Halloween is just around the corner and i was inspired to do a Galaxy of the Guardians theme.. in the spirit of always going big i decided to pick the most impactful character GROOT! or should i say I AM Groot! The overall costume cost me around $100-150 and turned out awesome (especially fo my first time playing with foam). I have to give credit to propcustomz as seeing costume inspired me to build my own groot.
Because this it built on a "dummy" it could be used as a prop or a costume. I plan on wearing it this year and will likely turn it into a static prop for next Halloween (possibly an animatronic?!) Either way Scroll on to find out how to make a spectacular Groot costume or prop!
I hope you guys like it and are inspired to create your own Groot! Happy Halloween!
Step 1: Step 1 - Design and Supplies
This Halloween I got a little ambitious and decided to be GROOT from Guardians of the Galaxy. My lady is going to be gamora and a buddy and his lady are Starlord and Nebula... Now what you have been waiting for.. on to groot!
Now groot is a giant tree and his height is what makes him impressive.
What you will need:
- Hot glue guy
- Exacto knife
- Pipe insulation foam
- Pack of EVA floor tiles.
- Spray paint
Step 2: DIY Groot Mask
It all started with the mask. I drew a rough design on a foam EVA floor tiles then started to sketch/carve out the details. The groves and "textures" were carved out of the mask using a Dremel and a sculpting knife. I made the mask fairly tight to my head as i will be wearing stilts and didnt want the mask to shift and interfere with my vision.
The Flat cut out mask was folded around and glued together with Rubber cement (magic stuff for eva foam creations!) The mask was some what shaped with a heatgun. I heated up the face to push in the eye area and push out the nose to give it more depth. For painting the mask was sprayed with brown spray paint (I used Liquitex from opus) and used an airbrush to darken the crack/wood lines. The moss was painted on with a green textured moss paint found at walmart.
Step 3: Groots Body - Foam It Up!
For the body, I knew Ii had to make it look like a tree.. and i need a base to build of fo.. I started by covering my self in duct tape (with help) to make a "clone" of my self.. once i was covered in duct tape we cut it off and stuffed it with foam and old material to have a base to build on!
For the bottom layer, I started with an old hoodie zip up hoodie (for ease of putting it on) and pants to use as the base. I then went to home depot and bought about 50-60 pipe insulations in various sizes. I found the ones with the sticky adherences strip to work the best as it stuck even where you didn't glue it.
Now this is where the fun start.. unfold your pipe and apply a strip of hot glue along the edge you want to stick to the clothing. For large roots unfold the pipe to make it wide and flat and let it stay a circle for more of the branch look. The textures were created using a mixture of wavy lines using the heat gun's hot nozzle of the hot glue gun to melt it in and the Dremel with a sanding bit to eat away and i randomly cut in edges and grooves
Now the secret is to be random! Try to mix it up.. make the roots intertwine and mix up the textures on the roots to give it a natural look.
One thing i learned is to not use to much foam around your joints. I can move my arms however the elbow joint gets a little tight when i move my arm higher than 90 degrees.. so i may carve out some more foam from that area to increase moveability.
Every once in a while take off your top and try it on to see how it fits.
The Chest plates were sketched onto EVA floor tiles and cut out and hot glued onto the tube roots.
Step 4: Groots Legs and Stilts
Groots height and legs make the costume and add that impactful effect. On average (according to the prison scene in the movie) groot is around 7.5-7.6' tall. When i tried on the stilts inside my mask was just grazing the top of a 8' ceiling so i hacked up my free pair of drywall stilts and chopped off about 6" and manually bolted them back together (I have also seen people use everything from wood blocks to paint cans in lue of stilts.. so you can always get creative!)
To extend the legs i used som black fabric stitched to the top of the pants and let it drape to the floor. I made sure to give it a slight taper to hide the stilts and added velcro in the back. Without having a sewing machine this process took a while and was a little painful but got the job done. (good thing crude random stitching is hidden under foam!)
Start gluing your pipe insulation to the fabric an a random pattern being sure to overlap randomize the roots. I also folded the pipes flat at the bottom to make them wider and taper up for further root effect
Once your legs are more or less glued up .. try on your new creation and make sure you can actually move in it (remember not to put to much foam on the joints!)
Step 5: Texture, Paint and Final Touches
When adding tree like textures more can never hurt.. i started with just glue gun melted wiggle lines and ended up going to town with the sanding bit on the Dremel.. this allowed me to make many wavy as well as dug in parts which transformed my foam into a tree... Once you are happy with your carving its time to add pain.
I sprayed the whole costume with a dark brown then misted "highlights" over the upper sides of a number of the branches to mix up the pattern.
I then used a cheap airbrush to enhance the bark lines and painted along the lines i previously dremeled out, this really added depth and realism to the foam roots.
As a final touch, I painted on some moss along with gluing real (fake?) moss for added effect.
Now there is still over a week until Halloween which means i will likely tweak the Groot Suit some more and will be sure to update this how-to with more photos and tips!