Usually, at this time of year, I am working as the project manager of a charity haunted house, but there was no space for the haunt (at a local mall) this year and therefore no haunt. I wanted to keep busy and "in the Hallowe'en mood", however, so I wanted to take on a project for myself.
So, taking some inspiration from creeves76 fantastic werewolf costume from a couple of years ago, I decided to try making my own version.
Frankly, his version is, in my opinion, superior because he made the head and feet himself where as I bought my mask (the silicone Hellhound mask from Immortal Masks) and my feet are pretty simple, but time and skill (or lack thereof) were factors for me here.
Regardless, I think mine still turned out pretty good and I will show you how it was made.
Step 1: Making the Body
The first step for me was to make a duct tape mummy of myself. (If you're making one, be sure you wrap shrink wrap first as anywhere that the duct tape actually contacts your skin or clothing will be problematic.) I then had myself cut out of the mummy along the side profile so that there'd be a front and back half of the mummy that I could simply tape back together easily. That done, I stuffed the duct tape mummy (and realized how short and stocky I am) with stuffing from a pillow I had handy.
I then took a spandex suit and flipped it inside out and placed it over the duct tape mummy.
I then took a SECOND spandex suit and placed that over the first suit. As you can see in the accompanying images, it would be on this second suit that I would draw the muscle groups that I wanted to build into the suit.
Once I had the pattern I wanted, I stitched on those lines making sure that each stitch had to go through both layers of spandex suit.
I left a small opening in each area that would have to be stuffed and would stitch those up later once I was satisfied with the way the stuffing looked.
After all muscles were stuffed, I cut away all of the excess spandex, leaving just the sewn muscle groups. By now, the suit was taking shape!
Step 2: Painting the Body Suit
With the muscles sewn in and all stuffing points closed up, I took the suit off the duct tape mummy and put it back on the right way. I don't have a photo of the suit prior to my painting it, but you get the idea.
In this case, I didn't use liquid latex or fabric paint and instead opted for some Krylon-brand spray paint that was okay to spray on fabric. (Unfortunately, the colours I wanted weren't available in satin finishes, so I had to settle for gloss, but in the end, I think it worked out okay.)
I then used some dimensional fabric paint and at first tried to cover the stitches with it, but that was a disaster, so I opted just to smear the paint into the body in places to add a grimey affect to the whole suit. In the end, the stitches do show, but only when you're really up close to the suit.
Step 3: Furring the Body
I tried various types of fur concepts and would have liked to have some longer fur, but in the end, I opted for a faux fur fabric I bought at a local fabric store. It's a medium pile, but it has a more "realistic" look to it than some other faux furs.
To do the fur, I stitched it to the body suit while it was still on the duct tape mummy. It's important to do so because if you take it off the dummy and stitch the fur on that way, you won't know where the fur should actually be because the spandex suit will not have been stretched to your size.
There are multiple layers of fur on some areas of the body as well and because the mask I'm using comes down to just above the chest, the purpose of the fur was also to hide the edges of the mask (in both the front and the back).
For the back, where the zipper is, the fur was cut to allow for the zipper and I added some velcro tabs to allow it to be closed up once zipped up.
While the fur was almost too nice when I put it on, I found that if you roughed it up by brushing it the wrong way, it had the rougher look I was going for.
By now, the body suit was basically done and it would only require a bit more fur at the hands and bottom of the legs. However, I couldn't add that fur until I actually could try it all on with the stilts and gloves.
Step 4: Hands and Feet
Admittedly, this "final" version of the stilt is not ideal. I actually went through 3 different builds/mods of the basic Gryphern design before settling on the below.
I opted to NOT add the toe piece which is often used in Gryphern-based stilts because I found it made the overall foot too long. As well, you'll notice that I cut the support (upright) to a curved pattern because I wanted the stilt to be as low profile as possible. I attached an aquasock to the platform and added a small toe piece to help support me when I would be standing in it.
The overall stilt is at a 40 degree angle, though you can follow Gryphern's design and make it at whatever slope is comfortable for you.
But, how to cover the stilt with just days before I was going to use the stilt? Well,after trying a few options, I actually opted for good ol' duct tape (in this case Duck Tape brand).
So, I got a long spandex sock and put it on and then put my foot into the aquasock.
I then simply wrapped duct tape all over and up the sock until I formed what looked like a boot up to over my calves. I then cut the "boot" down the front to just above the foot, allowing me to pull my foot out of the boot that now incorporated that spandex sock into the over build (since it was held in place by the duct tape).
Next came the spray painting. I tried to match the colours as closely as possible to the body suit. As the suit is fabric and this is not, the final colour and finish were both going to be different, so I also bought some satin finish paint in a lighter colour and just lightly misted the boot to dull the shine.
As for the gloves, I got some monster hands and put them over a spandex glove. I added some velcro tabs on the end of the arms of the suit and on the hands so that I could attach them better. Other than that, the hands are a breeze compared to the rest of the outfit.
Step 5: Final Furring and Putting It All Together
With the stilts done (and they are only okay as far as comfort, I have to admit), I put everything on and determined where else I needed fur to cover some of the transitions between the gloves, feet and the body.
A little fur here, a little there and it was basically done.
The entire project took MANY hours and there was obviously there was some expense involved (the spandex suits, the wood to make the stilts, the fur, the hands and, of course, the mask), but now that I've made one of these, I believe it will take less time in the future and I'll have less waste for materials since I won't have to experiment quite so much. (The mask was the most expensive single item for this costume, but you can always use a lower cost latex or some other type of mask if you don't want to shell out the money for a silicone mask.)
Also, I'm still not completely happy with the feet and have some ideas on how to modify them so that they look better and are more comfortable, but with Hallowe'en just days away, I'm out of time!
The photos here show the final costume with the mask on!
I hope you like it!
Step 6: UPDATING the WEREWOLF
After Hallowe'en last year, I decided to do some fairly significant upgrades to the werewolf costume.
First of all, I opted to get away from the digitigrade feet (for now). As nice as they are, it's hard to be in them for long and they don't look all that good.
As such, I ended up purchasing some feet from runningwolfpack.com and modifying them a bit to fit my particular needs. (In this case, it was as simple as fitting an entire hiking boot inside each foot and cutting the back of the footpaw and adding some velcro to allow me to cinch up the opening.)
I also used some silicone on some gloves and made my own paws which I also added claws (made of Sculpey) to.
However, the biggest change was all of the fur on the body and on the head.
I will update this instructable later on with more details, but in the meantime, here's the updated look for the werewolf (which is now named Lángrén).