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Shrimp Costume

One of our wackier Halloween costumes to date, this little shrimp number had us in stitches during the photo shoot. This is due, in part, to model Alison demonstrating the shellfish equivalent of jazz hands, but mostly, to suddenly being confronted with the sheer absurdity of what we had created.

The merriment (not to mention, creepiness) quickly escalated when Alison decided to wear the shrimp head in reverse and break into dance.  I swear, there were actual tears.

If absurdity is what you’re looking for in a Halloween costume this year, this one has it in spades.

Read on for the details…

Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!

Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!

Materials needed: Bubble wrap, corrugated paper, cardboard, packing tape, kraft paper, scissors, flour, water, newspaper, paint brush, acrylic paint (in white, black, coral), spray paint (in light pink), hot glue gun, x-acto knife, light pink felt, 3” styrofoam balls, pink canvas straps

Step 1: Using the wearer for reference, create a 24” tall cylinder of bubble wrap large enough to fit their head. Make a 12” tall corrugated cylinder to fit snuggly inside one end of the bubble wrap (this is just to keep shape while you paper mache). Cut a narrow triangular piece of cardboard 12” tall and 6” at the base. Insert the triangle into the other end of the bubble wrap, pointy side out, and tape in place. Taper the bubble wrap to the cardboard point and tape together. Curl the tip of the bubble wrapped cardboard outward. Fill the form with crumpled kraft paper.

Step 2: Paper mache the form with a 1:1 mixture of flour and warm water. Repeat with two more layers, allowing 24 hours of dry time between layers. Paint white, then spray paint pink.

Step 3: Carefully cut an 8” hole for the face using an x-acto knife. Trim the bottom of the head piece to sit at the wearer’s shoulders with a large scalloped edge. Line cut edges with felt.

Step 4: Paint the two styrofoam balls with black acrylic paint. Let dry, then glue to opposing ends of the head.

Step 5: Cut two 1” wide rings from the trimmed headpiece leftovers. Cut one end of each ring to a point. Cut a third, trapezoidal piece and fringe the end. Paint coral, let dry, then glue to the top of the headpiece. Tada! Shrimp head!

Step 6: For the body, begin by cutting matching corrugated paper panels for the outer shell, as well as pieces for the tail. You’ll need a mirror set. See photo for shapes.

Step 7: Paper mache the individual pieces. Paint white, then spray paint pink.

Step 8: Assemble the panels into one large shell, overlapping one panel over the next. Use hot glue to keep in place.

Step 9: With a dry brush, add coral detailing to the edges of the shell.

Step 10: Hot glue straps to the interior, using the wearer for reference to fit like a backpack. Wear with a matching pink outfit!

Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!

Shrimp Costume | Oh Happy Day!

Photography by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day
Art Directed by Irene Yu
Styled by Amy Moss
Produced by Alison Piepmeyer
Crafting by Naomi Julia Satake


  1. Michelle

    October 10, 2016

    This is hilarious, so cool!

  2. Lindsay

    October 13, 2016

    so clever! I think some of the “bubbles” should be attached too so that they travel with you as you walk. lol

  3. monica

    October 15, 2016

    I always dreamt of a shrimp costume! Everyone always told me I was crazy, but this is definitely amazing.

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