The leo is made of a pre-tattered zombie fabric I scored at JoAnn's, worn over a bright red number to hint at barely contained entrails. The tutu is white netting, a couple of layers of white tulle, a couple layers of brown (yes, brown -- I found latté-colored tulle and then I squealed for all the world to hear), with a topper layer of cheese cloth.
Let me tell you about the cheese cloth because this was the epitome of fun. Cheese cloth, unlike its nylon-based tulle neighbors, is 100% cotton, so it holds dye well. Typically when I bring home fabric from the fabric store it gets carefully washed, dried to manufacturer's specifications, and pressed. The cheese cloth? I wadded it up, tied it in a couple of knots, wrapped a few hard-core rubber bands around it and threw it in a pot with two inches of Christmas tea for a couple of hours. While it was drying on the line, I grabbed big handfuls of the old, wet coffee grounds left over from my husband's Sunday morning coffee and hurled it on to the fabric in large chunky smears. Then I left it outside to bake in the june sun until it was crunchy and brown and remarkably pleasant smelling.
I may start doing this all the time, even when I don't have a zombie tutu to make, just for kicks.
There were a couple of iterations of the tiara before I got it just right. My husband went after the first one with a blow torch, and the melted parts were beyond awesome, but enough of the original plastic six-year-old birthday party style crown still showed through, and I had to face that it still looked like a tiara I wouldn't be caught dead in. And this is coming from a girl who owns five tiaras and frequently wears them around the house while doing the laundry. The ultimate winner was a wire number from the bridal section of Joann's, gutted with a pair of wire clips and pounded up with a meat-tenderizing mallet ("One more hit and that thing looks like it's going to fall apart," Shawn says. WHAP. "Perfect.") and then coated with some texturing primer black spray paint.
I did up some jewelry from the goth bead section at Michael's. My zombie earrings I'm actually quite fond of. I think I'll wear them frequently.
I topped the whole ensemble off with a few dead leaves, a handful of trout worms from the bait and tackle aisle at Big 5, and even (gulp) some makeup, and here she is. Zombie Ballerina.