How to Make a Grown Up Cabbage Patch Costume




This is an attempt to make a grown up cabbage patch costume. This is inspired by the Geiko commerical about the cabbage patch who grew up. I'm thinking it should be good for a Halloween costume or just good to creep out your neighbors. I'm doing it to creep our my neighbors...

See it here:

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Step 1: Gather Materials

The first step is to make the head. I'm going to make the head out of papier (paper?) mache. Last papier mache thing I made was a hot air balloon in 4th grade, and I made it comics colored. So heres what I gathered to make a paper mache head

1. Large Ball from Wallyworld. The ones they threw in the big bin in the middle of the kids section
2. A bunch of Elmers Glue
3. Tub to hold the glue mixture
4. Newspaper

Later, we're going to need these materials:
5. Chunky Yarn (3)
6. Lots of hot glue
7. Velvet type cloth (1 yard) flesh colored
8. Spray Glue
9. Flesh colored spray paint.
10. Artist Gesso (optional)

Get a good workplace to make your mess and cover things you don't want covered in watery glue with news paper.

Step 2: Cut the Newspaper and Make the Glue

Cut the newspaper in strips about 1 inch wide. You can tear them as well, but I had trouble with that. I folded the newspaper over and over until I got it 1 inch wide. Then I cut that in half and had a bunch of strips 1 inch wide

Next, mix half elmers glue and half water in your tub and prepare your area so everything is accessible and in set up. Your hands are going to get messy after this point.

Dip the strips of news paper in the glue mixture, ensuring they are fully wettened. Wipe off excess glue and place the strip over the ball. Cover the entire ball with one layer of newspaper and let dry for 24 hours. Don't leave any part of the ball exposed.

Step 3: Continue Macheing

After the first layer has dried, add another layer of papier mache. This can be more difficult to determine if you've covered the ball in another layer, so some people have suggested using a different color of paper. I just shot from the hip and made sure to cover it all. Let the second layer dry. You continue applying more layers of mache for a stronger head. I stopped at 2 complete layers, and used the artists gesso for strength

Gesso is a type of paint that is typically used to cover canvas for painting. Its supposedly sandable and strengthens the papier mache. I chose to use gesso because I thought I was going to sand the head and get it smooth, but this did not work as well as I hoped. Gesso was used after the head was done with nose and cheeks. If you're not going to use gesso, you might want to add another layer at this point.

Step 4: Cheeks and Nose

In this step, we'll add the cheeks and nose.

Draw out the locations for the eyes and the nose. The eyes tend to be close together (see final picture). Draw out locations for the two oversized cheeks. I just free-handed everything according to what I saw on the youtube video. I don't have a good picture of this step.

Tape the wad of newspaper to the right locations for the two cheeks. Fill in as much here with crumpled newspaper as you can. This will save later fill work with papier mache.

After the cheeks have been taped down, cover the cheeks with papier mache strips. Try to get them as smooth as possible, and to lay flat and smooth down over your cheek humps. I spent a lot of time on this process trying the get the cheeks smooth. Ensure the cheeks are completely covered in mache.

After the cheeks are done (or drying), make a long tent out of several sheets of newspaper and tape that down to the head to form the nose. Cover the nose in mache and smooth it out like the cheeks.

Below is a picture I took for the next step. It shows the shape of my nose and cheeks.

Step 5: Gesso Finishing

At this step, I painted my head with several coats of Artists Gesso. You can find this stuff at any art / hobby shop. Theres lots of different kinds of gesso. I picked some more expensive stuff which said it was sandable. Sanding did not work out well for me, however. If you are confident your head is strong enough, you can skip the gesso stage.

After painting the head, I sanded it. This proved to be horrible.

Next, I cut the bottom of the head with a hole large enough to put my own head inside. This pierced the ball inside of course, and this is where you will find out if your head is strong enough. Mine had a soft spot on the top :)

Cut out holes for the eyes and mouth. I used a dremmel tool and a knife to make the cutouts.

After the holes are cut, you're ready to paint and cover with cloth.

Step 6: Painting and Clothing

I painted the entire head in a flesh colored paint. This was so I didn't have any ugly gesso showing through (or newspaper if you didn't paint with gesso). The gesso really made painting the color easy. If you didn't used gesso, you may need to paint several coats to cover the newspaper.

After painting, I cut some of my flesh cloth in a dome type of pattern at the top. This will form the hair line at the top of the head. Then I sprayed the spray glue (3m or elmers glue in a can) and started to lay the cloth over the face. Pull the cloth tight and take your time covering everything. At the ends of the cheeks, I had to make triangular cuts in the material to make it lay straight. Continue until the entire face is covered and laying flat. The material I picked was sort of stretchy, which helped this process.

Step 7: Hair

In this step, the hair needs to be added. This was sorta of a painful process, but it turned out well.

Grab some yarn that has the right texture and color. I chose orangish chunky wool yarn. Heat up the hot glue gun.

String out 20 or 30 feet of yarn and fold it in half over and over until you have a wrap of yarn about 3 inches long. Cut that in half so you have two distinct chunks of yarn.

After the hot glue gun is ready, lay a strip of glue down and place the hair stip across the glue so that it holds it in the middle and the yarn flops on either side. This part took me some time to master. The main gist is put hair on the head until its completely covered. Thats the process I used with fairly good success. I used 3 large balls of yarn for this process. I made the yarn shorter on top, and longer on the sides. See the pictures of ideas.

Step 8: Done

Now you're done. I cut out my eye and mouth holes again and burned the edges with a lighter so they wouldn't fray into the eyes. Using the left over cloth, I cut out mittens to go with the head. I folded the material in half and traced my hand. Then I my hand pattern out and hot glued the two pieces together. it worked well.



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    19 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Oh my gosh! When I first saw that commercial it gave me nightmares!


    6 years ago on Step 8

    That is really cool!! I think I may have to do this. Did you use the velvety stuff to give the head some texture or was it another reason?

    1 reply

     if you wanted to make the head a couple bucks cheaper you could probably instead of a rubber ball use one of those punch balloons to paper mache over


    10 years ago on Introduction

    im going to attempt to make this awesome costume everyone is tellin me it will b creepy but i think its just funny. were u able to see well?

    2 replies

    11 years ago on Step 8

    If you are having trouble sanding the gesso try using a wet 3M pad. Use plenty of water and a light touch and take your time. Stop periodically to let your work dry. You can also use drywall tape plaster (it's way cheaper and easier to get).

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 8

    Thanks for the info. I was feeling impatient, and it seemed like I would never get the papier mache smooth. We sanding would have been much better.

    HAHAHAHAHA That is too funny. I was slightly disturbed by the Geiko one. It would be hilarious just to stand at your neighbor's door right when you know they would be leaving for work. Or be sitting on their car.... or to be safe, on the public sidewalk just outside their house.... like all the time. hahahaha Well... maybe not hilarious to them.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    There we go...Image on the intro page. I'm working on getting better pictures. For now, I just have cell phone pics.