Picture of I'm Just a Bill Costume
Here's the thing about this costume. I came up with it and started ordering the parts back in September. The plan was (is) to wear it to the National Zoo's Night of the Living Zoo event. However, it's a very real possibility that I won't be able to wear my "I'm Just a Bill" costume because of the GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. Sigh. How I hope and pray that I will.

Materials used:
  • Large sheet of semi-rigid but flexible white or off-white foam - I bought mine at thefoamfactory.com for abut $40. Lots of options available depending on your needs.
  • Scrap knit fabric in red, white and blue
  • a block of velcro
Tools used:
  • Utility scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • fabric paint/paintbrush
  • sewing machine/serger
  • Needle/thread

Step 1: Parchment Roll

Picture of Parchment Roll
The foam arrives in a large lightweight roll. Uncurl it a bit and hold it up to a position right around the knees, and use a pen to make puncture marks where the shoulder and the nose hit.

After cutting out the head and arm holes with utility scissors, cut through the armhole and roll self up in the rest of the the foam roll. Have an accomplice mark where the other shoulder hits. Then, fold over the foam to line up the existing arm hole with the mark. Trace though the arm and face holes, and along the original edge. Cut out the holes and the extraneous foam from the side.
mheymad1 year ago
I love that costume and schoolhouse rock
bbarlow1 year ago
Maybe a bit obvious...However you could easily make this a cigarette or "herbal" Cigarette. Not that I support such shenanigans.
mntbkrguy1 year ago
That is just toooo funny!!
I love that vid
eva08201 year ago
I clicked on this costume first in the newsletter because I just showed my Aussie husband a dozen Schoolhouse Rock videos 2 days ago! And the first one was I'm Just a Bill. Bravo! If there's a prize, I hope you win the Nostalgia vote!

HenryBasenji (author)  eva08201 year ago
Thanks! I'm wondering how Schoolhouse Rock resonates with an Australian audience. I'm guessing "I'm Just a Bill" is slightly more interesting than the one that made us all memorize the preamble to the Constitution, and much less morally ambiguous than the one about the "Manifest Destiny." Of course, "Conjunction Junction" is one all English speakers can enjoy.
chabias1 year ago
This brings back memories of Saturday mornings as a kid. Good job! Also love the step-stool. You make that too?
HenryBasenji (author)  chabias1 year ago
That step stool is one of the fine products available at Ikea. However, my grandfather made the loveseat/bench and the whale wall hanging.
Thanks for the info. This Ikea place seems to have lots of cool stuff. I just need to find one near me.
zawy1 year ago
You have to embed the video for all the youngsters under 35:


And my favorites:

Lost Moai1 year ago
I must admit that I only clicked on this to get a closer look at your pineapple Flea ukulele in the background. Very nice.

Your costume is great , by the way. I think it looks best without any clothes showing. Barefeet and bare arms all the way.
HenryBasenji (author)  Lost Moai1 year ago
I should have taken pictures in the other room, where we have a Fluke, custom painted by the Tiki King!

I agree that shorts and a tank would be the way to go with this, were the event we're going to not taking place outdoors at night in October. Thus we continue to seek some less than perfect options...
abickers1 year ago
Voted for you strictly on the basis that Schoolhouse Rock made my childhood...awesome costume
oakback1 year ago
Could you get the corner to curl by inserting some thin wire into the foam? Then you could shape it however you'd like.
Not everyone has one, but a heat gun will let you sculpt it and hardens the area you heat to hold the shape. If you use wire, it has to be pretty strong since the foam is so thick.
Blow dryer super close might work too. Heat from the back to avoid any marks on the front side.
HenryBasenji (author)  oakback1 year ago
Great idea! Right now I have the corner rolled up (being held in a roll by wrapping the velcro belt around and through the face hole) and I'll check on it in a couple days to see how that's working. Wire will be my next experiment.
Partybot1 year ago
Great idea! Very nice final result. If people are searching, the foam is called Cross-linked polyethylene foam (aka EVA foam). I think you used the full sheet of 1/2" thickness.
HenryBasenji (author)  Partybot1 year ago
Thanks! Yes, I'm pretty sure that was the foam I ordered. Unfortunately my e-mail receipt had no product detail and I accidentally threw out the packing slip, and I don't remember for certain. It IS 1/2 inch thick though. I'm thinking that one of the other more flexible types they offer would work just as well, especially if things like sitting down in the costume are important to you...
Booo on comfort...yes on accuracy!
...please tell me that guy has pants on...
action pig1 year ago
So incredibly clever! Hope you get to wear it somewhere fun :)
msain1 year ago
I remember when the show first came on (geeze I'm old--ahhhhh the 70's). Thanks for the memories! The costume is GREAT!!!!
8bitMisfit1 year ago
was gonna get to the capitol hill part but someone beat me. great instructable. bonus for throwing me back into the late 90's. back when everything was awesome....right....right. lol
JKPieGuy1 year ago
I'm just a bill
Yes, I'm only a bill
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee
But I know I'll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmania.com/im_just_a_bill_lyrics_schoolhouse_rock.html
All about Schoolhouse Rock: http://www.musictory.com/music/Schoolhouse+Rock

(now the song is stuck in my head)