toy dinosaur skeleton model
projector (I made mine and i'll show you how i did it)
paint stir sticks
framed back pack
some nuts and bolts
2 ping pong balls
hot glue gun
LED "tea lights"
Step 1: Scale Up the Model
Put the disassembled pieces of dinosaur skeleton on a projector and project it onto a wall to the desired size. I wanted mine to be able to fit through a regular doorway so i started with the widest piece, a rib. I didn't have a projector so i used the LED light on my phone and built the cardboard contraption seen above. It barely held together and the projection was blurry but it DID allow me to scale all the pieces the same.
Trace the shapes onto cardboard or foam board using a pencil (sharpie bleeds through paint). I had stashed some cardboard back for this project but it had gotten pretty battered and i eventually had to trash it for crisp new cardboard. i got large packing boxes at lowes for $1.60 each. Foam board is even stronger but at $1 a sheet it was more than i was willing to spend for EVERY bone and chose to only use it for structural areas. But if you can afford it i recommend using it.
Areas that i recommend using foam board over cardboard: hip bones, thigh, and neck. Although there are plenty of places i used scrap foam to reinforce the cardboard.
cut them out with a box cutter. Mark the slits where the cardboard connects but dont cut them yet.
Step 2: Assemble the Costume
Cut the connection slit for one piece, check alignment and cut the slit for the second piece and slide together. Use craft sticks and duct tape wherever a piece needs extra support
Step 3: Attaching It to the Frame
Now that i had something to attach the front to, i realized it needed extra support. I picked up a yard stick from Lowes for .69¢ and bolted it to the front spine so that it swings freely. This way i can use it as a sort of kick stand when I'm not wearing the costume, and holds up the front when I am. During a fitting, i later decided to extend this even more with another yard stick bolted to the end for another eight inches of length.
The two halves had a tendancy to pull apart and i solved this by sandwiching the front and back spine sections between two paint stir sticks, drilling a hole and bolting it together. The bolts can still come off so the two halfs can be separated for transport.
Step 4: Getting the Legs to Move
The lower legs of the costume are strapped to my leg with zip ties. I have to hold the knee up a little while it walks for a smooth movement but it works. It took several laps up and down my driveway to find a foot size that didnt feel like i was wearing flippers.
Step 5: Paint
You can find a cheap can of spray paint for $1.50 but there wasnt much pigment and very little actual paint. Ace brand spray paint went MUCH further with more pigment and a better nozzle. Spend the extra $2. i used about five cans.
Dont forget to protect any exposed styrofoam because the spray paint will eat through it. I also covered the backpack with a trashbag to protect it from overspray.
Step 6: Reassemble and Glue
I left the skull and legs removable for easy transport. It only takes about two minutes to assemble and strap on the entire costume.
Step 7: Glowing Eyes
Step 8: Wear It!
After wearing the costume two nights i wish i'd made the legs a little sturdier but the whole costume held together and i got great reactions to it!