Introduction: Cymbal Monkey Toy Costume

Remember those cymbal clanging mechanical monkey toys? Okay, maybe only my parents were that demented. I had one. I thought it was creepy even then. So, it is time to bring back a classic. They're so hard to find now! The jaw and eyes on mine actually move! And I have cymbals and over-extended arms. It's disproportionate and creepy. It was a hit. Video above

Step 1: Paper Mache and Foamular

To the uninitiated, foamular is a wonderful material. It's carvable, sandable and paintable. You can glue it and screw it. It does compliment paper mache well because it's so light. I cut the dimensions out after using calipers on my monkey model. I then used wire mesh to get my round shape before paper mache. After a few layers, I added wood filler and sanded smooth. It's an old toy. It doesn't need to be perfect. Bring out the eyebrow ridges and blend all the forms together to get away from the 2D look of the face. Although, monkey faces are sort of flat. (Reference: President Trump)

Step 2: Painting and Jaw/Eyes!

Now things get really disturbing. I used a flat acrylic because it looks worn/old. Freehand the teeth. It looks more vintage that way. Luckily I had a friend to do that. I'm not confident in my drawing. The eyes are just plastic containers I found at a crafting department store.

The jaw is just 2 U-shaped pieces of foam with anchored wood dowel through them. The mechanism is just rubber bands and string. A fairly simple puppet!

Step 3: Skin and Fur (and Hands!)

And even more disturbing. I picked out the closest fabrics at the fabric store. The face is a stretchy material. I used spray adhesive and went to town on this thing. It takes a lot of patience and time. Be careful around the jaw. You must use latex paint primer on jaw to prevent it from melting. The back of the head is just made from hot glued cardboard.

The hands/arms are foamular cut and carved to look right, then fur was added.


Really hot in these rhinos! This thing gets warm inside the head. AND the cardboard gets soft. I recommend using foamular and making vents for yourself.

Step 4: That's It!

Be careful, have a handler where ever you go! This thing gets warm and you will have people running up to hug you. Others run screaming. You have to be prepared to chase them.

Hardly Human