Introduction: Cup Noodles Costume
Ever wanted to be your favorite Cup Noodle flavor?! Look no further, your DIY guide to becoming an over-sized Japanese instant ramen is here :)
I've tried to keep things simple and use materials that are readily available at your local craft store, hardware store and/or Amazon, but there's always multiple ways to make something, so feel free to adapt and be creative!
Step 1: Figure Out Dimensions & Gather Your Materials
The main part of the Cup Noodle costume is the cup!
I decided to use a trash bin, but in order to find the right size, I searched high and low (Amazon.com) for something that I could cut and modify. I found this Carlile 34104403 Bronco Round Waste Container, Black as a potential candidate and gasped when I discovered that trash bins at the size cost more than I had thought. Although, in order to save time and not make the cup from scratch, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one (this is the most expensive item in this costume, I promise!). I'm 5'1" so I went with the 44 gallon. Luckily there are dimensions available for you to decide which size is appropriate.
Now that the main part of the Cup Noodle costume has been purchased, other materials you will need are:
- 4x 20" x 30" Foam core (Dollar Tree)
- 3x Christmas Tree Ornament Balls, Smooth for Peas (Dollar Tree)
- 3x Rectangular Dish Sponges for filling the Corn and Carrots (Dollar Tree)
- Colored Paper - Red and Yellow for Artwork on Cup (Micheal's / Local Craft Store)
- Craft Felt - Yellow and Orange for Corn and Carrots (Micheal's / Local Craft Store)
- 1x Craft Foam - Color doesn't matter, will be used for filling in gaps (Micheal's / Local Craft Store)
- 1 yd Fabric - Light Yellow for Egg Noodles (JoAnne's or Local Fabric Store)
- 1 yd Batting Fabric - for filling the Egg Noodles (JoAnne's or Local Fabric Store)
- 1 yd Webbing, White - for straps (JoAnne's or Local Fabric Store)
- Velcro - for straps (JoAnne's or Local Fabric Store)
- 3x White Spray Paint (Home Depot or Local Hardware Store)
- 1x Gloss Spray Paint (Home Depot or Local Hardware Store)
- Printing Paper
- (optional) A pack of Cup Noodles for reference and to enjoy while making your costume!
Tools you will need in your arsenal:
- Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks (refills)
- Spray Mount
- Rubber Cement
- Double sided tape
- Heavy Duty Duct Tape
- X-acto Blade / Razor Blade / Mat Knife + Refills
- Hand Saw
- Heavy Duty Snips
- Dremel w/Saw Bit
- Sewing Machine / Basics
I had a lot of these items laying around at home from previous projects, so don't forget to look around and see what you already have and can use to substitute!
Step 2: Making the Cup
- Cutting the Trash Bin: Since the trash bin I purchased had handles, I needed to cut off the top portion and also cut out the bottom for my feet to go through. I decided to cut a hole through the bottom first so that there was more support when I flipped the trash bin over to do so. After cutting the hole at the bottom, I flipped the trash bin to it's side, marked where I wanted to cut using blue painter's tape, and began cutting away. I used a combination of snips and a Japanese handsaw to cut away material.
- Cleaning Up and Painting Prep: I did a bit of clean up along the edges after cutting and used sandpaper to even or smooth out the edges. Also to prep for painting, I filled up a gap left from the handles I had cut away. To fill this area I used strips of foam core and hot glued it in the gap. However, I noticed that the glue began to peel as I flexed the trash bin, so I added a couple machine screws and nuts to each side. To cover this up, I used craft foam and hot glue to hide the heads of the screws.
- Painting the Trash Bin: I setup a paint booth in my garage with enough space to rotate the bin and also made sure there was proper ventilation. I painted 3 coats of white, sanded with 800 grit, and finished with 2 more coats of white. I waited 10 ~ 15 minutes between each coat and made sure not to go crazy with over-spraying as it can lead to leaky marks and longer dry time with a thicker coat.
** At this point, be careful when handling the Cup with paint as it can easily scratch off without a clear coat on it. The clear coat step is covered in the next section.
Step 3: Making the Cup and Lid Artwork
This is probably the most time consuming and tedious part of making this costume, so buckle down and make sure you have some Netflix shows in your queue!
- Printing the Cup Noodle Logo and Lid Instructions: There are various ways to get the artwork onto the cup and lid (i.e painting, stenciling, printing, etc). I decided to print the artwork from my home printer and tile the artwork, but you could also go to a print shop that does large format prints and have the entire cup and lid artwork printed professionally. I've attached .EPS files of the artwork I made by taking pictures of my reference Cup Noodle and using Illustrator to re-create the logo artwork. The .EPS files are scaled to what you see in the images above.
- Cutting Out the Cup Noodle Logo and Lid Instructions: Use your cutting tool of choice (scissors or x-acto blade) to cut out the Cup Noodle Logo elements and the Lid Instructions. For the "caution" signs, I decided to cut both as a rectangle rather than each letter.
- Cutting the Strips for the Cup: I cut strips of yellow and red paper with double sided tape on the back. Yellow strips were 5/8" width x 1 3/4" length, 5/8" width x 3/4" length, and 5/8" width x 1 1/4" length. While Red strips were 1/4" width x 8 1/2" length.
- Attaching the Cup Noodle Logo and Strips: This part needs a lot of patience and probably at one point you'll question yourself if you're seeing things straight. The tricky part about sticking artwork to the trash bin is that it curves and nothing will end up perfectly aligned, but you can make it look like it is by creating a set of paper / blue tape guides to help in your journey of alignment.
- Painting Clear Coat: To ensure my Cup doesn't get scuffed up too badly, I applied a few layers of Clear Coat Spray Paint.
Step 4: Making the Lid
Also known as the fun with foam core step. Be sure to have a set of blades to switch out in order to keep cuts clean and prevent those pesky foam clumps along the edges!
- Preparing the Foam Core: Since the Lid diameter is 22" and one sheet of foam core was 20" x 30", I glued and taped two sheets to get the extra 2" I needed for the entire Lid.
- Cutting Out the Lid Shape: Using the Lid Artwork printed from the step before, I used it as a template on a foam core to trace the overall shape of the Lid and cut that Lid out!
- Creating a Curve in the Lid: Another tedious step, but I wanted to make it look like the Lid was being flipped open as I wore the costume so I scored multiple lines until I had a satisfying flip. Each line was 0.25" increments away. To maintain the flipped shape, I used duct tape to keep the curl, but in hindsight I should have used a heavy duty version since it began to peel a few days later :'(
- Attaching the Artwork to the Lid: I used spray mount adhesive to stick my Lid artwork prints onto my now curved Lid. It's a bit tricky since the curve throws the original outline of the Lid off a bit. Again, in hindsight I should have probably left a margin for the print to overflow and then trim away any excess.
- Creating the Attachment and Lip for the Lid: I wanted to be able to remove the Lid for easier access to getting in and out of the costume, so I created an I-beam and lip that was hot glued to the Lid, which assembled into a bracket that was also hot glued into the Cup. All this was made from foam core and excessive amounts of hot glue.
Step 5: Make the Toppings Frame
I wanted to be able to remove the toppings so that I could get in and out of the costume easier and for storing later on. Hence why this Toppings Frame was created!
- Cutting the Base of the Toppings Frame: I measured the inner diameter of the Cup and created half of a 21" diameter template which I then traced onto a sheet of foam core and cut out.
- Cutting the Walls of the Toppings Frame: With the remaining foam core, I cut out strips that were 2" high and scored them. These pieces became the curved wall of my frame which I taped and eventually hot glued to the half circle piece.
- Cutting Out a Moat for the Toppings: I then cut out the middle area of the 21" diameter piece so that I could form a moat to place my toppings in (I forgot to take a picture of this step, sorry! See the last picture in this section to see the moat I speak of.)
- Making the Brackets for the Toppings Frame: The Toppings frame needed to sit in the Cup so, I created 3x foam core brackets and hot glued each one on the interior of the Cup at the height I needed it to be. I made sure to put an excessive amount of hot glue to ensure these guys don't fall while I move around in the costume!
Step 6: Making the Toppings & Assembly (Peas, Carrots, Corn, and Noodles)
Unfortunately, I didn't take enough pictures of the process for making the toppings, but it went something like this:
- Peas: Using smooth Christmas Ball Ornaments from the Dollar Tree, I sanded them down with 800 grit to rough up the surface slightly for paint to adhere. I then sprayed 2 coats of green and let dry in between coats.
- Carrots: I used cheap dish sponges and cut 3 squares to be my carrots. I then used orange craft felt and covered each piece by using rubber cement to adhere the felt to the sponge.
- Corn: I used the remaining dish sponges to cut out 2 corn shapes and used that as my template to trace it's shape onto yellow felt while leaving a 0.5" margin all around. I then sewed the 2 corn pieces as if I was making a little pillow and then stuffed it with the corn shaped sponge. To seal the bottom end, I hot glued the excess flaps to the sponge.
- Noodles: Are made of yellow fabric sewn as a long pillow -- 2.5" width x 1yd each noodle, total of 3 long noodles. These are then stuffed with fabric batting to give it more shape.
- Assembly: The Noodles were the first to be assembled into the Toppings Frame made earlier. I sewed each noodle with a few loops and clumps before I hot glued each one into the Toppings Frame. Next, I took the carrots and corn and hot glued Velcro to each piece and it's respective Velcro to the areas of the noodle I wanted to stick it on. Last, but not least, I hand-sewed the peas onto the Noodles.
Step 7: Attaching the Strap
Lastly (but probably shouldn't have been the last step) was to attach the straps.
- I used a Dremel with a small cutting blade to make a slot in the Cup. In hindsight, I should have completed this step before painting because I definitely messed up some of my paint. I added slots in four areas (two towards the front and two towards the back, but right before my Lid.
- The straps looped towards the front of the cup were sewn together while the straps looped towards the rear of the cup has Velcro sewn into it in order to allow some flexibility with the strap length. The straps were configured into and "x" formation so that when I wore the costume the "x" would be on my back, kind of like overalls.
** A bonus would be to add some sort of padding because I noticed that with just the webbing as straps, my shoulders began to feel the weight of carrying a trash bin.