Introduction: Batman Costume

Picture of Batman Costume

Nothing is cooler than having your very own Batman costume. I decided it was high time for me to make one. Unfortunately, I made this costume before the thought hit me to make an intructible on it. So it won't be as detailed as I would normally like.

Please vote for me for the Halloween Costume Contest.

Step 1: Materials

EVA foam - I used about 5-6 tiles. There is a good website that has these cheap and they do free shipping. Rubber Flooring Inc

Plasti-Dip Spray

Matte Black Spray paint

Heat Knife

Dremel Tool

Sand Paper

Velcro Strips (non adhesive)

Glue (I used these two brands with similar results: Allen's Super Fabric adhesive & Loctite Flexible Adhesive

Small - Medium sized clamps

Black Concrete gloves

Plastic Resin

Black Zentai Suit (headless)

Boots - (I got mine here)

Black Fabric for cape

An amazing wife (this came in really handy for me)

Step 2: Research

Picture of Research

My favorite suit is the one from Batman Begins. So I spent some time researching different pictures to give me a good sense of what I would be building.

Step 3: Templates

This is a very important step in the process. After gathering my source materials I needed a template to cut out of foam. I have a friend who is very skilled with Adobe Illustrator. We used the source material to then draw the templates over the top of the pictures. This worked for the chest and abs, however, the ribs, arms and legs were difficult to do this way. So I scoured the internet and found some templates that others had made. That can be found here.

In order to make sure these fit me accurately, we measured by body and then made the adjustments on Illustrator. Then, we cut out paper patterns to see if they were indeed the right size for my body. We learned in most cases that they weren't and needed to make a few more adjustments. I am 6'0" and of somewhat slender build. The documents attached fit me specifically.

Keep in mind that you will be cutting out of foam and will need to factor this into the process. This is especially true of the cuffs.

Step 4: Cut Out Shapes

Picture of Cut Out Shapes

I wish I had more pictures of this process. This is where the heat knife comes in really handy. When cutting the foam, precision is very important. While you can use scissors, I had much more success with the heat knife.

The pieces shown in the picture show a couple of the things that I needed to do. The brown foam is craft foam and worked well for the batman symbol. You can also see that I had to do some extra stuff to make the chest piece give me some extra pectoral power. I had to fold and form the form to fit to my chest and add extra bulk. I used what I learned in this instructable to do that.

The leg/thigh pieces were a bit more complicated. Once cut out, the designs need to be cut into them. I used a cutting wheel on my dremel to cut about 1/8" into the foam. This has to be done before the shaping as it will look much better. This process was done on the ribs, legs, and cuffs.

Step 5: Carve Foam

Picture of Carve Foam

This is where some artistic ability is required. Beyond cutting lines into the foam, there are several pieces (especially the abs) that need to be shaped in order improve overall look and believe-ability. Again I used my dremel for this. Take it slowly as the dremel can quickly dig into the foam and really mess up your piece. Seriously... very frustrating.

On the obliques I shaved down the front and back of the foam. You can only see the front carving in the pictures. I did this so it could be form fitting without big ridges. The biceps had to be smoothed down around the edges for the same reason.

I also did a neck piece later on. This was done without any template and totally free hand. Sorry I don't have a template for you. I carved the foam after heating it to make it look like the muscles of the neck.

Step 6: Spray Coat of Plasi-dip

Picture of Spray Coat of Plasi-dip

If you spray the EVA foam directly with spray paint, the paint will crack and look bad fairly quickly. Plasti-Dip prevents this from happening. Make sure to get a solid coat of Plasti-Dip sprayed onto each of pieces of armor. It doesn't need to be on the back of the armor. Let this dry fully as outlined on the spray can.

Step 7: Heat Fit Foam to Body

Picture of Heat Fit Foam to Body

Again, I don't have any pictures of this process. It is kind of hands on (literally). Also, the pictures here are shown a year after completing the project. I just wanted to show what they look like after they are formed.

To heat fit the foam, I heated my oven to 300 degrees. I then placed the piece of foam to be formed into the oven from anywhere from a minute to 2 minutes. Watch it carefully. Too long and the foam begins to shrink. I had to make a few pieces again because they shrunk. When they are ready, they are quite flexible.

Take the foam out and then hold it into place of where it belongs. I had my wife help me with this because with several pieces needed more than just my hands. Hold them there for a minimum of a minute, until they have cooled enough to keep it's form.

A heat gun can be used to make any corrections.

Step 8: Spray Paint

Picture of Spray Paint

It is important to get matte black spray paint. Batman's costume isn't shiny.

Now spray all the pieces with a black coat. I did about 3 coats for each part. This takes some time with the bigger, curved pieces (legs and arms).

Step 9: Foam to Zentai

Picture of Foam to Zentai

This was the biggest challenge of the project. I got on many different costuming websites to see what others had done to attach foam to the fabric. Many people were saying to glue it directly to the suit, though there wasn't a lot of agreement on which type of glue was best. As Halloween approached I got more and more worried that I wasn't going to be able to make this project work. I tried the glue approach. As can be seen in the picture, it didn't really work. The setting time for most fabric glues is at least an hour, usually more like 4. In order to really have the pieces glued in the right place, I would need to be wearing it and waiting. I tried it with my chest piece. Strapped it on with belts to keep it tight. Watched a movie... and it stuck... to me. I even had two layers of shirts under it and it went through it all. Then, when I went to take the suit off, the foam started peeling off.

Back to the drawing board I went. Next was velcro. I tried double sided sticky velcro... it didn't really stick. This is where the tough decisions came. The only other option I had would take a lot more time to make work, but it WOULD work. It required an amazing wife. We decided to sew each little piece of velcro to the suit and glue the opposing piece to the foam.

Step 10: Velcro Madness

Picture of Velcro Madness

This process took many hours. My wife and I were up very late many nights in a row to make sure this was done by Halloween. We finished 2 days before.

The first step is to cut the strips of velcro to sizes that will fit for each piece of armor. I suggest at least 2 pieces for each armor part, sometimes more. Then, sand down the back of the foam where the velcro will be glued. This is really important. I didn't do that on a few spots and the velcro comes off with minimal effort. You have to sand through the plastic coating. Then wipe it down so you have a clean surface. Next, put glue on the foam and the velcro and let sit for at least 30 sec. to get a little tacky. Then put them together. I left the pieces together for this. Clamp the velcro and the foam. I used cardboard as a buffer to not dent the foam. Let sit the appropriate amount of hours. After this is secure, you are ready for the next step.

I drew chalk onto the back of the velcro and then placed the armor in the correct location while wearing the suit. This will mark the spot the opposing piece of velcro needs to be sewn on. This is also why the adhesive velcro won't work... it just gums up the sewing machine.

I had to do this step by step, especially with the chest and abs and ribs. I started with the chest and worked down to make sure each piece worked together. The velcro does give a little flexiblity in the placement, but not much. Placement is really important to make this look good. Make sure there is good placement before sewing.

In all, we ended up having somewhere between 80 & 100 individual pieces of velcro sewn to the suit... Again, amazing wife!

Step 11: Cape

Picture of Cape

I am no professional here, but I just made up this pattern. It was a slow process of adjustments and checking to see how it looked. When I finally got the right shape (with some help from my amazing wife) we sewed up the hems to keep it from fraying. Then, I made some foam caps to attach the cape to the suit. I put velcro on each of these as well. It goes on great!

Step 12: Gloves and Cuffs

Picture of Gloves and Cuffs

These were fun to make, but took a little more effort than just cutting and gluing.

Hot glue the spikes into place in the cuffs. Hot glue works really well for this.

The thing to keep in mind with these is that you have to be able to get them on and off. However, you don't want them to slip off while wearing them. That means the wrist portion needs to be smaller than the fist, which also makes in more difficult to get the fist through the opening. My answer? Elastic. This gave me a little more flex. I used the fabric glue for this ad it worked ok, but then I reinforced it with superglue. The superglue worked really well.

The spikes, being made out of foam, were rather soft and flexible and not Batmanish. Therefore, they needed some reinforcements as well. This is where the liquid resin came in. I mixed up a batch as described in the packaging and applied two coats to the spikes (make sure they have already been hot glued into the cuff first). This gave them a ton more strength. Granted, they are no metal spikes and will break. (One of mine did when a friend of mine who had dressed as Bane decided to come attack me. Instinctively raising my arm to block his attack yielded the spike break)

I sprayed my cuffs and spikes with a glossy black as they are supposed to be metal. I liked the way they turned out.

Step 13: Cowl

Picture of Cowl

I did a full instructable for this step. Please visit that instructable for instructions on how to make it.

Batman Cowl

Step 14: Make-up

Picture of Make-up

Easy step, but important. Everyone knows that Batman's eyes are shrouded in black. This really takes the cowl to the next step. Just get some black face paint and make sure you get the areas that skin show.

Step 15: Put It on and Look Awesome!

Picture of Put It on and Look Awesome!

It is so much fun to wear this costume. People really start geeking out. Especially kids. The first picture was a charity event that I attended for Intermountain Healing Hearts foundation. There were loads of kids with health problems that were just over the moon to meet Batman in person. This totally made the many hours of work worth it.

I hope you enjoy this "ible.

Comments

paddymolloy91 (author)2017-08-07

Hey man, suit looks great! I've followed your instructions carefully but the chest armor seems to be a lot smaller when I cut ut out. Yours appears to be a lot bigger!

you may need to resize to fit you. I printed to check and then got the right side for me.

Okay thanks! Also, I've coated the armor in a few coats of plastidip and used a black matt spray but it's not finishing as well as yours. Was there any particular brand of spray paint you used?

eljaypropshop (author)2017-08-10

Nathan - cool suit man.

I'm making arkham robin, origins batman and dawn of justice batman.

For the spikes I used heavy duty matting, heated it to seal it then I treated with watered down school/pva glue.

Also if you want to add some variation check out foamcave.com

I sometimes use their foam pattern for gauntlets and if you play it crafty the offcuts from the inside of their gauntlets make really cool looking pieces for the ab's on future outfits too ;)

My work can be found on www.facebook.com/starlorduk/

I have linked your tutorial to get you extra views too.

I also started making batman and Robin belts as well.

Take care and hope the suit making is still going strong :)

I've actually created another costume. I haven't published the Instructable for the full costume, but check out the ones for the cowl and gauntlets!

https://www.instructables.com/id/Batman-Cowl-20/

https://www.instructables.com/id/Batman-Gauntlets-2/

luisn (author)2017-05-11

Awesome work Nathan, what is the thickness of the foam you used in this costume?

Best regards from Argentina...

NathanSellers (author)luisn2017-05-11

It's roughly 1/2".

Ben_s_01 made it! (author)2016-11-09

Thanks for the tutorial!! I made a joker batman imposter costume using parts of your tutorial!!

NathanSellers (author)Ben_s_012016-11-09

looks cool. thanks for sharing.

ShannerrNanner (author)2016-10-31

The templates in ".ai" I am unable to view once I download them
Would you happen to have the ones in ".ai" in a "pdf" file as well ?

sorry, that's the only file I have. I putting together a new Batman costume Ann's will try pdf files.

Brynxe made it! (author)2016-10-27

Really appreciated your instructions! this was the first costume I have ever made and they were easy to use. I ended up buying the mask, but used the templates for the rest of the suit. I am making it for a costume contest and should be finished by tonight or Saturday (cutting it close!)

I did alter how it was attached to the morphsuit. I don't have good sewing skills so I cut grooves in the pieces and hot-glued safety pins to them. I tried out a few and the seem to hold well. This way I can reuse the under suit easier. (pictures below.

I will post pictures once I am done.

NathanSellers (author)Brynxe2016-10-27

looks awesome. that is a creative solution. I think it will be bet time consuming to put it all on and take it off!

Brynxe (author)NathanSellers2016-10-27

Thanks!

Yeah on putting it on, I assume it will take 30 minutes to an hour to get everything situated perfectly (It only took me 30 minutes to attach the pins), but hopefully once the pieces are on I won't have to take them off the undersuit until after Halloween. I can let you know how long it took in total later if you like.

Brynxe made it! (author)Brynxe2016-10-31

You were right, it didn't take long to make them, but it took almost 2 hours and multiple pokes to the skin to get it on by myself. If someone was helping I think it might have gone quicker. I had to redo the pecs as well like you did as the template was to small, but it came out great. I wore it to my church's festival last night (My niece was catwoman). Must have taken 50 pics with strangers and kids.

Thank you so much for the guide!

NathanSellers (author)Brynxe2016-10-31

looks awesome. glad you had a great time.

BegoFalimar made it! (author)2016-10-19

almost done making it... Need to figure out the neck piece. Just for note, seal the plaster mask before adding clay to it as the moisture absorbs into the plaster making it soft and very difficult to work with :P

BegoFalimar (author)BegoFalimar2016-10-19

once it is all said and done I'll get a photo of the suit on and wonderwoman by my side :)

Did you use clay for the entire mask? Or just the features and sanded the rest?

Also how did you attach the elastic to the bracers?

Any tips for designing the neck piece?

I did the entire mask with clay so it could be smooth. I hot glued the elastic for the bracers.

did you have any problems with the mask cracking in places? If so what did you do to counter this?

I didn't. The PlastiDip kept it together pretty will. The tip of the ear chipped when I was walking down stairs, but it was an easy fix.

so I bought some black caulk for the cracks it allows for the flex in those places but holds the mask together... kind of makes for a battle scar appearance :P took a few coats of caulking and smoothing it out.

Awesome I can't wait to see the whole thing.

BegoFalimar made it! (author)NathanSellers2016-10-23

I will definitely use the dremel for the smoothing and shaping next time, but for my first DIY costume I think it turned out decent, was certainly a fun process and I learned a lot! ?

Looks awesome! Well done.

Its looking really good. on the neck piece I wrapped paper around my neck to get a general pattern. Then I cut out the foam and made adjustments. I used a demel to do detail shaping.

BegoFalimar (author)2016-10-22

Did you used Velcro to attach the cape to both the suit and the foam caps?

I glued the foam caps to the cape and put the Velcro on under that.

Delacerdatn (author)2016-09-20

People who used these instructions, did you guys use the same templates?

How did you resize? Free-hand? Adobe illustrator?

I'm pretty excited about starting this!

BegoFalimar (author)Delacerdatn2016-10-19

I used the same templates, downloaded the adobe illustrator trial version and printed all the designs before it expired.

I used Adobe illustrator to make the templates. if I were you, I would print them out and see how they fit and then adjust for size. You could also do your measurements and then adjust on illustrator first. I wish I had made the rib portion bigger, so you could adjust that. I'd love to see what you come up with.

SergioS122 (author)2016-09-28

hola

kparupia (author)2016-02-20

great job I like the details and very descriptive unlike others not to be offensive but other wise thank you and great job :).

Bpf (author)kparupia2016-03-17

Did you make this?

NathanSellers (author)Bpf2016-03-17

Sure did.

Bpf (author)NathanSellers2016-03-17

was talking about kparupia but thanks. Also can I carve the foam with a box cutter or X acto knife? PLEASE REPLY!!!

NathanSellers (author)Bpf2016-03-17

You can, but it would be harder to get really detailed. you can do beveled edges, but your knife needs to be really sharp.

Bpf (author)NathanSellers2016-03-18

What do you mean by "beveled edges"?

NathanSellers (author)Bpf2016-03-18

If you look at the different foam pieces you can see that not all the edges are 90 degrees. They are beveled.

Bpf (author)NathanSellers2016-03-18

Ok, what does beveled mean exactly?

NathanSellers (author)Bpf2016-03-18

bevel

noun

  1. 1.
    a slope from the horizontal or vertical in carpentry and stonework; a sloping surface or edge.
Bpf (author)NathanSellers2016-03-21

How many coats of plasti dip did you do?

Bpf (author)NathanSellers2016-03-18

oh aight thanks

Bpf (author)NathanSellers2016-03-18

What do you mean by "beveled edges"?

Puma13 (author)2015-11-07

Your tutorial was very helpful! Spent many hours on it but worth it at the end

NathanSellers (author)Puma132015-11-12

Great! I'd love to see a picture of what you came up with.

emilyannegraham made it! (author)2015-11-02

Thank you or the awesome tutorial, ours was a hit over the weekend!

Awesome! For some reason it is super satisfying to dress up as the caped crusader. Especially with Catwoman at your side.

VictoriousM (author)2015-10-23

Is there any other format to download the templates in? For some reason only a few will download. Thanks!

These are the only ones I have. sorry.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm just a guy who likes makin' stuff. I love the creative process. Professionally I am a Therapist (LCSW). I got my Associates Degree ... More »
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