As many of you know me from my Slinky Dog Costume of last Halloween 2010, I would like to still introduce myself. I am an artist and graphic designer who has currently graduated with a BFA in fine arts. I love to do anything creative, but since graduation I have not had many creative outlets. So I decided I would take the time to once again create a costume that was extremely original and had not been attempted before. Last year, one of my second character choices for a handmade costume was the bird KEVIN from the movie UP! I dug back into my original ideas and decided that I wanted to make Kevin, but that I did not want it to be as generic as other bird costumes. I really wanted to make the costume have the visual qualities of the crazy bird from UP, but also function like the bird as well. This being said....
this costume IS a one of a kind...
the head moves
the beak actually opens and shuts
AND the wings even flap.
ALL with my head nicely concealed in his neck so that you never really pay attention to the fact that a person is in it.
Great visual trickery there so that this costume really portrays the bird from UP. Honestly the only thing I wish I had done was get a soundtrack of his bird noises going and it would have been completely legit!
Im sure your reading this because you are wondering how in the world this was made, and maybe how you can create one yourself...
SO lets get creating!!!
130 mini hot glue sticks
10 stacks of newspapers
6 pool fun noodles
3 rolls of duct tape
2 bottles of elmer's glue
1 gopher trigger gripper
1 pair of kids angel wings
1 roll of masking tape
1 roll of bed foam
1 roll of thick seam material
1 bag of polyester fiber filling
1 1/5 yards of faux polyester fur
1 1/5 yards of blue semi - fuzzy fabric
1 yard of black stretchy fabric
1/2 yard of blue mesh material
1 pack of large white feathers (at least 4)
1 pair of old shoes
1 pair of black leggings
1 bottle of sky blue, purple, blue, red, yellow, and orange spray paint
1 bottle of white, green, and black acrylic paint
scissors (very sharp/nice pair)
hot glue gun
one colored sharpie
large mixing bowl
DONT forget patience and time are necessary to create such a costume. I spent at least 60+ hours on this one and still barely finished it in time for Halloween 2011. I also had awesome roomies and a great playlist to help me through it all, so good luck :)
Step 1: Creating the Main Structure of the Body
Starting a costume this elaborate is always one of the hardest steps. You just look at the materials you have and you are almost dumbfounded over what to do with them. I never planned anything with sketches and other designs, though I encourage you to go against what I did and maybe plan yours out. Thats just how I work creatively, but it also took me many extra hours of figuring out where to start because of my way of "just winging it".
To start the body I cut all of my fun noodles in half so that they would be easier to manipulate and form into shapes instead of being so resistant to change. Once that was done I got my duck tape and went to town. I started with circles and half ovals in order to get the general shape of Kevins body without making it too detailed just yet. I also made sure to make an area of noodles that fit kind of like suspenders so that there would be somewhere for my body to support the structure. After taping each section, I took a dark pink sharpie marker and drew lines where all the noodles connected so that I could hot glue everything in place.
MOST important step of the ENTIRE costume...HOT GLUE. Only because without hot glue nothing will stay together. I will just say that when I mean hot glue, I mean lots and lots of hot glue and hours and hours of JUST glueing because each area needs to be extremely thick. The thicker the glue the more time you must hold the noodle in place and wait for it to dry. This is ultimately boring and stressful because you have to keep your hands in one place for so long. Cut and place pieces of noodle where extra support is needed, because remember this is the BASIS of the entire costume, it needs to be strong or it wont make it in the end. Now onto creating the neck, which had a few problems along the way.