I've had plans for a few years now to make this little guy. He turned out pretty cool and I just love him. So does my daughter. She calls him her little brother and reads to him. His name is Figaro.
Step 1: Make This Little Guy
You will need:
Child size body form:
This one I had on hand. It used to be one of those creepy kids standing in a corner you see at Cracker Barrel. It was too small and had no head. So I bought a size 4T sleeper and stuffed the legs to make them longer. I also sewed on some felt to make (repair) the head.
*To make one if you don't have one.
You'll need about 2 yards of felt and some stuffing. Make an outline of a smaller child 4-5 y/o (if you don't have one try and borrow one, they are expensive) on a large sheet of craft paper or on the felt itself . Fold the felt so you have two pieces and transfer your pattern. Cut out just beyond the outline about 1/2". Sew most of the way around, leave a 6" opening on the side so you can stuff the little guy. Turn right side out and stuff. Once filled, sew the opening closed and continue on.
Child size one piece costume:
I got this at Goodwill for $3.99. It is a size XS, I believe it is from Blue's Clues. Anyway buy used if you can. So much cheaper. The one piece costume is key. It's the best and easiest way to dress your form. No shirts to tuck in or pants to fall down.
These are a size 1. They fit the shoe covers perfectly.
Child size gloves:
These are Power Ranger gloves. I like them because they go a ways up the arm so they are secure without having to be pinned.
Adult size mask:
This started life as a Goodwill find. It was deformed, had horrible knotted long orange hair and a tie dye bandanna. I instantly new it would make an awesome prop even though I couldn't quite tell what the face was. I was thrilled when it turned out he was smiling.
The important thing is that it is adult sized and that is it a full head coverage mask.
Step 2: The Head
Get the head cleaned up and ready to stuff. Remove any hair or other decoration you don't want. Clean and comb any hair you are keeping.
I stuffed this head with bubble wrap and plastic bags. Leave a space for it to fit around the head on your body form.
This head had exaggerated cheeks so I used small Styrofoam balls to fill those spaces inside the mask.
To cover the eyes I used the pad inserts you get in sports bras. I put them in after I had most of the stuffing in. Then I slid them in behind the eye holes and the stuffing holds them in place. Take a scrap piece of black fabric or paper to cover the nostril holes from the inside too. If you don't have an extra set of useless pads lying around (understandable) you can cover the insides with fabric glued around the eye hole. I would turn the mask inside out to do this. Also, leave a pocket for the eyes. Cover any and all holes in the mask so they can't be seen. (ears, mouth, etc.)
I used lenses from an old pair of sunglasses for his eyes. They just slip in against the pad and are held in place by the mask. The bits of the exposed pad just look like whites of the eyes. Glue or tape in whatever you use.
Step 3: The Hands
There are a few ways to make hands.
First and the easiest and fastest way is to insert a hand into the glove. I used a skeleton hand for an example.
I didn't go this route.
I wanted the fingers to be poseable and able to hold a treat bucket.
You will need some floral wire and cling wrap.
Take a wire and fold it in half.
Tear off a length of cling wrap and start rolling at the edge that is the same width as the box of cling wrap. Fold it in half and measure the length of the finger on the glove, add about a 1/2" and cut the cling wrap to that length.
Wrap you wire around this piece starting at the bottom and leave a little unwrapped wire at the top.
To make up the bulk of the finger.
Tear off another length of cling wrap. Roll up and fold in half. Put this piece around the wire wrapped piece. Fold the ends down to make it the same length as the wire wrapped "finger".
Add as many layers of additional cling wrap to get the bulk you want. Use the extra wire at the top to secure the cling wrap.
Now stuff the finger in the glove. Make 10, unless you need more....or less....
If your form doesn't have hands you'll have to stuff the glove to make up for the bulk of the rest of the hand.
Step 4: Assembly
Lay your body on the floor. Dress it.
If you've never dressed a kid before, here is a tip.
Put the body and legs in the costume far as you can. Put your hand up from the bottom of the leg, grab the form's leg and pull.
It's easier than trying to stuff it down from the top. Do the same for the arms.
Once that's done, grab it at the waist and give it a good shake to make sure it's all in there. Zip it up.
It's easier if he's seated for the rest of the assembly. I put him in a child size chair
Push up the leg of the costume and put a foot in a shoe. Pull the leg of the costume down and slip the shoe cover over the shoe. Put the elastic (if it has one) under the shoe. Repeat on the other side.
Roll up the costume sleeve but not the sleeper (if using). Put the glove on the right hand (thumb facing in). Orient the fingers to point straight. Pull the costume sleeve down to cover the glove. Repeat on the other side.
Now put the stuffed mask over the form's head. Add or remove any stuffing as needed. Make sure it's snug and not falling off. Then take some safety pins and pin the mask to the collar of the costume.
*If you want him to stand....
You will have to build a small frame for him to "stand" on and run it up the back of his costume, it will sag. You will need to make "shoulders" and you may want to add an arm or two if you want him to hold out a pail or weapon or whatever.
Step 5: Final Thoughts
When you're done it should look like a little kid in a costume sitting in a chair.
You can make this as scary, creepy or cute as you like. It's all in the mask and costume combo.
Addt'l props are good too.
I am having my daughter read Halloween books and ask questions about candy and kids at the door etc. We will record this and have it playing though an iPod and speaker planted somewhere close to give the impression he is talking.