Introduction: Iron Man DIY

Picture of Iron Man DIY

This Mark 3 Iron Man costume is very accurate to the movie's. I spent lots of time trying to get all the details in. It is mainly made of Poster Board, Foamies (arts & crafts thin foam sheets), a ton of Hot Glue(I think I used 140 sticks or so including the helmet and arc reactor), Mod Podge, and newspaper to thicken and seal the posterboard with Mod Podge. Mod Podge was also used to seal the foam to make painting easier. The entire construction of the costume took about 1 month on and off or 100 hours of labor. Most of the time was spent test fitting and cutting templates that fit me correctly.

The Arc Reactor was made by following the instructables Arc Reactor DIY using surface mount LED's and molding plastic.

The Helmet took about 40 hours of work (including drying,sanding,bondo, and painting). It was made by first creating a mold of my head as the base using Plaster Bandages you can get from arts and crafts store (Plast'r Craft is the brand). Once this dried I built up the Iron Man Mark 3 shape by using a very thin aluminum mesh(held down by hot glue) you can get from arts and crafts stores as well near the clays. Once you think you have the shape down, lay down more plaster bandages. If it doesnt look right like my first attempt(no chin) then repeat process with more mesh and bandages. Then, cover the outside of the helmet with bondo in small increments, sanding in between each application to a smooth finish. After that is just painting.

Painting was done using a Gloss Colonial Red and a RustProof Metallic Gold. I used lots of taping to make sure the colors didnt mix at all. Good luck its a lot of work but will be the talk of all the parties.


ElphabaT (author)2015-02-25

Where did you get the templates?

Dany2345 (author)2014-09-19

Thank you. Found it helpfull.

The american kid (author)2014-04-11

which arc reactor tutorial

TN777 (author)2014-01-07

If I ever go to Knoxville comic con, this is what I wear!

awesomelyawesome (author)2013-12-04

Freakin' awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AJC889 (author)2013-10-09


Shotgun Tricycle (author)2013-09-19

Ummmmm can you or someone please send me pictures of the unfolded leg pieces because i cant seem to figure out the shin piece and I need a better picture of the thigh. THANK YOU SO MUCH IF YOU CAN!

avenger22 (author)2013-07-04

Thank you. I find you useful.

LULLI (author)2013-01-31


the_real_mccoy_ (author)2012-08-08

Its pretty cool. you got a considerable amount of detail on there
you made the mouth/cheek too wide and the resst of the helmet to round
besides that its really good
im hoping to make a mk 1 out of thicker/more foam
and the armor just out of the poster stuff in tonys room in avengers
oh and if you didnt know... I AM SOOOOOOOO MAKING THIS!!!!!

burao (author)2012-05-22

Do you make other armors like mark 4,5,6,7 or is that the only one you use?

the_real_mccoy_ (author)2012-03-13

Cool!!! Your costume has been very inspirational. I might even make my own.

dj soundwave (author)2010-09-08

can you make a batman costume to?

yusuf786 (author)2010-06-07

Hey Cool Suit. Any Weapons Attached ?

doombot9000 (author)2010-06-04

Wow! Nice job!

zinnatty (author)2010-05-13

when it's green & purple looks like buzz lightyear's suit lol

thepelton (author)2010-05-07

Did I notice that your ears are visible from the back?  There was complete coverage in the film, otherwise he would not be able to fly into subspace.

eseidel (author)thepelton2010-05-07

Did you also notice that my body is sticking out as the suit doesn't fully enclosing me.  There was complete coverage in the film too otherwise he would freeze to death in that atmosphere. It also wasn't bolted together over me if you were wondering that too.

firefreak2007 (author)2010-05-07

Is it possible that you could draw out a template for each piece of the torso? Thatd be awesome if you could :D

eseidel (author)firefreak20072010-05-07

The pictures of the torso in the slideshow would be the template as I didn't have one to go on. 

zach willis (author)2010-04-27

dude frecken awsome can you make a instructabul on it

eseidel (author)zach willis2010-04-28

Thanks.  Sorry but there will be no instructable for this. 

DarkerStitches (author)eseidel2010-05-07

Too bad, I really wanted to make one for my little brother.

eseidel (author)DarkerStitches2010-05-07

 Yeah sorry.  I just don't have that kind of free time to redo it or document it.  If you follow the pictures though I'm sure you could try.  If you have questions you may message me and I'll try to help.

zach willis (author)2010-04-28


duelist (author)2010-04-18

Hey NICE suit I have a question though...
With the chest plate is it sheets glued together, one on top to make the basic shape???

This could really help me.
Also could u send me pics of your templates?
Email is if not just say so, (I know that there are no plans etc.)

eseidel (author)2009-08-12

Thanks, I knew the head was a little mishapen but I didn't have time to redo it(finished it day of halloween). However, now that I have more time I plan on correcting the helmet. Im also going to reduce the shoulders a little bit and a few other things. Torso was one of the most difficult pieces for me as well. Got any pics of it? War machine does sound like a really good idea though. I'll have to think about that one.

moniter man (author)eseidel2009-08-14

i used some foam to make the helmet by using a papercraft model(which i cut apart) and glued together with hot glue and pieces of cardstock, now i just need to patch it up, and it will look great, i will soon, just as soon as i find my camera;D

jase78 (author)moniter man2010-02-26

you reakon it would be possible to blow a papercraft model up to humansize, stick on card then harden up, sanding, painting etc?? :D

moniter man (author)eseidel2009-08-14

i need an email address so i can send u the pics ;(

piratelord4 (author)2010-01-04

Quick Question how much  money would it take to have just whats in picture 3 from the right made. generally just the chest piece and connecting back. I wouldnt need it painted.

eseidel (author)piratelord42010-01-04

To do it yourself will cost you around $20 for the chest piece.  I can't help you though because it was all trial and error as I went.  No measurements.  Took a while though to get it to look right.  Good luck. 

DracoMorgendorffer (author)2009-11-12

good job! it's cool but shoulders are too big, mak them smaller and the suit will be perfect.

I agree completely.

moniter man (author)2009-11-01

hey, it's me. i made my warmachine/ stealth armor iron man suit, and it was a great success, i will try to send you the piks :P 

eseidel (author)2009-10-02

With Halloween coming up, I am getting more and more e-mails asking for instructions and blueprints. PLEASE READ the description and comments and you will see there are none. It was all trial and error and lots of patience. I will ignore any e-mails that ask for instructions so please don't bother. If you have questions that's another thing but I DON'T have instructions and I DON'T plan on making any for this took long enough as is to make. Maybe future projects will but not this one.

Ultra Computers (author)2009-10-01

Could you send me directions here is my email

eseidel (author)Ultra Computers2009-10-02

NO, there are none other than the description I wrote which also states there are no directions.

PyroMonger (author)2009-09-15

one do you go to the bathroom with that thing on? Now there's a challenge lol

eseidel (author)PyroMonger2009-09-16

Actually its very easy. My cod piece is attached with velcro and I'm just wearing normal pants under. When I create my costumes I take in to account being able to walk, sit, and use the bathroom.

Iron man freak (author)2009-08-16

Man, That is amaizing i would love to have the specs or even blueprints, do you have any more in depth picture you could email me? it is i would love to have something like that...

moniter man (author)2009-08-11

hey, can you send me all the pics?, my g-mail is doyoulikewaffles.yesido, sorry it is so long, i had a hard time finding a good user name.

moniter man (author)2009-08-11

dude, this is the best suit i've ever seen!, can you make a step by step?

1390vvv (author)2009-07-28

Thanks for letting me know. Pretty smart. Keep up the good work. Cheers!!

1390vvv (author)2009-07-28

Great job on the Costume! I was wondering how the shoulder pieces are attached? With Velcro? Thanks. Awesome once again.

eseidel (author)1390vvv2009-07-28

Thank you! I'm going to be doing some upgrades to it for halloween this year too. Anyways, the shoulders are velcroed on. There is a velcro strap on the top center of the shoulder piece nearest to my neck that attaches to the shoulder seam of the chest piece. The strap should have a little bit of extra length to allow you to raise and lower your arms comfortably. To keep the piece from falling off though when bending forward or to the sides, there is a small velcro strap at the bottom center of the shoulder piece that attaches to the black shirt I was wearing. Hope this helps. If you look at this pic: you will see the shoulder pieces 3rd from the right with the velcro coming off of it.

allenan123 (author)2009-06-10

Hey eseidel extremly nice job on your ironman armor. Now I have a question. See I was wondering if you had printed out folding paper or had you just thought about it all yourself by looking at pictures of iron man. Could you help me out cause I dont know each step to take and how im supposed to form a mask by hot glue gun and foam board. BTW already got tons of foam board and hot glue gun sticks. Please reply ASAP or email me at Thanks.

eseidel (author)allenan1232009-07-06

The helmet was not made of hot glue and foam. I used plaster, followed by wire mesh glued to it to form the face, then more plaster, then bondo and sanding. And no, it was not made from print folding paper such as pepakura. It was all through trial and error.

xirobolingothingo (author)2009-05-13

Hey man... i cool.... Can send me the blueprints...i wanna to make the suit but dont find anyhere the blueprints of arms, chest, legs and the rest... Can you? thanks man!

Thank you. Sorry, there are no blueprints. It was all trial and error. The best advice I can give is to start with buying a ton of foam and hot glue. Joann's and MIchael's both have 12 packs of poster board sized thin foam for around $8. You'll probably want 24-48 sheets of the foam to make templates and the actual pieces from. I used poster board too for base of the the chest and shin guards to get very sharp lines, which I then hot glued foam on top of. Just start by cutting the foam and shaping it the way you want (run the hot metal tip of the glue gun against the foam briefly and you'll create scores in the foam to help fold) . Make sure though to actually mold it against your body to get the best look, you may need help to hold pieces. Keep adding foam pieces to build the shapes you need, it doesnt have to be pretty as these will be your templates, Just make sure they are tight fitting but can be easily removed and are flexible enough to walk around and bend in(and use the bathroom). My chest piece attached with velcro on the sides and I decided to sew in two loops of elastic at four points to the inside of the arms and legs to keep them in place but still allowing me to move and adjust as needed. This was done with a sewing machine to give it a triple stitch to make sure it didn't pull through the foam. The cod piece was seperate and velcro as well so I can remove it do use bathroom, but it did have foam molded with head to my butt so I could sit comfortably. Once you have the templates created, cut them in half down the long way and lay them flat. Now you can cut the real pieces and glue them back together (while templates are a pain, I found it much easier to build the shapes this way then wasting a ton of paper and foam with trial and error). If your templates unfold to sizes larger than the foam, take two pieces of foam and duct tape them together on one size, fill the seam on the other side with hot glue, and duct tape too. If you have questions I can try to assist but it was all trial and error...a creative mind goes a long way too. Good luck, you'll be the life of the party. I had so many people ask to take pictures with me I couldn't believe it.

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