Here's a method for creating a semi-structured plush emoji costume, built on top of a backpack! If you're not feeling crappy, you can easily modify the design to your own emoji preferences. I build this one to wear as a pair with the emoji ghost costume (documented in its own Instructable) for the NYC Halloween Parade last year.
To create this costume, you will need:
- 4 yards brown flannel
- 1 yard grey flannel
- 4 1' squares black felt (or small amount of black flannel)
- brown leggings
- brown shirt
- brown ski mask with pointy top
- fabric glue
- paper and pencil for patternmaking
- sewing machine
- needle and brown thread
- sewing pins
- safety pins
- 6 wire coat hangers or similar gauge wire
- pliers/wire cutters
- iron/ironing board
Step 1: Create & Cut Pattern
Using the original emoji graphic as a reference, sketch out a pattern on a large piece of paper or flattened grocery bag. Cut out the outer perimeter.
Use the pattern to cut out four pieces of brown flannel. Then cut the pattern to create the facial features, or make patterns for these using separate pieces of paper.
Cutting one inch outside the pattern, use the pattern to cut four eye pieces and two mouth pieces from grey flannel, and four pupil pieces from black flannel or felt.
Step 2: Sew & Stuff
Sew two of the large pieces together around the edge, except the bottom. Turn it right side out and press the seams, using a chopstick or pen to get into the small spaces. Create a wire frame to match the perimeter shape by bending coat hangers or thick wire. Put the frame inside the fabric pouch and use a needle and thread to secure it in a few key places.
Repeat for the other half of the costume, but this one will have a truncated top so your face can emerge. Hold the fabric up to your body to determine the best place to cut.
The poo emoji has some swirls, which we'll recreate by sewing between areas of fiberfill. Stuff the topmost area, then pin and sew a line to mimic the graphic. Fill the next area, and so on. Top stitch or hand stitch the bottom of each "sandwich board" plush closed.
Step 3: Add Face
Cut pieces of cardboard to match the pattern size of your facial features (not the fabric size, which you cut bigger). Use fabric glue to affix the grey flannel to the cardboard, wrapping the seam allowance around the back. Glue on the black pupil layer as well. Put them under a heavy book to dry, then glue them to the brown plushies.
Step 4: Wear & Enjoy!
Use safety pins and thin gauge wire to attach the plush front and back to the straps of the backpack. Be sure to secure the wire frame inside the plush emoji, not just the fabric.
Generally, this costume was great for wearing in a parade. It helped me keep a modicum of personal space during the crowded cattle-hearding parts of the night, and because I wore the backpack backwards, I had easy access to my camera, phone and hydration.
What I didn't expect or prepare for was the crowd's propensity for shouting at me, excitedly yelling many different synonyms for the word poop. Rationally this makes sense, but it was jarring and hard not to take it a little personally. When choosing an emoji to dress like, take this aspect into account.
I'd love to see your versions and thoughts in the comments! Happy Halloween!
If you're looking to create a group of emoji costumes or just want a bigger challenge, check out the Instructable for the emoji ghost costume.