Instructables
There comes a time in a man's life when he has to put aside his childhood dream of having an Alien costume and actually decides to do something about it.
Ever since I was a kid I wanted an Alien costume, and after my experience carving foam into the masks of the stretched faced Maitlands from Beetlejuice for Halloween 2011, I decided to try my luck. I told myself if I could carve the head and make it look cool, I would consider making the entire costume. And hey, if you don't have time for an entire costume, you have an alien head to hang over your mantle.

It all starts with a block of foam...
 
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Step 1: Before you Begin: Key Tools and Ingrediants

Tools:
Scissors
Fabric Scissors
Low temp glue gun
High Temp Glue Gun
Dremel drill with assorted bits
Caulk Gun
Mannequin Bust
Heat Gun

Materials:
Foam board Insulation (Carving head, back pipes and back spine)
Liquid nails for foam board (Back pipes)
Fleece vest (chest)
Backer rods, assorted sizes (Pipes on chest, neck, legs, feet)
Vacuum Cleaner hoses (details on shoulders, chest, tail)
Foam insulation tubing (Shoulders, ribs, details throughout)
Rubber insulation tubing(tail base)
A Bicycle helmet (Head)
Black fabric (neck)
Industrial strength Velcro (Grion, sternum, back pine, neck piece)
Upholstery sheet foam (details on tail, legs, chest)
One pair of pants or leggings (legs)
Fleece gloves (for hands)
Black cord (Details on hand, chest and legs)
Masonite board (Tail base
Flag mount (tail)
A black military belt (tail)
PVC pipe that fits into Flag mount. (Tail)
2 wooden dowels (Back pipes)
Assorted screws and washers (Back pipes)
Black nylon straps (feet)
Epifoam (tail spike, shoulder shape, various supports)
1very understanding girlfriend ( to go as Ripley)
pokiespout1 year ago
This is absolutely beautiful. I love to see a great piece like this that is truly made from easy-to-find, over-the-counter materials. When the most important ingredient is ingenuity and not specialized materials, the outcome is that much more impressive! Kudos, sir.
jangorenn10 months ago
Thanks for the tutorial. I made one following your guide lines. Turned out pretty good.
You are awesome! Thanks again!
Mostlymade (author)  jangorenn10 months ago
Awesome! Unfortunately your profile pic is cropped. I'd love to see the whole costume. Send me a link or a pic if you can!
Best,
-Ian

Hi Mostlymade. Sorry this is coming a bit late, but here"s some pics of my Alien, Ripley and Colonial Marine. Please let me know if you can view these at normal res? This is actually my first real attempt on an Alien costume. Thanks again.

20131026_190623.jpgIMG_84836495409182.jpegIMG_84812328615348.jpeg
Mostlymade (author)  jangorenn3 months ago

Wow! That's great! Very clean looking! Any tips or tricks you used that were different that you thought improved upon the idea? Does your tail have pvc in it or did you do something else?

Thanks, I basically followed your Instructables. I painted the whole thing with an airbrush of acrylic paints with a base of Gesso. I had 2 tails. One was pvc but it was to big indoors and a small one out of flexible tubing. Had a blast working on this and my kids loved it!

That's sick… I'll never do it but still cool

This is BEAST! Great job on the detail!!

This is BEAST! Great job on the detail!!

mugget10 months ago
Epic!! Looks great!

I hope you're gonna cover it with a bit of KY Jelly or similar to give it that slimy shine... you could seriously scare someone!
syates3 mugget10 months ago
I agree, maybe something like a slime mixture (probably gelatin) pouring out the mouth I know there are a lot of variations of that kind of stuff you can probably even find some on here, Just attach a pump to your hand or something to force it out and let it drip. If you could do a smoke that would be killer, but probably asking a bit too much, the mouth could be done much the same way. but that aside it really reminds me so much of the original costume from Alien. It's an amazing job. I would love to do something like this myself some day.
mugget syates310 months ago
The reason I suggested KY is because that's exactly what was used in the original Alien movie for the shiny look and for the saliva dripping from the mouth. ;)
bhunterism mugget8 months ago
They actually used standard lubricant ( "lube", whatever you what to call it) for the saliva ;D
Mostlymade (author)  mugget10 months ago
Yeah, and the transparent pulling sinewy looking sides of the mouth were made out of condoms!
mugget Mostlymade10 months ago
Haha, I did not know that! I'll have to look a bit more closely the next time I watch Alien!

All that seems fitting though, given the subject matter or Giger's art...
jangorenn10 months ago
Thanks for your tutorial. I made one using your guide lines. May not be as good, but turned out pretty good. Thanks again for the idea. You are awesome!
Poison Brush10 months ago
Such an awesome instructable!!! Love it!
vincent752010 months ago
Puuurfect !!!!

Now it's tim!e to say goodnight to the kids !…
Mostlymade (author)  vincent752010 months ago
It is a little hard to fit under the bed. I guess I'll head for the closet...or hang from the ceiling...
Don't go into so much trouble : just go and say your kids good night. No matter which door you open, I'm sure the effect will be great ("we want more" ;))

No need to hurt yourself by hanging on the ceiling, especially if it's mad of light sheetrock, or coming from the window, particularly if you live on the 40th story of a high rise !… 

Congrats again !…
nliwilson10 months ago
Impressive costume but you do realise that "Alien Xenomorph" means "Alien Alien" don't you?
"Xenomorph" is a made up word that means "form from outside our territory" it's not the name for the Aliens in the Alien films. :)
Mostlymade (author)  nliwilson10 months ago
I do realize that. The organism is referred to by both names throughout the movie series. Ultimatly I put both names to increase the possibility of people finding it because when you type in simply "Alien Costume" into Instructables you get a LOT of results and I didn't want to get lost in the shuffle. However, I also knew that not everyone refers to it as 'Xenomorph' and may not know that is what it is called and would thereby not look for it by that name. This way is refers people specifically to this type of Alien and my costume. And I guess with 53,000 views and counting it worked!
NoseyNick10 months ago
H.R.Giger would be proud. Bravo!
Mostlymade (author)  NoseyNick10 months ago
Thanks, I sent a picture of it to the guys who built the Alien suits for the last several movies and they loved it!
msolano110 months ago
I am such a fan!
ToolboxGuy10 months ago
Now I want one! In fact, I want to have it adapt "post human DNA" versus Biological Merge in IV.

Great fun!
billbillt10 months ago
great...right out of the movie
plotqueen12 months ago
This looks fabulous! I'm going to be attempting to make this for my son's Halloween costume this year and was wondering if you had anything else to add? And how long did it take you to make this? I swear I only just realized today is already several into September...
Mostlymade (author)  plotqueen10 months ago
This took 6-7 months off an on. But then I was working at adult size. Maybe a kid sized one would take less time...
Mostlymade (author)  plotqueen12 months ago
This costume took me 6 months, but you could do something similar in less time by cutting corners on the details.
There is nothing else to add.
There are some other kids Alien costumes here on Instructables, maybe combine some of their designs with this to make one for your kid? Best of luck, send me a pic when done!
-Ian
Sevrdhed10 months ago
I'm currently taking this project on! Thanks for a great starting off point!
Mostlymade (author)  Sevrdhed10 months ago
Can't wait to see!
XenoPaul1 year ago
Hi MostlyMade I own an original Xenomorph cast from the Stan Winston moulds from Aliens and have also met and worked with most of the cast on a few projects and I have to say Job Well Done. I can't believe the ingenuity of all the store bought items, Stan would be proud. If you want to check out the build I did from raw latex to the one in my profile, click on my site in the description ;)
I really want to try this for a Werewolf/Lycan head...This looks very light and you acheived alot of detail...any iidea how many blocks of foam are needed for a head alone? And is it possible to make the lower jaw moveable using the foam?
Mostlymade (author)  spyderskiss1 year ago
This is incredibly light. Before I added bondo to fix the shape of the dome (detailed in the steps) the whole head maybe weighed 2lbs at most. Carving a Lycan head would be a breeze out of this stuff. you could get all the shapes of the hear carved and glue fur on top. A movable jaw should be very easy, just make two holes for hinge points and attache a small spring inside to help pull it shut.
The foam comes in sheets, I think they are about 7-8 feet long, and they come in two widths. I usually get the smaller sheet so it fits in my car (you ca cut it to fit in the store too) and it is usually around $15.
A tube of Liquid Nails for foam board is another couple bucks.
I have a big head and I usually stack 4-5 boards next to each other to make the block. I don't mean FULL boards. I figure out the size I want it and cut a piece and cut the following pieces traced from that one.
TIP: The two center boards, cut out out an upside-down "U" shape for your head. This will save a lot of time carving out later.
Please also see my INstructable on The Maitlands masks, you will be able to see good preliminary pics of the boards glued together.
Hope this help, feel free to ask if you have more questions.
-Ian
Amzingly well done and thought out. I love some of you tips...did you do any detailing on your hood to help it blend into your costume and suit more? Can't really tell from the pictures. All of which are incredible.
Mostlymade (author)  spyderskiss1 year ago
Actually you can see the detail on the hood in the picture! just under the back of the jaw on the neck, see those horizontal lines? That's the sport where I see out!
The hood is under the neck flaps on either side of the head and the only part that shows is the front. I sprayed some horizontal lines on this for detailing so it blended in with the other details with no loss of vision.
zoo2boy1 year ago
amazing costume idea and extra advice for the shoulders if epifoam isnt available any substitues recomended?
Mostlymade (author)  zoo2boy1 year ago
Find some thick cardboard. Not regular cardboard box stuff, like1" thick stuff. Try looking in the dumpsters by a SEARS or someplace that ships/sells large appliances. OR, use the insulation foam board that I used for the head. You can carve it to fit, it it rigid and light weight.
thanks for the advice ive modded the design to the card board idea and it turned out great thnks again
GaGaOhLALA1 year ago
Please, can you tell me the mensurations or dimensions of the Head ?! It's for carnival, it's urgent ^^. Thank you for your help ! Your costume is juste awsome ! :D
Mostlymade (author)  GaGaOhLALA1 year ago
The head is 3ft long. But use your judgement in comparing it to your own proportions.
you can add hot glue to the sides of the mouth for a saliva look, but be sure to practise with it first( i have a sculpture with predator stabbing alien in the gut with his forarm spikes, and hot glue is how they made the saliva look on it)
poofrabbit1 year ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
omg i hope you win LOL my new bff, an alien. <3
Great job. Looks very convincing!
This is fantastic, great work!!
Wow, great job, man!

Had to post a comment, with all that work and time you put in your costume!
You have my vote!

5 Stars!

Foam is your friend!
Aoibhiel1 year ago
That is...amazing. Well done!
Honus1 year ago
Outstanding! You should send pictures of this to the folks at ADI- they would probably get a big kick out of this.

http://www.studioadi.com
that is absolutely fantastic I am a HR Giger fan and a lover of alien you have done a brilliant job, :)
rachel1 year ago
Fantastic work! A friend pointed this out to me saying "This guy just won Halloween, by a long shot." Well done sir.
Tatterhood1 year ago
This is *beautiful* (as only Xenomorphs can be) and a fantastic Instructable. I can only hope to one day make one as awesome as yours!
Partybot1 year ago
Wow. That is extremely good! I'm really impressed with your foam work and airbrushing finishes. The tail sub-structure is really well setup also. You may already have it, but did you consider doing cable work for the extra long fingers?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHF3NRIQrFY
Awesome! The detail in the head is amazing!