Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween 2012: Binder Full of Women!

Since I became a full-blown cosplayer, I share something in common with Joss Whedon's vampires: Halloween is my night off.  The last few years, I've recycled Dragon*Con costumes.  This year was going to be no different.  I was leaning towards being Hermione Granger, when I got a great idea.  Actually, I got the idea from a girl I work with while we worked one of the haunted attractions that our company hosts each year.  We were dressed up like zombies: she was a shopping cart lady, and I was a dead body in her shopping cart.  As we waited for the next group of people to come by, we started talking about Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment at the second debate.  She said, "you should dress up as a binder full of women!"

That was a week ago.  So, instead of taking the night off, I ended up making a huge costume!  I put it together over only the span of three days, with the majority of the work occurring in the hours before the Halloween party we were attending.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society: a binder full of women.

The binder is made out of two science fair boards, the blank cardboard side facing out.  I reinforced the folding sides with white electrical tape.  The designs of the outside of the binder are simply retro (retro! - they're from the 90's!) Lisa Frank images that I found online.  I would have preferred more unicorns and puppies, but most of the images I found were thumbnails: no good for blowing up large!

I blew up the images to just larger than the presentation boards (which were 36"x48" - I made the images 38"x50").  In Photoshop, I drew lines over the images to make 8.5"x11" rectangles, then copied and pasted each rectangle (copy the bottom layer, not the layers with the lines) into a new project.  I then printed out every rectangle on a sheet of HP Brochure Paper (which is just amazing - high quality, glossy paper).  I then cut them out (as they don't print truly full-sheet) with a paper cutter, matched them up, and taped the backs together. 

Before I attached the giant posters to the board, however, I had to cut holes for the frame.  I used a hiking rack as the frame for these, and it does stick up over my head, but only because I didn't realize that the bar was adjustable until after I'd secured it.  Anyway - I just shoved scissors through the board in four different areas - eight cuts total - and looped zip ties in and out, and then secured the hiking rack to the board with the zip ties.  I also made two cuts on the front, attached two zip ties, and looped them through the cardboard for a kind of handle.  (If you're going to do it this way, though, I recommend adding more zip ties, as one entire side broke within the first hour of wearing it.)

I then hot-glued the posters onto the cardboard with a LOT of glue (I never have luck with hot glue holding).  Finally, to attach the two boards, I overlapped one of the folding sides of each presentation board and hot-glued them together. 

Dolphin marriage: one boy dolphin and one girl dolphin!

For a final touch to the outside, I wrote out a "Women" label and stuck it on with double-sided tape.

Now, since I am only one woman, and the binder is full of WOMEN, I had to find some women to put in my binder.  I asked several of the women I admire if they would like to be included.  I grabbed some Facebook photos, printed them out on that nice brochure paper, and glued them onto poster board.  I wrote out their "qualifications", and then had Mitt (my husband) make some nice, sexist notes about them.

I was going to attach my pages via rings, but it just was too complicated to figure out how to have the rings in there around me (how would they attach?) and since it was my DAY OFF, I decided I didn't care.  Instead, I cut out thin strips of poster board, folded them in half, and glued them between the pages with the folded part to the back (just to help the pages open up a bit - it didn't work as well as I'd hoped).  And, of course, I imagine Romney would get bored while going through his binder, so he'd graffiti it up 7th-grade-girl style.  Once again, my husband stepped in and lent his artistic talent.

 And here's what the inside of it ended up looking like:

See my little zip tie handle?
And, me inside the open binder:

So, voila: Mitt and his binder full of women!  Go Obama!

Photo Courtesy: my 7-year-old nephew!

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