Remember Jim Henson's classic film, Labyrinth, starring David Bowie?
Who wouldn't want their very own friend Ludo?
In the movie the furry giant is played by the incredible Ron Mueck but this Halloween I decided the role would be best performed by my boyfriend.
*for more info on me, my costumes and my other crafts, check out my blog, http://modmischief.blogspot.com/
Step 1: What You'll Need
If you too would like a Ludo, here's what you'll need:
-a victim, er, I mean a volunteer
materials for the mask:
-plaster cloth, we used Rigid Wrap
-an old tuque (I believe the Americans call them beanies, but any tight fitting hat would do)
-modeling clay, make sure it's the kind that can air dry, we used DAS
-one wire coat hanger
-toilet paper tubes
-metal rings, ours were from a broken purse but you could use key chain rings
-spray paint, we used Valspar Suede
-fun/fake fur, you'll need less than a meter for the head
materials for the body:
-fun/fake fur, about 4 meters
-an unwanted jacket
-a pair of pants to trace
-upholstery foam, we bought 2 packs of 4 seat cushions
-bamboo stakes, the kind they sell for gardening
-knock-off Hulk hands
-fabric to use for suspenders, we used an old pair of pants
-spray paint, the same as you use on the mask
materials for the feet:
-an old pair of shoes
-glue gun with a big bag of glue sticks
-saw or other way to cut bamboo
-Styrofoam head, the kind they use to display wigs (not necessary but helpful when you're working on the mask)
Step 2: Make the Base for the Mask
Get your volunteer to tie back his hair (he's wearing his Burning Man bandanna) and grease up his face with Vaseline.
Cut the plaster cloth into strips and triangles.
Following the package directions, dip the pieces in water and apply the plaster to your volunteer's face.
We used a hair dryer to dry it faster and then threw the mask in the microwave.
Step 3: Build It Up
Using paper towel and masking tape, start to build up the shape of Ludo's face.
We used paper towel rolled up to build up his eyebrows, cheeks and upper lip. Drawing on the plaster with a marker helped us determine where we needed to add to it.
After the basic shape was built up we covered it with another layer of plaster cloth. If you didn't have any plaster left over from the first step you could use papier mache.
Let it dry.
Make Ludo's horns by rolling newspaper around toilet paper tubes and shaping it with masking tape.
If your mask still needs more volume, build it up some more with paper and tape.
Cover the face and horns with papier mache. We used white glue diluted with warm water and strips of paper towel. The paper towel gives the horns a great texture so I would recommend using it over newspaper for this papier mache step.
Step 4: Put It Together
Cut the make-up sponges into thinner pieces and use them to pad the inside of the mask.
Attach the face and horns to the tuque with the help of a glue gun and duct tape.
Step 5: Break Out the Clay
Apply a thin layer of clay onto the mask.
Sculpt the face.
Step 6: Make the Jaw
Trace the outline of the upper lip onto cardboard and cut it out.
Untwist the coast hanger and bend it into a curve that matches the cardboard piece.
Tape the cardboard to the wire.
Bend the ends of the wire into an "L" shape. Bend the ends of the L into hooks.
Create a chin hold by shaping thin cardboard into a cone and taping it to the base of the jaw piece. Add some of the cosmetic sponges to make it more comfortable.
Sew a length of elastic onto the top of the tuque. Sew a metal ring to both ends of the elastic. We used hardware from an old purse but you could use a key ring like in this Realistic Werewolf Costume instructable.
Have your volunteer put on the mask and adjust the wire until the jaw piece sits comfortably on the chin and moves naturally when he speaks.
Build up the shape on the jaw with paper towel and masking tape. Make two teeth from cones of cardboard and tape them on.
Papier mache and then add clay as you did to the rest of the face.
Step 7: Paint
Spray the mask with brown spray paint.
We used a paint with a "suede" finish and worked very well.
Once it is dry, use acrylic craft paint to add shading and detail. It's helpful to have some reference photos in front of you while you work.
Step 8: Give Him Some Fur
Using a hot glue gun, attach the fun fur to your mask.
The head should now be done!
If you're as proud as I was, you'll take it bowling.
Step 9: Make the Arm Extensions
Ludo's hands hang down past his knees. My boyfriend's do not.
To fix this problem we made arm extensions.
Take the cheap costume Hulk hands from the dollar store and remove the green fur cuffs.
Cut four equal lengths of bamboo and attach them inside the monster hands with your glue gun and duct tape.
Add a short bamboo piece width wise to keep the hand from collapsing. Secure it with glue and duct tape.
Spray paint the hands with the same paint you used on Ludo's face.
Step 10: Sew Him a Fur Suit
Time to start up the sewing machine!
I'm not a very good seamstress so there is likely a much better way to do this part.
Here's how we did it:
For the upper body, we used an old jacket as the base and covered it in fun fur. Before sewing on the sleeves we padded the shoulders with wedges of upholstery foam.
Make the sleeves extra long to accommodate the arm extensions and cut slits so he can get his real hands out when he needs to hold a beer.
For the pants, I traced a pair of my boyfriend's pants onto the fun fur and enlarged them significantly.
We cut the upholstery foam and glued together three layers to give Ludo a nice padded butt and hips. With a large curved upholstery needle we stitched the foam by hand to the pants.
To hold up the pants we made suspender-like straps.
Step 11: Make the Feet
Using your hot glue gun, attach some costume feet to a pair of old shoes. We happened to have hobbit feet kicking around from a past costume and they did the trick.
Cover the rest of the shoes with scraps of fun fur and your glue gun.
Step 12: Take Him Out on the Town!
Use brown face paint to complete the costume and go have some fun!
Be aware of the fact that it will get very hot, so be sure he drinks plenty of fluids and takes a break to cool off every once in a while.
Keep your eye on your guy in the fur. Not only will women be lining up to give him a hug, he might also be an easy target for drunken idiots.
For more info on me, my costumes and my other crafts, you can check out my blog, http://modmischief.blogspot.com