Giant Squid Costume





Introduction: Giant Squid Costume

This year I wanted a costume that incorporated tentacles and lighting so I went with this squid/cuttlefish hybrid. Photo credit: Kelly O.

Step 1: Body

I fabricated the entire body from cross-linked polyethylene

foam rubber that was glued using contact cement. The suckers are formed by heating foam discs and pressing them into a cup shaped mold. Thin foam is sprayed with adhesive and applied like wrinkles over the brow line.

The entire body is then coated with Rosco Flexcoat product and allowed to cure for 24hrs. Then it’s painted with a high quality acrylic paint (Sherwin-Williams). Holes are cut in various locations on the mantel and covered with mesh fabric to allow ventilation and visibility. Highlights and shading were added via airbrush to camouflage the holes. A computer fan was mounted in front of a hole in the top

EL wire was pinned into the pattern shown using thin wire. The eyes are punch bowls from a party store with a round piece of black vinyl applied.

Step 2: Paint

The pants are made by stuffing spandex leggings to pre-stretch them into the shape of your legs. Make sure you stuff them enough because the latex won’t stretch as far as the original spandex. Glue on additional suckers with contact cement. Then prepare a mixture of ~7 parts liquid latex (special effects supply) to 1 part high quality acrylic paint from art store. Paint this over the pants in THIN coats. If you coat too thick it won’t dry properly leaving you with a liquid filled bubble. You’ll get a perfect color matched finish that has a lot of flex and durability. Go over it with a watered down wash of black acrylic paint or splatter with off shades to get more depth.

Step 3: Legs and Feet

Feet are fabricated from the same foam rubber while being heated with a heat gun. Then prime with Rosco Flexcoat and paint with the acrylic/liquid-latex mix. Again, do NOT confuse this with “latex paint” from the hardware store which will not flex, will crack, and give you MUCH worse results. The finished shells are then glued to scrap shoes using contact cement. This must be done or they will shift around and be very uncomfortable.



    • Pocket-Sized Contest

      Pocket-Sized Contest
    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    So I'm really interested in working with this material. Could you direct me to the right product? Your work is brilliant and i love it.

    Search for XLPE, L200, or cross linked polyethylene foam. foam by mail dot com has the best prices I've found

    This is awesome! I've got to start playing with foam.

    This costume is incredible.

    Amazing costume!

    Can you please provide a brand and a link to purchase a cross-linked polyethylene and to a liquid latex (special effects supply) and 1 part high quality acrylic paint from art store.

    the foam is on foam by mail dot com. search and get the 2.2lb density. I used 1/4" for the tentacles and 1/2" for the body. The acrylic brand here is called "basics" and about $6/tube. High end house paint works best on this scale. I used 2 quarts of Sherwin Williams and sprayed it in 15 minutes

    Amazing costume.