The giant sandworms of Dune can grow to over 400 meters long, and are equipped with an incredible array of crystalline teeth. They dwell in the deep desert on the planet Arrakis, sole source of the prescience-inducing spice drug melange, and are known to native Fremen as Shai-Hulud. The worms create the spice, and he who controls the spice controls the universe.
 
If you wish to follow in Leto II's footsteps and transform yourself into a living embodiment of Shai-Hulud, simply follow this Instructable.
 
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I got one of these cheap play tunnels for my kids, and suddenly had an epiphany:  it would make an awesome base for a Shai-Hulud costume. As a long-time Dune fan and all-around geek, dressing up as a giant sandworm was quite possibly the best. Thing. Ever.  

A google image search turned up just one previous attempt, a two-person affair which looked more like a Chinese dragon costume, so this obviously had to be made.  Eric and I both worked on this costume, and I wore it during the day to our company Halloween party (where it won Scariest Costume!) and he wore it while out trick-or-treating with our daughter, who dressed up as Alia. (See Step 8.)
 
It turns out to be an excellent geek test: do people think you're a Sarlaac?  From Tremors?  If they know you're from Dune, do they think of the books, David Lynch movie, or SciFi Channel mini-series?  (For the record, it's the Frank Herbert books all the way, with the movie for classic campy fun.)
 
The costume was actually pretty simple to make, once we got the concept down.  It takes a while to assemble all the parts, but the end result is a ridiculously sturdy costume that will stand up to abuse from adults, kids, and very confused pets.  I'm hanging it up in my office, and will add pictures once it's properly rigged. 

Intro image is a composite made with Pixlr Editor.  Background photo is of the Peruvian desert outside Huacachina.  Blue eyes throughout also courtesy of Pixlr.

Passo 1: Tools and Materials

Materials for sandworm:
1 children's play tunnel.  I bought this one from Amazon for ~$13.
6 yards 60" wide, heavy sand-colored fabric for the skin (adjust to size of tunnel)
1 yard pinkish fabric for the mouth
1 sheet thin white posterboard
2 yards coated wire
large cardboard box

Materials for Fremen costume:
black wetsuit or similarly body-hugging clothing
black cape (or material for a cape)
paracord
large metal hooks (or cardboard and aluminum foil)

Tools:
sewing machine
serger (optional)
sewing awl
hot glue gun
laser cutter or X-acto knife
scissors or rotary cutter
long straight edge
fabric marker (optional)
measuring tape
 
<p>this---&gt;&quot;(For the record, it's the Frank Herbert books all the way, with the movie for classic campy fun.)&quot;</p><p>...is the correct answer. Long live the fighters! (oh and Alia ((you might not know it now but whatever you named her before is moot.)) is definitely on track to become the lunatic her birthright calls for) </p><p>Awesome job. Now if you could only do a write up on how I can get my stubborn voracious reader of a wife to finish the book. My next step is to confiscate all other forms of sensory input.</p><p>First comment BTW</p>
<strong>Great costume, great instructable! You've got my vote - Love it, your attention to detail and dune in general. Almost missed little 'Alia' with the crysknife - so cute!</strong><br> <br> On halloween and always;<br> <br> <sup>I must not fear.<br> 
Fear is the mind-killer.<br> 
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
<br> I will face my fear.
<br> I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
<br> And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
<br> Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
<br> Only I will remain.<br> <br> @Jayetuu - There needn't be quite so many as the franchise may suggest if you stick to the originals by Frank Herbert <em>(I had 4 of the 6 passed down from my grandfather, couldn't stop there and have re-read 1 twice &amp; 3 once since then -&nbsp; but never had any desire to continue beyond Chapterhouse.)</em></sup>
Thank you! This was definitely a labor of love. <br /> <br />And agreed - as far as I'm concerned, Brian Herbert's books are mediocre fanfic.
<p>Totally agree... don't get me wrong I had to read them all, but its the difference between night and day. My biggest gripe (other then the soap opera-ness of it all) was that it just didn't feel right bringing it all back so close to our time, made it like it was about US instead of, well, Shia-Hulud.</p>
That is awesome!
Thank you! High praise coming from an expert geek costumer. :)
You made the Adafruit blog!<br> <a href="http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/11/15/dune-giant-sandworm-shai-hulud-costume/" rel="nofollow">http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/11/15/dune-giant-sandworm-shai-hulud-costume/</a>
They are equally big geeks. :D
Superb attention to detail.<br> <font color="blue">Blue spice saturated eyes.<br> <font color="black">Alia ready to dispatch the <font color="red">Baron<font color="black">.<br> What wonderful memories you evoke<br> Makes me want to make a worm thumper ible </font></font></font></font>
Thank you! And please do, that would be amazing. :)
I am not the biggest of Dune fans, but this is inspired and awesome.
Thank you!
Super COOL!
Thank you!
Blue eye freaked me out! (Till I searched for blue in the text)
Creepy fremen spice-eyes FTW!
This is great!
Thank you! Come try it out - I'm storing it in the rafters.
Love this!
Thank you!
The blue eyes are HILARIOUS!
Thanks!
This is awesome. Now I want to make one so I can leap at unsuspecting passersby and eat their heads.
Thanks! The screams of terror are immensely gratifying.
Wow that's fantastic! I wish I had time to re-read all the Dune books now but &ldquo;If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets.&rdquo;
Some things are worth making time for. Put them on your phone and read in small chunks!

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Nov 11, 2013

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