Introduction: How to Make a DC: "Mister Mxyzptlk" Baby Costume
I have never made a costume for an infant, but there's always a first time for everything! For the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, our group of friends wanted to go as a Batman group. However, one of the couples just had a baby so we needed to figure out what to do. We decided to go with Mister Mxyzptlk as the size would totally work.
Mister Mxyzplik is a DC character who is often considered a trouble maker to people like Superman. The only way to even defeat him is to get him to say his name backwards. I can't even say it correctly forwards! He posses reality warping powers and is considered to be a trickster of the universe.
However, this is a baby we're talking about here. You have to think about multiple factors when you create a costume: Temperature, textures, ease of getting in and out of it, and the difficulty of just wearing the costume. We soon realized that the baby did not want to wear the gloves and also, BABIES GROW FAIRLY QUICKLY!!!. I made this costume 2 weeks before the con and then 2 weeks later it was super snug LOL.
-thin EVA foam
-small mini magnet
- existing baby onsie that fits the baby
-sewing machine or sewing needles, thread, and sewing clips
Step 1: References
Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better. Look up:
1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.
Step 2: Foam Pieces: Hat + Belt
The little butler hat is made of 3 pieces, a top, a strip, and a rim. (Pic 1)
1. First, figure out the desired diameter of your hat. Grab something circular to use as a guide while you draw it out on a piece of scratch paper. i think i used a roll of masking tape for it. Use the template to cut out the circle from a thinner piece of EVA foam. If you have tread on the under side of the foam, you will need to sand it off. However, you can buy flat foam on both sides. You can also use a dremel to sand off the edges of this foam "disc".
2. Then, figure out how wide of a diameter you would want for the top portion. You can use a smaller circled object to create a paper template.However, when you cut this piece out of the foam, you will want to angle your exacto knife at an angle because it needs to sit "flush" against the middle strip of the hat. You can heat the circle with a heating gun and then press it against something round like golf ball.
3. Now, determine how tall you want the hat. Create a strip from a piece of EVA foam.
4. As you want the rim to be inward, you can use a ball (like a golf ball), and press in the center. You can also heat the rim and encourage it up.
5. Assemble all the piece. (pic 2 +3)
6. You can also add caulk to the seams to fill them in and make the hat seamless.
7. Cut a long strip of EVA foam. You can probably use a ruler's dimensions and just cut that strip out if you double the length. It's better to cut long and just cut off the excess.
8. From that excess strip, cut a short rectangle (maybe 1.5 inches long) and glue into the center of that belt. That is now your buckle.
9. Take your plastic clip and glue that to the ends. This will sit at the back of the baby's body so it wont show it pictures.
Sealing, painting, and assembly
Foam has a tendency to absorb paint and dull them, so you need to seal it first. You can use plastidip to seal the foam, but mod podge can work in a pinch. I typically only use mod podge for foam things that do not need to bend, such as the hat.
Once sealed, paint with your acrylics or spray paint. You can then protect your paint with a clear coat.
10. Now that your butler hat is completed, take a shirt strip of black fabric and wrap it around the body of the hat.
11. Then, take your little magnet and glue it into the bottom of the hat. If needed ,you can take a soldering iron and burn a little groove under the hat for the magnet to sit within prior to gluing it down.
Step 4: Fleece Body Suit
You can create your own pattern, but i think it's easier to just use an existing onesie that the baby uses.
1. Lay the onesie on your scratch paper and draw out the outline. At this time, you do NOT need to draw in the arms. Just the body/legs
2. Repeat the process for the backside. The backside of the onesie i was using for reference has a slit in the back, which allowed for one leg to be placed inside and the other leg was to be fastened up the leg and back.
3. Take your paper templates and transfer to the yellow fleece. Most fleece has an inside and outside, so make sure that you are being consistent with the sides you pick for your onesie(pic 1)
4. Cut out all your pieces and clip them together inside out. (pic 2 if the inside of the front, pic 3 is the inside of the back). For our version of the costume, Mister Mxyzptlk wears a V neck, so we out that collar triange
5. Sew all of these pieces together, flip the suit inside of itself so that the seams are on the inside, and you should have your yellow body suit.
6. Now you can sew in your fabric fasteners so that you can snap the back of the baby onsie closed.
Step 5: Fleece Arms and Hat
We wanted the baby to be fully clothed, so we decided we would make some arms for the suit.
1. Grab the existing baby onesie and trace the arms onto the paper. Unravel the paper template, cut out, transfer to fleece, and cut out the fleece. For the hat, you are essentially making the letter "D". (pic 1)
2. sew the arms closed, flip it so the seams are inside the suit, and see if they match up well to the body suit. (pic 2). We actually added a purple wrist band to the arms as we realized the baby did NOT want to wear mittens. The wrist band allowed the color scheme to be broken up a little bit.
3. for the Hat itself, sew a metal washer in the desired area. The referenced pictures we were using showed that Mister Mxyzptlk wore his hat off to the side, so we attached the washer a little over (pic 3)
4. We fluffed up some cotton and hand sewed it into the back of the hat to resemble hair.
Step 6: Piping
Mr. Mxyzptlk has purple piping around his collar, armpits, and around the skirt of his suit.
1. Take your purple fleece and cut a long strip from it. You will need a fair amount of this for the suit, so you can probably use 3 ft.
2. Roll the strip onto itself and then run it through your machine to stitch it all together. (pic 1)
3. Chop it up and sew it around the armpits and collar (pic 2)
4. The costume looks like it's supposed to be a long shirt and pants, but i altered the design a little bit where i made it a onesie and a skirt. Cut out a rectangle from your yellow fleece that is long enough to fit from the waist to the crotch of the baby. Attach the purple piping onto one of the long sides. Then glue the none-piped side directly into the painted belt. (pic 3).. If i could redo this project, i may have directly sewn/ glued a portion of the belt/ skirt onto the actual onesie so all the tension wasnt resting on the one buckle
Step 7: Gloves and Booties
1. draw out your pattern on paper, cut it out, and then transfer to fleece. Remember that you will have to flip your paper template over for 2 of the pieces, as fleece has a none smooth side.
2. Match up your pieces, clip them together, and sew!
3. My advice to you is to make the gloves a little bigger than you think. Realistically, a baby wont have the fingers, so it's better to make mittens. The thumb part of the glove is essentially useless, and more for show. Also, this baby was NOT feeling the mittens, and well... it's pretty hard trying to put mittens on a fussy baby.
4. I totally forgot to take pictures of the booties i made. However, i just based them off an already existing pair of booties the baby had. I just outlined the existing booties on paper, cut them out, and sewed them together.
5. However, you can make your own pair of booties by using a pattern if needed (pic 2+3)
6. Something to consider is that babies grow REALLY quick.. and this kid had some big thighs.. So we actually never ended up closing the booties. We simply just placed them on the baby's feet.
Step 8: Finished!
That should be it!
-Something to consider is that how someone will choose to handle the baby. The mom noted that she would carry the baby the entire time.
-Also, if you have it in you, you may wish to make 2 onesie's just in case the baby goes to the bathroom and that costume gets soaked soiled..
-Also, despite all the pieces, you're still trying to dress a baby who may just not want to wear all of the costume, as illustrated by not wanting to wear the gloves or the booties.
- Oh.. and babies are temperamental lol. Sometimes they don't want to pose.. or they'll cry or just pass out like ours did.
Our group can be found at 9:07 in the music video
Other costumes/props featured in this tutorial
Participated in the