My costume this year started out as the Governor of the town of Woodbury from the Walking Dead. But several months ago I got the idea to do a Grim Reaper. I didn’t want to do one on stilts like I saw all over the web, I wanted to make one with proportionate body parts. The idea blossomed and then quickly snowballed into a huge ten foot costume that I’m afraid will get me or someone else killed. My goal is to frighten but after getting the first reaction we got, I’m a little concerned people might freak out. I will post the video in the video section.
Step 1: Frame
The pvc frame was designed to fill the backpack and kind of extend out from behind and fit over the wearer.
Step 2: Arms
The arms were made to scale measuring myself and scaling it up so it would look porportionate. I used the smallest PVC pipe available to keep the total weight of the costume down. For the joints I used end caps and wired a small circle between the two end caps with holes to give it a feel of actual human-like movement.
Step 3: Body Form
I used a metal mesh to form the body. This part was tricky and stabby, good thing I've had my tetnise shot!
I basically molded bent shaped and bent the metal until it was close enough to the shape I wanted. I used metal wiring and twisted them like the twisty ties you get on bread to hold every bend and contour in its shape.
Step 4: Robe/Fabric
For this step, I would like to thank the most inspiring woman I know, my amazing and wonderful Mother-in-law who helped me make this costume despite currently battling stage three breast cancer.
We used about 15 yards of fabric and scaled up a pattern she found. Through several fittings she did an awesome job coming up with and creating the exact look I was hoping for.
Step 5: Hands
While my Mother in=law was sewing the robe I began work on the hands:
The hands were the tricky part. I found an online blogger who guided me through the entire process.
They are basic and simple to make. I used PVC pipe, metal hangers, bic pens, cotton balls and latex paint.
Step 6: Skull
The skull was purchased by a friend at a thrift store by a friend. An interesting fact, I scaled everything around the size of the head because I wanted it to be exactly proportionate.
Step 7: Final Product
To give you an idea, here is a picture of my wife and one of our kids standing next to the Reaper. Which I still have yet to name. There is always just "Death" However, I'm leaning towards "Georgia". Named after the main character in the series, "Dead like me".