Last year, when the Grinch idea came up for our Christmas event, it was already November. A bit late in the game? Yes, but there was no question about moving forward! My project was to produce the choreography (with help, of course! The electric slide is as far as I go when it comes to dancing), cast the scene with dancers and of course... costuming. At the time, we thought it’d be pretty simple to find an existing Grinch costume that had been used in some brilliant theatre production. We Googled and made phone calls to no avail. All we could find were corn ball Halloween costumes online. The clock was ticking, so we decided to make our own costume from scratch.
Of all the Christmas projects I’ve gotten to be a part of over the years, this was one of my favorites. So I thought I’d share some of the steps we took and resourses we came across in case any of you are thinking about adding a Grinch to your Christmas event this year and have higher hopes than a lame Halloween costume! After all, it’s only September! You’re in a great place, my friend!
Our first step was to find a couple of inspiration pics. Here’s a look at a couple that we drew from. We loved the realistic look of this long matted hair and the color of it looked like it would pop on a live stage. We opted to go for makeup instead of a masked face so we could capture expression from the Grinch on the big screens.
Seamstress / Pattern
I contacted a super talented seamstress in our church that I had worked with before. We ended up using this pattern (Simplicity 2853). It’s a Lion Costume so we made a couple of adjustments. We didn’t use a full head piece, but instead made a collar that laid over the top to thicken up the chest. We make our own hands out of a pair of gloves and added room for a belly. I will say that we went back and forth with our seamstress several times to get the costume to fit properly. I was glad we worked with someone who was so close by, super creative, and didn’t mind working hard until we found the right fit.
The fabric was a tricky thing. Here’s the site that we ended up purchasing fabric from. We went with a Mongolian Fur (acrylic) in white and did the color ourselves. I called on our friend Andrew Dale who is a bit of a genius when it comes to all things spray paint. Here’s a quick video of us doing the work a couple of nights before the first CWF Show.
Feel free to hit me up with questions if I missed a detail you’re curious about! Happy Grinching everyone!