Introduction: Animal Costume From the Muppets
Bring the party with this Animal costume! I strongly suggest starting by finding every relevant picture from the web you can to use as reference. Here are some of the other things you'll need.
Paper Mache (Flour, Water, Salt, and Paper)
Large 17" Balloon
Felt (Red, Pink, and Black)
Clear Plastic Christmas Ornaments
Yarn (Red, Pink, and Orange)
White closed cell hard foam
Construction Hard Hat
Orange Long Sleeve Shirt
Orange Knee High Soccer Socks
Hemp Rope Belt
Punk Rock T-Shirt
Fake Plastic Chain
Step 1: Paper Mache
1 part flour, 2 parts water, add some salt to help make it stronger and last longer (or so I've been told)
This process can be a little messy, so put down some plastic and wear an apron.
1) Blow up the balloon and tape it to a base that will keep it upright.
2) Rip some recycled paper into 2" strips. Ripping helps make a good edge for bonding, and you should prepare all the paper you'll need before getting your hands dirty.
3) Go to town, making sure to completely cover the balloon evenly. I did about 5-7 total layers to make it really strong and easy to handle later on.
You will need to let it cure completely, which might take a couple days, before you pop the balloon and start cutting!
Step 2: Re-Enforce and Structure
Using your reference pictures, draw on the basic layout to make sure you get the proportions and placement right. I used some tape to make sure my lines were straight and even. A little extra time here will not be wasted.
With the layout right, cut out the mouth and nose opening, and level off the bottom of the head. A sharp utility knife will work just fine.
Re-enforce the edges with some Sintra Plastic to maintain the round shape, and attach a hoop for the bottom of the mouth.
Rivet the mache dome onto the construction hard hat, making sure to leave enough space at the front for the mouth to intrude, and your face to still fit.
Step 3: The Fur and Face
Using spray adhesive, cover the mache dome and stretch the orange fleece, starting in the front and working your way to the back. Make sure you chose a fabric that stretches in both directions so you can more easily work out wrinkles. There will be a lot of extra material at the back. Just cut it off, and you'll cover the ugly seams with the hair.
The eyes are simply clear Christmas ornaments cut in half and spray painted white. Attach them with hot glue and use some scrap fleece to make a lower eye lid. The faux fur makes a great eyebrow, and some extra black felt circles for the pupils.
The nose is another Christmas ornament covered in red felt, and stuck through a hole made in the paper mache.
Step 4: The Mouth
The mouth is formed using two pieces of cardboard, covered with black felt. The top piece is mounted to the paper mache dome, and the bottom piece is attached to the mouth hoop. The bottom has a space cut out for your nose, which is cleverly covered by the tongue made of pink felt. The teeth are hand carved from hard, closed cell foam.
Between the top and bottom, is a piece of black skrim that is see-though up close, but opaque from the front.
To form the chin, simply roll the end of a piece of fleece, glue it in place, then attach the loose end underneath.
Step 5: The Hair - UPDATED
The hair is made of yarn sewn onto strips of fleece and hot glued in place.
Wrap yarn around a piece of cardboard, tape it down the center and sew it all together.
When cut free from the cardboard, and cut in half, you have two lengths of hair to attach to the head. I did some short ones for the beard and base of the head, and a few long ones to cover everything else.
UPDATE - MORE INFO
I've added a couple more pictures to make this step a little clearer. The yarn is wrapped around a piece of cardboard, with a couple strips of accent colors laid on top, and a strip of tape holds it all together.
Run a knife or scissors along the back to cut it free from the cardboard. A strip of felt is then laid on top, and the whole thing is sewn together with two parallel stitches. Cut down the center of the felt and the two stitches, and you have two lengths of yarn hair.
I simply attached this to the head using hot glue, but you could sew it in with a curved upholstery needle.
Step 6: The Finishing Touches
To finish off the whole look, I used orange knee high soccer socks, a long sleeve orange shirt, orange gloves, some ripped up brown pants, and a braided hemp rope belt. I found a fun, busy patterned t-shirt, and upped the punk level by stencil spray painting on some rock fingers.
The shackles were made with Sintra plastic and hand carved foam spikes. I attached the plastic chain by cutting one link in half, drilling two holes in the collar, and running a ziptie through the link. All of which were then spray painted metallic silver.
If you have never played with Sintra, it is amazing and versatile stuff. It comes in sheets and can be found at sign supply shops. The material will become soft and plyable under high heat (blowtorch), and will maintain that shape when it cools. It will melt and burn too, so heat it slowly and be careful.
Grab some drum sticks and chase some WOMAN!
ANIMAL!!! BEAT DRUMS BEAT DRUMS AHHAAHHAHAH!!!
Step 8: Updates and More Info
It makes me incredibly happy to have inspired people to try to make their very own Muppet! Due to a tremendous response, I thought I would add a little more info and answer some questions I've received about this costume.
First off, I am aware Animal is a drummer! I took the pictures seen here holding a Guitar Hero guitar at a local haunted house fund raiser I volunteer at. Animal rocks at Guitar Hero!!!
I decided it was necessary to get some proper pictures of Animal doing what he does best, so enjoy!