How to Make a Fantastic Four: "Thing" Costume

About: I'm a kid in a candy store when it comes to creating things. I love learning different versions of art, whatever medium it may be. Feel free to like the official site on Facebook to keep up with past, pres...

So my friend Big dave asked me to build him a “Thing” suit from marvel comics for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.

-Special note that some of the pictures do not correlate exactly with the directions. This is because I work on the costume as a whole instead of specific segments.

-You may get burned a few times as some of the rocks can be tiny and hot glue is ... well.. Hot

- You may get lost in the madness of putting hundreds of rocks on a suit.. it helps is your cut out a bunch of rocks first and then just randomly glue them.. and THEN start cutting rocks into particular shapes to fit the empty spaces.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials

-lots of spongy foam (we bought ours at jo anne fabrics)

-several packets of craft foam

-high density foam (the foam used in weight rooms, or underneath dryers).. we found a roll at big lots for about $20

-buckles (got a bag from ebay)

-double sided roll of velcro (from home depot)

-mickey mouse hands from party city

-white lycra spandex fabric (for eye pupils)

-blue pants

-old ski mask

-plexi glass ( or just some type of clear solid square) for eyeballs

-hot glue

Step 2: Chest

so first i measured out the foam to make a football pad kind shape.. i used a sharpie to draw the outline.  (just pay attention to the shape).. i took more foam and hot glued Pecs in place. also, i made the top of abs on this..buckles were glued and closed the sides.

Step 3: Abs

then i made the Corset for the abs.. i took the high density foam and made a “corset,” which also buckled in the back. i carved out some rocks for abs and put them temporarily in place.

Step 4:

once that is done, i took the craft foam and started “skinning” the entire chest, back, and torso. the reason for this is that the high density foam (used to make the rocks) won’t glue to the spongy foam, but only to the craft foam. i used an exact knife and scissors to cut out some muscle definition in the back.

Step 5: Rocks

once it is all “skinned” you can cut out shapes from the high density foam and glue them sporadically on.

Step 6: Arms

next are arms: i used the spongy foam and made a shoulder and bicep. i just played around until i got a bowl shape, and then glued a piece of foam around my friend’s arm. i added a little more to the front of it to make the bicep. buckles closed the bicep on the inner part of the arm. also, the shoulder attached onto the chest piece at the top portion of the chest/ shoulder by velcro straps. repeat for other side

Step 7: Forearms

for the forearm, i cut the foam in half so it was half as thick as the chest. wrapped it around his forearm and attached with buckles.

Step 8: Upper Body

once it is assembled, “skin” the entire thing (no pun intended), and start putting “rocks” aka high density foam on the ENTIRE upper body.

Step 9: Form the Head

Now for the head.. we found an old ski mask and started hot gluing foam to it. be careful about how hot it is, and how close it is to your friend’s face!.. luckily, we had a cooling pad (came with the hot glue gun), which we put on the inside of the mask as we glued.

Step 10: Skin and Rock

once that is done, skin and rock the head.

Step 11: EYES

for the eyes, get the plexi glass (or clear plastic) and cu it out into a shape that will fit into the eye sockets. get the white spandex and stretch it over the “eye” so that you can see out of it. i used a blue sharpie to make a pupil. he is the “ever lovin’ blue eyed thing” of course.

Step 12: Feet

i made feet by using a cardboard sole, then making a boot cover out of the high density foam. some high density foam for a heel will add some lift and give you some traction as well. 

Step 13: Paint

next, ask some kind kind friends to help you paint the entire thing. I first spray painted the ENTIRE suit brown.. and then had my friends hand paint each "rock" orange to give it a good contrast. 

Step 14: FINISHED!

and lastly, take some awesome pictures! it’s clobberin’ time!

if you would like to check out more of my current art projects outside of instructables, find me on facebook at Spicy Panda Creations!

Halloween Costume Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    37 Discussions

    Wow... this is amazing! My boss is actually looking for a costume like this. We can't seem to find one anywhere. I guess I will have to be creative and use your advice and make our own. AMAZING JOB!!

    1 reply

    thank you for the compliment =) it is sold unfortunately, but it was a very rewarding process in making this "thing" (no pun intended lol). feel free to consult with me if you ever decide to take it on

    the green stuff was most expensive. maybe like 80? . the eva foam was about $30. then everything else like buckles, paint, etc added up.. so id say about $180 total?

    base? if you are referring to the green stuff, it's basically green sponge that i got at craft stores.. its like the stuff that is inside couch cushions.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    question: how many seperate pieces made up the costume from the waist up. in the end was it all one piece or did you have to asseble on site ie; chest abs, arms hands???

    1 reply

    it was all separate pieces. everything attachd together with velcro straps or clasps. so that is one abs, 1 chest, 2 shoulders/biceps/ and 2 forearms.. and 1 head and 2 hands.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I design a few costumes, but there were some great techniques in this that I'll use in the future. The low density green foam build up of the body structure looked great. What worked best for cutting it? I haven't had much luck with razor blades or scissors, but maybe I just need a sharper set. Could you add a photo of the feet? Was the cardboard bottom durable?

    Thanks and I can't wait to see more...and to credit you if I knock off any techniques.

    5 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    For cutting high density foam (and rubber sheets) I use washing up liquid and a Stanley knife, the washing up liquid acts as a lubricant


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    So the washing liquid (dish soap) solution is put on the foam. Do you then wash it after?

    Hello! Thank you for the compliment. I'm ve humbled by them. I honestly used some fabric scissors and some of those thick black scissors that come inside cutting blocks. I also used heavy box cutters. The cardboard bottom was not very durable, so I do suggest making a EVA sole for the shoe. I'll see why I can do about the shoe pic!

    I made a transformer once out of cardboard, and I used cardboard for my feet, I box, but I think what I did might work for this as well. So for my cardboard box I filled it with the spray foam insulation that expands, after a short while I put old tennis shoes in side it and let it sit. When it dried my feet could go right in (I did stuff the shoes with paper so I didn't lose my shoe size. It also added high (I'm only 5'8). The cardboard was then really reliable because it had the foam to reinforce it. So I would guess with something like this you could "build a box" in the shape you wanted and still use your shoes but gain some durability.


    6 years ago

    awesome costume. does this remind anyone else of arrested development