Instructables

Wild Thing Headpiece

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For Halloween in 2007, my kids were characters from the book "Where the Wild Things Are."

The headpiece for the Wild Thing provided some interesting challenges. I wanted it to be at least recognizable as the character in the book, and be light enough for my four-year-old to wear comfortably. It turned out fairly well, and was very popular around the neighborhood.

We all love the book. I hope this inspires a few people to make their own Wild Things costumes!
 
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Step 1: Create a base to work from

Picture of Create a base to work from
I started by cutting out a round piece of single-ply cardboard about 15 inches in diameter. I measured my son's head from front to back, and drew an inner circle slightly bigger in diameter than my boy's head.

Step 2: Make a wearable hat-shaped base

Picture of Make a wearable hat-shaped base
Instead of just cutting out the inner circle, I cut it cross-ways 4 or 5 times and folded the resulting triangle-shaped wedges up. Then I curved the whole piece to the desired shape (this curve defines the shape of the upper lip of the Wild Thing).

I used more cardboard, hot glue, and tape to fill in the gaps and strengthen the the upper part of the base.

Step 3: Building up the head

This part is the trickiest part of the whole project. You may need to do a little bit of trial and error until you get results that you are satisfied with. (Don't give up. You can do it!)

I used some fabric to create the dome-shaped upper part of the head.

I measured the circumference of the cardboard base, and cut out two roughly half-circles whose flat sides were each 3/4" longer than half the circumference of the base.

The two pieces of fabric were joined together with a seam along the curved section. I placed the fabric onto the base and glued the bottom half-inch of the open end of the fabric to the bottom of the base, just under the lip.

I then stuffed it full of polyester filling through the holes left in the inside of the top of the base to get a nice, fluffy, helmet-like shape.

If the shape you have at this point is not even remotely dome-like, you may need to go back and modify the shapes of fabric you used to begin with.

Once the dome-shape was done, I sewed pieces of felt together placing seams where they'd appear as cheek and lip creases. This was glued onto the base as before, and pulled, tucked and stitched back to stretch it tight.

Step 4: Face details

The eyes and nose pieces were started by making their basic shapes with crumpled newspaper and wrapping it with masking tape.

Polar fleece was stretched tightly over these eyes and nose pieces and hot glued in place. The nose was glued onto the face, and a few stitches were placed at the top to keep it secure.

The eye sockets were cut with 2 or 3 "X" slices through all the layers of fabric with an exacto blade. I squirted some hot glue into the eye sockets and wedged the eyes into place.

I then added pupils and eyelids made from little pieces of felt.

The horns were made of fleece, stuffed with polyester filling, and hand stitched in place.

Step 5: Hair

The hair was added by cutting and gluing small sections of fake fur in place one at a time.

A section of hair was added to the back that hangs down to complete the back of the head. I sewed a piece of fabric to this section of hair so it wouldn't be so scratchy on my boy's neck.

Step 6: Teeth

Picture of Teeth
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I added some strips of foam into the hat opening to make it a little more snug, and covered this with a piece of fabric that was glued in place.

A piece of red fleece was glued down to start the mouth.

For the teeth, I took a strip of white felt that was about 3 by 12 inches and glued it in half lengthwise, with no glue all along about a half inch of the non-folded edge. When it was dry, I cut wedges from the strip to make the teeth

When folded open, the non-glued edge of each wedge created a gluing area for each tooth to be attached to the mouth.

Step 7: Lower jaw

The lower jaw was made by inserting a 2 by 20 inch, 3/4 thick piece of foam inside a sleeve made of fleece.

The sleeve was made by sewing two pieces of fleece together--one was cream colored and the other was red. The front seam was positioned so the cream colored fleece wrapped around the front of the foam to create the bottom lip, leaving the red fleece about an inch back to be the inside of the mouth.

Teeth were added, but this time glued flat, extending out past the lip. The jaw piece was glued to the front corners of the neck piece showing in the last step. Fur was glued onto the bottom of the jaw after if was connected to the head.

A piece of 1-inch elastic, wrapped in red fleece was glued inside to work as a chinstrap.

That's it! The whole thing weighs about a pound.

If you make one, be sure to post a photo and let me know how it went!
Jbsmom5 months ago
Loved your tutorial! I didn't know where to start! I used hot glue, a staple gun, and lots of tape haha! So awesome! Thanks again for sharing your talent!
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ritamarley235 months ago
This tutorial was AWESOME!! My daughter loves this book, and with a few dedicated hours, and A LOT of hot glue burnt fingers, I've made some of the most fantastic Halloween costumes to date. Lots of ooo's and ahhh's, and we even won first place at a Halloween costume contest! Thank you!
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seamster (author)  ritamarley235 months ago
Those look great! Thank you for posting the photos. It's always fun to see what people come up with. Homemade costumes are always the best!
When my husband & I decided to do 'Where the Wild Things Are' this year for our family Halloween costumes, I was very happy to stumble upon your instructable to get me started on the Carol costume. I made minor edits here and there, but followed your instructions for the most part...thank you!!
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seamster (author)  hivy-sutterfield5 months ago
Hey, nice work! You guys look awesome.
Philcar1 year ago
I just don't see how you glued that nose unto that face and got it to look so smooth. I am getting burnt fingers and glue all over the face!!!!!!!!! Can you help????
seamster (author)  Philcar1 year ago
I don't know if I can help you!

Just keep at it. If something doesn't work the way you would like, try another method. That's my approach to this kind of stuff. Good luck!
I took that glued mess off and started over. This time I sewed that nose onto the face and stuffed it as I sewed it on. And I like it. Thanks for keeping me going!!!
Philcar1 year ago
And the sides that are curved up, end up being the front and the back of the headpiece? You said that curve defined the upper lip of the base. Thanks, You are being sosososos helpful.
seamster (author)  Philcar1 year ago
Ah, yes, I think we're on the same page now. If you look straight on at the front of the brim, where the face will be, it should be smiling at you.
Philcar1 year ago
It appears in your picture that in this step the back of the cardboard has been shaped or cut a little more flat than and circle. Could you please explain what you mean by "I curved the whole piece to the desired shape." Thank you.
seamster (author)  Philcar1 year ago
The cardboard piece was perfectly round.

I curved the left and right sides upward, which made it into a cowboy hat-shape. I'm not sure how to explain that. The photo might be a little deceiving because of lack of shadows or something, but the left and right sides of the cardboard "brim" are up about 3 inches off of the table.
this is coming very late..but thanks for your instructions!! between my mom an dmyself i was able to make a wild things head piece too! it turned out great and i had a blast on halloween!
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seamster (author)  valalltogether1 year ago
Never too late! The costumes look great.

Thanks for the photo!
J-Five1 year ago
Rest in Peace
Maurice Sendak
J-Five2 years ago
That's what my kids look like, even though they're not in a costumes.
cwiley42 years ago
Thanks for the instruction!
I modified your instructions and blogged it here(in case you want to check out the other photos):
http://cassihousecat.blogspot.com/2011/11/great-halloween-debacle.html
WARNING: the post is heinously long.

I credited your Instructable and linked back here.

Peace!
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erinogrady2 years ago
This year was amazing, thanks to your fantastic directions! We all thank you so much! <3.
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seamster (author)  erinogrady2 years ago
Wow, those turned out great! Have you considered posting an instructable to share some of the details on how you made all of these? There are a lot of people that would appreciate seeing the details on how you made these costumes.

Thanks a bunch for the photos! Totally made my day.
I SHOULD!! I spend like 2 months & lots of trips to this page figuring out how to make them work. I am really happy w/ the outcome! Thanks so much for the kind words! *You* just made *my* day!! I make lots of little crafts and really do need to take the time to put them up here. <3
seamster (author)  erinogrady2 years ago
Yes indeed. Just be careful, it can become addicting!
I wouldn't have known where to start without your Instructable! Thanks so much!
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seamster (author)  maker.mama102 years ago
Looks very nice! One of my favorites so far. Well done!
Aww, thanks! I blogged a little about some of the alterations + made a materials/price list if anyone is interested. Thanks again!

http://nightgardendesign.blogspot.com/2011/11/pinterest-challenge.html
I finally finished it! Thank you for the great instructions!!! :)

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seamster (author)  allyallybobally2 years ago
Looks great! I just got back from a night out begging for candy with my kids... and now that they're all in bed, I get to steal some of their candy!

One of the perks of being dad, I guess. Thanks for the photos!
Andib2 years ago
Hi! I just wanted to say thanks for your instructable. I finally have posted one of my own, because of yours. And here is the photo of what I created from it. Thanks for such great info.
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seamster (author)  Andib2 years ago
Looks very nice! With a full-body costume to boot. Well done!
kogrady2 years ago
Thank you so much for your detailed instruction. I went off road because of the time but all went well tonight. Thank you again.

p.s. I sacrificed my broad rimmed gardening hat (with chin string) affixing rounded cardboard on either side of the brim for support and built off that. Yes, I began this project at 11 p.m. last night and that is all I could come up with.

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seamster (author)  kogrady2 years ago
Looks great!
I found this while making my son's max costume and decided I had to make this too... but I'm stuck on the hair in the back. I know you made this a long time ago but I just need to know if you attached the hanging hair to the lower jaw or just let it hang.
seamster (author)  allyallybobally2 years ago
Yes, the hanging hair flaps that are showing on either side of the upper jaw area were glued down to the lower jaw piece (the piece I describe making in step 7). This left about 6 inches or so in the middle of the lower jaw/chin piece where I needed to piece in a section of fake fur to finish it off. I hope that helps!
speltbaker2 years ago
I made this costume for my kid when you first put it on Instructables.

Somehow, we have found a way to bring it of storage with the least provocation! People ask to wear it. SOooo many people have worn this just to try it on. Everyone loves it. The costume designer at our school just stared at it in awe! This is one of my all time favorite Instructables. Thank you so much...
seamster (author)  speltbaker2 years ago
Well, thank you! This was a fun project. I'm glad you liked it and were able to make your own. (No photo? I love seeing other people's photos. You ought to post one, just to humor me.)
seamster (author)  seamster2 years ago
Oh wait, you already did! I should've checked first...
snowdrps3 years ago
I wanted to say thank you I was able to create the three monsters for our dance groupes production. Thank you.
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seamster (author)  snowdrps3 years ago
Awesome! Glad I could help out a little. Thank you for the photos!
J-Five3 years ago
it looks like my uncle
angelabchua3 years ago
So as promised, I wore your costume project to our Instructables Show and Tell event and everyone LOVED it and immediately recognized your i'ble.

It made the front rotators on our new "Letters from the Editor" and i've attached a pic below. Thanks again for creating an awesome costume and sharing!
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I used your tutorial to create the headpiece my boyfriend wore for a 'after halloween' costume party! It turned out so great! We tweaked it a little bit and hot glued everything instead of sewed, but it was a lot more convenient for me. Thanks for the tutorial! :-D

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