Tusken Raider/Sand Person Costume




Introduction: Tusken Raider/Sand Person Costume

My oldest son has been wanting to be a Tusken Raider since the end of last Halloween. After some of our past costumes, I thought this would be perfect for him to start helping a little more. I had him do the research and he found a great site that was a few years old, but very informative. I wanted this to be a little easier than what was posted there, so this Instructable will be a combination of that site, plus our own creations.

Step 1: Tusken Raider Head - Base


  • Sharpie
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors


  • Styrofoam head (JoAnn)
  • Tin foil
  • Duct tape
  • Blue camping mat (Walmart)
  • Contact cement (Lowes)

I got this idea from here, but tweaked it based on our needs. The Styrofoam head I got at JoAnn Fabrics was perfect for us since it was almost the same size as my sons. This would probably not be the case for an adult. You could use it for an adult, would just have to make a second template based on the first.

Take the Sytrofoam head and wrap it in foil (to keep the tape from sticking to it). Then cover the foil with duck tape. Then draw out templates that are similar to mine. I put registration marks so I could like the pieces up later. Since I was making two different costumes for each of my sons, I varied the template on either side of the head. That way I could just flip the template for one half the head and get a full head.

I then cut the tape off the head using a utility knife down the center line. Then used the bandage scissors to cut the rest of the pieces up. To get the pieces to lay flat I would cut into the templates at the registration marks.

If you need to resize the head I would have then copied these tape & foil templates to paper templates to enlarge. Since I did not need to adjust the size I just went with the tape and foil.

I traced the templates onto the blue mat. Try to line the pieces on the mat so the natural curve of the foam will help you form the head. I then flipped the templates and traced again to get the other side of the head. I included the registration marks and marked where I had made the cuts to get the pieces flat.

I cut the pieces out of the blue mat with regular scissors. I found if you have a good pair of scissors that you could hold them in a fixed position and slide it along the mat. Also try to hold the scissors at an angle so that the downward facing side will be a little smaller making it easier to align such thick pieces.

Then glued the first three pieces together with contact cement at the eye socket on one side of the mask. Then I glued all the way down one seam, then the next until half the head was done. We made sure that it was going to fit before continuing. It seemed ok...

I for the other half of the head, I just did a whole seam at once, which seemed a little easier. Did another fit test and realized that it wasn't wide enough, so I cut a strip that ran down the center between the two halves.Then glue the two halves together.

I had been searching for a good glue for this material, and this is definitely it! You apply it to both pieces you want to connect, wait 15 minutes, then push together for instant bond. And it doesn't dissolve the mat. Was so happy!

Step 2: Tusken Raider Head - Eyes, Mouth, Teeth & Spikes


  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Heat gun
  • Coping saw
  • Dremel


  • Blue camping pad (Walmart)
  • Contact cement (Lowes)
  • Plastic pipe - eyes (Lowes)
  • Stair railing - eyes (Lowes)
  • Wood dowel rod - spikes (Lowes)
  • Wood block - mouth
  • Carola marker caps, 2 sizes - front vents?
  • Silver paint (Lowes)

The eyes on the helmet were a bit off and too large. So I made a mask to cover them and to be able to cut the mounting holes for the eye extensions. Using the blue foam I formed the mouth as well. Glued them both with contact cement, then moved onto the silver bits.

I shaped the eyes by heating up the pipe with a heat gun then slide them over the stair railing. After cooling I cut the length and added slots via a Dremel tool.

The vents beneath the eyes are made from two sizes sizes of Crayola marker caps. They fit onto each other nicely and then glued them together. I used pink and purple since my boys don't use those colors much ;)

The spikes are just cut pieces of wooden dowel rod shaped to be a little pointy.

The teeth I carved from a hunk of wood. I mostly used the coping saw and Dremel to accomplish this.

After all the pieces were ready I gave them a coat of silver paint.

I glued everything into place with contact cement.

Step 3: Tusken Raider Head - Fan


  • Soldering iron
  • Wire holder stand
  • Wire strippers
  • Shrink tubing torch
  • Sharpie
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors


  • Solder
  • Mini computer fan (Radio Shack)
  • 9V battery connector (Radio Shack)
  • Shrink tubing
  • Toggle switch (Radio Shack)
  • 9V battery
  • Off-white plastic screen (JoAnn)
  • Blue plastic screen (JoAnn)
  • Blue camping pad (Walmart)
  • Contact cement (Lowes)

Knowing that all this foam up against my sons head would be hot I decided to install a fan. I got all the components and soldered it together as seen in the pictures.

I traced the fan out on top of the head so that it would vent the hot air out. I also put a channel in that would pull the cool air in through the heads eyes. I then installed the fan with contact cement making sure that it would not be sitting against his head. The channel I covered with the mesh to hold the shape of the head.

I covered the fan outside with an off-white screen that I had left over from another project. The inside I covered with blue from a different project as well. These were secured with contact cement.

I made a mount for the battery at the back of the head out of the blue foam. Right next to that I cut a spot into the head for the switch to be mounted. Again using contact cement I put everything into place.

Step 4: Tusken Raider Head - Mouth Covering


  • Scissors
  • Pins


  • Leather looking vinyl (JoAnn)
  • Scrape leather (JoAnn)
  • Cotton balls
  • Baby oil
  • Contact Cement (Lowes)

I started by cutting and pinning the vinyl into place. Once I was happy with the look I used contact cement to hold it in place.

The scrape leather that I had gotten was a little to bright. To make it darker I used a cotton ball soaked in baby oil. This greatly changed the color for the better.

I first cut the flat piece that covered the area between the eyes and down to the vents. It reminded me greatly of Star Lord. I glued that into place with contact cement.

Then I cut strips of leather and glued them into place around the mouth.

Step 5: Tusken Raider Head - Cloth Wrap



  • Canvas painters cover (Walmart)
  • Rit dye - brown (Walmart)
  • E6000 glue (Lowes)
  • Aleene's Fabric Fusion glue (JoAnn)

The last thing left on the head was to wrap it with the cloth. I wanted it to be darker than the robes, so I used a little dye. Probably too little as the color difference is hard to see. Oh well.

I cut wide strips to do a base covering before moving to smaller strips. The strips were made to fray by rolling the fabric around in my hands and pulling out the threads at the edge.

This was all glued down with E6000 since I didn't want the contact cement to to show through. I cut a hole into the cloth for the fan. I should have made these strips longer as to create a better covering for the neck.

I then went back and made narrower strips to give it the more movie look. I followed the same procedure as before, but since I was glueing fabric to fabric, I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion glue. This worked very well.

Step 6: Tusken Raider Respirator


  • Dremel
  • Scissors
  • Drill with 1/4" bit


  • Inline fuel filter (Napa)
  • 1/4" brass flang (Lowes)
  • Clear tube (Lowes)
  • 1/4" solid aluminum rod (Lowes)
  • Leather (JoAnn)
  • E6000 glue (Lowes)

I followed the directions from the original site as much as I could, but could not find all the same pieces. Went to the local auto parts store and this was the best fuel filter they had. I took it and cut the ends off except for a little nub. I also trimmed the join line around the middle down with my Dremel, leaving only three tabs that I folded over. I also drilled out the center of the filter.

I threaded the brash pieces onto the clear tubing then cut it off at the base of the fitting. I pushed these onto the fuel filter.

I pushed the aluminum rod through the fittings and fuel filter. Then bent the bar so it would close to the head of the Raider. Then trimmed the excess rod.

Finally wrapped the filter with leather, holding it in place with the E6000 glue.

Step 7: Tusken Raider Robes


  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Fabric tape measure
  • Pins
  • Needle


  • Painters canvas drop cloth (Walmart)
  • Tan thread (JoAnn)

I was really excited to find the drop cloth matched the original look close enough for my liking.

Using the un-dyed fabric, I pretty much followed the steps on the original site. The robe is basically two rectangles sewn together. One for the arms, the other for the waist and legs. The arms should be folded over and a hole cut for the head to fit thru. The legs are a trifold that is then sewn to the middle of the arms.

The arms are stitched so when you raise them the sleeves will not fall back onto your shoulders. This is very important for recreating the movie ;)

Step 8: Tusken Raider Gloves, Boots, and Bag?


  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Sharpie


  • Brown paper
  • Dyed drop-cloth fabric (Walmart)
  • Tan thread (JoAnn)
  • E6000 (Lowes)
  • Fabric Fusion glue (JoAnn)

The gloves were just a trace of my sons hand onto a template. I then traced that onto the dyed fabric with seem allowance. I cut out four pieces and sewed two together. After folding inside out, they came out pretty good. I then attached a strip of the fabric to each glove so we could then wrap his arm. Used a safety pin to hold the wrapping.

The boots were wrapped with strips of dyed fabric glued to the boot with E6000 glue. A couple placed I had to cut and glue the fabric with Fabric Fusion glue.

The bag... yes we made a bag just in case we needed it... you know extra candy storage for all those cunning sand people ;)

Step 9: Tusken Raider Bandoliers


  • A computer
  • Ebay


  • My credit card

I completely cheated on this. I did not feel like I had the time to build these from scratch, so I went on ebay and found something that looked amazing and bought it... I am sorry... please for give me.

Step 10: Tusken Raider Gaffi Stick


  • Coping saw
  • PVC pipe cutter
  • Utility knife


  • 2 Tie-off spike (Lowes)
  • PVC Pipe, two different sizes (Lowes)
  • 45 degree PVC bend (Lowes)
  • PVC size reducer (Lowes)
  • PVC coupler (Lowes)
  • PVC primer & glue (Lowes)
  • Funnel (Lowes)
  • Round large latched container (Walmart)
  • Plastic Epoxy (Lowes)
  • All purpose cement (Lowes)
  • Bronze metallic spray paint (Lowes)
  • Gold spray paint (Lowes)

The last component was the gaffi stick. I had this brilliant idea to used the large section of it as a candy bucket for my son. However this now seems very impractical, but we will see.

I started with the smaller end. I cut the spike and notched it so it would fit into the smaller PVC. I cut the fins from some flat plastic sheet I had laying around from another project. Glued all these in place with all purpose cement.

For the container I cut the tip off another spike and used all purpose cement to glue it inside the funnel. The funnel was glued to the container with the plastic epoxy.

For the larger PVC end I glued the reducer, coupler, pipe, and 45 angle together with PVC glue. I glued the lid of the container to the 45 angle with plastic epoxy.

*Note: The glue for the clear container should be a polyethylene and polypropylene glue like Loctite's plastic bonding system. But I realized that too late. So far the epoxy is holding, but we will see for how long.

I painted the smaller piece gold and the larger piece bronze.



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3 Discussions

looks great


The sand people are easily started but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers. ......

Excellent costume! The work on the helmet/headpiece is great. Gotta love that blue camping foam from Walmart!