Introduction: Yoshi Mascot and Baby Mario Costumes for Toddlers

This is going to be a lengthy instructable, but hopefully worth the read.

I am going to break it down into the major components:
1. Yoshi Mascot Head
2. Yoshi's suit and shoes
3. Mario suit and hat
4. Baskets

My thought process's (not necessary for the build)
I really like doing themed costumes for my family.  Last year we went as members of the Captain N: The Game Master television show.  While that was fun and very successful, I wanted to let my oldest pick who he wanted to be this year.

He started off saying that he wanted to dress up as Mega Man again.  I talked with him about how much fun we had building the Mega Man costume, trying it on and seeing it become this really cool suit.  Then I explained to him we could build something new so we get to have all that fun over again.  He was sold.

We did some research trying to work in the themed idea.  We got it down to two options: Yoshi or Astroboy.  It really wasn't much of a competition, Yoshi was his choice.  I was hoping that he would choose Astroboy since it would be pretty similar to the Mega Man costume, but in hindsight I am glad he didn't.

With Yoshi we were going to make his little brother be Baby Mario.  Actually my oldest wanted his little brother to be Luigi (I am guessing because the little one has a Luigi plushie while he has a Mario), but the little one really liked the idea of being Mario.

I wanted to dress up as something, but didn't think I would have the time to do Bowser, which seemed the obvious choice.  I also didn't want to take away from the kids.  So this year I will go without.

With the costumes decided I went to work on design.  Baby Mario would be pretty easy, so my main concern was Yoshi.  I wanted to build Yoshi to scale, ie Yoshi's head is about the same size as his body.  My 4 year old is the perfect size and strength to be able to pull this off.  This is why I decided to try and do a Mascot costume instead of a hat or mask.  I hadn't seen a costume like this out there, and thought it would be really fun to do.

From there I started working.  I failed hard with the first attempted Yoshi head trying to make it out of wire and plastic mesh (it was good, just too heavy for him).  But my sons words of wisdom kept me focused.

Step 1: Yoshi Head (Materials and Tools)

Pink Styrofoam (Blue would have been better) - Home Depot
PL300 Foamboard Adhesive - Home Depot
Odorless Cyanoacrylate (CA) Glue - Hobby Town
Batting - Already owned
Filler - Already owned
Green Fleece - Joann
White Fleece - Joann
Brown Fleece - Joann
Liner fabric - Already owned
Orange Felt - Joann
Black Felt - Joann
Red Felt - Joann
Red Knitted Cotton - Joann
Blue Knitted Cotton - Joann
Big Yellow Buttons - Already owned
Thread - Joann
Kids Construction helmet innards - Goodwill
Bike helmet chin straps - Goodwill
Upholstery foam - Already owned
Velcro - Already owned
Elastic - Already owned
Spray glue for fabric - Already owned

Hole saw
Coarse Steel Wool (like for cleaning pans)
Clay cutting wire
Sewing Machine
Measuring tape
Electric knife

Step 2: Yoshi Drawing

I am not the best 2d Artist, but I get by so I can do my 3d work.

I need to get proportions and measurements.  So I drew a boy and then sized a Yoshi to fit around him.

Step 3: Yoshi Head (Cut Styrofoam)

I cut the foam up into squares so I could glue them together to form a block.

Step 4: Yoshi Head (Glue Styrofoam)

I used the PL300 Foamboard Adhesive that I picked up from Home Depot to glue together the pieces of styrofoam.  The adhesive was ok, but it took too long to dry (24 hours).  At this point I had not found the odorless CA glue.  Of course the CA glue is way more expensive, so the adhesive might have been the better option?!?

After gluing all the pieces together I put something heavy on top of the stack.

(The picture is after I started carving but you get the idea).

Step 5: Yoshi Head (Draw Front/side Views the Cut)

First I drew the side view and used the hole saw to cut out the rough shape.

Then I drew the front view and used the hole saw again to cut out the outline.

This gave me the basic shape I wanted.

Step 6: Yoshi Head (Final Shaping)

From that basic shape I used the hole saw, rasp and steel wool to get to the final shape.  The saw is used for large imprecise work.  The rasp for almost everything else.  I enjoyed working with the rasp as it felt more like carving wood or stone.  The steel wool was used when it was a concave surface where the rasp would not work.

I could have used "foam" tools which are nothing more than heated wire or rods.  Which would have been good for cutting large chunks or putting smaller holes in it (which I did not really have a need for).  Also I thought melting it could possible add a little weight, instead of taking it away.

I also carved a place for his head to go.  I did this by using the hole saw to cut the basic hole then using the steel wool to refine the shapes.  This gave it an almost helmet like fit.

BTW, this is a really messy process.

Step 7: Yoshi Head (Hollowing Out)

This weighed about 1.5lbs after adding all the other components I thought that this would be too much.  This is why I think the blue (and maybe even the white beaded) styrofoam would work better.

To lighten it up I decided to hollow out everything I could.

First I used the clay wire tool to cut up the head into 4 pieces that I thought were thick enough to allow for some removal.  I made a little mistake and ended up cutting off the top of the helmet cavity.

Then I marked each of the 4 pieces to where I wanted to remove excess foam from.

Next I used the hole saw, rasp, and steel wool to remove material.

Finally glued it all back together, including the patch to fix my mistake.  You will also notice a large hole right above the head opening.  This was a design choice the I later decided was not needed.

Step 8: Yoshi Head (Chin Strap)

Test fittings were good, but I wanted it to be a little more secure so, I added a chin strap.

I did this by taking a kids construction play hat and took out the inside plastic ring.  I then took the chin strap off of a Goodwill bike helmet and fastened it to the plastic ring from the construction hat with eyelets (I would have used rivets, but I couldn't find the right size).  One lesson learned is make sure you put the chin straps forward a little... otherwise it will bother the neck.

Then I glued the plastic head piece in place, and some cloth lining on the inside of the head to keep a barrier between my sons head and the styrofoam.  I used the adhesive for the chin strap since the there was not a tight fit between it and the styrofoam.  The cloth I used the CA glue.

Step 9: Yoshi Head (Fabric Templates)

Make a paper template of the head by dividing it up into logical sections which the fabric could cover.  (Basically the front, back, nose, cheeks, and eyes).

Step 10: Yoshi Head (Cut and Adjust Fabric)

Decided to use fleece for the material.  The fleece would allow the costume to look like a soft stuffed animal.  It would also allow for some stretching creating a nice tight looking finish.  Some of the smaller pieces (the spikes and the eye pupils) are felt.

Using those paper templates cut the fabric and the batting.  Attached and sewed the batting in place (batting likes to stick to the styrofoam).  After that pin up the front and back pieces of the fabric and make adjustments for all the various curves on the surface.

Sew the front and back pieces together on a machine then slide back onto the model of the head.  Don't forget to add the orange spikes in the back which are just rounded triangles with some filler in them.

Step 11: Yoshi Head (Eyes, Cheeks, and Nose)

The rest was hand sewn on, this includes the white cheeks over top of the green, the eyes with their pupils and highlights, and finally the nose.

For the nose, use an oversized baseball pattern, just cut an opening on one of the narrow parts of fabric leaving enough loose material to attach it to the head.  Make sure there is a good layer of batting then stuff the nose with filler.  The nostrils are black felts (as are the eye pupils).

Which pretty much finished the yoshi head build.  I did end up putting some foam padding inside the helmet area to get a little tighter and more comfortable fit for my son.

I also thought about adding a white screen mesh in front of my sons face... but I like it with his face being there. :)

Step 12: Yoshi Suit (Pants)

Well, if you made it past the first piece, the rest of this should not be too bad.

The pants are easy, just take measurements for hip and leg length.  Then follow a pajama bottom pattern, with one addition of elastic straps on the bottom that will hook to the feet.

Step 13: Yoshi Suit (Body Measurements)

Take body measurements
 - Full length (shoulder to ankle)
 - Chest
 - Upper body length
 - Across shoulders

Step 14: Yoshi Suit (Body Templates)

Cut the basic block of the upper body as a template.

Then sketch the Yoshi costume and according to sketch make a template on the basic block templates.  Keep in mind we will be putting a zipper on the back so it is less visible.

This is the hardest part getting the templates right.

Step 15: Yoshi Suit (Body Cut and Sew)

Layout all the templates on the pieces of fabric.  Make sure that the template is straight on the grain of the fabric keeping it parallel to the salvage or fold.

Cut out all pieces along cut line.  This includes fabric, batting, and lining.

First sew in the zipper in the back.  Then the shoulder seam.  Then the sides.

Next fill the tail area with filler.

Finish off the main body by edging with piping the neck and leg openings.

Step 16: Yoshi Suit (Saddle/Shell)

Last part of the Suit is the Saddle/Shell.

This is basically just an oval pillow with one side having a larger oval (allowing it to puff out more).  Then edging it with white fabric.

Attach one side to the suit by hand stitching it on.  The other side use velcro so you can still access the zipper easily.

Step 17: Yoshi Gloves

Just trace the costume wearers hand, keeping the pinky and ring finger together since we only want 3 fingers.  Resize the other two two fingers to be about the same width as the last one.  Cut and Sew.

Step 18: Yoshi Shoes

In going with the theme, I did not want to just use regular shoes.  Decided on covering the a pair of his shoes with foam, material, and a little elastic to keep it in place.

The foam was cut and shaped an electric kitchen knife.  Works very well.  The pieces had to be glued together using a spray adhesive for fabric.  It was then covered with material and elastic was used around the bottom of the shoe.  Then two elastic straps were added underneath so it would hold things down onto the shoe it was mounting to (which was only temporary since I did not want to buy shoes just for this).

This completes the Yoshi Mascot Costume... next up Baby Mario (which will be a breeze compared to this).

Step 19: Baby Mario (sans Diaper)

As part of the theme our youngest will be dressing up as Baby Mario... the scale should be just the cutest between the two.

I know that a diaper would have been a more appropriate costume (ie Yoshi's Island), but I did not want to send my son out on Halloween in just a diaper.  So I decided to go with the overalls and shirt, just minus the mustache.

The shirt is just a simple long sleeve shirt.

The overalls were just made taking measurements from denim material one that we already owned.

Step 20: Baby Mario Hat

This had should look oversized on my youngest.  I also wanted this to be quick and easy.  To satisfy these two things I took one of my old baseball caps and cut the brim down.

Added some filler and batting to get the desired shape.

Cut fabric to cover the brim and hand stitched it on.  Cut fabric to cover the hat and put elastic around the bottom.  Added a the "M" with white and red felt and hand stitched it on.

Was pretty happy with how it came out for the effort and costs involved.

Step 21: Baskets

I did a separate instructable for the baskets, please see that.  If I could figure out how to link them I would.
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