A business organization contacted me and asked if I would make an appearance in costume to their upcoming employee Halloween event. As I thought about some child-friendly recognizable costumes in my possession, I realized that the Lego Superman I had created a while back would be a perfect fit. At the time, my wife and I were ironically having a conversation about downsizing some of our costume inventory and made an agreement that if she permitted me to clutter our house for 2 weeks to create two new costumes for the event, then I would donate the costumes to the agency right afterward. I got to build and stretch some artsy muscles and my wife got me to get rid of a one.
I made some quick repairs to Superman, and i also added Batman and Wonder Woman to the posse! However, i'm quite sure you can adjust the costume heads to make your own variations of whichever superhero or super villain you would like to be. Care to see how these relatively easy costumes were made?
-Forewarning: These costume is ridiculously warm to walk around in. You will be perspiring a lot. Make sure you have alot of water. Also, your movement an vision are somewhat limited, so maybe even a handler to help.
-insulation pink styrofoam (home depot)
-high density foam
-Modge podge or elmers glue
-red and black felt (cape)
- 10” concrete tube (home depot)
-masking/ duct tape
-toothpicks/ BBQ sticks
-roll of construction paper/ or poster board
- Black see-through fabric
Step 1: Reference Pictures
Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better.
Look up: 1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.
Step 2: Chest and Shoulder Pieces
1. Cut out each shape from pic 1 . You should have 2 pieces of piece A.
2. make sure that the top of the pentagon fit about your shoulders. and the bottom should be about your waist line.(Pic 2)
3. Piece C and Piece D combine together to make a type of door so you can slide in and out of the chest piece. Hot Glue everything together, EXCEPT for C and D. Use masking tape to attach pieces C and D together so that the pieces can “swing”. (pic 3 and pic 4)
4. Put velcro on C and D to keep it closed.
1. For the shoulder area, you will make another “door” to slide into. Use tape to attach pieces E and F to front and back (make sure it is on the side with pieces C+D).. (pic 5)
2. Glue in some velcro to have the pieces stick to one another. that is the side you enter the chest..
3. Glue F in place.(pic 6 + 7)
Step 3: Legs, Pelvis, and Feet
1. Legs are simple. Just make your standard box per leg.. but make sure that the width of both legs are the width of the chest.. But the DEPTH of each leg (H) should be 1-2 inches shorter than the depth of the chest (G). This is to compensate for that round part at the top of the legs on a lego figure. (pic1)
2. I cut out a half circle from the inner thigh area of the cardboard. This way, i could move around easier. (pic 2-3)
1. For the pelvis, make a box the is the dimensions of the waistline of the chest.. this way, the legs can fit inside the pelvis box. you should still have that 1-2 inches of space in the front..pic 4)
2. Cut half a circle and glue it to the center and sides of the pelvis. Do the same on the other side.. Grab some EVA foam and curve it around the circles, thus creating the round top of the lego legs. (Pic 5 +6)
3. Add a smaller ledge the the front of it with cardboard and add your trim to the sides and back as well. (pic 7 + 8)
1. Make rectangles for your feet, maybe about 2 inches longer than the depth of the chest. (pic 9)
2. Once complete, take your shoe, and put 3 pieces of cardboard around it to hold it in place.
3. once complete, cut several squares of high density foam or cardboard and squeeze them in between the spaces so that they act as support for the foot.(pic 10)
4. cut out the area on top so you can stick your foot inside. (pic 11). you can add some elastic or velcro underneath to act as a strap if you need more support.
Step 4: Arms and Hands
1. To make the arms, i used EVA foam and wrapped them around my arm. i angled the forearm and biceps to get a good curve. i eventually made a shoulder and attached it to the chest with velcro straps. (pic 1-3)
1. For the hands, i made 4 "C"s. a Pair of C’s will act as the top and bottom of the hand.. I took craft foam and glued it to the edge, making a mitten. i cut out a little triangle in the middle of the C, which allowed me to open and close the hand to a small degree. I added a wrist and called it a day. (pic 4-6)
Step 5: Base for Head
1.The diagram for the base describes it's construction (pic 1)
2. Use your cement tube to outline several circles in your insulation foam cut them out using a knife or a box cutter (pic 2)
3. Cut a hole into the insulation foam so that you can squeeze your head through (pic 3)
4. I used a sliver of cement tube and cut the length down to make a smaller diameter for a neck (pic 4)
5. Cut the cement tube so that the tube + 1 circle of foam is a little taller than your head. (pic 5)
6. from here, you can use sandpaper to smooth off the edge of the foam and create the curve for the jaw.
7. take a pen and reach from the top to mark where your eyeballs are Mark them, draw in some eyeball rectangles and cut them out. (pic 6-8)
8. Using the INNER circle of foam, i cut out a C to place inside the head (pic 9)
9. This way, the lego head actually turns when i would turn my actual head. (pic 10)
Step 6: Building Your Mask/ Hair Layers
1. Depending on what you are trying to make, you will take all the styrofoam circles and layer them on top of each other.
2. So to begin, use your cement tube and draw in your outline.(pic 1)
3. I tend to cut off most of the extra larger chucks of foam, but giving myself enough of a border so i don't mess it up (pic 2)
4. You have to think in terms of what you are trying to make. Do you need the circle or do you need the border? so for the top of the head, you will probably need the entire circle.. for things like the bottom of a hairline, you will need the boarder. (pic 3)
5. start stacking and gluing your layers together with a medium spray adhesive. if you go with a heavy spray adhesive, it might eat the foam. (pic 4 + 5). Pic 4 was the base for wonder woman's hair. I believe pic 5 was batman's cowl turned upside down.
Step 7: Sculpting Head
1. Now that you have your foam layers, start sculpting things out. It was a continuous process to use a sharpie marker and drawing in what i needed and slowly carving away with an exacto knife. I'd repeat the process over and over again. this was helpful with the wonder woman hair and also for batman's eyes. Remember to use your reference pictures so you don't have to improve.
2. If you need to add some insulation foam, you can attach them with toothpicks or bamboo skewers if a longer stick is needed.
3. Cut out the basic shape and then you take sandpaper and sand it to your desired smoothness
4. Once completed, you can use caulk and fill in any gaps in the hair/head.
1. I used maybe 6 layers of foam to start. I used a sharpie to draw in the grooves i wanted to cut and then i just started slowly cutting away. For his signature front curl, that was a completely separate piece of foam that i attached with a toothpick. (pic 1 +2)
1.I used maybe 8 layers of foam. I used a sharpie to draw in the grooves i wanted to cut and then i just started slowly cutting away. For his ears, those were completely separate pieces of foam that i attached with bamboo skewers. (pic 3-6)
Wonder Woman Hair
1. I used maybe 10 layers of foam for her hair. I used a sharpie to draw in the grooves i wanted to cut and then i just started slowly cutting away. If i wanted more hair, i added chunks of foam to the bottom of the head with the spray adhesive and some bamboo skewers. (pic 7-11)
2. For her tiara, I used a piece of tube and cut it into shape. I had to create a little divot in the front of her hair to place the tiara (pic 12-13)
Step 8: Paper Skin and Body Painting
1. I took some construction paper and wrapped it around ALL the cardboard pieces (legs, feet, pelvis, body). You do NOT need to paper wrap your arms, hands, hair/cowl, or face.
2. Once everything is covered in cardboard, you can start drawing in your design.
3. once satisfied, start painting with acrylic paint. I adjusted my design because for some odd reason, the lego figures don't always have boots.
Step 9: Prep and Paint Heads
1. so before you paint anything Foam parts, you need to prep them
2. You can use Modge podge or elmers glue as a cheap way of seal your foam (arms and head). If you do NOT prep your foam, the foam will end of soaking in your paint and the colors will be less vibrant.
3. For your faces, i used poster board and cut out Circles that lined up with the rectangles of the cement tube. no need to glue it in yet.
4. Now you can begin to paint. I start with the lightest colors first and then go darker. The reason is that it is a lot easier to cover a light color, but quite difficult to cover up black paint with... say yellow..
Step 10: Eyes, Capes, and Accessories
1. Now that you have painted your faces, take your see-through black fabric and glue it in to the back of the eyeballs on the pasteboard face. you can take white paint and draw in a pupil.
2. For batman, you will use white fabric with no pupil.
3. don't forget that wonder woman has eye lashes with no eyebrows
1. Use your felt to make your cape. I just punched a hole in the felt and used a shoe string to have it hang on my neck.
2. if you want to be a superstar, don't forget that Batman's cape has these arches but no emblem.
3. Superman has an emblem on his cape. I used yellow craft foam and then hot glued it onto the felt
1. I personally love accessories. BUT remember that you won't have a lot of dexterity because of the hand. but if you want, you could Gold spray some rope and attach it to the hip of your wonder woman suit.
2. You can also incorporate things light lights if the character lights up (cyborg, green lantern, etc). I tend to go for an uncomplicated light set up, so try bike lights if possible.
Step 11: Finished
That should be it!
A few things to consider:
1. Remember to wear a tshirt and socks that are analogous to color that will be seen in that area on the costume. For example, wear black socks with batman, wear red socks for superman. Wear a blue shirt with superman and a black shirt with batman. etc.
2. It's pretty difficult to walk for far distances in the suits. It's better if you are just in one area and people come to you. The most movement i was able to make was raising and lowering my arm, twisting my wrists, and swerving my head.
3. Your vision is somewhat limited as well, so its difficult to see when little kids are directly in front of you for a picture.
More of my costume instructables can be located on my instructables homepage!