Tamatoa the Crab From Disney's MOANA




Introduction: Tamatoa the Crab From Disney's MOANA

Welcome to my instructable on how to create a kids Tamatoa the Crab costume. My 3 year old son really wanted to be the infamous crab from the Disney movie Moana.

You could create this for an adult, if you modify the sizes of foam pieces used.

My wife and I teamed up to take on separate smaller jobs to make this a reality. If we can do it, so can you!!!

We tried to spend the least amount of money and use everyday items from around the house or cheaply bought.

Most of the items were found around the house.

Keep all of the foam scraps you cut so that they can be used in the project later.


Used or new foam mats


Xacto knife

heat gun or old hair dryer

Silver and black sharpie

small trinkets ( beads, marbles,buttons,plastic toys, coins, shells, )


gold flake

super glue (gel kind)

hot glue gun

gold spray paint

orange spray paint

blue spray paint

tan/beige/almond/or off-white spray paint

blue baseball hat


pipe cleaners

large googly eyes ( purchased at walmart)

pajama set with extra pair of pants (for the extra legs)

Cricut machine with vinyl ( not a requirement to complete costume)


I started working on the shell because I knew that it was going to be done in layers.

Since the mat was made to interlock with each other, I cut the tabs off of one of the tiles and glued them on the piece that would become the back of the shell.

The piece I cut the tabs off of will become the front of the shell.

Save all the small and large pieces you cut of off for later. We will use them to make the shell thicker and used for barnicles.

Draw you shell shape on the back of the foam mat ( I used a silver sharpie)

Cut out your shape with scissors and start to place the leftover pieces on top in a pattern you like. I tried to stay as uniform and equal on both sides.

I used a combination of Gel glue and hot glue for this task. I like the Gel glue because I can control the amount easier than hot glue. You also dont get the hot glue strings everywhere!

Start stacking and stacking your random bits and pieces until you get the shap you like.

I sprayed the hole thing with rustoleum gold spray paint after all the pieces are glued.

Make sure you save some shiny objects to glue on after it has been sprayed gold. This will give it a more interesting appearance and add depth.

I dusted glitter and gold flakes on and used a clear spray paint to hold it all on. This will make it shiny!!

Your shell base is now complete!

Step 2: The Crab Claws Version 1 AND 2

In between working on the shell and letting it dry, I started working on the Crab claws.

I know that I originally wanted the claws to be comfortable to wear, but function also.
I started to draw out the design on paper and then transfered it to the foam mats.

Once I cut them out, I poked to small holes in the corners of the claw. Then attached the two with small nut,bolt, and washer.

After fitting them on 3 year olds hands, I knew this solution would not work and I also didnt like the way they looked. The first version didnt really look like a crab claw to me.

I started looking up real crab claws to get the general shape I wanted.

I then drew image on the back of the floor tile and cut it out with scissors. Cut two pieces one for the right side of the claw, and another for the left side. You will need to cut one more piece to fill the gaps of the two pieces (shown in picture)

You can no grab your hair dryer in high (or heat gun on low) Dont get too close to the foam floor tile becuase if it gets too hot, it will melt. Warm it up and start to mold it to the shape you want. It should not take very long.

Once the claw head is done, grab another foam tile and cut it into a rectangle large enought that when you fold it in half, it will be large enought for a forearm and hand.

Glue the ends together and then glue the top of the claw to the base.

We added some foam at the wrist so that the claws fit snug and would not fall off.

I added some small pieces of foam to the outside of the claws to look like barnacles.

Step 3: Finishing the Shell

Now on to finishing the shell.

We will now add the front piece of the shell after it has been cut with a small section for the neck and attach it to the back of the shell.

I used two pieces of foam tile cut into strips and attached with hot glue since it will support the entire shell once on his shoulders.

Test fit to make sure there is plenty of room to move around without being an issue.

I found some elastic that I glued a the bottom sides of the the now complete shell. This will help it from moving around.

I added foam on the shoulders back and front near the stomach that it would sit against his body without shifting.

Step 4: Tamitoa's Eyes, Extra Legs, and Clothing

Now let us start on the eyes. We used a Great Wolf Lodge headband and used carboard as a template to attach the eyes and antenna to.

My wife use hot glue and felt to cover the cardboard.

She then took the extra pair of pants legs and cut them off. She sewed one end up and used old stuffing out of a pillow to give it form. These legs were sewed onto the lower section of the shirt so that they looked like extra legs of a crab.

The stencils used on the shirt and legs were created on a Cricut machine by my wife. This was a great extra step in making the costume come together but you could just glue metal flake to the pajama pants/shirt instead if you dont own a machine.

We realized that after we created the headband, that it was an issue. It kept falling off so we opted to attach it all to a baseball cap instead. This worked out great!!

Step 5: Painting the Costume!

We used a combination of spray paint to gain the color combination we wanted.

Blue spray paint was used to cover everything first.

Orange spray paint was used to highlight the top of the claw and the front of the shell.
Tan paint was use to cover the barnicles that we attached to the front of the shell.

I probably covered the entire costume with about 3 coats of blue and then about 3 coats of orange.

After the paint was dry , I glued gold metal flake to parts of the shell front and claws to add to the design.

Step 6: Maui's Hook

I used a scrap piece of foam to create Maui's hook. I traced a stencil of the hook we found on the net, then cut it out with an Xacto knife.

It was then painted with the tan color spraypaint that I used on the barnicles.

I found some pieces of old rope that I used to wrap around the handle of the hook.

Then I used hot glue to place it in the center of the shell. Just like in the movie!!

Step 7: Tamitoa the Crab Is Complete!! ENJOY!

Great work on finishing your costume!! I hope your child was as happy as mine was. Look at that face of joy!

Thanks for checking out my instructable.

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    3 years ago

    Amazing! I love the source of foam and the giant googly eyes


    Reply 3 years ago



    3 years ago

    Lovable kids halloween costume... soooooooooo cool ...


    Reply 3 years ago



    3 years ago

    So cute! The googlie eyes look so cool with the fabric around it!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for the comment!