Introduction: Sully From Monsters Inc
Here's a costume I made for Halloween 2017. It took roughly 150 hours in total and cost $130 in supplies. It stands at roughly 7 feet tall (I'm 6'1").
Step 1: Materials and Tools:
- Hockey/football pads
- Open-cell polyurethane foam (various sizes)
- Adhesive spray (3M Super77)
- Glue sticks (~50)
- Duct tape (1 roll, blue)
- Old pair of shoes
- Rigid foam insulation (Foamular 150)
- 6 yards of blue fur
- Black & white acrylic paint
- Gray and light blue vinyl
- Toy football helmet
- Black sheer spandex
- Chicken wire (1 roll)
- Plastic styrene sheet 12" x 12"
- 1" PVC tube
- Masking tape
- Great Stuff expanding foam
- Paper mache supplies (newspaper, flour, wood glue)
- White plastic ladles (2)
- Velcro (100 inch length)
- Red & blue food dye
- Epoxy (optional)
- Bronze spray paint (optional)
- Hot glue gun
- Heat gun
- Sewing machine
- Black/Blue Sharpie markers
- Belt sander
- Wire cutters
- Spray bottle
- Utility knife
- Hand file (optional)
- Hair clippers (optional)
- Binder clips (optional)
- Fabric tape measure (optional)
- Handheld foam cutter (optional)
Step 2: Step 1: Building the Body
I used hockey pads as the foundation of the body. This provides a solid structure that I know fits well and serves as a great base to glue foam to. Next, I cut various sizes of open-cell polyurethane foam and glued them to the hockey pads with spray adhesive. I rounded off the stomach and chest pieces to give it a muscular look. The thick fur helps smooth everything out, but an anatomical-like foam substructure gives the body a better shape and helps prevent it from looking lumpy. I built the shoulders up above my head and built out the chest and back pieces to give him some girth. I also used 1" thick foam sheets to wrap around my arms and legs to make them bigger. I found that spray adhesive works best for gluing up large surfaces, whereas hot glue was best for smaller surfaces (gluing the arms and legs to make foam tubes).
Step 3: Step 2: Feet
The feet were cut from open cell polyurethane foam using a bandsaw. I cut out a spot for my shoes and glued them inside. I rounded off the foot with a handheld foam cutting tool (this can also be done with a sharp utility knife as well). Toenails were made from rigid insulation foam. The rough shape was cut on a band saw and then rounded off with a belt sander. The above picture shows the fingernails and toenails for Sully and Mike Wazowski (not included in this instructable). I painted the toenails with black acrylic paint and glued them to the foam feet with hot glue. Finally, I laid up swatches of the blue fur on the feet and marked where it needed to be cut. After cutting out the shape, I glued the fur to the feet with hot glue and cut a hole for my foot.
Step 4: Step 3: Hands
The hands were also made of foam and were shaped the same way as the feet - the rough shape cut with a band saw and then shaped with a handheld foam cutter. I cut the fingers and thumb separate from the palm because they bend in a different plane than the palm and it would have been too difficult to sculpt from a single piece of foam. I cut small lines at the finger creases and in the palm to make them more realistic. I used a utility knife to cut pockets into the wrist end of the palms so that I could put my hands in them.
The fingernails were made the same way as the toenails and painted black as well. I used blue vinyl to imitate the palm skin. I cut pieces in the general shape of the fingers and palm, sewed them together using a sewing machine, and glued them to the front of the hands with hot glue. I laid up the fur on the back of the hand and marked where it needed to be cut. After cutting it out, I glued it to the back of the hand with hot glue.
Step 5: Step 4: Head Structure
I started with a toy football helmet as the base. You could use a real helmet as well, but I found a few toy ones at a thrift store for a few bucks. This ensured the head piece would sit tight on my head and would keep the mouth opening right in front of my eyes. I put a black piece of spandex over the opening so I could see out but people couldn't see in. Since Sully's head is much bigger than mine, I used rigid foam insulation to build the helmet out into a larger shape. I used chicken wire to build out the general shape of the head (credit to user wmorey37, which I used as a reference for the chicken wire method). I then used wire cutters to cut out a section of the mouth, which I would see out of. The teeth were cut from a piece of styrene plastic and taped to the chicken wire frame. I used 1" diameter PVC tube for the lips and bent them into the right shape after heating them with a heat gun. I added foam around the lips to allow for a gradual transition to the head.
I put a layer of masking tape over the chicken wire to give the paper machè something to adhere to. I filled the space between the helmet and wire frame with Great Stuff expanding foam. This helped give the external frame more rigidity. When it was fully covered in masking tape, I covered the mouth and prepared the head for paper machè. I used newspaper strips as a medium and the paste consisted of 3 parts water, 3 parts flour, and 1 part Titebond wood glue. I alternated direction of the newspaper strips on each layer to give it more structure. It felt rigid enough after 3 layers of paper machè. Once dry, I removed the protective mouth tape, and cut holes for ladle handles which I used for the eyes (more in the next step).
Step 6: Step 5: Horns
I made horns from the rigid foam, roughing them out with the band saw, and rounding them off with a belt sander. I created grooves in the horns with a hand file. Once the shape was done, I painted them with white acrylic paint and then sprayed the bottoms with a bronze spray paint. As i moved up the horn, I pulled the spray can further away, letting the horns transition from bronze to white.
Step 7: Step 6: Face
I covered the lips in blue duct tape - I opted for this method rather than painting the lips because it created a seamless transition from the pvc lips to the foam around them. I attached the mouth/lips to the head with hot glue. I used white dollar store ladles for the eyes. I inserted them through the holes I created in the head and cut them off on the back side so they didn't poke out the back (see pictures). The eyelids were created using bendable thin plastic rod. I covered these in the same blue duct tape. The shape of the eyelids was crucial. I planned to use this costume to entertain my 1-year-old daughter and other children at Halloween so it was important that he did not look scary. I angled the outside of the eyelids downward to make sure he had a passive look.
The eyes were colored in with black and blue Sharpie markers. The nose was created from rigid foam and shaped using a belt sander and file. I cut a small piece of vinyl to cover the nose and rolled the bottom to form nostrils. I attached the nose to the head using hot glue and the horns to the head using epoxy (hot glue can be used for horns as well but epoxy will guarantee they don't break off). Finally, it came time for fur. I laid up the fur on the head and marked the spots of the fur that overlapped the eyes, nose, and mouth. After cutting out the various shapes, I glued them up one by one to the head using hot glue.
Step 8: Step 7: Spikes
I traced out spikes onto a 1/4" foam sheet, decreasing the size by 1/2" for each spike, and cut them out with a utility knife. I traced each foam spike twice onto the back side of gray vinyl and increased the border by 1/2" all around so I would have a margin for sewing. After sewing the vinyl covers together, I inserted the foam pieces into each one.
Step 9: Step 8: Furring the Body
I cut out a piece of fur for the tail and sewed it into a cone shape. I inserted the bottom of the 4 smallest spikes into the seam of the tail while sewing. I did my best to make sure the foam stayed out of the needle path as it is already sewing 4 layers of thick fabric (the sewing machine will jam otherwise). I filled the tail with batting and sewed a cover over it to keep it inside. I assembled all the foam pieces of the body and laid the fabric up on it, marking where to cut. I cut one long continuous piece that ran from the shoulders down to the bottom of the legs. The opening was located in the back, where I could sew in the other spikes. I cut out openings for the arms at each shoulder. The arms were cut from separate pieces of fur. When sewing the arms to the body and the tail to the body, I lined up all edges and temporarily held them together using binder clips (see picture). This ensured that the edges stayed matched up as I worked the needle around the perimeter.
I decided to use velcro to close up the legs and arms. This allowed the flexibility of getting into the suit, while still being able to close up all seams. The velcro ran up the inseam on the legs and on the inside of the arms. I used a pair of hair clippers to shave the fur 1" from the edge where the velcro would lay - this made sewing much easier. After all the body fur was sewed together, I inserted the foam parts to make sure everything filled out properly. I debated the various ways of getting into the suit before I made the final fur construction. I decided that it would be best to permanently leave the foam chest and arm structure attached to the fur. When putting the suit on, I slid each foam leg piece on, and then crawled into the suit via the inseam of the legs. I then velcroed the arms and legs shut.
Step 10: Step 9: Purple Spots
The last step was to add the purple spots. I did this by mixing red and blue food coloring with water and putting it in a spray bottle. The mix I found to work best was 15 drops of red and 15 drops of blue in a quarter cup of water. This gave a potent purple color when applied (it dried slightly lighter than when wet). I laid the body face down on sawhorses to cover the back and sides. I covered the spikes in tape to make sure they didn't turn purple. I referenced still frames from the movie to determine where to add the spots. I sprayed each spot 5 times, brushed the fur in the opposite direction, and sprayed a few more times to make sure both sides of the fur were covered. The spots took ~24 hours to fully dry.
Step 11: Step 10: Enjoy!
Go out and use it! Above are some more pictures from the side and back to show details and how the overall figure sits. I also included a video to show how the body moves (I made a Boo costume for my 1-year-old daughter who makes an appearance in the video - she was the inspiration for this costume as Sully is her favorite movie character). Good luck building and feel free to message me if you have any questions!