Introduction: Wall-e Costume

Hello All,

Welcome to my first Instructable!

I have always loved this site and DIYs in general, but my absolute favorite projects are costumes. Not surprisingly, most of the "fun" of Halloween for me is the adventure I take as I go from a random thought to a finished product. I've always placed an emphasis on costumes that are comfortable enough to wear throughout an evening of Halloween festivities and not have that, "I can't wait to take this off," feeling. This Wall-e costume was pretty easy (took me only a few days), very cheap (I only had to go buy the shirt and paint), and was super comfy!

Step 1: Things You'll Need

Most of the materials I used for this Instructable were leftovers from old projects, but I really try to keep my projects pretty cheap.

Materials:

  • Shirt
    • Yellow tee shirt
    • Brown, Black acrylic paint (small bottles)
    • Paint applicator sponges, I used a few small natural sponges to give me differing textures
    • Black, White, Red, Grey, Yellow felt (green is an option if you want to make the Eve patch)
    • Hot Glue and Gun
  • Glasses
    • Cardboard
    • Fiberglass and Resin
    • Body Filler
    • Sandpaper
    • Primer (I used spray-paint)
    • Silver metallic spray paint
    • Same paint and sponges as the shirt
    • Chemical Safety Goggles
    • Some sort of window/glass tint (spray on drastically reduces visibility, an adhesive film will be much better)
    • Hot Glue
    • Dremel or X-acto knife
  • Skillsets
    • Fiberglass work (this is the most difficult part of the Instructable)

Step 2: Build the Glasses Frame

I started the glasses by searching Wall-e images online until I came up with one that I felt could give me a good template. I ended up with the black and white image included. Print it out (make sure the size fits you!) and use it trace the front facing shape of the eyes.

I chose to keep the top of the glasses completely flat, but you could choose to rotate them. Keep in mind, you will be fitting the safety goggles INTO this "pattern" that you have created, so it would be good to see if it fits now. Reminder: you will be fiberglassing this in the next step, keeping the top flat drastically facilitates the fiberglassing process.

Trace the template onto cardboard and cut it out, cut out the eye sections as well (make sure the eye sections align well with where you place the safety goggles).

Once you have the front of the glasses traced and cut out, you'll want to compute the depth of the glasses. I chose a depth so that the glasses would reach the center of my head when attached to the safety goggles. I taped the template to the saftey goggles, put them on, and determined just about how far the glasses needed to extend. Doing so will also give you some of the dimensions you need to figure out the rest of the glasses: How wide is your head? Where are your eyes in relation to where the glasses feel comfortable? You may need to make some adjustments to your cardboard cut-out (good thing its just cardboard now!).

Once I determined the depth of the glasses, I cut out a number of narrow cardboard strips at that length. Using a hot glue gun to hold them in place, I slowly created the glasses "structure." You can see this in the first picture. It doesn't have to be pretty, just get the gist of the shape in place.

The hardest part of the cardboard process is the curves that fit your face and forehead. The easiest way that I found to replicate these curves was to trace the safety glasses. Position the safety goggles into the glasses with the goggles facing down. You'll want to place cardboard vertically up against the goggles, and trace the curvature of goggles onto the cardboard. Do this for the nose curves as well. You can bend the cardboard to wrap around this curve pretty easily.

Once you are done, you should end up with something similar to my second image. I filled in any gaps with hot glue just to make the structure more stable.

Step 3: Fiberglass!

This is the hardest part of the instructable. Unfortunately, the purpose of THIS instructable is not to teach you how to fiberglass, but there are a number of THOSE on this site already.

I had quite a bit of fiberglass and resin leftover from when I built my own car subwoofer enclosure (possible future instructable!). All you need for this application is one or two layers, making sure you have no air pockets and that you have thoroughly soaked the cardboard in resin.

As you can see from the picture, I left the overhanging fiberglass attached. Don't try to use the resin to adhere it to the glasses, it is unnecessary.

You'll want to let this dry, so this is a perfect time to start working on the shirt!

Step 4: Body Filler

Once the resin has dried, use a dremel or x-acto knife to trim the excess fiberglass.

You'll then want to apply a thick layer of bondo or body filler to your glasses. Don't worry about how it looks just yet.

Step 5: Sand and Prime

Once the body filler dries, sand down the exterior of the glasses so that it is smooth. I used a medium grade piece of sand paper.

No need to sand all the way to the fiberglass, as you'll be using this layer to etch designs into the filler.

Go ahead and prime the glasses now. I used a few light coats over the whole surface. Sand with a fine paper if need be.

Step 6: Painting and Detailing Your Glasses

Using the original template as a reference, use the x-acto knife to etch (some places I just used the tip of a pen to compress the filler, other places required a dremel tool) some designs into the glasses.

If the etchings are satisfactory, spray the glasses with your metallic silver paint.

Once the silver dries, I used black paint to fill in the etchings. An easy way to do this is to give a sponge a generous coating of black paint and wipe it across your engravings. Then, using a paper towel, wipe the surface again (while the black is still wet). You'll find that the paint stays within the etchings, but is wiped away from the main surface.

Complete the detailing with more brown and black paint. Be creative with how you apply it! Dab a little paint in one place then wipe a paper towel over it with some force to make it look rusted. I found that a little elbow grease went a long way here, and I really loved the way it turned out.

Don't forget! Wall-e has some "ear-pieces" on top of his eyes that you can also engrave!

Apply some tint to the safety goggles. I used a spray on tint that I found.... I would not recommend this. My vision was pretty distorted. I would recommend to opt for a laminate, adhesive tint that you cut out and apply.

Hot glue the goggles to your Wall-e eyes, and use the elastic band to strap them on!

Your glasses are done!

If the glasses are uncomfortable, look for some foam (or use some leftover felt) to glue to the edges of the goggles.

Step 7: Laying Out the Shirt

Start with a plain yellow or gold tee.

I used the included black and white jpeg to cut out the "Wall-e" design from felt.

Next, use some web images (as a reference) to create the layout of your costume. Cut the felt to appropriate sizes and place each piece where you think it should go.

Once you are satisfied, begin hot-glueing the pieces to the shirt.

(I also included the green EVE logo just in case you want to make that costume too!)

Step 8: Paint Your Shirt!

Once all of the felt is placed and glued, start creating your Wall-e body. I used the DVD box as a reference for this part.

Again, I used a few different textured natural sponges... a fine, medium, and coarse looking sponge helps create a natural look. Only lightly dab the sponge into either the black or brown ( or a mixture of the two) paint, and lightly apply it to the shirt. If you want to darken some areas, continue to use the same technique. I would compare this to spray paint... you'll want to apply a number of very thin layers as opposed to one very thick layer.

The picture I've included here has the three vertical grey pieces of felt on it... I didn't like the way it looked, so I set out to paint these "recessions" (at least that's what they look like to me). In the other pictures, you can see the finished look. The way I created the recessions was to cut a strip of cardboard and place it under the shirt fabric. This will give you a raised surface, one that the sponges will especially like to apply paint to the edges of.

Use different sponges and paint thicknesses to create varying texture. I found that alternating layers of brown and black paint gave be a very natural "rust" look. This shirt is your canvas! What do YOU think will look best?

Step 9: Finishing Touches

I added the striped arms to my shirt and splotched some paint on those. I darkened up some of the rust spots and added more paint to the button panel on Wall-e's display.

Again, this was my first instructable, if I have glossed over something that may not be so simple, ask away! I hope you find this costume as fun as I did!

Comments

author
Robibame (author)2014-10-05

cool costume

author
PhilTee (author)2014-10-02

Brilliant work! The detailing in your costume is amazing, I thought the t-shirt was a steel plate in the first pic.

author
gravityisweak (author)2014-08-26

You should do an instructable just on the painting alone. The metallic effects on the goggles are great, as well as the weathering done on the shirt. I had no idea that was fabric when I looked at the picture. Nice work!

author

I was considering doing that, but I don't have any pictures of the painting process! I will try to add some details to that portion of this instructable for those that want to know.

author
Gregbot (author)2014-08-26

Nicely done!

author
seamster (author)2014-08-26

Nice. The goggles looked like a lot of work!

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Bio: Mechanical Engineer by day. Gym rat by night.
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