Introduction: Lego Fireman Minifigure Costume
My son LOVES Lego, and decided he wanted to be one for Halloween. After searching the internet for a costume, I soon learned that there are no store-bought ones out there (crazy, right?!) This search also turned up some pretty great homemade Lego costumes, so I decided to give making my own a try.
I found making this costume to consist of a lot of trial-and-error, but in the end, I was pretty happy with the finished product. And more importantly, my son LOVED it! We loved it so much, I somehow found the time and energy to make TWO MORE for myself and husband (and a little Lego brick for my daughter).
I've made this Instructable as clear and straightforward as I could, in hopes that it will help anyone else who wants to make one in the future. I hope you like it!
Step 1: The Head Shape
To get the perfectly round-shaped head, I went to Home Depot and purchased a concrete tube form. Knowing this was for my 5-year-old son, I decided to go with the 10-inch sized one (rather than the 12-inch that I've seen many people use previously). I just thought the 12-inch would be a bit too big for his head.
Now these tubes come only in lengths of something like 8-feet, so need to be cut down. I measured my son's head from top to chin and added an extra inch, giving me about 9 inches. So I measured 9" all around the tube. I then put an elastic band around the tube, lining it up with each tick mark, and then drew a line completely around the tube.
I cut along the line, and was left with a 9'inch length of the concrete tube form. I placed it on my son's head to check that it would work, and it seemed to be the right size for him.
Step 2: Making the Top and Bottom of the Head
Next I needed something for the top and bottom of the head. I had some styrofoam lying around that I had used previously, but knowing it was going to be cut, sanded and painted, I didn't really care what it looked like. So this saved me from having to buy more at Home Depot.
First thing I did was trace the tube shape onto a piece of styrofoam. Do this 2 times (one for the top, one for the bottom). Using a box cutter, I cut the shapes out. Don't worry too much if they're not perfect - styrofoam can be sanded down great!
I then used duct tape to tape each circle onto the top and bottom of the tube. Then I sanded the edges into a more curved shape.
At this point I wasn't sure my son was going to be a fireman and wearing a hat, so I made the "bump" on the top of the head and thought I would cut a hole through it and the top of the head for ventilation. I found something circular that looked like it would be about the right size for the bump, and traced out 2 circles of it onto styrofoam. I then cut circles through those, as well as the piece that is the top of the head.
Next I used some Gorilla Glue to glue the smaller circles on top. (Put something heavy on top and let it sit until you're sure it's dry).
The final part of this step was to cut out a large hole in the bottom that my son's head would fit through and then to sand it all down so it looked a little smoother.
Step 3: Painting the Head
Now, many of you know, painting styrofoam is a disaster. Knowing this in advance, but also knowing I would need to spray paint the head, I decided to purchase a product called MagiKote. This is something that you brush onto the styrofoam and it is meant to make a barrier so that paint can adhere to it. I put 2 coats of the MagiKote onto the styrofoam and let it dry.
Let's just say, this product doesn't work as great as they will tell you. Maybe I didn't put enough coats? I don't know, but still the spray paint ate away at the styrofoam a bit. But, it was still workable.
(By the way, I used Krylon's Sun Yellow spray paint).
I also quickly learned that spraying over the concrete tube form would have taken a LOT of paint to cover (and risks lots of dripping, etc.) So I went to the dollar store and bought some yellow poster board. It happened to be a VERY close match in colour to the paint, so I decided I would use it to cover the head. I measured out a little more than 9-inches wide (remember the head was cut to 9") and wrapped one strip around the entire shape of the tube.
Step 4: Making the Face
Next came the face. I had my son wear the head and kind of point to where his eyes were. I marked it on the head and knew this would be where the mouth would go.
I searched online for something that would work, knowing I would need a face with a large mouth for my son to be able to look out of. I printed out some pieces and taped them to the head to get an idea of position and what it would look like. When I was happy, I drew them onto the head.
I then cut out the mouth shape, and used a paint pen for the eyes and eyebrows. I was pretty happy with the way it looked at the end! I tested it on my son, and he could see out of the mouth just fine.
I had bought some window screen at Home Depot (see picture), and used a piece of that (folded in half) and just duct taped it to the inside of the head over the mouth. This allowed my son to be able to see out of the head, but we couldn't really see his face inside.
Step 5: Body Building
Now I know some people who have made these costumes were able to work with exact Lego Minifigure dimensions on a larger scale. Not me. I just did some measurements of my son's body and used those to draw out the body shape onto a large cardboard box.
You can see from this drawing that my dimensions along the bottom were screwed up, but they ended up being 16 inches along the bottom (where the belt is), leaving 1" on either side. I had to add some more cardboard along the bottom because it just looked wrong!
So I made the front (with the top where the head goes through) and another piece for the back, then just measure out 2 straight pieces for either side. I cut out the wholes for the head and the arms, then taped everything up.
I knew painting brown cardboard was not a good starting point, so I decided to cover it all in white poster board. It gave me a much cleaner, easier to paint surface. I used Gorilla Glue and a glue gun to stick the poster board onto the cardboard, and taped it up with masking tape until the glue dried.
Step 6: Designing the Body
Next came the fun part: designing the body.
By this point we were sure my son was going to be a fireman, so I drew on what I thought looked like a fireman's jacket. I went with red because my son already had a red fireman hat that we would be using. I used crafter's acrylic paints. It took a few coats, but I was happy with it. I used some ModPodge to stick on the cross, as well as the "Lego" logo on the back. Unfortunately, the ModPodge kind of darkened the paint around these, but I knew it was really only up close that this was noticeable, and on Halloween, nobody would notice!
Step 7: Finishing Touches
I finished off the head by using some velcro to stick my son's fireman hat to the head. It worked perfectly!
Combined with the body, I really loved the way it had turned out.
Step 8: The Hands
Now I apologize for the lack of pictures here, but I did them later in the game and forgot to document the process. But I will try to explain how I made them for you. I did include one picture of the hands I made for myself...my son's were much neater, as I really had to rush to make mine! But hopefully the visual will help a bit!
Basically what I did was take some cardboard and draw the "C" shape of the hand and make 2 for each hand. I then used thin cardboard (like from a cereal box) and cut strips of about 3.inches wide. I wrapped these strips along the entire sides of the "C's".
I cut holes through the middle where the hand would go through. I used another piece of thin cardboard and rolled it up, fitting it into the holes, and making sure that my son's hand/arm would fit through. Then using yellow duct tape, I taped it to the hole.
I then covered the whole hand with more yellow poster board, and taped it all up with more yellow duct tape.
I hope this makes sense...sorry for the lack of pictures!
Step 9: Repeat All These Steps Again for More Lego Costumes!
After finishing up my son's costume, I decided to make one for myself and my husband.
I adjusted the measurements to be bigger for my husband and I, but I followed pretty much the same steps to make 2 more costumes.
My daughter wanted no part in wearing a Minifigure costume (and quite frankly, I don't think she could handle wearing one at 3-years-old), but she was on board with being a Lego brick...so I whipped her costume up one afternoon, to finish off our Lego family!
Hope you like them!