Easy Dilbert Costume - Just Glue, Foam & Felt




Way back in 2008 I was searching for inspiration for an office Halloween costume and for the first time came upon Instructables. I saw a simple Dilbert paper mask and I thought that I could improve on that concept. There was only a week until the big day so I had to have something I could put together quick and as a guy it must have no SEWING! :-) so I hit the fabric store picked up some 1" foam, a bunch of felt and a can of spray glue.

The "pattern" was made by first wrapping the foam around my head to see what diameter would work. Once I knew the width I then eyed the height (I ended up messing up the calculations a bit and making it a bit too tall but it still worked). Once the foam was cut to size I cut the spikes along the top of the "hairline", cut space for my shoulders in the bottom and then cut a piece of the tan felt to a slightly larger size than the foam. I lightly covered the foam with spray glue and then laid the felt over top carefully to make sure there were no creases. At the top and bottom I wrapped the felt over the edge of the foam to clean up the edges. At the back I wrapped the one end of the felt over the foam and the other side I left a bit long. On this "flap" I sprayed a bit of glue and joined the ends of the "tube" since this is just one layer of felt overlapping the seam is almost invisible. This "tube" was then placed over my head so I could mark the locations of my eyes, nose & mouth. I carved out the foam around these areas on the inside to aid in airflow and make drinking, seeing and breathing (in that order) easier!

In the pictures below you will see how I made the nose and the tie. The nose (and the ears) are make by shaping foam to the size and shape needed (just snip away at it with your scissors till you are happy with the shape) and covering it with spray adhesive then covering that with the felt. The nose was done in two parts and then glued together. The ears are a single layer of foam (with the inside cut out) covered with felt on both sizes. Once the glue has dried the felt seams were trimmed to clean them up. I placed the nose first to be located just above my mouth in order to hide the slit where I breathe & drink through. It worked out that the eye holes were just at the top of the nose where the black of the glasses met the whites of the eyes. This actually worked out well as it almost hides the slits where I looked through. It turned out seeing was no problem (the biggest problem was the heat generated inside the head I should have has a vent in the top of the head). Ears were then glued on and the glassed cut from black felt with white felt pupils.

The tie was made from the metal of a pop can to give it the signature bend. This was then covered in red & black felt and spray glued in place. A last minute addition was a white collar that made the mask blend with my shirt. Luckily I already had the Dilbert body shape so no extra padding was required there! :-)

All in this mask took two nights after work to complete and was a total success at the office party (people are still talking about it at my office) and then again at a bar afterwards. The only problem was that the spray glue when mixed with the felt and my fingers got a bit messy but made for a more solid structure than any other way of attaching the felt. I made this in 2008 but just recently found some extra pictures that I took so I figured there was now enough content for a Photo Instructable.

I hope you enjoy..

(P.S. I included my first Instructable comment post below from Oct 31st 2008 showing of my creation to the person who inspired me on the Instructables community board - time flies I can't believe it has been 4 years!)

Halloween Photo Instructable Contest

Third Prize in the
Halloween Photo Instructable Contest



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    7 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great work and Thank you for inspiring me! :-)

    For my creation I used only cardboard, hot glue and... "the eyes".
    I was also going for round nose (just cotton bundle and "nose powder") but ended with triangular one, because I needed space for my own big nose.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks.. I found the key was to spray the glue on the foam (not too much) when it was still flat then slowly lay down the felt.. Then when you bend the foam into the circular tube it streatches just enought to look nice and tight...


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome, must have been fun for people walking into your office and seeing you like that.