Chronicle your costume creation and share photos of your disguise.
Often my Halloween costumes have nothing to do with the website theme for the year. But I got all caught up in the Frankenstein laboratory theme this year, and couldn't resist doing a costume along those lines.

I have much love for the Karloff monster, but I didn't want to try to duplicate that exact look, with iconic flat top and all that. I've become too much of a perfectionist to attempt a movie character recreation and risk having it not come out perfect. So you can consider me one of Dr. Frankenstein's other creatures.


I wanted some green accents in my costume, which would start with my hair. My hairstylist talked me out of permanently bleaching/dying a green mohawk into my real hair, but I was prepared to do it! Such is my level of commitment. Instead I opted for a more temporary colored hairspray. I found this green one in the pharmacy, with the everyday hair color products. I assume it's a bit higher quality than the $2 cans of novelty hairspray that are sold just at Halloween.

The benefit of doing my own take on the monster is that I could really have fun with the stitching. To create this look I used lip liner for the red scars. First I drew on the lines, let them set for a minute, and then rubbed the red lines to create a nice soft "glow" of redness. This simulated sore, irritated skin around the scars. Then I drew on the red lines again, to create a more solid scar along the softened soreness lines.


For the black stitching I used my old standby, the liquid eyeliner pen. So easy to make crisp black lines. Once they dried, I did a dab of red lip liner at the end of each "stitch" to make their entry points also look a little sore. Oh, and a line of red under my eyes to make them look a bit sore and sickly.

I had considered using liquid latex to make dimensional scars, as well as using real thread or staples glued to my face. But ultimately I opted for the makeup-only approach, which was easier and more comfortable to wear during a party. It gives a bit of a theatrical, almost cartoony look. But that fits with my art sensibilities.


The color and shading on my face is almost entirely eye shadow. I bought a fairly cheap eye shadow set that had several colors in the green family. A greenish brown, dark green, light green, and a barely green white. It worked out as a perfect color palette to give some areas of my skin a sickly pallor. I did the darkest color around my eyes to make them look sunken, as well as under my entire brow. Then the lightest tone across my brow and nose, to make those areas look more raised.


I knew I wanted some electrodes in my neck, because that's iconic. But I didn't want the trouble of gluing them to my skin, which could easily come unattached. The solution... attach them to a collar! I knew I wanted some restraints, and the leather boots already had straps and studs. So the collar fit the look. Actually the "collar" is a Hot Topic belt which I cut to fit my neck.


Then I found these green LED flashing pendants online, and they were just what I was envisioning. I drilled a couple holes into the collar, and inserted my blinking bolts. Secured with epoxy. For a more colorful and "flashy" Frankenstein, my blinking bolts drew the looks I had hoped for.


Attached to my chest is my "heart." Of course, the still photos don't do it justice. It looks like this in person:


It's attached through my jacket, so that the disc is flush with the surface of the jacket. But the control box is in my breast pocket, so I can turn it on/off or switch modes. It has a sound activated mode, which was a lot of fun. I would groan like the monster, and with each grunt my "heart" would light up.


The jacket and pants are from the thrift store. I shortened and hemmed the sleeves, so that (like Karloff's creature) my monster appeared to have gangly arms under an ill-fitting suit. The jacket had modest shoulder pads, but I made my shoulders quite a bit higher by cutting my own giant shoulder pads out of a block of foam.

In the movies, the Frankenstein monster is sometimes shown in shackles, so I added leather wrist straps to which I attached chains (a hardware store pickup). I'm wearing a belt that matches the collar, so the chains are attached (with rings that can unscrew) to my belt rings and my wristband rings. I considered attaching the chain to the ring in the middle of my collar too, but I was uncomfortable enough having my arms weighed down with heavy chain. Didn't need to give myself a sore neck too.


The shot below is a bit blurry, but it gives you some idea of the glow that was coming from my flashing neck bolts and heart. In pure darkness, they actually cast enough light to allow me to see what I was doing in front of me. In the shadow of night, you could really see me approaching.


Ah, and then... the boots. Karloff version or not, you need the platform boots. Just ask my cousin, Herman Munster. I hunted these down online, and they certainly cost more than my thrift store suit. But I'm sure I can think of future costumes where it would be benefit me to be 4 1/2 inches taller. I'm about 6 feet tall normally. With the platform boots and oversized shoulder pads, I was towering over just about everyone.


Ultimately, I'm happy with how this costume came together. Despite not being the Karloff version of the monster, everyone immediately knew who I was meant to be. Stitching, neck electrodes, big shoulders, platform boots. Yeah, that's pretty clear.

In another nod to the classic, I had a pocket full of small white flowers, which I handed out to the pretty ladies and little kids who seemed scared of me. I did not, however, drown any of these small children by throwing them into the water.

All the trick-or-treaters enjoying seeing "Frankenstein." They got it. They knew that the plate on my chest was meant to be my heart, and had fun making noise to trigger the sound-activated lights. In fact, I was impressed with one youngster who announced "That's not Frankenstein. That's Frankenstein's monster. Frankenstein was the name of the doctor who made him. Everyone gets that wrong!" I gave that kid extra candy for his horror wisdom. :frank:

YAY! This is fantastic, the neck electrodes are a fantastic touch! Your makeup looks great, nice contouring! When do we get to see you dressed as Mitzy though? :lol:
Truly a brilliant unique and personal take on a classic :D Really love the work that went into this creation of yours Ryan, and I really love your "heart" - very Tony Stark! ;) And I really love the stitches and that added patch of slightly sicker piece of skin on your cheek! :thumbsup:

Handing out flowers to the pretty ladies eh? You sly old monster you! :wink: :frank:

I've learned in past years that anything that lights up draws immediate attention and gets the most compliments. I try to have something flashy each year.

I am so proud of your makeup skills! You may say you just drew a line with lip liner, but you knew to smudge the line and use eye shadow to highlight certain areas. :thumbsup:

How was it walking in the platforms?
Thanks! My heart was a bit Iron Man, wasn't it? :lol:

I was mostly winging it with my makeup application (guided by a little experience and basic common sense). But any compliments from you, Raven, are highly appreciated.

Walking in the platforms wasn't as bad as I feared. I ended up stomping around, a bit stiff-legged, but it worked for the character. It was driving and working the pedals in the car that took a little getting used to. :lol:
It's only Iron Man in so much that it's your heart and it's lit up on your chest - the electrical lines running through it is pure Frankenstein's Monster!

Driving in those boots?! You're a brave man!
Amazing!!! :frank: . Really cool costume and I think you should leave your hair like that permanently. Glad to see no damage had to be done to the facial hair this season. Those boots are pretty awesome and that hart is one that would make the tin man proud. Very nice artwork with the make up the stitching is all very cool. Hey at least we get a little sneak peak of your carves and from what I can see we are in for a treat. Great job this year. Love the universal prints in the background is there a story behind those. I'm trying to find some universal movie monster stuff to add to my collection.

I think there's only one carve I can't see anywheres in your pics. Evil ash perhaps???