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...

Step 1: Before you Begin: Key Tools and Ingrediants

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

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)
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.
<p>Hello Mostlymade! I must give you a huge &quot;Thank You!&quot; for making this tutorial. Your Xenomorph is absolutely stunning and, after my attempt, I truly appreciate the effort to achieve the level of detail you were able to incorporate into your Xenomorph, particularly on the head. After much thought, I decided to edit the concept. I've had something on my head the last 4 years that has limited my vision/movement and determined I could not be THE Xenomorph. Instead, I created the torso and had it behind me with the tail coming through my chest to give the effect that I was one of the victims. I'm attaching some pictures of the outcome. Man, what a humbling experience this was! And quite a few setbacks. In the end, I am quite happy with the outcome. It was definitely well received this past Halloween. Again, thanks so much for your creativity and the tutorial!</p>
I can't really tell... did the alien have legs? Also, what did you use to stuff your alien and keep it rigid?
<p>No legs. I had a friend help me make a mold of my chest/back and arms out of plaster strips. It's important to have someone you can trust since they'll have to cut the plaster very close to the skin. I also recommend wearing an old shirt so the plaster is not in direct contact with the skin or any chest/arm hair. Once the molds have set, I used expanding foam (GreatStuff) to create the torso and arms. I extended the length of the Alien below the waist and trimmed it so it would have a snug fit into a book bag. I taped the heck out of it so it would stay in place and then covered everything with black cloth to hide the silver of the tape and the color of the book bag. I'm attaching some pictures showing the process.</p>
Absolutely AMAZING! You have taken this costume to a whole new level! I love it! Fantastic job on your costume, I wish it had been mine. :)<br>Love that you added the protruded tongue, too!<br>
<p>Thanks so much for the compliments! It means a lot coming from you. :)</p>
<p>Thank you! Very Cool costume. Your instructions are very helpful. Great job!</p>
<p>I love this! I'm going to make this for Halloween (hopefully starting in March will give me enough time to complete it...) and am currently working on the head. I am wondering if you remember the dimensions of the block of foam before you started carving. The one I've made is 8&quot; wide x 12&quot; tall x 36&quot; long. This appears to be large enough to give me a good curve and enough length, though I might make it wider because my head is 6&quot; wide and that only gives me an inch of wiggle room on either side... thoughts?</p>
I made the block by gluing 2-3 pieces together then carving down. You want the Alien head slightly wider than your head, so your head can fit inside it, so measure accordingly. You can see in the pictures for mine I stacked foam sheet 4 wide to make my head. 3ft for the length of the head was what mine measured and was plenty adequate. I would make your block a little taller than 12&quot; though to be safe. Better too much than too little. You can see I didn't make mine tall enough at first which flattened the head out, which I had to correct later, which was a drag. Do it right from the start. You can get a sheet for relatively cheap at Home Depot/ Lowes.<br>Hope to see pictures when it is done! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!<br><br>
<p>This answered my question!</p>
<p>Hope your Alien venture is going well! And even if you only make the head, you are well on your way, plus it will look great hanging over your mantle!</p>
Hi friend! Can you make one for me?
<p>Sorry, no time. </p>
<p>May I ask, what did you do to make up the neck piece and still cover your face for the costume. I can see in the pictures that you did something and it looks great, but I can't quite figure out what you did.</p>
<p>The main neck piece was just two pieces of fabric with the tubes glued onto them. It velcros under my chin, so it essentially fits like a bonnet with only my face exposed. To hide my face I used one of those black, see-through phantom masks. I just spray-painted the lines on it to make it blend in with the neck. </p>
<p>are u any good at electronics </p>
<p>also when you were making the head did you just get one big block of foam and carve it out or did you glue multiple pieces together </p>
<p>I glued 4-5 pieces together. but if you can find a solid block big enough, you could do it that way too.</p>
Hi Sir. I would like to be an alien, by I don't have time to make one. Can you please make one for me mostlymade? If you do I will be quite pleased so I hope you can make it!!!
<p>This took me 7 months to make. But there is still time for you to get going on it for next year!</p>
I think if you add, slashed glow-in the dark green paint in randome places, it whould look cool. The pait will look like the acid blood.
<p>add it on the head in an noughts and crosses formation On the head </p>
mostlymade why is your rear end showing
<p>Hopefully you see this! First damn awesome work. It's been ad ream of mine to have a Xenomorph costume for Halloween and conventions. I came across your guide and decided I'm going to do this. Just a few questions. The head. You said you got a slim sheet of insulation foam. Did you cut that up into four equal parts to make it that thick and glue them together like how sliced bread is stacked? (IDK if that makes sense). At first I was thinking you made a box from the insulation but yours looks like a chunky piece. I think I can go from there once I get clarification. I appreciate any advice. Even if I only complete the head and tail I could do some weirdness for Halloween with me in a black suit and the head and tail lol.</p>
About how much did this cost?
<p>I originally started out looking to buy a xenomorph costume but as you soon learn this is near on impossible (certainly being in the UK)!! I then thought maybe I could make one and was lucky enough to find your thread.</p><p>Firstly can I just say what an amazing piece - this does look fantastic. Secondly thank you for sharing all your tips, do's and don'ts - they have been invaluable. </p><p>Despite not being a particularly arty type, after reading your thread I was inspired to have a go! After a lot of reading, research and mess I am now onto the final stages of the head - see attached. I still need to complete the final paint work to give some grey depth effect and the teeth but as you know this is a slow process!</p><p>I am now starting to source the materials for the rest of the costume and wondered if you would mind answering a few questions?</p><p>1) Did you use spray paint of the head to get the grey effect or just dry brush it? Also is this the same for the rest of the costume? Only you mentioned both at various times.</p><p>2) Is the shirt (worn under the vest) for the sleeves and stomach attachments just a long sleeve cotton shirt or a fleece material?</p><p>3) You mentioned rubber insulating tube for the base of the tail but I can't see what this is used for? Is it essential to the construction of the tail? </p><p>Thanks in advance.</p><p>Michael</p>
Michael,<br>Looking good! I'm so glad I was able to help other people realize their Alien costume dreams, but I should warn you...grown men will hug you, college girls will molest you and kids will follow you. :) As for your questions:<br>1: I spray painted a line of metallic silver/ gunmetal along the top of the dome to give it that slight silver tint. It really helps define the edge, even in the dark. This was the only place on the costume that I used the silver. I did use just a simple grey primer on other parts though. However, be careful if you carve out of foam. Spray paint can dissolve it. I Put a layer or two of matte black enamel paint on my foam pieces before I sprayed them. I ALSO dry brushed medium grey on some of the parts. Either way works, but if you are worried, use the second method to be safe.<br>2: The shirt is not fleece. Man, you would be boiling!, However, that could work as well. Same with a cotton shirt. Mine was a moisture whicking shirt because I knew I would get hot. I chose this because with all the foam and details glued to it it would be nearly impossible to wash it without destroying the work. So, wear an under shirt or get ready so run only parts of it under water to wash it as needed.<br>3: The rubber tubing in the tail was to bulk up the tail and give it girth. It was also easy to glue to and more importantly, easy to cut so I could get that tapered look to the tail. It was also flexible and already black, saving me worry about painting it and chipping if I knocked into things. <br><br>Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please ask!<br>Can't wait to see it completed!<br>Best,<br>-Ian
<p>Hi Ian,</p><p>Thanks for such a prompt response and again all your help - very much appreciated.</p><p>I will post some more pictures as things develop and the costume starts to come together.</p><p>Best wishes</p><p>Michael</p>
Awesome and inspiring! Great read. Loved the chat about pros and cons with the tail. Good work. People like you keep the world right!
Do you know how much the total cost of the make was?
<p>I'm making mine right now.. I'm spending at least close to $500-$600. $300 for fabric, helmet, tools, and additional $200 airbrush paint kit. =( </p>
Wow! That seems like a lot to me, but then I bought as much of it as I could (like the clothes, helmet, etc) at Salvation Army stores and second hand. <br>I managed the paint with just a can of glass black and grey spray paint instead of a full airbrush kit.<br>That being said, I bet your will look AWESOME! Can't wait to see pics!<br>
<p>Maybe make a video like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVk6qryB6Z4 including a making of(or somebody else) to make it more comprehensive for non-english readers</p>
<p>That is freaking beautiful! You are talented.</p>
<p>i'd pay for this</p>
<p>Thanks, after watching the movies a wanted to make the costume so much!!! i just finished making the tail. for the tail i didn't use the vacumehose since theyre expemsive. instead i used foam pipe insulation for 1&quot; pipes!! it doesn't look that cool but it works. i made the tail raised by putting velcro on the tai amd on the head!! it works great and looks amazing!!!</p>
<p>wow - that is impressive. totally awesome.</p>
I so want to make this it just that Halloween is in 6 days and i have none of the supplys!!!! Ill be back next year
<p>The build is impressive. The sculpting job on the head is tremendous and correctly detailed. I am more of a fan of the ALIENS creature because the ribbed head looks so scary. </p><p>P.S. Xenomorph is actually the &quot;now&quot; correct designation for the beast. Xeno meaning strange and Morph means to change. </p><p>I am going to attempt another sculpt using your wonderful ideas.</p><p>Thanks again</p>
Thanks for the tutorial. I made one following your guide lines. Turned out pretty good. <br>You are awesome! Thanks again!
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!<br>Best,<br>-Ian
<p>Hi Mostlymade. Sorry this is coming a bit late, but here&quot;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.</p>
<p>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?</p>
<p>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!</p>
That's sick&hellip; I'll never do it but still cool
<p>This is BEAST! Great job on the detail!!</p>
<p>This is BEAST! Great job on the detail!!</p>
Epic!! Looks great! <br> <br>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!
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.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am an artist in upstate New York who works in a variety of mediums including illustration, digital, sculptural and photographic. Currently employed as Director ... More »
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