Earlier this year, my co-workers (who are also my friends) decided we would be KING 5 NBC Sweeps for our group costume. Last year our group was Run NBC, clever I know. You can check the dets of that out here. And if you don’t know what “Sweeps” are here’s a great little read for the breakdown.
Earlier in October, since I knew I’d be traveling to NYC right before Halloween, I headed off to a nearby craft store to pick up my supplies. I knew I’d need a large foam board to make the peacock logo shape to go behind me, colored poster boards to make the double sided feathers in yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green, lots of Rubber Cement, and something to make the straps. I also grabbed an extra white poster board to use as my feather template. Is it weird that I still really enjoy the smell of Rubber Cement?
“Is it weird I still really enjoy the smell of Rubber Cement?“
Once back from the big apple, I had two nights before I would need to have my costume ready. The first night back, adjusting to the time difference, creating the costume felt too overwhelming. I watched Modern Love on Amazon Prime instead. The next morning, I knew I needed to call in for backup. When one of your good friends has a degree from Parsons , the School of Fashion, in New York City, you make the call. The offer: I’ll pick you up, drop you off, and feed you dinner if you help me with my costume. What’s nice about that? She would have done it with no offer, because that’s the kind of friends we are.
Here are the quick steps to how to DIY your NBC Peacock:
Start by taking the white poster board and make your feather template. Simply fold poster board in half and cut out your feather shape. Trace template on all six color poster boards two feathers for each color. Pro tip I bought two poster boards of each color to make sure I could make my feathers big enough. This depends on what size you are trying to scale. You’ll need two to have front and back of the foam board cut out covered.
Next, after you’ve cut out all of your feathers, start to glue on the front of the foam board and glue the two, top middle feathers first. Make sure you pay attention to the order of the colors from left to right. After you have finalized glueing on six feathers, use a sharp utensil to cut through the foam board. And, I say sharp because my razor was dull, making it difficult for Denise to cut around the edges. Denise was cutting around the edges instead of me because I’m on blood thinners for my heart AND one of the klutziest people in the entire world. Shout-out to you D! I know that cutting was hard.
Front side of the board all in place, I held up the peacock shape behind me as Denise started to figure out how to put on the elastic straps. Naturally, when I picked her up, she had a bag of everything you could possibly need when crafting. Rope, wire, ribbons, twin, elastic, you name it, her magic bag had it all. And, naturally I forgot to buy something to adhere to the peacock for straps when I had made my previous craft store run. This is why you call Denise. I’m always good with vision, but sometimes I need help engineering and orchestrating.
She figures out a figure eight for the elastic straps and then we duck tape it down after cutting slits through the foam board and running the elastic through to the backside of the board in the figure eight shape. The duck tape allows me to easily glue on the feathers to the back side, covering up where the back of the straps are glued down. Trim excess elastic to ensure your duck tape can adhere as flat as possible.
As for the light-up NBC letters, I had those left over from last years Run NBC theme from the DJ turntable prop and all I needed was to buy some badge necklaces and duck tape the light-up letters to the bottom clip of the badge holder. This allowed me to still be able to turn on and off the letters from the backside. I’m pretty sure I got the letters in clearance at Target over a year ago.
And that was it. Easy peasey. We didn’t win the costume contest, but we knew there were those that appreciated our efforts and idea. And we had fun talking about it all year. My costume is really just a representation of a year long working relationship with my friends Libby and Megan and the memories that were made over the course of that time. The good and the bad. We’d gab about this idea while we were working on other projects and now the day had finally come. There were so many giggles over the last few weeks we already felt like we won.
And as the winner was announced and it wasn’t us, Libby turned to me and said “Whelp, at least we’ve already got our idea for next year.” And just like that, I realized I was standing in time where one year ends and another year starts. Is Halloween the new New Years Eve? I think maybe it just might be.
“Is Halloween the new New Years Eve?”
I started the morning of November 1st with one of the worst migraines of my life and didn’t see any relief until early evening that day. As a recovered alcoholic, I know a thing or two about self-induced “migraines” so this can be a real trigger for me when I have an actual migraine. I spent all day in bed with a sleeping mask on to block out the light. Just make it go away. And then once some relief rolled in, I sat down to write this blog post about how I did my costume so I wouldn’t forget the details. I’m memory challenged. A term I’ve made up for self diagnosis that I have a memory problem. I’m aware of it but don’t think it’s bad enough to do something more about it. I think this is why I take so many pictures, almost impulsively. I’m also trying to figure out what my voice is going to be on this website. If you’ve read this far, then thank you. I appreciate your interest in what I have to say and apparently your love of a good DIY costume.
So this was how I made my NBC Peacock costume and the stories behind it. And as I think about our costumes for next year, I wonder what changes are ahead? Is the next year going to be significant in some way? I just have this feeling in the inner lining of my belly that I can’t explain. I guess I’ll find out while I continue to do work I enjoy with people I enjoy even more and we’ll talk about our costumes for next year. It’s the day after November’s Eve! And on the other side of my migraine, I feel ready to start fresh and new. Like a peacock that sheds its feathers to grow new ones the following year.