Make an Epic Costume for Under $15

Introduction: Make an Epic Costume for Under $15

About: I come from the land of the ice and snow....

It's that time of year again, the leaves fall off the trees,Thanksgiving draws near, but most of all Halloween is on the horizon and people scramble to have the best costume on the block, whether it's Iron Man next door, or the Alien (from the movie Alien of course) across the street, everybody wants the best costume, but they tend to cost a heapload of cash or involve fiberglass making (which some times can be dangerous) so cardboard seems to be a good place to start. So, in this guide I will go over how to make an easy to make, realistic and extremely cheap card board costume.

PS: Sorry for any images that are doubles.

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Step 1: Step 1-materials and Tools

First of all, you need cardboard I paid nothing for mine becase I eat two bowls of cereal every morning, so I used the cardboard from the boxes. 


LOTS of hot glue-$3
Spray paint-$5
Old rags (for example, ripped jeans)-free
DUCTAPE, LOTS AND LOTS OF IT-free (already own it)
29 gauge steel wire, uncoated-free(already own it)
BBQ skewers-free (already own it)

 TOTAL:$13 (two cans of paint)

Hot glue is near perfect for this project, the glue is cheap and the glue guns are cheap and they are easy to use.

Note: Hot glue is serious stuff, even with low tempature guns you can recive 3rd degree burns. I learned the hard way , I now have a nickel sized scar on my leg. BE CAREFUL.

Other Note :when disassembling a cardboard box, find the seam on the side, almost all boxes have them.

  Try to stay away from corragated cardboard. It is hard to bend and it leaves ridges once painted.
Make shure that your work area is clean and without anything that you woudn't mind getting glue on,also don't forget to mesure your head and body before embarking on your project remember, mise en place (french for every thing in it's place) in other words don't start until you know where every thing is, and that you are not making it too small, too big or too stuffy. 

P.S Don't be afraid to leave a comment.

Step 2: Step 2-the Helmet and Some Notes on Costume Making.

Here are some notes on how I created the helmet, it's not the full guide it's just a simple guide to help you on your way to making a costume cheaply and effectively.

The greatest method to making one of theese things is starting slow, a wise person once said to me move slow, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. This rule can be applied to anything in the world, from cooking to driving just keep it steady and keep youself open to improvision (a good 40% of this costume was impovised).            Cost is very important also, you should not spend more than $7 dollars on a material especially  something as recyclable as this project.      

A note upon the subject of duct tape : it works perfectly as an emegency adhesive but don't use it as your main adhesive. 

PS. For those who don't know this is not how to make Sauron it's how to make a cardboard costume.

Step 3: Step 3-how to Create Curves Folds and Jagged Edges.

In this step I will tell you how to make different shapes and angles out of cardboard.

The curve: it can be achieved via several methods.

Method 1: The bend, this can be done by simply bending the cardboard to your preferred angle at certan intervals,making a slightly jagged curve. The downside of this is that it creates smal lines from where it was originally bent.

Method 2: The score, if you use only one blade of your long scissors and drag it along the front of the cardboard it makes a small but long gash in the cardboard making it bendable, this in my opinion is the best method.

Folds: Folds are only done one way- folding, try to keep the folds nice and neat.

Jagged edges are achievable by two methods: by drawing the edges then cutting with VERY sharp scisors or freehanding it, the first method is difficult and semi dangerous but makes a good final product. The latter method is easy but looks the slightest bit sloppy.

PS. large parts of armour can easly be made with multiple piecs,also if you have competed  a large part of amour and you don't like the look of it, a coat of paint can reallly spiff it up.

Step 4: Step 4-how to Make Fake Chainmail in Small Amounts and How to Ensure Good Mobility in Your Suit

Step one: take some old denim. Step two: spray paint it. (Sorry, it's just that simple!)

Mobility is a important issue in these suits, they tend to get stuffy and hard to move in, so use these tips to keep from messing up your masterpiece .

Try to not overcrowd your suit's legs, I only used only a tiny amount of flexible armour on my knees .

Use small amounts of cardboard in your joints and add cloth sections when necessary.

Segment your armour, my Sauron costume has seven parts and is still a little hard to move around in.

Make the helmet fit! if condensation gathers in the cardboard it will begin to melt.

Relax, heavy breathing coud cause it all to crumble.

 Don't make sudden movements, this stuff is durable but it will break is missused.

Keep away from fire!! This thing is covered in flamable spray paint!

Step 5: Step-5-Go Out and Make Something Already!

Add the finishing touches on your product and try to be as creative as possible. Remember, this guide has been mainly how to make your own thing. If you run into a roadblock, don't be shy, leave a comment! And if you wish to make a Sauron costume like mine, ask lots of questions in the comment area below.

More pictures:

Step 6: Step Six-layering, the Helmet Dome, Templates and Some Notes on Scaling.

Layering is important to the costume for depth and detail just remember, if using a cape it should always be the bottom layer.

Before cutting, use templates or sketch onto the cardboard.               In this step I shall show how to make templates

Step 1: scetch the shape onto a piece of white contruction paper.
Step 2: smooth out the edges of the scetch.
Step 3: cut the scetch out.
Step 4: tape the template to the cardboard.
Step 5: cut out the cardboard along the edges of the template.

the dome of the helmet was made out of wedges of cardboard, curved and taped in place then hot glued to create the dome shape,
the front was made smooth by adding rectangular cardboard pieces layed sideways and glued in placed.             Scaling is very important, you can't always have things exactly to scale, the head knives in the movie that are (the head knives are on the helmet) about twice as tall so, if you can achieve the right look and still scale it down do so.

On a last note if making a cod piece don't make it too big, a huge one may seem funny at the time but try to keep it small.

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