What happens when you have a college student, and friends who work? You get people with no lives and plenty of spare time on their hands.
Well we found a couple Angry Birds costume online and we were appalled by the prices, and how simple they looked. I found a lot of one dimensional costume and a few that are actually round like the birds. We also enjoy feeling accomplished after building something, so we decided to take a crack at the birds and pig.
Step 1: Materials
For Birds and Pig
- 1 Exercise Ball (72inch circumference)
- 3 Yellow poster boards
- 5 Black poster boards
- 6 White poster boards
- Large Cardboard Box(Home depot about $1.49)
- Hot glue gun
- 3/8" x 4 Dowels (From home depot)
- 5 rolls of duct tape
- Packaging Tape
- Box Cutter
- Hand blade
- 2 1 gallon tub of lightweight spackle
- 320 Grit sandpaper (We realize this was to fine, so you will be better of buying the 80 grit for sanding)
- 80 grit sandpaper
- Screen mesh
- Paint brushes
- 1 can of white spray paint (For bellies)
- 2 cans of Candy Red Spray Paint
- 2 cans of Green Apple Spray Paint
- 2 cans of Yellow Spray Paint
- 2-3 cans of Black spray paint (This was the cheap brand so it needed a lot of coats)
- 3 cans of Lacquer (we accidentally bought an extra one, but more the merrier!)
- Permanent Marker
Sling Shot (I do not remember the size of the PVC pipes i used, but i believe it was 3/4 inch) You can make the slingshot to the size of whatever you desire
- PVC cement
- 3 PVC pipes
- 1 PVC Slip Tee
- 2 45 degree S Elbow
- Bungee cord
In all we spent over a hundred dollars, about $30-$40 per person, which comes out cheaper than the higher end angry bird costumes.
Step 2: Paper Mache (Red Bird, Black Bird and Pig)
Because i was not able to find a ballon big enough to cover our bodies, we decided to go with an exercise ball. The only problem is that you cannot pop the ball. To fix the problem, you will have to build the bodies in halves and connect them later with poster boards and support brackets using cardboard or dowels.
4 bodies = 8 halves
This is the most time consuming part of the building process because it takes about a day for the paper mache to fully dry.
A simple mixture of water and cornstarch. Heat up water in a stove, and add cornstarch to thicken the mixture. We recommend one part of water for every 2 parts of cornstarch. We made ours thick so it can dry hard and strengthen the body.
Again the most time consuming, we spent many ours paper macheing; we recommend 5-8 layers for each half to give you that structural support and hardness. Once the paper dries, taking it out of the ball is a bit tricky at times because of the glue mixture. You will be needing help taking out the paper mache. Have someone squeeze the ball, and run your hands through the cracks so you will be able to remove the paper from the ball. After several attempts, it should be easy to pull the half out. One more half to go!
Step 3: Connecting the 2 Pieces Together
Before connecting the two pieces together, I suggest taping the inside and the edges with packaging tape. By taping the insides, you will add more support to the body; it also keeps its shape better. Make the sure the inside is completely taped up.
Connecting the 2 pieces together
Obviously the birds are no where close to being round. In order to do that, you will have to cut a slit or hold on one of the halves; this will be the area of entry. Have someone measure your waist and cut 3 inches longer so you will have easy access to your costume. This piece will be your bottom half.
After cutting that slit, you are ready to join the 2 pieces together. Tape or glue 4 dowels into the the bottom piece; before doing so, have someone where the bottom piece and you will have to measure the distances of the dowels, you will be making a shoulder strap or bracket so the costume rests on the person's shoulders. It's actually a simple build. Just look at the pictures for reference.
Once you have marked the placement of dowels, cut or drill 4 holes; these holes will be used to insert those dowels. Once you have them in the hole, glue the holes shut; this will keep them upright. Alot of glue helps; and once the glue dries, duct tape the pieces down for extra support.
Here comes the tricky part: this is the part where you have to connect the top half. Place the top half on top of the support dowels and you will have to estimate where the dowels will pierce through the top. Once you have them aligned with the bottom half, do the same step with the bottom half: glue the dowels and secure it with duct tape. What you get is a body with its midsection sliced off.
You are left with a body without its midsection, and to cover that midsection, you have to cut the poster boards to the right size to cover the hole. I would like to give you a measurement, but it really varies from person to person. In my bird (red bird), I'm about 5'6 and there was 7 inch gap from the two halves. Duct tape will be your best friend for this step because you will use a lot of tape to keep the poster board and body from disfigurement. Because the body is round and the poster board is just a sheet of paper, you will need to cut them into multiple pieces. This prevents the poster board from popping and sticking out of places.
Step 4: Building the Yellow Bird
Building the yellow bird is the easiest out of all the birds. It is symmetrical and can be easily built using cardboard. We used 2 large cardboard boxes from home depot. The yellow bird is a tetrahedron, so we cut 4 triangles with equal lengths and sizes so it all fits together when we tape the body up.
Take one triangle and cut a hole in the bottom (This will be the bottom piece and where the person enters the costume).
Once you have the bottom piece set; place it on the ground or on a table, and you will be able to put the remaining pieces together, and you will have a tetrahedral triangle. Pretty simple and should take less than an hour to complete. We used duct tape to tape the edges of the pieces together.
*To add structural support, add brackets along the inside of the body.
We made a fake ruler just to keep our lines straight :P
Step 5: Spackling
After completing the bodies, you will notice that the 3 balls have a lot of duct tape and is not smooth because of the strips of paper. One way to make the body harder and keep it somewhat smooth was to apply some spackle.
*WARNING! DO NOT SPACKLE IN A NON VENTILATED ROOM! We spackled my costume inside my room and boy was it terrible! It felt like we were smelling poison for days!
Anyways apply a coat of spackle, and once that is over, sand the bodies using 80 grit sandpaper. The tape and newspaper should be now be easily contained.
Step 6: Breather!
So this build has been pretty frustrating for us...so I had an idea! Snack break!
Step 7: Cutting the Eye Holes....and Why No Arm Holes?
Since you are inside such a massive costume, you will need to be able to see. The good thing was that 2 of the birds abled us to use their eyes as our peep holes. Have someone where the costume and measure/estimate where there eyes would be. Lucky for us the red and black bird's eyes were not placed so low like the yellow bird and pig. Using a picture of the birds, we poked holes and placed screen mesh over those holes. You are now left with a body with eye holes.
For the pig, we placed the sights on the nostrils. Because the nose takes up 60% of the body, we made the nostrils big enough so our friend can see through them.
For the yellow pig, we placed the sights where the eyebrows would be at. The eyes of the yellow bird are placed well below our actual eye sight, which became a problem when placing its beak and eyes.
You will be wondering why we did not place any holes for our arms....besides the red bird. The reason is that there is ample room inside the costume to rest our hands. I cut the arm slots way before i realized that there would be so much room inside.
Step 8: Sanding and Painting
Before painting, sand each costume using 80 grit sandpaper to remove a lot of the ugliness from the spackle.
We used spray paint to paint our costumes. For each costume we used about 2 cans each, and about 3-4 coats. We finished it off with a coat of lacquer.
To paint the belly, we duct tape the surrounding area to give us the round belly you see on the birds. I painted the beaks using acrylic paint.
Step 9: Creating the Eyes, Beaks, Nose, Ears and Hair
The beaks are rather simple. I used poster board because it is easy to shape and very cheap. All I did was measure the body and made sure the beaks were proportional or rather similar to the game's. Since each body is different, each beak was a different size. I hot glued the beak onto the body and placed black poster board inside the mouth.
The eyes are really easy. Again, copy the game's build, and place the eyes in the given space. For the red bird and black bird our sights are placed on the eyes, so when we cut the holes, we cut it a little bit bit so when we placed the eyes on the holes, it left us room to see our surroundings.
Step 10: Building the Sling Shot
The sling shot is a simple build. We used 3 PVC pipes about 3/4 inch in diameter. We also used 45 degree elbow joints and a PVC tee. Our original idea was to use rubber bands as the sling, but we couldn't find big rubber bands and opted with bungee cords. The bungee works well, and we tested it by shooting at stuffs down my friend' neighborhood :P
Everything fit into place and we secured every joint and hole with PVC cement. Be careful with this stuff, it's pretty potent and strong! We spray painted ours brown to match wood.
The sling shot can be made to your likings, we decided this was a big enough sling shot.
Step 11: Final Product
After gluing all the pieces together: hair, beaks and eyes, we did one last touch up with our paints, and here it is! Our Angry Birds Costume!
30 days, and 60+ hours of hard and frustrating work!
*For eggs...we used coconuts :)