In this super in depth instructable I will show you how I made my really cool Lego Man costume. This character is Benny the Lego Spaceman from the Lego Movie. "I could uh, I could uh, I could build a spaceship!!!" After watching the lego movie I thought it would be awesome to build a lego man costume. After browsing costumes online I came across a girl that had an awesome Benny Costume. There were pictures of her wearing the costume at some 'Con convention. I thought, oh, I could make one of those. I sent her an email and she gave me great advice on how to build mine. This Costume took 30+ hrs to build and cost around $100. I think it turned out pretty Awesome! Follow the in depth steps below, or watch the video tutorials, or do both!
Don't forget to vote! :)
I have it broken up by different parts of the costume. I will start with the Helmet and work down.
Tools/Items needed for Helmet:
- 1 - 12'' diameter Styrofoam Half Ball (I got mine at Michaels) (smaller if it is for a child) You can find them on Amazon as well.
- 6 pieces of styrofoam at least 1' square, or you could buy styrofoam rings. (smaller if it is for a child)
- Styrofoam glue
- sand paper
- paper for stencil
- Measuring tape
- 1 bucket of joint compound (you can use an alternative substance, or completely skip this step)
- 1 joint knife (only if going the joint compound route
- Mod Podge (to seal helmet before painting)
- Brush for Mod Podge
- Blue Spray Paint
- Clear coat Spray Paint
Tools/Items needed for Face Insert for Helmet:
- 1 - 10" diameter Concrete Form tube x 12" (cut to length as needed to fit in the helmet) (got at Home Depot, you can find it online as well)
- Hole saw bit
- Hot Glue Gun and glue
- Utility Knife
- Black Sharpie
- Piece of plastic (clear)
- Face Stencil (I created my three different faces in Photoshop) then printed it out on glossy photo paper
Video tutorial for Helmet:
Step 1: First Cut Out Your Styrofoam Discs
Our first step is to take our styrofoam half ball and place it on top of the flat styrofoam piece. Then trace around it with a sharpie. Then we cut it out. We will want to do this with six pieces. So we will have 6 discs. For an Adult helmet that is. Probably a couple less for a child helmet. And you would use a smaller half ball. probably a 10 inch one.
Step 2: Cut Out Inner Part of Discs
Now we need to turn our discs into Styrofoam rings. To do this, we make a 10 inch circle. I just printed out two pieces of 8x11 paper and lined then up to make a perfect circle. Now we place that circle in the middle of our first disc, trace around it, and then cut out the middle. Leaving us with a ring. Do this with all the discs.
Step 3: Glue Rings to Styrofoam Half Ball
First on our half ball I put a few lines on the front, to gauge where I want my opening of the helmet to be. Then we need to glue on the first 4 of our rings. Use your styrofoam glue, or elmers white glue, I believe they are basically the same thing.
Step 4: Cut Out Face Area
Now we cut away the styrofoam from our face area. I made it a little smaller then the actual size that I wanted, because the next step will be to get the right shape of the opening of the helmet. Do not glue the bottom two rings on yet.
Step 5: Cut Away the Shape of the Face Opening
Now we fine tune our shape for our opening. If you look at a lego man helmet it is more found on the edges not complete square. So I trimmed more of that away to give a nicer look. Then glue on the remaining to pieces of the helmet - the last two rings. The bottom two act as the chin guard.
Step 6: Sand the Sides of the Helmet
Now we give it a good sanding. We really only want to get the loose stuff at this point, and any high edges the rings left over, we do want it fairly flush.
Step 7: Add Joint Compound to Sides
Now we cover the bottom glued ringed portion of the helmet with joint compound. This step isn't exactly necessary but it creates a better more sturdy product in the end. After it dries completely we go ahead and give it a good sanding. Make sure to blow off the dust!
Step 8: Cover in Mod Podge
Now we cover the whole helmet with Mod Podge. Inside and out. I got my Mod Podge at Walmart. You can find it online, Walmart, Michaels, etc. This will act as a sealant for the styrofoam, so our paint won't eat it away, it will also give it a nice smooth texture. I did about 3 coats, and let it dry about 30 minutes or so in between coats.
Step 9: Cut Slit in Guard
Now if you are making a Benny Costume like me, you will want to cut the little slit in the helmet that he has. It is all about the details! :) Make sure to seal the inside of the cut with Mod Podge.
Step 10: Paint the Helmet
Now we paint our helmet. I used a Blue Gloss spray paint and after used Clear Coat Gloss Spray Paint. I held the spray can 10 to 12 inches from the surface and painted several thin coats until nice and covered. If you skipped the Mod Podge Step and the Joint Compound step, you could use some sort of acrylic paint, something that won't eat away the styrofoam. The finished helmet will not look as nice though. :) Worth it to do the extra steps.
Step 11: Face Insert Build
Now we need to make our insert that goes inside our helmet. I had this idea to make a turning insert, so I could take it out and turn it around so I could do a different Face. I could also make another insert and that would give me a total of 6 different faces that I could use for this costume. Pretty awesome! First you will take your 10 inch form tube and cut it to size. I measured the inside of my helmet to the bottom of the guard to get the right measurement. I used a sharp knife to cut the tube. You could probably use a saw too if you like. We also need to cut the tube down the back completely. As shown in the first picture. This allows the tube to get a little smaller and then expand inside the helmet, making it fit snug and stay in place. I made my faces in Photoshop. I just found some faces online, then scaled them up to the size I wanted, and remade them in Photoshop. You can draw them free hand if you like, or use a different photo editing software. It's up to you.
Step 12: Drill Eyes and Glue Down Plastic
Now we need to drill out our eye holes in the Form Tube. First you line up your stencil and mark where the eyes should go on the Tube. Then drill them out with a hole saw. Next we take a small piece of clear plastic and cut out two pieces that will fit over the eye holes. Then glue them in place with hot glue.
Step 13: Color in Plastic With Sharpie
Next I used a black sharpie and colored in the plastic. It is a little hard to see through it, when it is dark out, but in a well lit area it is totally fine. You could definitely take an alternate approach to the eye holes if you like.
Step 14: Cut Out Eye Holes on Stencil and Glue On
Now we take our face stencil and cut out the eye holes, then we place it on the form tube and glue it down. We do these steps with all three faces.
Step 15: Stick the Face in and It's Done
Now the beauty of doing the face insert idea, is that not only do you have three different faces that you can use, if you don't want to use the faces at all, you could take the face insert out and just use your face. :) And there you go your Helmet is complete.
Once again here is the video tutorial on the helmet:
Step 16: Building the Lego Man Body
Now that we have our helmet done, it is time to build the body. I built every part of the costume in stages, but you can build them simultaneously if you like to save time. For example while waiting for the Mod Podge on the helmet to dry or the glue, you can be cutting out card board for the body, legs, etc.
Tools/Items needed for the Body:
- 1 Large Card Board Box - 22x22x21.5 Inch Box. I got mine at Home Depot.
- Long Measuring Stick
- Measuring Tape
- Utility Knife
- Pencil Compass
- Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue
- Duct Tape
- Mod Podge
- Paper Strips to Cover Edges
- Blue Gloss Spray Paint
- Clear Coat Spray Paint
- Stencil Space Decal for Front of Box. I Made mine in Photoshop and printed it out at Staples on thin Glossy Photo Paper.
Video Tutorial of the Body:
Step 17: Take Apart Box
First what we need to do is take apart our large box. It will have 4 sides. Use some heavy scissors and cut down the main seams of the box sides. Leaving you with one long piece. If you notice the last image, we will use one of the flaps as the top of the body. Nice how that worked out. Saves us from another cut and gluing that piece.
Step 18: Cut Bottom Flap Off
Now let's trip off the bottom flap piece. We don't need that for this part of the body. But save it for other parts of the body. That piece will wind up being one of the side pieces. Works out quite nicely. This should work the same with a smaller box, if you are making it for a child.
Step 19: Draw Out Taper
If you notice a Lego Man's body is tapered, it is not a perfect rectangle. Lets go ahead and make that taper now. First measure the distance from the end of the shoulder to the end of the other shoulder on whomever you are making this for. For me it was 16 inches. Then you want to find the center of the box piece. It is 22 inches wide so the middle will be right at 11 inches. From there I just count 8 inches in both directions and that will give me 16 inches in the middle. Notice I am measuring right where the main piece meets the flap. The bottom I want to be 20 inches wide. So again, I find the middle. 11 inches. Then count 10 over on each side. Or really it should be 1 from the edge. But I do it from the middle just to make sure I have it perfect. Now draw a line from the top part at an angle down to the bottom part.
Step 20: Find Middle of Flap
Now we need to find the middle of our top flap and continue our lines. So in this case. 11 inches is the middle. and 8 inches on each side. Then connect the lines and cut out the outside pieces on both sides. Leaving us with a perfect rectangle at the top and a tapered back piece.
Step 21: Make an Additional Tapered Piece
Now we just need to trace the bottom Tapered back piece, onto another piece of cardboard from our box, and then cut it out. This will be our front piece.
Step 22: Use Two Flap Pieces for the Sides
Now it works out pretty nicely that two of our other flap pieces become our two side pieces. We need them to be perfect rectangles. If yours doesn't work out that way, because you are making yours a smaller size or got a different size box, just measure the distance of the width of the flap and the length of the back, to make your rectangles for the sides.
Step 23: Make Holes in the Two Side Pieces
Now we make the holes in the side pieces for our arms to fit through. If you want it to be a perfect circle, you will want to make the opening bigger then you might think. I first started with a 6 inch diameter hole, coming down 1 1/2 inches from the top. Those holes were too small. When I tried to put it on, I couldn't get my arms through. So I wound up making it an oval. 6 inches wide by 8 inches long. If you want a perfect circle make it a perfect 8 inch diameter. Don't worry if it is two small, you can always cut it bigger later.
Step 24: Add Hole to Top Flap, for Head
Now we need to make our head hole. Again, it needs to be bigger then you might think. I made it a little too small at first. Ultimately I wound up making a perfect diameter hole that was - 8.5 inches in diameter. So to do this, we find the middle part of the flap, and use a pencil compass to draw our circle, then cut it out.
Step 25: Glue the Sides
Now we just use hot glue and glue it all together. Don't burn yourself! :) Then I used some duct tape to reinforce the inside seams. Probably not necessary tho, but I did it anyway.
Step 26: Finish the Seams
Now this step is optional. I wanted really nice seams/edges. However, you can totally skip doing the seams and go right to mod podging the whole thing if you want. To get nice corners/seams, I took strips of paper and mod podged them down all over the edges. Then the finishing touch was to completely cover the whole thing in Mod Podge, this will protect the cardboard, as well as give it a nice look when the paint goes on.
Step 27: Paint
Now time to paint! I used Blue Gloss Spray paint. I did several coats to get it all nice and covered. Make sure to spray about 10 to 12 inches away from the Cardboard. And do several thin coats as opposed to one or 2 real heavy coats. Then I spray it with a clear coat spray paint.
Step 28: Make Decal/Finish It Off
Now we need to make the decal for the front of the Body. If you are doing a plain Lego Man, you can skip this step. But all the Lego Space Men have a decal of a planet. And Benny has a smudged one! So I found a large image of benny and scaled up just the planet part, and then touched it up a bit in photoshop. Then took it to Staples and printed it out on thin glossy photo paper. Next I cut it out and glued it to the front! Then what I wound up doing is building out the bottom waist piece and gluing it to the body to make a complete body/waist. You may or may not need that piece depending on how long your torso is. But it also adds a nice detail. I basically took 2 18 inch x 5 inch pieces of cardboard and 2 - 11 inch x 5 inch pieces and glued them all together, mod podged the box and painted it, then attached to the bottom of the body piece. I did this after I made the legs tho, so I new I could just measure the gap from the bottom of my body to the top of my legs. And that is how I got the 5 inch wide part. If that makes sense. And there we have it. The Lego Body is complete.
Lego Body Video Tutorial:
Step 29: Building the Lego Arms
Now we move onto the arms. These were the simplest items to make, and took the least amount of time. There are several ways you can make the arms. Perhaps the easiest would be to just get a large sweat shirt or long sleeve shirt that matches the color of the body and helmet and then put padding inside. I went a different route.
Tools/Items need for the Arms:
- 2 - 4inch diameter Mailer Tubes, or smaller if it is for a child, or bigger, if your arms are bigger then mine. :)
- 1 to 2 yards Fabric to match the color of your body/helmet. I got some nice shiny material from Michaels (matched awesome)
- Sewing kit or hot glue (I recommend Sewing kit, in case you mess up, you can undo the stitching)
- Knife (to cut the mailer tube, or use a saw)
- measuring tape
Video Tutorial for the Lego Arms:
Step 30: Style of Arms
First we decide how we want our arms to look. I wanted a bend at the elbow, so a joint, and decided to just use my own joint. I decided to use fabric over mailer tubes, to give it a nice round look. Instead of a stuffed shirt.
Step 31: Measuring
Now I need to measure my bicep/tricep length and my forearm length, to determine how long each of my mailer tube pieces need to be. I then just cut those out.
Step 32: Cut Fabric and Sew
Now we need to cut our fabric and sew it together. First put your two pieces down next to each other. Then get and idea of how long it is from your shoulder down to your wrist. That will be your length. Then the width of the fabric you need enough to wrap all the way around the tube, with some left over for sewing. After you cut our those pieces of fabric, I just sewed it right onto my mailer tube. Hand sewed. Then took the sleeve off and turned it right side out, so the seam was on the inside when I put it back on. Next the part that was sticking out past the forearm piece, I folded on the inside and taped it, so it would stay. You could glue it too if you like.
Video Tutorial for Lego Arms:
Step 33: Building the Lego Man Costume Hands
Now lets get on to making the hands for our Lego Man Costume.
Tools/Items needed for the Hands:
- 1 - 3 inch Diameter Mailer Tube (or smaller for a child - this is the inside circle of the hand)
- 1 - 6 inch Diameter Tube (I wound up using an old protein powder container, worked perfectly!) Outer part of hand.
- 2 pieces of cardboard, 8inches by 16 inches, (this will be plenty to cut out the sides for the hands, we will need 4 sides.)
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Mod Podge (to protect the cardboard and give it a nice looking texture)
- Blue Gloss spray paint (or whatever color your lego man is going to be)
- Clear Coat Spray paint
Lego Man Hands Video Tutorial:
Step 34: Measure Width of Hand and Cut
Ok, so first we need to know how wide our hands are when we make a fist. Then add a little extra. This will let us know how wide to make our Lego Man Hands. I chose 4.25 inches. Then I took one of my Protein Powder containers, and cut out a 4.25 inch wide section. This will be my outer part of the hand.
Step 35: Measure Inner Part
Now we take our mailer tube and measure the same width piece. 4.25 inches for my hand. We should wind up with two (for one hand, four for both hands) cylinders. And outer and an inner cylinder. Can you visualize the hand coming together yet?? :)
Step 36: Making the Side Pieces
Now we need to come up with our side pieces. First I placed the inner cylinder tube at little off the center. So that space would be a little wider for my palm. You could always use a smaller inner tube, but this was the look I was going for. Then I traced around the inside of both tubes on a piece of cardboard. Leaving me with two circles. Next I decided where I wanted the opening of the hand to be. add two lines going down. Then cut out my piece. This becomes the stencil for the other 3 sides. Go ahead and cut all those out now.
Step 37: Create the Wrist Piece
Now we need to make the wrist piece. It just so happens that for my hand, the same tube that I used for the inner cylinders can be used for my wrist. If you have a bigger hand then of course you will need to scale up these hands a little bit. Same with smaller. So first I decided how long I wanted my wrist piece to be, when it sits up against the outer cylinder. It wound up being 2.25 inches. I then cut out that piece using a knife. Then I place it up against my outer cylinder. I notice that I needed to make the wrist a little more of an oval to fit my hand easily through, so I squeezed it slightly while placing it up against the outer cylinder, then traced around it with my sharpie. Then I cut out that hole from the outer cylinder. I fit it in place and it worked out nicely.
Step 38: Glue on the Side Pieces
Now we need to glue on the 4 side pieces, 2 for each one. Just go ahead and use your hot glue gun. You could probably use an alternate glue, but hot glue guns are super awesome for these kinds of projects, and you can pick one up for like 10 to 15 dollars.
Step 39: Cut Out Opening to Hand
Next let's cut out the opening. Draw a line a cross from the opening of the side pieces. Then cut out the top piece of the outer cylinder, then do the same with the inner cylinder. Next we need to measure the gap, where the fingers go. Then cut out a small rectangle piece of cardboard to fit on that gap. Then glue those little pieces in place.
Step 40: Glue Down the Wrist Piece
Now lets glue on the wrist piece.
Step 41: Mod Podge and Paint
Next we brush on Mod Podge over the whole hand pieces. I did 3 coats. So one coat, let it dry for about 20 minutes and then another coat, etc. Then it was time to paint. I did several thin coats of paint, using a blue semi gloss paint. Letting it dry 10 to 15 minutes between each coat. The same color I had been using for the other parts of the costume. Then I did a clear coat of spray paint as well. (Clear Coat Gloss - Enamel) A Few coats of that. Letting it dry for 10 minutes in between coats.
Step 42: Hands Are Done!
Now we have two awesome Lego Man Costume Hands!
Lego Man Costume Hands Video Tutorial:
Step 43: Build the Lego Man Costume - Legs
Next we move on to building the Legs. These legs are pretty easy to build, like the Body, just all cardboard, cuts, glue, etc. ***Note - I did the measurements based on my body. They most likely won't be exactly the same for you. But this will get you the basic idea, and definitely get you started.
Tools/Items needed for the Legs:
- 1 Large box 22x22x21.5 (should be the same as the Body Box, about 2.5 to 3 bucks at Home Depot)
- - We will create 7 pieces of cardboard for each leg - ( 1 back piece 8''x30', 2 side pieces with curve and side of foot 11.5" x30 at the top with the curve, and 12.5" wide at the bottom for the foot, 1 Curved Tube piece, 8" wide, and 8" diameter from one edge of cut to the other edge of the cut, 1 Front Shin Piece 8"x15.25", 1 top of toe piece 3.25" x 8", 1 Front of Toe Piece 8" x 6.75".
- A total of 14 pieces for both legs! Lots of measuring to do!
- 10" Concrete Form Tube piece (use part of the one you buy for the Helmet)
- Measuring Tape/Stick
- Knife/Utility Knife
- Hot Glue Gun/Hot Glue
- Paper for Seams
- Mod Podge
- Blue Gloss Spray Paint
- Clear Coat Gloss Spray Paint
Lego Man Costume - Legs Video Tutorial:
Step 44: Measure and Cut Form Tube
First let's take our Form Tube Piece and cut it to be 8" wide, I put the piece down on the cardboard and visualized how I wanted the curve to be. I then measured that distance where I needed to cut it. It was 8" If you look at the picture with the measuring stick. From one edge to the other is 8 inches. I then cut it to that size. I made two of them. 2 pieces down! 12 more to go!
Step 45: Take Apart the Box
Similar to what we did with the Body, we want to take our Box and take it apart at all the seams leaving us with nice big straight pieces of cardboard to work with.
Step 46: Make Your Design for the Side Piece
Now I need to make the design for the side piece. I know that my inseam on my leg is 30, so that is going to be my height. I want it to be 8 inches wide across the toes. If you remember the top of my Body pieces is 16 inches. So this makes it line up and match nicely visually. I wanted it to be long enough to fit over my legs as well as when I was wearing shoes. That distance wound up being 12.5". I lined up my Tube piece and was able to get my shin length and the top length. It sounds complicated but looking at the picture makes it easier. Then I cut those pieces out.
Step 47: Trace Out/draw Out and Cut Out the Rest of the Pieces
Then you just measure out all the other pieces and cut them out. Remember you only need to measure once, then use it as a stencil for the other pieces. 4 example we only need to measure out the side piece once, then trace it and cut it out 3 times so we wind up with 4 total side pieces. In this example though, I am only showing how to build one of the legs.
Step 48: Glue It Together
Now we go to work and glue it all together with a Hot Glue Gun. This is the fun part when you get to see it come into shape!
Step 49: Finishing Work (optional Step - Worth It!)
Now what I did was finish off the seams, like I did with the Body part. I didn't like the look of seeing the cardboard edges, so I took Mod Podge and laid down a coat then put a piece of paper over the seam. After I completed all the seams, I covered the whole thing in Mod Podge. I did a few coats. Gives it protection from the paint (it will last a lot longer). But you can totally skip this step if you like.
Step 50: Paint Those Legs!
Now we just need to paint those legs. I used a Blue Gloss Spray Paint, and a Clear Gloss Spray Paint. I sprayed it holding the can 10 to 12 inches from the surface, and let it dry about 10 minutes in between each thin coat.
Step 51: Completed Legs
Now that the legs are complete, there are a few little Tips that will make them wearable. Right now they are pretty much just a shell, much bigger then my actual legs. What I did is add some styrofoam on the inside so it fit snugly next to my shoe and helped it to stay in place. Another idea would be to attach suspenders to these legs, or some kind of cloth or rope that will go over the shoulders and hold up the legs. After walking around in the whole suit for 2 hours, I definitely want to add some kind of suspender, and trim off the bottom maybe and inch so the lego leg doesn't drag on the ground as I walk. Very slow moving! But super awesome!!
Lego Man Costume Legs - Video Tutorial:
Step 52: Lego Man Costume Jet Pack (Lego Movie Benny or Lego Spaceman)
No Lego Spaceman is complete without this Jet Pack or Oxygen Tanks! I will briefly point out how I made the Jet Pack. This will not be as in depth as all the other parts. But will give you a great idea on how I built it.
Tools/Items needed for the Lego Man Jet Pack:
- 1 - 8" diameter Concrete Form Tube. Depending on how long you make the tanks you may need 2.
- Utility Knife or Scissors
- a couple bolts and nuts
- Mod Podge
- Hot Glue Gun/Hot glue
- Blue Gloss Spray Paint
- Clear Coat Spray Paint
Lego Man Costume Jet Pack Video Tutorial:
Step 53: Cut Your Form Tubes
First we need to cut our 8" form tubes to the length we want our tanks to be. I cut mine at 18" long. So I only needed 1 8" diameter by 4ft long piece. It was about 7 bucks at Home Depot.
Step 54: Bolt and Glue the Tubes Together
Next we need to drill holes into both tubes and bolt them together. I did two spots about 12 inches apart. Then you run your hot glue up and down the seams on both sides. This adds stability, as well as give it a welded look.
Step 55: Cut and Shape Styrofoam
Now what I did is take my form tube and trace a ring on a piece of styrofoam. I cut out that disc, and then cut out 3 more discs. So I had four styrofoam discs of one size, then I cut out 2 discs a little bit smaller so they would fit snuggly on the inside of the form tube tanks. I glued all three discs together so I had two sets of three discs and glued them to the top of the Form Tubes. The reason why I added the bottom disc is so it would help glue the hole thing to the top. So the bottom disc fit inside the Form Tube and the top two discs fit on top. Next I shaped the top styrofoam discs. Rounded them down a bit with a knife. Then I cut out a long piece and curved the top two edges and glued that on top across both tanks.
Step 56: Building the Neck Piece
Now It was time to build the neck piece that attaches to the tanks. It was easier then I thought it would be. My design was to take a piece of 10 inch form tube left over from my other projects and have that be the outermost ring 1.5 inches wide. Then I cut cardboard strips the same width and circumference. And proceeded to layer them. Each strip got a little smaller as it got built out. 4 total inner pieces. To get the cardboard to bend, I just bend it every 1/4 inch or so and it wound up being able to curve into a ring. I then cut out straight strips 1.5 inches wide for the supports. Hot Glued those to the ring. Then I used Gorilla glue to attach the Neck Ring/Support piece to the Tanks. It worked great. You might also decide to drill threw it and attach it with bolts. Or attach it a different way, it is up to you. :) Then I mod podged strips of paper to the top and bottom to cover up the card board seams. And then the final step before Paint was to seal the whole thing really well with mod podge. Make sure to do 3 or 4 coats of mod podge on the styrofoam, otherwise the paint will eat it right up. Then you paint it! I used Blue Gloss Spray Paint and Clear Coat Gloss Spray Paint. I held the cans 10 to 12 inches from the surface and put on several light coats until it was fully covered.
Lego Man Costume Jet Pack Video Tutorials:
Step 57: COMPLETE
Hurray we have completed the Lego Man Costume - Benny from the Lego Movie. Here we can see all the pieces of the costume. It was a huge hit at Halloween Parties. It was a bit hard to move around in. Definitely use some kind of suspenders for the legs. And trim the leg pieces so the sit about 1 inch off the ground, so they aren't dragging when you walk.
Other Tips - You can just attach the tanks to the body if you like, or keep them separate. I like having them separate, it is more "realistic" haha. You will probably want some kind of padding to put in the helmet around your head.
Here is a short little video of me in the costume. With and without the face piece in.