You will learn how to create a mascot head on a limited budget.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Buy foam board at hardware store. For this project I used two 2x8 sheets of Owens-Corning InsulPink.
Step 2: Cut Rough Shapes
Cut the board into ovals, or circles, or whatever the shape of your mascot head. There are many ways to cut the board such as razor blade, keyhole saw, and jig saw. Any type of saw will make a mess. The easiest, cleanest and fastest way is with a hot knife. The store bought hot knives are expensive and flimsy. I made my own following the instructions at instructables (Hot-Knife-for-Plastic-Cutting!). Instead of hammering the soldering tip, I bought a three inch long brass screw and hammered/filed it flat. It worked great. As you cut the layers try to get the rough shape of the head. IMPORTANT if the piece is too big it is easy to make it smaller, if the piece is too small it is very hard to make it bigger. When you cut the first pieces, make them bigger than you think you need them. Another tip is to number the pieces, label the top and bottom. That way it is easy to put them back together in the correct order.
Step 3: Cut Out Room for Your Head
One-by-one, cut out room for your head. When you do this the first time, make it tight on your head. You can always cut more later. If you cut too much in this step you have to discard the piece and redo it. In these pictures I cut a space much larger than my head. I did this to make room for a construction helmet (you will see in a later step). I also cut space for ventilation fans which you will want if you plan to wear it for four or more hours without taking it off.
Step 4: Assemble Core
Assemble the core by attaching the middle sections together. WARNING most glue will melt the foam. Fortunately, plain old Elmers glue works great. I also used 3 drywall screws to hold the pieces together as the glue dries. Makes sure you allow at least 24 hours for the glue to dry. If you want you can install a construction helmet (as a very nice head support) and ventilation fans. For ventilation fans I used old PC fans connected to 9 volt batteries (sorry I dont have a picture but you can see the holes for the fans). Make sure that it fits and is comfortable before going to final assembly.
Step 5: Final Assembly
Attach the remaining pieces. Cut holes for the eyes, nose and mouth (if applicable). Use sandpaper to smooth out the shape. Glue felt or any fabric on the outside to complete the head. Thick fabric will help hide rough spots and imperfections. If possible, paint the head with a latex paint which is the same color as the fabric (especially if you are using a thin fabric). Add ears, whiskers, nose to make it an incredible mascot head.