For the past few years I have been making a couple of homemade costumes for my boys each Halloween. Last year I made a Masterchief following some of the advice from this site and it turned out pretty good. This year my youngest boys told me they want to go as Alien VS Predator. Well I knew that this was going to take a bit of time so I started in September. I decided to start with the Alien, arguably the more difficult costume, not finding too much advice for making a homemade Alien costume I had to get more creative. Did I mention that I am leaving one job and starting another so I only had a budget of about $25.00?
Step 1: Building the Head
The Alien head seemed like the most difficult part to me... How to get that elongated tubular shape? And how to get it to stay on the kids head? Well, I started looking around the garage. Digging through the clutter I came up with an old bicycle helmet. being made of Styrofoam it was pretty easy to shape. I started by cutting the sides down to the bare minimum so my Alien didn't have too bulbous of a head. Now we needed some tubes. The local dollar store came in very handy, I found several 3 quart plastic containers and a plastic pitcher that seemed very promising. Total cost? $3.00 doing good. I cut the containers up and hot glued them onto the helmet. By the way... I went through two bags of hot glue which are about 4 bucks apiece. Then I cut the bottom off of the pitcher, cut that in half and I had my Alien Jaws. A little marker to draw out the teeth, sharp scissors and boom.. we had Alien teeth. I used scrap pieces of the pitcher to make the rest of the Jaws. The head needed a little rounding, fortunately I had several empty 2 liter bottles. By the way, careful with hot glue around two liter bottles, they wrinkle and shrink if the glue is too hot.
Step 2: continuing the head.
The Alien jaw needed a little more depth, so I turned to dollar store fun noodles. Wonderful, cheap, closed cell foam, they worked wonders. I figured we needed some lips too so I broke out the coat hangers. Just heat up a screwdriver and melt a little hole for the hanger to fit in. A little more foam to fill out the neck and we are on our way. it's starting to look pretty good!
Step 3: Finishing the Head.
Alright. We need some kind of neck. Off to the thrift store! The local thrift store had a wonderful 2 dollar bag sale, so I stuffed a long black fake leather coat, black tights and a black long sleeve shirt into my bag. $2.00! So far well within my budget. When you cut up the vinyl fake leather it glues quite easily to the plastic. So now I have a neck and lips. time for some features. The Blue tube is empty 3/8 electrical flex that I had floating around. for the other ribbed sections I used an old pool pump hose that I had cluttering up the garage. A small piece of rope, artfully cut piece of cardboard and two blue balloons for cheeks and I was set. Time for that black paint! By the way, cheap black paint and vinyl don't mix. The paint reacts with the vinyl and takes on this nasty sticky texture which is very difficult to get rid of. So, before painting anything with vinyl on it, get some good plastic paint. A couple more two liter bottles to fill holes and we have a basic black alien head.
Step 4: Finishing touches, now the body.
Looking pretty good.. but the teeth look kind of flat. Time to head to the discount store for some..... glamor nails! A pack of 100 nails was surprisingly cheap. Cut those babies down, even more hot glue, some silver model paint and our Alien finally has some bite. The inner mouth is a pair of cheap glow in the dark vampire fangs glued to a toilet paper tube... cut down the tube and paint the fangs silver too. Have I mentioned hot glue? Most of the texture and details are just carefully applied hot glue. A couple of Velcro tabs to hold the neck together and the head is done.
Step 5: the body
The body came pretty easy after the head. Card board plates for the front and back. More fun noodles for the back horns. I used coat hangers inside the noodles to get them to hold the right shape. Cereal box cardboard for arm plates horn plates. Lots of hot glue for texture. I cut strips out of the fun noodles for the ribs, a strip of pool hose for the sternum and then covered that with a cut out piece of cardboard. The ribcage needs Velcro tabs in order to make it fit securely enough. Shoulder plates are mare out of more cardboard with fun noodle tops, held on with Velcro strips. Lots of pool tubing strips on the belly and neck for texture. Gloves are fake leather with extra thumbs glued to the bottom. Made out of that vinyl coat I bought. I used that fake leather on the legs also with more hot glue for detail. Oh yes... the tail. that used to be a stuffed snake. cut cardboard vertebra out and hot glue those suckers on. By the way. in order to paint a brightly colored fabric snake black, you must use a LOT of paint.
Step 6: Finished!
A couple of finishing touches.. nails on the gloves and shoes... even more hot glue and black paint. and we are done! Now I need to get started on the Predator. Hope this helps if somebody wants to make an Alien Xenomorph.. all you need is cardboard, plastic containers a lot of patience and.... Hot Glue!!!