Foam Costume





This instructable shows how to build a costume out of foam.

Step 1: Painter Suit

It all starts with a XXL painter suit. I searched for a suit which has the zippers on the back but all of them had it on the frontside so i just turned it around and cutted the hood. To give the suit the right shape i connected it on the floor with two tubes, standing in sandfilled buckets. The arms are connected with a bar which is attached to two ropes. The inside of the suit is filled with old newspapers. All together an easy, cheap and effective way to get a solid base.

Step 2: Polysterene

As my target was to create a tall and wide costume i had to make the suit taller and wider. Therefore i connected polysterene elements to the shoulders and to the sides of the chest. As glue i used pu-foam. To get a smooth and flat surface, the polysterene elements were connected with some old sleeping pads. Because of the fast expanding pu-foam i weighted the pads down with some planks.

Step 3: Sleeping Pads

Here you can see all the parts where i used sleeping pads. I connected them with each other using tape and woodscrews.

Step 4: Foam

After i had the basic shape i started connecting the foam with the suit. Before i could do that i ordered foam and foam glue. As foam i choosed plates with a thickness of  8 cm and a hardness of RG 35. All togehther i needed ~7 qm of foam. To connect the foam with the suit i first thought about using hot glue. The problem with hot glue is, that some foam-glue combinations doesn`t work together, it even can happen that the foam is destroyed because of the heat. So i decided to use a special spray-foam-glue. 15 cans of 500ml glue were enough for the whole costume. For cutting out the foam elements i didn`t follow a draft or something like that, i just started at the top and "puzzled" me down. The best way to cut the foam is using a simple carpet cutter. The yellow material you can see in the box is a thin foam mat. As i used foam-spray which works the best by sticking foam to foam i had to sew on that thin mat to all parts of the suit i didn`t  coat with the sleeping pad.

Step 5: Entrance

Here you can see the backside of the costume. This small "triangle" is where you get inside after opening the zippers. Because of the small size of the "door" it is necessary to "bend" the whole costume. This is the reason why you sholudn`t connect the foam pieces whith each other, only connect them with the painter suit, otherwise the costume isn`t flexible enough to get inside.

Step 6: Closing the Door

The textile of the painter suit isn`t that solid so i decided to replace that "triangle" part of the suit with a more solid material. As you can see on the picture i made two parts. The first one with the zippers replaces the part of the suit where you get inside. I sewed it to the suit. To the second part i fixed some foam pieces. To connect the both pieces with each other after getting inside the costume, i used hook and loop fastener.

Step 7: Arms

To give the arms the right shape i used a plastic grip which is normally used to prevent that gutters are blocked by leaves. The long part is the forearm the short one the upper arm. Both parts are connected with a small grip piece to each other so the arm stays mobile at the "elbow".

Step 8: Arms

On the surface of the plastic grip i fastened a foam mat (thickness: 1,5 cm).

Step 9: Arms

After the whole plastic grip was covered with the foam mat, i began to glue the foam to the arms.

Step 10: Grip

The arms aren`t directly connected with the rest of the costume. Therefore it was necessary to make something like a grip for handeling the arms. I decided to use work gloves which are glued to the inside of the forearm with PU foam. I now can put my fingers into the gloves to control and move the arms.

Step 11: Grip

The PU foam expands a lot so the work gloves are compressed and you won`t be able to put your fingers in it after the PU foam cured. Because of this i used some thin plastic gloves, putted them into the work gloves and filled them with sand to guarantee that the work gloves maintain their shape. After the PU foam cured, sand and plastic gloves were removed.

Step 12:

After filling the sand in, it looked like that. I waited about a day to be sure that all foam cured before i removed the sand.

Step 13: Shoes

To make the costume a little bit taller i took 2 plastic boxes with a hight of 18 cm to use them as "shoes". I filled the inside of the boxes with PU foam and covered the bottom with a thin wood plate to make them as light as possible.

Step 14: Shoes

Then i covered the  wood plate with some old car mats...

Step 15: Shoes

... and then fixed the inside of my old snowboard shoes to the other side of the box with some carpet glue. I removed the front of the shoes because it makes it easier to get in and out.

Step 16: Head

For the head i used a plastic bucket and marked the rudely features.

Step 17: Head

I then cutted some foam pieces and glued them to the surface of the bucket. Some eyes were fixed to the eye socket and with some colour finish the head was ready.

Step 18: Color

I primed the whole costume with a dark grey. For a more realistic "stone look" i finished it here and there with some brown and light grey colors.



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    16 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Where do you buy the foam?!


    4 years ago

    Very cool - reminds me of gollums from clash of clans :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome costume! Would love to see it in motion if you ever think to upload any video you may have. Was it very heavy to wear or difficult to move? It looks like it any restrictions in movement would add to the effect of the character. You must have had fun wearing this! Great work- thanks for sharing!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    this is excellent. You should combine this with your wood hand to make a tree elemental.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey im doing a Hulk costume and i was wondering if you could let me know where you got your foam from and that would be greatly appreciated

    1 reply
    Prototyp 81Bourne11

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    at amazon, you will find there several dealers who sell foam of different qualitity and sizes...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great job! How much was to total cost for the cotume? And just the foam alone?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice costume, it reminds me a lot of the Thing from Fantastic Four (except for the colour)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    some great building ideas ! You got my imagination working