Introduction: Bender

About: I'm a graphic design and costume designer... love Halloween, and that's when I shine.

Hello All,
Have you ever thought of bringing a cartoon character to life... I always have, and Bender from Futurama was the one.
On September 1st I knew what I had to do, so I began with Cardboard and started framing out the body, once I had that all laid out I began with the head. It was a bit of challenge but thats what I like, it pushes me to do my best.  
Day by day I worked on this costume, spending from 5-9 hours a night on this costume making it look so realistic.
in the 2 months of work i put in 176 hours into the costume.

Step 1:

List of Materials:

• Truck load of CardBoard

• Foam Material (used for chair cushions - 4" thick)

• Foam Core - used for the eyes

• Crafting Foam - Hobby Lobby carries this in 8x10 or 11x17 (Brown and Black)

• Old Shoes - Bought a pair of knock off Croc's at PayLess Shoes

• 3 or 4 Yards of Light Grey Fabric - JoAnn Fabrics

• Grey Sweat Pants and matching top - Real classy I know

• Black Ribbon 1" thick - used for the lines on the shirt and pants

• Ping Pong ball - top of antenna

• Lots and Lots of Super Strong Duck Tape

• Window Screen Material - used for the Mouth - JoAnn Fabric

• 3 Really Strong Magnets - Cigar and Door

• Hinges for the door - they will be hidden under the foam

• 3" shipping tube - Cut into 3 pieces used for Mom's Oil Cans

• 1/4" Tube - used for drinking its optional to add. I had my hidden under the foam and made sure it made it up to my mouth. Yes it was tough to go to the bathroom in.

• 1/2" or 1/4" Tractor Insulation - 6yds of it. - bought it at a Swap Meet Store

• Battery powered Fan - it was 22° that night and i was sweating all night.

• Extra Batteries for the Fan unless you can rig something up that won't eat up batteries.

• Huge amount of Glue Sticks

• 6' of Nylon straps and Back Pack Clips to hold the head on.

Other than that, Good Luck Have Fun and Please send me Pics when you're done.

Cheers To Halloween.



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What was used for the stick part of the antenna?

I'm making this rn and I dot some cabinet hinges at Home Depot for like 2-3 dollars

also, can you be a tad more specific about how cardboard you used, i.e for the body and head? I'm 6'1" so we are almost the same height. I would much appreciate any advice. I'm not that great at making costumes unless the character is just a human who is known for a specific outfit such as Fry, Dr. Krieger, or The Men in Black.

That's awesome. You should send me a pic of what u have so far. Actually here's my number. Please use anytime. It's way easier to respond. 612-644-7105

3 replies

a little behind as I went camping for 5 days. Will be rushed to finish it but it's been fun building it so far.


It looks great so far.

Thanks. Just wish I had more time to work on it. The mouth, did you just use white spray paint over the window screen and then draw lines for the teeth? I feel the biggest challenge will be making the cone for the body to the head.

I had no room for it when I moved to Az. Tried to sell it but no one would spend what I wanted for it. As for your question I did not have any shoulder pads. It just rested on them. It was very comfortable.

3 replies

That's a shame. It was a sweet looking costume. How did you attach the tractor foam to the cardboard?

Duct tape


Thanks again for answering my questions, I really appreciate it. I built the beginning stucture of the body and it seams so big but I think it has to be. The opening to slip it over my head and shoulders is about 22" wide. Now to build the cabinet and door.

Im 6'2" tall and the head was bout 14-16 in and than the foam topped it with antenna. I had to duck when I walked in places.

3 replies

Haha.... I'm only 5'5" so probably not going to have that issue. Sometimes being short is a good thing. How did you attach the upper section (white cone) of the neck/head to the body? Or did you attach it?


I hot glued the nylon straps and back pack clips inside the head and body. I used 3 of them. It worked well but it was a hard time getting in an out of it. When I put it all on i came up from the bottom part. Hope that helps. I designed this 3 years ago and it's tough to remember all of it. But your questions are bringing back memories. I thank you for that. I wish I still had this costume. It was the best one I have done.

how come you got rid of it? It's awesome.... Did you have any sort of shoulder pads inside to support the body?


I also sewed the main seam up the back to finish it off nicely.

3 replies

Perfect.... That's good to know.... Do you mind if I keep asking you questions? Your build is the best online that is documented.

No worries. If I don't respond right away it cause of work.

That's great, I really appreciate that. Dimension wise, how tall are you compared to how tall your bender is? From your shoulders, how tall would you say you made his head?