Damsel in Distress costume (tied to train tracks)
October 31, 2008 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Today is Halloween and i can't procrastinate anymore...I guess I have to go as the only thing I could come up with: A damsel in distress. I wanna look like the girls in the old westerns when they get tied to train tracks by the bad guy. Any suggestions on what to use as train tracks? I can run over to home depot, I just don't know what to look for that's lightweight (i'm a small girl) and looks like tracks. I can nail a few things together without problem.

I know girls were tied to them with the tracks horizontal across their back, but I think it might look better if the train tracks were vertical and you could see them above my head. I plan on wearing a dress and tying rope around my stomach and the tracks. Any other suggestions on train track materials or other things I can do to make this more of a costume? Hair/makeup ideas?
I'm afraid it's barely a costume, as is.
posted by wannaknow to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why not get model train or toy train tracks and sew them in random places?
posted by meeshell at 9:48 AM on October 31, 2008

How about part of a step ladder spray painted black?
posted by rmless at 9:51 AM on October 31, 2008

While not entirely authentic-looking, the corrugated plastic stuff (likely to be found at any craft store) would be light and easy to deal with to make something that looks rather railroad-track ish.
posted by that girl at 9:58 AM on October 31, 2008

I was just at Home Depot last night, and though I can't seem to find it online, I know they carry several different varieties of vinyl picket fence-type sections. (You know, about a foot and a half tall to go around gardens and stuff, not the really tall kind for around your house.) With some brown and black paint, that could easily look like railroad. It was in the garden section near the plant stakes and topsoil.
posted by phunniemee at 9:58 AM on October 31, 2008

Maybe foam pool noodles for the rails, I got some last year that were square in cross section. If the local stores aren't selling swimming toys this time of year, Home Depot carries a similar product intended to insulate pipes (it's always cylindrical, though). The pipe insulation tubes are usually split along their length, making it easy for you to insert flat boards of balsa wood as cross ties. Model/hobbyist shops carry balsa wood, as does Michael's Crafts. You could have a body-length set of tracks that wouldn't weigh more than a few pounds.
posted by jamaro at 10:01 AM on October 31, 2008

They make black Foam-cor (the brand name for foam-core board), if you want a smooth, already-colored alternative to corrugated cardboard (you don't really have time to let paint dry today). Once you had that, it would just be the matter of cutting it into train track shapes and tying it to your back. Super lightweight. Michael's should have it.
posted by chowflap at 10:12 AM on October 31, 2008

You need more rope than just at the waist. Get a bunch and wrap it all around you and the tracks with a big obnoxious bow at the chest. Big rosy cheeks and lashes, big red lips, maybe a bonnet?
posted by pearlybob at 10:14 AM on October 31, 2008

If you can saw and nail, use 2x2's for the rails and 2x4's (or 4x4's if not too heavy) as ties. Paint the rails silver and the ties brown and nail into a ladder shape. Affix to your body however you like, but maybe a hidden backpack strap thingy would help.
posted by rhizome at 10:26 AM on October 31, 2008

styrofoam, maybe? Crafts stores often have foam in dowel and square-rod shapes. Hot glue together and spray paint black.

I'd also suggest a big intertitle dialogue card, lettered in an Old West font. You can split an amusing caption onto the two sides and flip the card over for an easy laugh.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:32 AM on October 31, 2008

actually, something tougher than hot glue is probably a good idea. careful, some adhesives will dissolve styrofoam. You could try wiring them together too.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:34 AM on October 31, 2008

You could make the planks with cardboard and wood grain contact paper. It would be quick, light, and easy.
posted by advicepig at 10:52 AM on October 31, 2008

I'd go with the foamcore for the tracks but I think they have to be horizontal, even though that's going to be a pain when you're going through doors and stuff. Otherwise, nobody is going to know what you are. They may not get it anyway but the Girl Tied to Tracks thing always, always has Our Heroine across the tracks, not parallel to them. Just make it so they only extend a little ways on either side and you should be fine.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:56 AM on October 31, 2008

You could probably attach the tracks sort of diagonally, like over your right shoulder and then sticking out slightly beyond your left thigh. It splits the difference between "I can't get through a doorway" and "I'm tied to the tracks the wrong direction." If you make them out of wood, go for balsa - it's super lightweight. I can't imagine carrying around a bunch of 2x4s strapped to your back all night! Cardboard would probably be just as easy, though, possibly with some wooden dowels affixed to provide stiffness. Spraypaint the crossbars brown, and the rail parts silver. This is a really cute idea!
posted by vytae at 1:06 PM on October 31, 2008

I think you could get away with just the rope, like you've been freed from the tracks if you don't want to go to the trouble... just fray the ends.
posted by Bunglegirl at 1:58 PM on October 31, 2008

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