Introduction: YODA ON a STUMP: an In-Progress Costume

About: My girlfriend and I run a company called Deville's Workshop in Toronto, Canada. We build weird props for film and television and love this website - such a great resource for inspiration and discussion!

Hi gang! First things first - the costume is not finished as I write this!!!! I am gluing and painting and waiting for things to dry each night after work, so I will complete this Instructable totally after Halloween. Second - when it is finished there will be a handmade Yoda mask and gloves - these ones in the photos are just placeholders while I figure out the rest of the costume.

I can show you what I have done so far and tell you what I plan to do to finish it. I'm completely open to feedback and suggestions - I don't sew so making costumes is moving along pretty slowly....

OK! Yoda stumped me. I wanted to dress up as the little fella but that's just it - he's very little! It hit me like a log - make a tree stump skirt for him to perch on.

I went to my local fabric store with an old rubber Yoda puppet and walked up and down the aisles trying to match colours to his cloak and brown onesie. I found stuff I was satisfied with and bought lots. For the tree stump I found a nice soft stretchy brown fabric; I wrapped it around my waist, estimated that I would need almost three times as much (I WAS WRONG! IT'S NOT LONG ENOUGH!) and I picked up some polyester batting to use as an under skirt.

Step 1: The Tree Stump Skirt

I have a mannequin in our shop, so he became the model while I measured fabric out. Pay no attention to the furry Wookie body, that's from a different Halloween party. It's still on the mannequin because I was too lazy to take it off.

To get the tree bark look I hit the fabric pretty hard with spray glue, let it set for a few minutes, then bunched it up. I discovered that it looked better on the back (the glue side) than the front, which just looked like poorly pleated curtains. So I am now using the back of the material with the glue exposed - it sort of helps age the tree bark. I'll likely hit it with some kind of sealant when I get farther ahead.

I velcro-strapped a pair of back support suspenders that I got at Home Depot onto the mannequin. I rolled a thin layer of industrial strength contact cement onto the suspenders, then cut some 7" thick cushion foam into a strip to make a belt. Once the glue set I contact cemented the batting on to help form the shape of the skirt. I also cut triangles out of the foam to help it curve around the waist.

I contact cemented the tree bark fabric on next. It feels good on and doesn't seem too heavy to wear.

Step 2: Yoda Feet

A small and (what I thought would be) quick detail. I mean, he only has a few toes sticking out from under his cloak, right?

I used a box cutter and cut the basic shape out of cushion foam. Then I smoothed out the jagged edges on my belt sander. I didn't like how straight the toes were so I inserted some thin metal rods and bent them, which bent the toes nicely. I spray painted the feet with primer, then with green paint.

I didn't like the foam texture so I painted on a layer of transparent Alex Plus caulking.

The colour was too dark so I repainted it.

For toenails I painted some industrial strength glue - PL 9000. The next step is to paint the toenails a yellowish colour.

Step 3: Yoda Cloak

I haven't made the cloak yet. It's coming soon, likely tonight! I looked up some sewing patterns for making cloaks but in the end I think I'm just going to drape the fabric over the mannequin, mark out my arm holes and cut them out. Sort of the same idea with the sleeves - just drape the material over my arms, mark it and cut it out.

I'll use a NO-SEW fabric seam glue to "sew". Also, I looked up "Kimono sewing pattern" on Google and I think I can make the whole cloak out of just one piece of fabric. Awesome!

That's it for now, sorry this wasn't complete but hopefully I'll have the final instructions up in a few days.

Happy Halloween everyone!