Picture of Realistic Alien Costume
This Instructable is for a "Gray-style" alien, a la the movie Signs. The sorta alien you'd expect to see in Roswell, New Mexico.

The video is a short film we made using this costume (as well as another costume).

Before you make this costume, realize that it is striking, kinda scary and very form-fitting. For these reasons this is great for clubbing, public events, parties with adults, or maybe for a haunted house. Although it won't show any skin, almost every nook and cranny of your body will be visible. Personally I would feel uncomfortable wearing this to a church or school Halloween party. And if you're self-conscious about your body, this costume is not for you.

This instructable was made after-the-fact, which means I don't have many step-by-step photos. Fortunately, superpants made a version of this same costume and has a lot of helpful photos which you can use to help you make the mask.

What You Need


1. Body stocking (zentai suit)
That's all!

HEAD (mask):

1. Large uninflated balloon. (couldn't hurt to have a few extra in case it pops.)
2. Flat-bottomed dish or cake pan
3. Newspaper (lots!)
4. Flour
5. Salt dough
6. Utility knife
7. A pair of novelty alien sunglasses
8. Acrylic paints
9. Cotton Batting


1. Store-bought alien mask
(LAME! but much easier)

total cost: about $50
dylanG13135 months ago

That video is so awesome. And recitalist.

superpants3 years ago
Thanks for a great instructable. Based on your concept I have made my own version. This was worn at the recent 'Secret Garden Party' festival.


The really enjoyed the video too!

Bindlestiff (author)  superpants3 years ago
Awesome! Very happy to see another one of these. I'm going to put a link to it in my instructable since I don't have any photos of the process in mine. Thanks.
Great! I thought it might be helpful to have some in process pics, even if they aren't identical!
azharz3 years ago
Excellent Instructable.
lmaccaskill3 years ago
I'm fairly new to paper mache myself but I have a few suggestions. Skip the 'flour and salt' formula, its only plus is it's safe to eat. The downside of that is, it's a breeding ground for insect pests, bacteria, molds and fungi. But its worst fault is it is weak and crumbly. Try a mix of Golden Harvest wallpaper paste and Weldbond glue (find both at Ace Hardware) mixed to the consistency of heavy cream. Weldbond is great stuff; glues almost anything, very strong, dries clear, thins with water, no fumes and can be used by itself for a tough final glaze. Newspaper is cheap and plentiful but not very strong. Tear up strips of kraft paper or brown paper bags, soak them in your glue mix, strip off excess glue with your fingers and smooth them on to your balloon or whatever you are using for your form. Let it dry between layers. A half-dozen layers of strips and you'll have a tough, rock-hard mask.
Bindlestiff (author)  lmaccaskill3 years ago
I'll be using papier mache again this year, and I will try these tips out. Thanks!
superpants3 years ago
Fab Video & really shows your skill off too!
lmaccaskill3 years ago
I also meant to say that this is really a wonderful costume and a very entertaining, well written Instructable.
Nice costume, and an excellent short story, thank you for sharing.
GTAtomten4 years ago
Great use of papier mache! I have tried it several times and i'm never able to get it smooth enough. This on you first try is... More than amazing.
Hope you keep doing papier mache creations!
What User1 said!!!!
Bindlestiff (author)  User14 years ago
I'm sure aliens come in all sizes too!
Plo Koon4 years ago
me like movie
dummy19774 years ago
I want one.
I'll take the space girl.
If I might offer some advice, wear tight underwear if your male, or else you might find yourself with an unsightly bulge :)
DIYDragon4 years ago
Cool costumes, enjoyed the short film. : )
SUPERBROMO4 years ago
You are kinda short or all of those people are really tall!!
Bindlestiff (author)  SUPERBROMO4 years ago
Yeah I don't know what's going on. I think its because I'm next to Chinese Woman, Jailbreaker, and Joe Dirt, all of whom are very tall. If you compare me to Indiana Jones or Spiderman, suddenly I'm quite imposing. FTR, I'm the US national average of 5'9''.
MadDogg7104 years ago
OK SERIOUSLY next costume Instructible the Hot Astronaut Nemesis! how did you guys make the helmet? This would be an AWSOME combo for me and my wife at our next Convention!
Bindlestiff (author)  MadDogg7104 years ago
At some point I would like to make an instructable for the Astronaut. But if you need it soon, basically you get the space suit the same way as in step one.

The helmet is really easy (though kinda pricey). We bought an outdoor lamppost cover from an online retailer. You can choose the size of the globe and of the hole cut in the bottom. They get occasional request for them as space helmets and can recommend a good size. Then we used a soldering iron to cut out the bottom of a plastic mixing bowl to make the base, and stuck them together with silver reflective duct tape (also covered the base with it).

The boots, belt, and jet rocket pack are made from odds and ends from the thrift store and around the house, spray painted silver.

Just FYI, the astronaut costume is even more awkward than the alien one. Its hard to breathe in and forget having a conversation. Maybe you can solve those problems when you make yours.

Good luck!
I'm with everybody else, I love the alien tutorial and want to see an instructable on the astronaut!
seamster4 years ago
This is great!

I built this mask onto an existing hard hat (like you mention as on option), and it worked out really well. I think if I had been planning on running in it like you, I would have used a bike helmet. It seems like that might be a more comfortable option. Just a thought for your next running costume!
densad4 years ago
I would like to say, that this is a great instructable, but i have two things I'd like to say: 1) how do you know what is realistic alien looks like? ;) 2) a few pics of the actual making process would be cool (I'm one to talk, but still).
Anyway, great instructable. 10/10.
Bindlestiff (author)  densad4 years ago
It's true; regrettably, it didn't occur to me make this into an instructable until after I had already finished making it. I thought I could sneak it in anyway with tons of other pics!

With regards to your other point, one morning I woke up with a vague recollection of being abducted. I thought it was a dream until I realized that my pj pants were on backwards. I realized that aliens could easily make such a mistake after performing their various tests. Anyway, this costume is EXACTLY WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE.
So By disguising yourself as a "realistic alien" the other aliens may pick you up see you and mistake you for their long lost brother Marklark thus avoiding and unnecessary and uncomfortable testing.......GENIUS!

Awesome costume BTW
are going to say "basinga" next aren't you
darkclaw424 years ago
What a wonderful video you made! It made me sniffle a 'bit.
SinAmos4 years ago
Breann, yo.4 years ago
Such a grand movie.
action pig4 years ago
I love the pic of the alien reading. Beautiful work!
thepelton4 years ago
Hahaha that is awesome! Love the "Lost Mime" guy, now all you need is a photo running down a beach, Baywatch style ;)
happyjo4 years ago
This looks very awesome!
NatNoBrains4 years ago
I like...