Introduction: Evil Krusty Vs. Simpsons Couch Costume - Treehouse of Horrors III

Picture of Evil Krusty Vs. Simpsons Couch Costume - Treehouse of Horrors III
I strongly believe that the true challenge in building a Halloween costume, is coming up with an original concept. I'm amazed by the ability of the maker community to reproduce costumes and characters with precision and detail. The creativity in production and material use is always educational and inspirational, but I'm always more impressed with a costume that makes you say to yourself, "Why didn't I think of that"?

This year, I offer a twist on the Simpson's Halloween.

* Check out more pics of the completed costume in the last step *





Step 1: Inspiration and Design

Picture of Inspiration and Design

My costume draws inspiration from the Simpson's Treehouse of Horrors III Halloween Episode that originally aired on Oct 29th 1992. The episode opens with the skeleton couch gag shown above. This was the 64th episode of the series which features the Evil Krusty doll that Homer buys Bart after forgetting to get him a birthday present. While the doll is nice to Bart, it repeatedly tries to kill Homer, until Marge calls Krustyco and a technician points out that the doll was set to Evil. These two features of a classic Simpson's episode were the perfect starting point for this year's costume build.

Step 2: Making the Couch

Picture of Making the Couch
For many of my Halloween costumes, blue foam has been the go to material. It's cheap, light weight, and easy to work with. After modelling out the basic proportions I began to assemble the structure of the couch. Here are the steps that I went through and some tips that will help you succeed with similar builds.
  1. Use double sided tape to hold pieces of blue foam together during assembly. It's quick and easy and you can usually buy rolls at the dollar store. Be careful when sticking styrene plastic to blue foam with double sided tape. It won't necessarily stick long-term.
  2. Hot glue works really well with blue foam. Lower heat glue will stick much faster and won't melt the blue foam.
  3. Use some cotton batting under the material for your couch to give it a cushy feel. This provides a great look, but be careful later if you intend to put any screws through your couch. The cotton really wants to wind around the screw and makes some attachment as little more difficult.
  4. I used sheet styrene to wrap around the arms and back of the couch. It's readily available from plastic suppliers and provides an excellent way to finish off details and structures.
  5. I used some packing tape to reinforce all of my joins and connections. Buy the good stuff though... dollar store packing tape just doesn't cut it.
  6. Make sure you plan out the assembly of your couch. I made sure to cover specific components of the couch with fabric before final assembly. 
  7. If possible, buy your fabric at a thrift store or Value Village. I was extremely lucky to find a huge belt of fabric in the perfect colour at value village. It was so large, we couldn't find the price on it. She let me have it for $6.99. When I got home and unraveled it, I found the actual price of $14.99. A similar sized piece might have cost me hundreds at a fabric store.
  8. To make the piping around the arms and back, I simply hot glued some wire to edge of the fabric and rolled it over. This is much faster than getting someone you know to sew it for you. I still haven't mastered those skills.
  9. I made a door for the back of the costume using a sheet of styrene. I glued a steel strip down the closing edge of the door, and install several rare earth magnets in the foam part of the couch to help keep the door closed while the costume is on.
  10. I originally intended to wear the couch with some suspenders, but after I started testing it with all of the skeletons, the weight and size of the couch caused it to hang forward. I installed some support legs at the front, but it was still awkward to pick up the couch to move it. Ultimately I had to install a support structure with some wheels. This made life so much easier in terms of transportation and ease of getting in and out of the costume.

Step 3: Sound Module

Picture of Sound Module
While I was gathering materials from various thrifting adventures, and waiting for certain items to arrive in the mail, I decided to add a sound module to this year's costume. After a quick search online, I found a cheap module at Electronics123.com

I
t was 15.99 retail, and arrived at my door in less that a week for approximately $25 shipped. I opted for the model with 4 buttons and speaker input. The software to load the WAV files in on their website and it is really straight forward and easy. I then scoured the internet for Evil Krusty sound clips. Let me point out some key features:
  • Because the module comes without a case, I decided to quickly model and 3D print a housing for the board, batteries and buttons.
  • I also purchased a pop-up speaker from thesource.ca for 12.99 on sale. This little speaker gives my sound effects some serious volume.
  • I cut out sections in the foam part of the couch to mount the module and speaker, making sure to allow access so that I can turn the speaker on and off. I also needed the ability to remove the module if necessary for changing batteries and loading sounds.

Step 4: Krusty Mask

Picture of Krusty Mask
This was the year I planned to delve into the world liquid latex and sculpting mask molds. That all changed when I stumbled upon Animotion Masks. I instantly fell in love with the mouth movements of these masks, and I decided that I could modify the clown version of the mask.

After a bit of research on how to best paint a mask, I purchased some PROS AIDE online. It's basically a rubbery adhesive used in the special effects industry. You simply mix this with some water and some acrylic paint. This mixture is often referred to as PAX paint. The mixture proportions vary depending on where you get your information. I mixed about 40% Pros Aide, 50% paint, and 10% water.
  • You want to brush it on with thin layers and dry it with a hair dryer. The whole process is actually quite fast and the results were better than I expected.
  • For the hair, I used a cheap Halloween hat purchased at Value Village. Sometimes when you make stuff like this, certain materials are just meant to be. After I cut apart the fuzzy green hat, I used every part of it without even trimming anything away. PERFECT!!
  • I used an old ball cap to extend the back of the mask and to give me something to attach the hair to. I glued some wire inside of the hair pieces so that I could manipulate the shape and direction of the hair once everything was glued in place.

Step 5: Skeletons

Picture of Skeletons
I originally intended to build the skeletons for this costume to match the cartoon like frames from the picture my costume is based on. When I came to my senses and realized how much work that would be, I started searching for some skeletons to buy. I checked out all of the local stores and the specialty Halloween shops that pop up temporarily this time of year. Unfortunately there was not much selection in terms of sizes, and the prices were not great. Most places sell the larger 4 or 5 foot skeletons for around $70. Doh!

I then found Skeleton-Factory.com

I purchased the following skeletons for under $70 shipped.
Now that I had skeletons to work with, all I needed to do was carve some new skulls representing each of the simpson characters. Here's how I tackled this:
  1. I started by approximating the size I would need for each skeleton. I then cut and laminated pieces of blue foam using spray adhesive. I clamped these overnight to get a good bond. Make sure to buy a good quality spray adhesive. I used Elmers which seems to do the job. I carved the first skull out of a foam head. I do not recommend this at all. I ended up using this skull for Lisa, but it was not fun to work with. The white foam is not dense enough.
  2. Draw the basic profiles of your skull on each side of the block.
  3. Use a hack saw, and band saw, or a utility knife to remove large portions of foam. Please wear a mask, Blue foam dust is not healthy to breathe.
  4. Use a hole saw and some forstner bits to hollow out the eyes. Use smaller forstner bits to hollow out the nose and the mouth.
  5. Continue to carve with a utility knife making sure you have a sharp blade. Finer details can be carved using a dremel. I`m still using the cordless one I won from instructables a couple years ago for my chucky costume.
  6. Carving the skulls for Lisa and Maggie was a little more difficult. Rather than trying to carve all of the little hair spikes out of one block, I decided to hot glue each one on individually. This took a little more time but it seemed to work out okay.
  7. In order to protect the blue foam from spray paint, you need to coat it with something. There are several options for this. I chose to mix drywall compound half and half with latex primer. I painted 3 coats on each skull with a light sand in between coats. 
  8. I then attached my skulls to the skeleton and used a light beige spray paint and some black spray paint to blend the skulls in with the plastic bones.



Step 6: Take a Seat

Picture of Take a Seat
Having completed the skeletons, I needed to attach them to the couch. I also needed to craft the legs for Krusty in order to create the illusion that he is sitting on top of the couch.
  1. Before I attached everything, I did a quick mock-up to determine the placement of all the parts.
  2. I started by building the legs for Krusty. This started from the boots up.
  3. I drilled a hole through the bottom of each boot and bolted them to the couch.
  4. I filled the boots with actual plastic legs from the dollar store. This provided some structure to the legs.
  5. I then cut the green pants to the appropriate length and slid them over the legs. I added some cotton stuffing to fill out the look.
  6. I then added some dollar store knee pads for the knees and added some additional stuffing to the wast area.
  7. The top portion of the pants were then hot glued to the opening at the top of couch.
To attach the skeletons to the couch I used the following methods:
  1. I poked holes through the couch using an awl, and then used zip ties.
  2. I also installed screws from the underside of the couch directly into the plastic skeletons. I tried to get as many points of attachment as possible while being discrete at the same time.I
I apparently neglected to take pictures of the making of the lamp. It didn't take that long. Here are the specific details:
  1. I used a length of pvc pipe for the main pole of the lamp.
  2. I used length of rubber tubing I found in the auto shop for the neck of the lamp.
  3. To help hold the curved shape of the neck, I put some brake line on the inside of the tube.
  4. The lamp connector was printed on the 3d printer.
  5. I bought and old lamp shade at Salvation Army for $0.99
  6. I then hot glued an Insta-bulb to the inside of the lamp shade. I bought a 2-pack of these at Canadian tire.
  7. The main pole of the lamp is screwed directly through the couch into wooden blocks that I glued on the inside.

Step 7: Krusty's Attire

Picture of Krusty's Attire
Finding suitable clothing for Krusty is not that difficult. I was lucky enough to find all of the things I needed in my first few trips to the thrift store.
  1. White Gloves - Value Village $0.99
  2. Purple Polo - Talize $7.99
  3. Green Pants - Salavation Army $2.99
  4. Blue Bow-tie - Value Village $0.99
  5. Yellow Compression Shirt - Online $40 (I had to have it)
The Evil Krusty Doll has a few more features that I had to build in to the costume. Here's how I did it:
  1. Cut the back of the Polo shirt right down the middle.
  2. Cut the compression shirt up the seams to the armpit on either side. I had to do this because the shirt was so tight to wear.
  3. Hot glue the edges of the compression shirt to the purple polo.
  4. Cut out a rectangular section in the yellow shirt to allow for the switch.
  5. Cut a small block of wood and cut grooves in it on the router table.
  6. Vacuum form the wooden block and then spray paint it the appropriate colour. I covered the rest of the switch with grey vinyl because I didn't have any grey spray paint on hand.
  7. Cnc cut a plastic template to spray paint the letters on the back of the shirt. Make sure it sits flat so that you don't get over spray. I wasn't as careful as I could have been.
  8. Add a strip of velcro down the right hand side of the shirt to complete the look.
  9. Consider whether or not to add the plastic pull string. It might be something that everyone grabs if you go out to a big party.

Step 8: Duff

Picture of Duff
This costume wouldn't be complete without a can of Duff for Homer to hold. I wanted to size the can down a little bit to make it look more cartoony. There are many ways you could build these. Here's what I did:
  1. First I cut down a red bull can and attached the label. This worked well, but I didn't have any more cans, and I didn't want to buy a red bull just to use the can. I found the first one in the recycling at school.
  2. I then decided to use some empty beer cans. I cut off the top and bottom with some scissors.
  3. I then glued the two ends of the can to a sturdy cardboard tube that I found. The diameter was perfect.
  4. I then located a decent image of the duff label online and printed it out to the appropriate size.
  5. After laminating the labels, I stuck them to the can using double-side tape.

Step 9: More Pictures....

Picture of More Pictures....

Thanks to my brother for snapping some great pictures of my costume this year.

Comments

gwfong (author)2014-10-15

This is so cool. The detail is amazing as well as the level of effort. You have great tips working the materials.

RollerScrapper (author)2013-10-28

This is my all time favorite episode! "The frogurt is also cursed!"

This costume is incredible. Last night I looked at it on my phone and just thought it was a decoration, now on the computer I can see all of the detail and amazing thought you put into this costume! Although I imagine it's hard to get through doorways being dressed as a couch! :)

Mr. Noack (author)RollerScrapper2013-10-28

Couch fits perfectly through door ways. I just have to roll it sideways.

At both party's I went to this weekend, I got a lot of appreciation, but there were also people that didn't realize the couch was my costume.

RollerScrapper (author)Mr. Noack2013-10-28

Awesome! I hope you're going to a party where you can win grand prize...of course you have my vote for this year's contest! Best of luck!

Mr. Noack (author)RollerScrapper2013-10-29

I won first Friday night, and I'm in the running for First from the Saturday night party. Still considering the Thursday night party. Soooooooooooo tired......

JackANDJude (author)Mr. Noack2013-10-30

Go to the party! You already put in all that hard work, and you can sleep tonight.

Mr. Noack (author)JackANDJude2013-10-30

It's a 2 hour drive on a work night.

RollerScrapper (author)Mr. Noack2013-10-29

Excellent and well deserved! Good luck for the Saturday party!

Mr. Noack (author)Mr. Noack2013-10-28

Oh....thanks for your comment. That episode goes waaaaaay back.

RollerScrapper (author)Mr. Noack2013-10-28

Lol, back in the day we used to quote it all the time...

Evil Shopkeeper: The doll is cursed
Homer: Oh that's bad
ES: but it comes with a free frozen yogurt, which I call frogurt
H: Oh! That's good!
ES: but the frogurt is also cursed!
H: Oh that's bad
ES: But it comes with a free topping
H: Oh! That's good!
ES: But the topping contains sodium benzoate
Homer: (blink blink)
ES: That's bad
Homer: Can I go now?

LOL that's inscribed somewhere in my yearbook.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Mr. Noack (author)RollerScrapper2013-10-28

Yes indeed, I re-watched the episode in the midst of construction.

jleo1 (author)2015-10-03

i have this mask i love it but it doesnt look like a clown more like a animal face. the lips and nose should be red. i sharpened the teeth up

nintenbro64 (author)2014-08-02

Awesome!!

ALECIALLEY (author)2014-05-22

Superbbbbb

poofrabbit (author)2013-11-21

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween costume contest! Can’t wait to see if you win good luck!

786Ayesha (author)2013-11-02

OMG this is awesome.Voted

thepacoman (author)2013-10-30

Congratulations on your Rue Morgue Courthouse win. I really admired your creation that night but since I was wearing a fairly large and obstructing costume, I couldn't fully appreciate it until I stumbled upon this site and saw the photos/videos. I shared the Courthouse stage with you that night as the runner up...the rock monster. It's always great to share a stage with creative minds.

Mr. Noack (author)thepacoman2013-10-30

Thanks a million for your comments. I appreciate your words, as well as your amazing costume. We are still wondering how you got into that get up. The entire suit looked seamless. I'm sorry that there wasn't a larger second prize, because your costume was quite deserving. Will you be adding an instructable? I'm sure you have some great tips to add to the community.

thepacoman (author)Mr. Noack2013-10-31

Thanks for the kind words. Since I just joined this site, I think I will post some photos of the costume, and maybe others. As seamless as the rock costume looked, the head, hands and feet were removable and there was a zipper in the front of the body suit hidden between the foam rocks. It felt like a sauna inside!

Josh Galambos (author)2013-10-30

Good to see you still working your ways on instructables jay. This is one by the far most outstanding pieces I've seen that look amazingly detailed just like your Chucky one. Koodos, I'll be seeing you around sometime.

Mr. Noack (author)Josh Galambos2013-10-31

Thanks Josh! Stop by any time.

hilix420 (author)2013-10-29

This Is one of the best costumes Ever!!!!

Mr. Noack (author)hilix4202013-10-30

Thanks so much!

masynmachien (author)2013-10-30

epic!

MoTheBuilder (author)2013-10-29

Wow. Amazing job. Did you think about adding the white lightning bolts on Marge's hair?

Mr. Noack (author)MoTheBuilder2013-10-29

Great question! I planned to add it, but it didn't look right on the costume when I mocked it up. I felt it took away from the look rather than add to it. I also neglected to put the two hairs on Homers head for the same reason. Thanks for your comment and question. I'm glad you liked the costume.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-10-28

Gosh that just freaks me out so much! Awesome job!

The best part of wearing it out this year is that so many people thought it was a prop. I often stayed super still and then moved at the last second.

That would totally get me!

johannschmidt (author)2013-10-29

you out did yourself this year Mr. Noack i cant wait to see it for real

Mr. Noack (author)johannschmidt2013-10-29

Thanks Cheese!

blueangelical (author)2013-10-28

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant well done. They sell actual DUFF BEER at a gadget shop called Firebox.com

Mr. Noack (author)blueangelical2013-10-28

Thanks. I might have to buy a can!

mikeasaurus (author)2013-10-28

Wow, this is incredible. Great build!

Mr. Noack (author)mikeasaurus2013-10-28

Thanks! I had a lot of fun with this one.

pojken (author)2013-10-28

Love your enthusiasm for Halloween. Bravo! I thought I was a bit obsessed, but you are a level above me! Cooooool!

ecsaul23 (author)pojken2013-10-28

I concur, but more like 5 levels above me

Mr. Noack (author)pojken2013-10-28

Thanks! I absolutely love Halloween!!

How2MakeThat (author)2013-10-28

Thats so cool!

1Dgirl (author)2013-10-28

double wow

Boygasmo (author)2013-10-27

Awesome!

PeckLauros (author)2013-10-27

Well done!

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Bio: I'm a High School Technology teacher with self-diagnosed Creativitis, a disease that doesn't let my brain sleep. I spend my days trying to ... More »
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