A Scary Dragon Costume




Introduction: A Scary Dragon Costume

About: I begun in that artistic/craftsman world by the hand of my mother who is potter and art teacher. Also in my father's hobby wood-workshop I learn to lathe and use all kind of tools. I coursed some studies ...

Hi all
Last week was Carnival, and my son decided to wear a "scary dragon costume" (as he said), and my work was to built up.. this...this... well, this "only" a dragon costume ;)

I got some disadvantages to do this:
Biggest one is TIME. He decided on the costume only four days before Carnival Friday (before it, he want to dress like a cat, a knight, a Luaila(what means nothing in realworld(tm) and a lot of different things in his kid's language)... etc ...) and I got only one or two ours per day before he and me go to sleep.
The other one is money, this month we buy an old 2nd hand car and I expend all my month salary in that car...
Other one is I haven't a sewing machine and I need to do all "by hand".
And last but not least important is: The costume must be very comfortable so a boy wearing it can run, play and do "what the three y.o. kids do" all day long...
Isn't the first time I do a costume similar to that one, but is the first time I do with these conditionals, but I was thrilled to see my son happy with his dragon costume and it helps a lot to do the work better...

Step 1: Parts and BOM

I divided this project in two parts, the "head" and the "body".
For the head, I think the best option is to make something like a hat rather than something like a mask. With a mask, it is difficult to talk, take on and take off, maybe is too much scary (for his mates) ... And a Hat, is easy to put on and take off, maintains ears, eyes and mouth free to ear, eat, see and talk...
And for the body I opted for a kind of t-shirt with tail... I explain it better in the corresponding step...

Bill Of Materials:

For the HAT:
-Green silk paper (or tissue, I don't know exactly the name in English),
-Modeling Clay (or plasticine or play-dough) and some tool for modelling,
-White glue, same qtty of water than white glue and a brush.
-One little hat (you can use a ball or a balloon too, but must be of an approximate size of the head you want to wear),
-Wrapping Plastic (this one used to wrap the food),
-Gouache or acrylic paint (in different colors: Black, white, green, red...) brushes and a cloth or tissue paper to clean it up,
-Hot glue gun,
-Red cardboard,
-A piece of fabric for the neck (the same one type as for the body).

For the BODY
-A piece measuring four times the body of the kid of Green Fabric. I used  Light canvas (maybe is called "linen" in english? "loneta" in Spanish), but you can use what you got or think is better for your purpose...
-Green thread, sewing needles, sewing scissors etc...
-Black or some dark color Marker pen
-Bubble wrap or old plastic bags or old newspapers.

Step 2: Modelling the Head

For the dragoon's head take the hat and wrap it with the cooking plastic, This is not mandatory, but I have done this in order to re-use the hat...
Take little pieces of modelling clay, and cover it all with a regular layer of thickness equal to 0,2" or 0,5cm . (this measurement is only as a reference, but is better to do not do it really thick... You will understand why in next steps...
And when you got all covered, begin to model a dragon head... The big nose holes, the almond shape eyes, the base of the horns... etc...
When you got it, You need to cover the whole clay with the silk paper, but before, you need to coat the clay to allow to remove the clay once the paper is dry.
You can do this by two different ways. One is to mix 1/4 water an 3/4 body soap and paint all the clay. But you must do this really carefully to don't melt the clay and is better if you wait and allow the clay to dry a little bit before paint it with the soap. The other way (preferred by me) is wrap really carefully the clay with a layer of plastic wrap (this one used in kitchen).

Step 3: Coating the Head

First of all you must do two things:
1- Cut a lot of squared silk paper pieces of about 1" or 2" per side.
2- Mix in a bowl or similar white glue with water at 50% enough to cover all the cast four or five times... I use a measure of something like a walnut size of white glue.

When you get it, you can begin to "paint" the clay  with the glue mix , and placing the paper pieces till all the head is covered minimum two times (remember, if you cover the clay with plastic or soap is better, but not mandatory).
When you got all the head covered with glued paper, glue one side of a piece of paper and paste it to itself to put it in the sides of the head making them more resistant as you can see in the lasts photos of this step.

Step 4: Finishing the Cap

A couple of hours after you finish coating the head, it should be dry (especially if you put it over a heating radiator or similar... but I don't recommended this, maybe lay it in front of an air heater) and you can take off the clay.
Do it carefully because it is quite possible that somewhere the paper layer will be very thin. You can help yourself with the modelling stick used before or with a blunt knife.
To see if you need to re-secure some part with a piece of paper, place the hat in front a window or a potent lamp and looking through it, if lots of light passes through the hat, maybe you need to re-secure it...

When you have the hat clean, secure and dry you can take the paints and start painting the nose, eyes, eyelashes, the combs... What you want... My only recommendation is: begin with the lightest color.

Once painted, I cut some pieces of red cardboard to make the horns. I cut it doing thorns like a comb, roll it and glued to the horn base with the hot glue gun, but please follow the pics to do that because I think is easiest to understand what I do for make the horns looking at them...

Step 5: The Shirt

First I want to say I don't think I took all the needed photos to show how to make this, and because that I do some pics to illustrate this...
To do the pattern (Tailor patterns is an art this is completely unknown to me...) I use my son's jacket and a fabric piece of about 2 times my son's height and half a meter wide.
As you can see in the 4th pic of this step, I fold the fabric by the middle of the height and I place the jacket upside the fabric to use it as the pattern.
The front piece of the shirt is like a t-shirt.
The rear piece is like a T-shirt with a tail.
The bottom part of the front piece is the front part of the Tail and goes sewed to the rear piece to be filled with plastic or some light weight material to do a "volumed tail".
I draw the silhouette of the whole shirt. Where the front piece ends is the same place than the tail's front piece begin, If I do not explain myself well, please look at the pics to better understand it.
At this time I only cut with the scissors the sleeves and neck.
Now is time to take the sewing needles and green thread and sew, sew and sew... and sew a little bit more...
I begin with the neck and sleeve's hem and after have it done, I begin to sew all the silhouette.
When the silhouette has been sewn, I cut the spare fabric off.
Cut by the low line of the front piece and sew the tail leaving the middle of the piece un-sewed (later, we use this un-sewed part to fill the tail giving it some volume...)
Once all the parts are sewn, turn the inside part out.
Once this has been done, with a marker pen draw lines to simulate the back spines, and some muscles and breast on the chest.
After this, with old plastic bags or bubble wrap plastic, fill the tail giving it some volume with no excesive weight.

Step 6: Go On!

And that's it!
With more time I can paint  and sew real sleeves to the shirt, make better horns in helmet and on back,  tailor it to better fit him, but... I'm really happy with the final result, I only work for five or six hours on this costume and including all materials I spend no more than 12 €uros (something like 15 or 18$)... And compared, a costume "made in china" cost something like 15 o 30€uros and is of worse quality...

And remember, I post this guide more as a reference than as a "must follow this steps to do it well" ;)

P.S. I need to give a big hug, a patch, greetings, regards and lots of thanks to instructables's member jessyratfink  who kindlyhelped metofixmybad(ormaybe not sobad? :P )english for that instructables!

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It reminds me of http://youtu.be/e4467CI4y0M . This is no bad thing.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! It's amazing dragon too! I didn't seen it before, really nice!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Yay! So happy you got it published. This is such a great project. :)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah! Nice! And again lot of thanks!
    Have you seen the last step?