Intro: The Magnificent Sofa Suit! -Halloween Contest Entry
Are you tired of the dull life of the average sentient being? Have you ever wanted to sit back and ignore the problems of the world surfacing all around you?
Have you ever wanted to be a couch?
Of course you have. And now, with emerging technologies (tape and hot glue) and breakthrough materials (cardboard) your lifelong dreams can finally become reality.
Ladies, Gentlemen, and small extraterrestrial beings from unidentified planets, I present....
THE SOFA SUIT!
What is the sofa suit, you may wonder?
Basically, its a transforming man-to-sofa halloween costume, and when its completed, you can do some funny things with it, especially on halloween.
Just think: setting a bowl of candy on your lap and jumping up when kids come near, then watching them run screaming down the street.
in short, you can be your own Transformer.
Except, unlike a transformer, you can actually do something useful.
How, you might ask, does the fabled Sofa-Suit work? A hat, with a built in hatch for visibility, conceals one's head. A sort of torso-box thingy, to which arms and legs are attached, covers (obviously) the torso. The limbs are each made from two connected boxes...and so on and so forth.
Geoffrito and I worked together on this, as although its my idea, he really wanted to help (edit: he also designed most of it and was the true genius in the project) :)
Since we know each other (same school) I ought to include him as another collaborator, yay.
Anyway, moving on.
Step 1: Planning
Of course, most every big-ish project needs some kind of planning, unless, I mean, you're some kind of amazing god or deity.
Measure the Length, Width, and Height of The body Parts indicated in the yellow boxes...
The Lower Arm,
And the Shins.
After getting the measurements, you'll want to add an inch or two to the length and width, for room, depending on how much space you'd like. I'm going for two inches.
The measurements are used to cut and shape cardboard, to make a frame for the rest of the sofa.
*See, Don't think that you can simply do this project without measurements, for to create a decent transformation, some parts must be uniform with the rest.*
Step 2: Gather the Supplies
Supplies are needed, in most cases.
Basically the sofa is built from foam and cloth on a cardboard frame.
The Supplies are, as listed:
The amount needed is up to you, depending on your build and your measurements. I got myself 3 Giant 24" x 96" x 1" Packages from Wal-Mart, I probably won't need that many, but I can just refund an extra package.
Cardboard is easy enough to get. You'll want corrugated cardboard, like the stuff moving and boxes in general are made of. Just ask for empty boxes in the back of Wal-Mart.
When you buy the cloth you must first think of these two things:
1. How much Cloth Will I need?
2. What's the pattern?
In order to have maximum camouflage sofa-ness, you'll need a cloth thats soft, and something you could picture a *normal* sofa being made of. (i.e, no felt, leather's fine if you actually want to spend that much o.o)
-(optional) A couple buttons, an even amount of similarly made buttons to complete the sofa feel.
For covering. If you want to sew by hand, go ahead..have fun with that.
-Hot Glue Gun + Hot Glue Sticks
For quicker joining
-Razor Blade/Exacto Knife/Scissors
In Order of Preference - Razor blades have longer blades to cut through the cardboard and foam, same with Exacto Knives. Scissors however, seem to make some tilted cuts in foam, and are just plain annoying.
The brown clearish stuff from packages or the clear stuff that I dont know the uses of.
Step 3: Make the Torso Box Thingy!
Yes, you too can have your very own torso box thingy. This is probably the simplest bit.
Make sure you have the right measurements for your torso. "Ducky Boy" managed to totally screw up his measurements, and had to do them again.
Anyway, slit a cardboard box so it's a flat piece of material. Use a yardstick to measure your torso height's length along the cardboard and draw a line. If that didnt make any sense; draw a rectangle the height of your torso on the cardboard. Add an inch or two just to be sure.
Now find your torso width (left to right) and depth (back to front). Mark a line at the torso width on the piece of cardboard. Measure from this line your torso depth, then your width, and depth again. You should have four lines. Cut along the outlines, and score along the three internal lines. Now fold it into a rectangle, and tape the edge.
We had to reinforce the top with bits of cardboard to make it stronger. Whatever floats your boat.
Step 4: Hat/Helmet
This part is quite simple -- it's almost exactly like the torso bit, except theres a top on it!
Since most people's heads tend not to exceed a person's torso/chest in length, width, or height, the length and width of the helmet/hat thing will be the same as that of the torso. The height of the helmet depends on how high your head is, obviously, adding an inch or two.
Slit the Cardboard so its not just "cardboard," its a flat piece of "material."
Starting vertically , measure the height of the desired helmet, cutting away the extra cardboard.
Next, measuring horizontally, the width of the helmet, the length, the width, and then the length, creating a sort of box pattern.
Tape it all together, creating a sort of open box shapy thing.
Find or cut a piece of cardboard to fit on the top, and tape it all together.
Conglaturations! You now have a helmet
Step 5: Legs
This is probably the most difficult part.
For the overcomplex design that took about two hours to perfect, I take full credit.
Start by checking your calf measurements. Using the same method you did with the torso and hat, make a box for your leg. This ought to be overly wide to make some room for the armrests (i.e. your arms). Tape the edges together. Now cut a box with the same width and depth for your shin. Again, these measurements vary depending on your 'build'. Now attach the two together with a piece of tape on each side. Check the pictures if you'd like. Put a bit of tape the right length onto one segment with half of it (widthwise) hanging off. Press the tape onto the edge of the cardboard and affix the remaining tape onto the other segment. Repeat for the inside.
Now, the awesome part. Cut a strip of cardboard that will fit snugly within the segments. this should be about a foot and a half long. Score lines every inch or so and bend the cardboard over a hard surface. It should resemble a curve. Now trim this so it can fit between the leg segments when they are bent 90 degrees with about two inches of overlap on each side.
Now cut two strips a bit shorter than the segments and about three-quarters of an inch wide. Hot glue these to the inside of the top segment about an eighth of an inch away from the wall (in other words, just enough to let a piece of cardboard side between). Having said that, slide the rolled cardboard into the slot created. Tape and/or glue the other end onto the bottom segment. Now, flex the leg. In theory, the cardboard should slide up and down the tracks. If this doesn't work, try adding another piece of cardboard in the middle as a sort of stiffener.
Ta-da! If you managed to pull yourself through that narrative, you ought to have yourself a finish leg.
Now guess what's next?
Repeat for other side.
Of course, how in the h e double hockey sticks (??????) can you put put it on? Why, straps of course!
However, it turns out Mr. Geoffrito had forgotten to write how to make these so called straps, and so I must do it myself.
First we must make something to run over your shoulders and hook into the leg.
Hopefully you have some spare cloth lying around, not rope or string as it will either
a: Cut into your shoulder
b: Feel very, very uncomfortable.
Cut a long strip of cloth, this should be about your height minus the leg -- times two.
Add a foot or two so you don't run out.
Make a hole at the top + middle of the front of the leg and the back of the leg.
Thread/force the cloth strip into the hole, and tie a knot. Hot glue it secure and/or add a safety pin.
With a friend's help (Hello, Geoffrito) or by yourself, put the other end of the cloth strip into the back hole, while wearing the leg to adjust tightness of the strap.
I hope that made sense.
Make two of these, wear the legs, and cut another strip of cloth to run across the straps, resembling a sort of "Pair of suspenders." It should be on the tight side so the straps don't run off of your shoulders.
Now you can wear the leg(s) around!
But oh noes! :'( When you bend your leg and un-bend it, the leg might not go back into its original position!
No worries-- which is why Geoffrito came up with this sweet contraption which is arguably over-complex.
Find some string -- this string should be a couple feet long, and you will cut it in the end.
Tie one end onto the cloth strip, where your shoulder is. Hotglue it for security.
Remember that Cardboard strip used for the joint?
At the top of the strip, make a hole. Tie the other end of the string into the hole so it is tight, but not too tight.
When you sit down and bend the knee at a 90 degree angle, it should allow the bend, but when you stand up, the string is tight again and pulls the strip back in, making a much smoother joint.
Step 6: Cover With Foam
Well yeah....its pretty much all in the title. We cut panels of foam to cover each face of the suit, and hotglued them in place. Also, make sure you attach the head to the body..this makes things more uniform.
Cut arm holes and whatever else...and that should be it!
Also, when you're covering the head- make sure you can still move the hatch back and forth when it has foam. you need to be able to stick your head out- being able to see is pretty critical.
If you think my explanation sucked, look at the pictures. It probably did.
Step 7: Arms
These were pretty simple. Just wrap foam around your arm so it fits with a bit of loose room for good measure. Then hot glue the edges together. I used pins to keep it in place. Then cut a rough circle for the front.
Step 8: Fabric-ize
now you need to cover the whole thing in fabric. We used some plaid stuff that 'ducky boy' found at wal-mart.
Measure out a bit of fabric that can wrap around the entire thing once, with a bit of overlap. Cut it out. Now turn it inside out and sew it on the sewing machine (or by hand). Turn right-side out, slip over torso/body and hot glue.
Cut a bit of fabric for the top, and glue on.
Now just stab some holes for the arms and clean up the edges.
Cut a piece of fabric that will wrap around the arm. Turn inside out, sew....etc. Turn right side out and do the old gluing trick. Once you've done that, glue the hanging over bit to to the edge of the foam. Try to make sure this is flat-esque.
To hold the arms on, I sewed a thin strap from some folded over scrap fabric. I hot glued this into the arm so that Ducky Boy could hold on. Once you've done this, glue on the end-plate.
Now cut a piece of fabric and glue it to the end of the arm.
We also made little button-thingies like you see on armchairs and such. We wrapped some fabric around bits of cardboard and glued firmly shut, then affixed to the end of the arms.
If you did it correctly ( I hope) , then you will find yourself with a foam leggy thing, with two panels on the front, two panels on the back, and two panels on the side (left or right, depending on which leg).
For the front, bend the leg at a 90 degree angle, and cut a strip of cloth that fits from the top of the leg to the bottom, leaving it *slightly* loose, maybe a quarter inch, half inch?
Hotglue the top section to the foam, and hotglue the bototm section to the foam as well, leaving most of the cloth on the joint loose and not hotglued to anything.
However, for stability, hotglue a line near the bottom of the joint...
For the side bits, cut two squares of cloth to be hotglued in place on the foam, as seen in "A Square and Another Square" in the pictures. :)
To cover the joint, as nobody would like to see your hideous ( jk) leg from the side, cut a quarter-circle type thing that will cover the gap between the bottom of the top and the top of the bottom when the lef is extended, leaving one to two inches of space.
Place it and hotglue it on the bent leg, completing its awesomeness.
Repeat for the other leg.
Step 9: Sofa-Suit Goes Mobile!
In order to transform into Sofa Mode without finding an actual sofa to sit on, you will need a sort of box.
We didn't make the box ourselves, it was actually an old drawer we found lying around Geoffrito's basement.
To find a suitable box, you'll want to sit down, having your knees bent at a 90 degree angle-- which is basically perfect for Sofa Mode.
Measure the height from the ground to the bottom of your bosom, and that is the approx. Height the box should be.
Mine was roughly 12 inches.
Step 10: Sofa-to-Sofa Advice and Suggestions
I learned a lot from being a sofa on Halloween.
Nobody respects their sofa anymore.
- Running the in the Sofa-Suit is NOT advised.
Yeah sure, "But Edwin, it looks so secure with its cardboard and hotglue + tape!" Unfortunately enough, running in this very difficult to maneuver costume results in painful blisters in the feet and awkward leg positions. Not to mention trips + falls.
- Be Careful when sitting down on your box.
Your box can easily be taken away, and sitting down too quickly will usually result in an epic FAIL. You may miss the box completely, or just really hurt your legs.
Transportation of the Sofa-Suit is somewhat difficult, so you might prefer to do some short range trick-or treating in it.
- Wearing the Sofa-Suit and running/walking around for two hours on a dark Halloween night is NOT good.
Seriously. Not only does it hurt, but half the time people are already outside of their doors before you can assemble into sofa mode.
However, the times when people think you SERIOUSLY dragged a sofa up to their house is worth it.
We actually ran out of cloth, so we couldn't cover every single part of the sofa suit-- just the main visible areas.
However, you may choose to have a sort of skirt that runs down around you when you sit, concealing the box you sit on.
You will also want to cover the back of the legs with cloth, as well as the part in-between the left and right legs.
Step 11: And So It Is Complete.
The Sofa-Suit is Complete!
Below are just a couple of pictures of the costume in action. If you enjoyed this instructable, or even better and more audaciously, tried it youself (*gasp*), please let us know by commenting or +1'ing.
Happy late halloween, and may the force be with you.