Last year for Halloween, I was bacon. If you’ve never been bacon before, I highly recommend it. Everybody, you see, loves bacon. It is, as my friend Monica says, the Candy of the Meats.
People do not want to be quiet about their love for bacon, they want to declare it, often loudly. Even the most shy people at least muttered “bacon!” under their breath as they passed me. I have never been so popular, so adored (and strangely, so hit-on) in my life.
I won the costume contest, which was novel for me — I’ve never had a costume that would have even been considered a contender before. It might have been influenced by my handing out bacon to everyone at the party. But I couldn’t be the very embodiment of temptation that is bacon without following through with some actual meaty goodness — as it was, I had more than a few people trying to bite me.
It was a beautiful experience, and one that everyone should be able to join in, so here are the instructions on how you, too, can be bacon for a day:
- Buy two sheets of foam from a foam supply store. The sheets I got were 2′ x 6′. You’ll also need 2 or 3 colors of spray paint, some big plastic bags, stick pins, a hot glue gun and glue, and a few feet of heavy-duty 2″ velcro.
- Lie face-down on one of the foam pieces, letting your feet hang off the edge, and trace the edges of your face on the foam with a big black marker. If you’re like me, you’ll wind up with black marker on your face, so be sure to wash that off quickly.
- Cut out the face hole.
- Lie down on the foam again, this time to mark where the top of your shoulders will be when your face is lined up with the hole. Mark the edges of the foam with a black marker.
- Glue the two pieces of foam together at the top, above the shoulder lines, leaving enough room for your head. I used a combination of spray-mount glue and a hot glue gun. I’m a little embarassed to own a hot glue gun, but making this costume makes me feel a little better about it.
- Use the black marker to trace an uneven, bacony outline on the foam.
- Cut away the edges of the foam. Bevel the edges of the foam, to give it a slightly rounded, and less-obviously-foam appearance. Try to not freak out at the sight of all the little squirrelly bits of foam that are all over your living room.
- Leaving room for an arm hole, glue one side of the bacon together. I used my hot glue gun, with slightly less shame this time. Be generous with the glue, this is where your costume is going to get strained.
- On the other side, apply some nice, wide velcro to the opening (again, leaving room for an arm hole). I used industrial strength, 2″ wide velcro, and it worked great. It’s self-stick, and it adheres to the foam just fine.
- To make a template for painting, take a large garbage bag, cut the sides so it’s one big flat piece of plastic, and pin it to your bacon. Cut a free-form design in the plastic. I based mine off of this bacon bandadge. You’ll want one template for the tough, red, meaty edge, and another for the marbled pink flesh. You can re-use the templates on the front and on the back; use multiple bags if neccessary.
- Pick a color to paint first. I started with red, but it doesn’t really matter which you start with. Pin that template to your bacon, making sure to really secure the edges of the template.
- Using an even, sweeping motion, spray your paint onto your bacon. Make sure you get any exposed edges. When the paint is dry (which happens really quickly), go back and do a second coat.
- Repeat with your other paint color and template.
- Repeat with both templates on the back.
- The next part was a little tricky — I wanted the bacon to have an overall mottled brown appearance. I like my bacon undercooked, so I didn’t go for a crispy bacon look, but you could if that’s how you like your bacon. I mixed some brown paint with water, and daubed it all over the costume. It was pretty messy — a light coat of brown spray paint might have worked just as well.
- As a final treatment, I added a couple of coats of clear sealer, but I don’t think it did anything.
- Climb into your costume, and prepare to hear an entire evening full of meat-based puns!
Being bacon was, in a word, astonishing. Random people still come up to me and ask, “were you bacon?” The fine folks at Fuzzy Dude even gave me this button weeks later to commemorate the event.
If you do make your own bacon costume, please tell me about it! Maybe we can all get together and just be bacon sometime. Y’know, go hit the town, going from bar to bar as bacon. We could be a whole pack of bacon, come to life! An army of bacon! My goodness, it would be beautiful.