastity belt. The idea is based off of the old nursery rhyme:
Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her,
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her, very well.

It took a little mental playing to formulate some ideas, and after working with them a little to narrow it down, I decided on a basic costume piece that I could finish quickly, as well as a pumpkin hat/fascinator from the top piece of the pumpkin.

I built it out of a foam pumpkin and did the ties in lightly felted green wool to create a semi vine-like effect with the ties. This also made sizing less of a potential problem.

Of course, I couldn’t find any green wool yarn. I did finally track down some white wool yarn and picked up some cake dye to do the coloring. There was a lot of simmering the yarn in water and dye, the eventual addition of a small amount of vinegar, and waiting. Here is the pot full of water, dye and yarn.

Pot of dye with the yarn in it.

And then I rinsed it really well and hung it up to dry.

Hung the yarn off of a chair to dry

I did have a few spots that didn’t quite get dyed, but overall it turned out nice. Not bad for a first attempt with the cake dyes. I have done koolaid and wool batting, but yarn and cake dyes was new.

Then there was much foam carving. I started by carving out the top piece, which involved an amount of removing the small bit of dowel used to help attach the stem to the piece. There was sawing, but mostly just carving out the foam with a pocket knife, and some cleanup with an exacto and some small filing. I also attached some brown felt to the bottom of the piece to finish it out, before attaching a pair of off-set hair clips to make it stay well.

Pumpkin Fascinator

Then was the actual chastity belt making. I did the bulk of the carving with my carving pocket knife, though I did have to break out a kitchen knife to get through some of the thicker sections cleanly. Then it was lots of shaping and carving out extra foam. There was foam EVERYWHERE during this.

Once I had the shape down, I took the yarn and cut off pieces. The leg straps are thinner and mostly just felted tight at the ends, with some light twist and felting through the length. I put a little more into the thicker waist strap. I think in total, even with trying to be quick, the straps ended up being a bigger time sink then anything else. I cut holes and ran the leg straps through, where as the two waist strap pieces I actually looped through, then felted into itself to attach them. I then added a felt backing to the back and trimmed it down, same as on the hat piece.

I also took a little time to carve out a small keyhole, then painted the insides black to make it pop better than the white interior did.

Pumpkin Chastity Belt

And there it is! I decided not to model it for people, but hopefully I will get pictures from the event the item is for. Here is a second picture with the chastity belt and fascinator / hat together.

Peter Pumpkin Eater Set

It was a fun and unusual sort of project. Thanks for looking!

%d bloggers like this: