The idea for this costume came about when I was researching leg structures and mechanisms for my previous Halloween costume. My friend and I decided we wanted to be fauns (deer human creatures), and her father suggested using the same principles of these very cool dinosaur costumes online for our deer legs. Fast forward to July 2016 and I started thinking about it again and decided I wanted to make one of those costumes. I used many different tutorials online to try and create the coolest looking costume I could make for the lowest price and as comfortable as I could possibly make it.
chicken wire 48" wide
Large poster paper
Hot glue sticks
Pvc pipe 1/2" diameter
Pvc pieces ( 2 elbows and 3 T's)
Circular cake boards
bedsheets, or other cheap fabrics
Multiple spray paints (depending on your color scheme
Crayola model Magic/paper clay
Cotton batting or headliner foam
Cheap back pack
Cheap Mini speaker (optional)
Acrylic bulb halves
TOTAL COST: around 150-175$ with materials left over for future projects to come.
Step 1: Gather Your References (and Helpful Links)
Reasearch dinosaur body shapes, look at tutorials online, and the mechanisms they used. Here's a (hopefully)helpful playlist I've compiled of videos that helped me and may help you in building your costume...http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcorI2vosd9pjGzHXM2CQtECk4kqxbOL9
I cannot take full credit for quite a few of the costumes features, so big thank you to those who paved the way for costumes like mine.
Step 2: Sketching and Shaping
(I apologize the picture of the sketch is upside down, and I can't seem to find a way to fix it)
In order to truly see the correct proportions of the dinosaur, I decided to sketch out my profile silhouette on to large sheets of paper and then draw the dinosaur shape I wanted,around that silhouette.The paper I used was from a poster easel my dad happened to have at work, but if you don't have any on hand you can usually find them at Walmart. I then used the body shape I sketched to create cardboard cutouts to shape my chicken wire body structure. I separated the leg pieces,head,arms,etc... and cut them all out on a large piece of cardboard, once I was finished I just placed them all back together.
Step 3: Shaping the Chicken Wire
When shaping the chicken wire for the apendages ,cut out a square of chicken wire relative to the size of the peice and bend the wire along the curves of the shape,(try to do this without closing the wire around the cardboard in the back of the piece),then take the cardboard out of the wire and seal the back of the chicken wire. Be cautious not to poke yourself with the sharp ends of the wire and use your zip ties sparingly when it comes to attaching the pieces. I used to many zip ties in my first try at the limbs and ended up running out of them pretty quickly because of it. These steps go for pretty much everything except the body and tail. For the body, shape a cone and use your hula hoop to create a base were you go inside the costume, I modified my hula hoop to make it slightly less wide by cutting it with my pvc cutters and retapping it,a recommended doing the same, since it makes the body look more slim and sleek, rather than wide and overly cylindrical. Zip tie this modified hula hoop to the base and climb inside to see if you have enough space, if yes, shape the cone to your desired body shape by bending the chicken wire in reference to your cardboard cutout. Make sure to leave holes at both ends of the cone big enough for the circular cake boards that will soon form the tail, head,and neck. The tail is very easy, lay down your cardboard tail onto a flat peice of chicken wire cans cut out the shape of the cardboard onto the wire. Then, attach to the body with zip ties and your done. (The tail will later be rolled in batting to create a fuller shape during the process of adding fabric) Add all the pieces onto the body with zip ties and set it aside.
Step 4: The Mechanism
I can't take too much credit for this part, if you want a very in depth look at the mechanics please refer to the cinefix tutorial I've linked in the playlist. The only parts I changed were, instead of bucket lids I used cake boards and instead of a hinge and piece of wood I just attached the bottom jaw loosely with zip ties.
Step 5: Attaching the Backpack and Helmet
This ones pretty straight forward, drill holes in a hard hat and attach with zip ties onto the top of the costume. Then add the backpack using the hanger loop on top and the straps on the sides, again with zip ties...this step ensures that the costume won't slide around ontop of you.
Tip: remember to cut your zip ties,heh...
Step 6: Adding Headliner Foam, Mesh, and Head Details
SPRAY GLUE. Lots and lots of spray glue, if you aren't a big fan of strong odors in your house, I suggest that this step be preformed outside or in a open garage. Using your cardboard cutouts as a pattern, cut pieces of headliner foam (or batting for a more cost efficient option) and spray glue onto the chicken wire, don't worry too much if it looks a little too much like a patchwork quilt though, it will soon be covered in fabric anyways. Draw holes around the areas you would like to see out of ( I suggest putting a very large hole slightly below the neck plate of the mechanism) then fill these areas with layered mesh. So you can see out but people can't see in. You can go ahead and roll batting around the tail to smooth it out and add a bit more volume. As well as add fabric onto the neck. For the head, use strips of foam to accentuate the shapes of the skull, by hot gluing then on based on the shapes of the raised area on Velociraptor heads, and for eyes use the provided eyeballs printouts (in the photo section for step 1) and glue them onto the backs of the craft ortament halves,the use model magic to create eyelids and shape to the desired mood of the raptor. This creates a "follow me" effect for the eyes and ended up looking pretty cool.
Step 7: Fabric and Scales
By far the longest step in the process for me was fabric and scales, not because it was difficult, but because it was extremely tedious. The fabric process is the same as the headliner foam's except you have to be a little more careful in order to make the costume look nicer. To make the scales. Get your model magic and make lots of circles of many different shapes and sizes and glue them on the body in whatever arrangement you desire and until you are satisfied with the coverage. With the exception of a few specialty scales that should be made separately, (ex: most of the scales on the head) this should cover most of the body and all it takes is time and patience.
Step 8: Spray Painting
(Sorry I don't really have any,"in progress" photos, I was doing the paint fast and didn't have time to take pictures).This step is what ties everything together...Spray Paint. The paint jab was one of the most important things to get right on this dinosaur right after, sight,and comfort. As you can see I used a color scheme of orange tan and brown for my dinosaur but you can make yours any color you desire. I started with a base of half orange on the top of the body and half tan on the bottom. At first the colors looked really bright and somewhat jarring,almost like a Charizard, but the I added the brown and it all dull down a bit and began to look a lot more realistic. I painted on the brown wherever I felt it was needed, in stripes along the body,as well as in random places to dull the colors a bit. Overall just make sure you pick a good color scheme and you'll be fine.
Step 9: Finishing Touches
For finishing touches I used left over headliner foam and acrylic paints to create a tongue for the mouth, and cut out pieces of foam board into triangles and hot glued them in the mouth for teeth, I also went over white spots with extra spray paint I had on hand. I actually didn't have time to add feet so I ended up just tying the legs to my ankles, and they still worked quite nicely. Although, if you have the time, go ahead and make the feet for the costume and attach them with straps to your shoes. I also mounted a minispeaker in the body with dinosaur sounds, so that when it would play a roar sound effect I would open the raptor's mouth.
Step 10: Finished Product and Tips for Use
During Trick-or-Treat with my friends, I made sure to have a guide that would stay by me and walk me around, it's imperative that you have one as well, this costume has vision but it is very limited, so a guide helped quite a lot. I don't suggest bringing this costume to areas with to many large crowds...you will run into everyone. I think the finished product turned out very well, and many people believed it was the best Halloween costume they had ever seen.Now go make one for yourself!
(Please comment and favorite, id really appreciate the feedback)