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>Hi. I am attempting to make this for my 10 year old son. The insulation board that I found at Lowe's is a styrofoam type product. I glued the boards together with Liquid Nails as you demonstrate but when I began to carve, the material was quite crumbly and the boards split apart. Your material looks smoother and more uniform than styrofoam. Can you clarify whether your insulation was like styrofoam or if it is something different. Thanks!!</p>
Hey there!<br>It sounds like you got the wrong type of foam board. The board I used is an insulation foam. It was blue, but I have seen it in pink and green, too. It is NOT the yellow kind with foil on the outside. <br>Styrofoam tends to be made of many small bead-like pieces, which you can see. If you used this, it is the wrong type. The Foam should not be crumbly. Also, make sure you are using the Liquid Nails specifically for foam insulation board.<br>Below is a picture of the foam board I used. I hope this helps!<br>-Ian
<p>I just want to say thank you so much for this guide. The below took me 10 months of slow progress, but I could not have done it without your help. I debuted my first cosplay this year at NYC Comicon and could not have been more pleased - it was a crowd pleaser! </p><p>Thank you so much!!</p><p>https://giphy.com/gifs/3o7TKSEjPF0ePpJ7LW</p>
Sup guys im 11 and really want this costume.Im going to a halloween school party in about a month and a half will try to make this costume!!if u have a ny tips plz tell<br><br><br>
<p>Hello, I am a high school student wishing to build this for Halloween this year, but I am not a very artsy person. I can't draw well, nor can I paint well, but I'm willing to try. Is there any way that you could elaborate on your painting techniques so that my costume's paint job won't look messy? I would really appreciate if you could.</p>
The head was painted with black gloss enamel paint. I then dry-brushed grays over top of that to bring out the details. I lightly sprayed the dome with a silver to give it the slight sheen.<br>The upholstery foam was also spray painted black, then detailed lightly with gray spray paint.<br><br>I really used spray paint or dry brushed grays on it. The teeth were painted with a silver enamel paint.<br><br>Hope this helps!
<p>Hi I'd like to share what I have made so far after being inspired by your costumes. Which are awesome btw. I hope you like it and I hope i'll have it finished by Halloween. Thanks </p>
<p>Looking good! You should have t done by Halloween no problem, you got all the hard parts done! What is the detailing on the shoulder made out of?</p>
<p>Hi, thanks, I used a horseshoe shaped piece of foam as the arches and covered the edges with foam rods (for concrete expansion joints) which I have also used for the ribs and other parts. I still have a lot to do as I need to latex the face mask to the head so it is one unit. I also need to latex the ribs but can't do this until I put it on as I am abit wider than my manikin lol.</p><p>On my arms I just crafted a piece of foam and stuck it on, any suggestions on how I can tackle the detail on the legs?</p><p>I'll upload more pictures as I go if you want, it's nice for someone to appreciate the effort that goes into something like this, even if it is just for fun :)</p><p>Do you know of any scifi festivals apart from London, I can't afford the &pound;550 they want lol.</p>
<p>Wouldn't a can of expanding foam work for the head and be even cheaper? There might be more work in shaping and sanding but it would also be light weight and I believe you can spray paint it. I bet you could do the head and the back pieces for about $10 (around $5 a can at any local home improvement store). Great tutorial on how to use expanding foam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f7HTbojPTc</p>
<p>H.R Giger would be proud of you. :)</p>
<p>how much did theis cost you? Like money wise? (American money $) by the way this is the most amazing alien costume I have ever seen! Great job!</p>
<p>Hey there Mostlymade! I'm in the midst of making my Xenomorph and I just had a couple questions. First of all, with the dome being made out of this foam insulation that you mentioned, would it be possible to have a moving jaw? That was in my original plan many months ago and I would be thrilled to keep it. Also, how do you see? My base is a morph suit so that's see through but I still need to make a neck. How do you suggest that I not lose my sight in that process? But anyways thank you soo much for this tutorial! It has helped immensely! </p>
<p>Now that I've thought about it, I'm probably scrapping the moving jaw, at least for this year's festival since my deadline is fast approaching. But the sight question still stands! Thanks!</p>
Hey, there! Sorry for the late reply!<br>It would be possible to have a moving jaw, but I would have to figure it out myself.<br>Good idea with the Moog suit, although I don't see why you would need the whole suit to wear. Are you gluing the details to that?<br>Anyway, attached is an image of me wearing the head. Remember, I used part of a bike helmet inside the head and use the straps to strap it to my head. The neck is fabric that hangs down around my head and velcros together under my chin. It's sort of like a bonnet. When I wear my costume I wear one of those black, see-through 'phantom' type halloween masks. I spray painted some stripes on the front of it to blend into the neck. Trust me, they will be looking at the head! I left the black mask off in this picture so you can see my face and how I would see. <br>Hope this helps, can't wait to see yours!<br>Best,<br>-Ian
<p>Cool! Thanks so much! and yeah I'm using the Morph suit as a base to glue the details on and just make sure everything's covered and I found some see-through-ish black fabric that I think, with the right texturing and details, could work for the neck! But yeah thanks for replying and I'll be sure to post a couple pictures when I finish!</p>
<p>Now that I've thought about it, I'm probably scrapping the moving jaw, at least for this year's festival since my deadline is fast approaching. But the sight question still stands! Thanks!</p>
<p>Now that I've thought about it, I'm probably scrapping the moving jaw, at least for this year's festival since my deadline is fast approaching. But the sight question still stands! Thanks!</p>
<p>Now that I've thought about it, I'm probably scrapping the moving jaw, at least for this year's festival since my deadline is fast approaching. But the sight question still stands! Thanks!</p>
<p>Now that I've thought about it, I'm probably scrapping the moving jaw, at least for this year's festival since my deadline is fast approaching. But the sight question still stands! Thanks!</p>
<p>Now that I've thought about it, I'm probably scrapping the moving jaw, at least for this year's festival since my deadline is fast approaching. But the sight question still stands! Thanks!</p>
Hey Mostly Made! I'm super psyched to get some momentum on my alien costume inspired by your instructable, but could you provide any more information on the foam board insulation (brand,item number,typicaI uses...)?I tried going to Lowe's and Home Depot but they didn't have anything like the pictures and they didn't know what I was talking about. <br>-Thanks!
<p>I stopped by Home Depot and they had 2&quot; thick purple foam that would work. It's called Foamular 250. </p><p>The tag says </p><p>2&quot;x4'x8' Insulation XPS Scored SQEDG F250 R10</p><p>$33.92 for one sheet, which should be plenty.</p>
<p>Here's a picture!</p>
<p>Item #: 304090 | Model #: 100000050518</p><p>Kingspan Insulation R10 Unfaced Polystyrene Foam Board Insulation (2in x 4ft x 8ft)</p><p>This is what it says on lowes.com and what I'm planning on getting! Hope that helps!</p>
<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 This Instructable




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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