Welcome to Part 3 of my 4 Part Series on Halloween! Today is all about DIY Halloween Costumes! I’ll take you step by step through our Rocket Raccoon and Groot costumes from “Guardians of the Galaxy”, but at the end I’ll also go over some ideas for easy and last minute costumes.
So my challenges for the Groot and Rocket costumes were these:
- Must be comfortable sitting or standing.
- Must be able to get in and out of a cab fairly easily.
- A mask that isn’t too hot and can “breathe”.
- Be homemade and not cost a fortune.
- Sturdy Plastic Mask
- Brown Burlap
- Mod Podge (matte)
- Toothpicks or Skewers (I used floral picks)
- 2 bags Crayola Model Magic (any color)
- Fez Painted Black
- Brown Craft Foam
- Craft Glue
Purchase a plastic mask to use as a base for creating the Groot face shape. We picked up the one below from a Halloween store for about $5.00 (but you can probably find cheaper at a Dollar store).
Use the Crayola Model Magic on top of the plastic mask to form Groot’s face shape. We found this lime green Model Magic on clearance for $1.50 a bag.
Once you have the desired shape, let it set overnight.
Cover the face with a quick release aluminum foil (so the finished mask won’t stick) and lay a solid piece of burlap over the aluminum foil. Using a mixture of Mod Podge and water (I used about 2tbsp water to 1/2c Mod Podge) paint the mixture over the burlap until the material is soaked through and you can shape it to the model. Make sure to protect your work area from the pooling Mod Podge underneath!
Once you have the burlap soaked through and in the shape you want, use toothpicks or skewers (or floral picks) to hold the burlap into shape. Keep in mind, if you use a colored floral pick the color will run a bit. Because I was adding some green anyway, I didn’t mind.
Once dry, add another coat of Mod Podge mixture. Once dry, carefully remove the burlap from the mask and the modeling clay and you will have a sturdy face structure made of burlap! Just cut out the eyes and mouth and remove any bits of modeling clay.
As a structure for the mask, we decided to use a fez (painted black) with a hole cut out of the top for ventilation.
Make the “crown” out of craft foam. I made one solid sheet in the shape I wanted, then used craft glue to add scraps to the back for additional structure.
I attached first the mask then the “crown” to the fez with brown duct tape.
Using strips of burlap soaked in the Mod Podge mixture, I covered the tape and the craft foam.
Once dry, I stapled on a few overlays of burlap in the back (which I’ll pin into place on costume night) and painted some details on the face.
Because the mouth is just a small slit, we are going to get an extra long straw (hopefully in brown so it looks like a twig) for party night.
I had a little trouble getting started with this one. I actually created it a different way, wasn’t pleased with how it was turning out, so I disassembled and started over. Originally, I was going to wrap the “burlap tubes” around the shirt and down the arms, but it was WAY too bulky and uneven so I decided to go with the vertical pattern with a small twist on the back.
- Brown long sleeve shirt
- Brown long pants
- Brown burlap
- Pipe insulation tubes (divided into 4 long strips each)
- Pool noodles (divided into half lengthwise)
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Safety pins
- Brown thread
- Sewing needle
- Brown yarn
- Brown craft foam
- Brown textured felt
- Black paint
- Foam brushes
- Green model moss
Create the burlap tubes:
- Cut a pipe insulation tube into 4 long strips.
- Using a glue gun, secure one long edge of a burlap strip all the way down the bottom of the insulation strip.
- Wrap the burlap around the insulation and secure the other edge with glue gun.
- Making tubes of varying widths will add interest and keep it looking more “natural”.
The base of the Groot costume is a brown shirt and brown pants that I picked up at Goodwill for a total of $16. Once you have all the burlap tubes complete, lay them out in the pattern that you want on the shirt and pants, then safety pin them in place. Try on the shirt and pants to make sure everything is hanging correctly, then sew the tubes into place.
I wanted the front top of the shirt to be a bit wider than the bottom, so I did a shorter row with more tubes on top and the bottom row with fewer longer tubes. On the back I did straight long tubes, but later added a twist in the middle.
Below: Laying out the leg pattern before covering the green noodles in burlap.
To create the plates on the front and back, I glued textured felt to craft foam and cut to size. Using a foam brush, I then lightly brushed the felt with black paint. Once dry, I glued on green model moss.
I wrapped brown yarn around the tubes which doubled as additional structure and added detail. Then I hot glued the plates onto the tubes.
Front is below…
On the back I added a few extra tubes to create a twist down the spine:
I did two rows on the pants and did not sew directly over the knees for ease when sitting.
Final Costume (almost)! On Halloween night I’ll make a few tucks to the burlap around the back of the head and adjust the bottom leg pieces, but it’s pretty close.
Rocket Raccoon Costume
So this is my interpretation of Rocket Raccoon and not 100% true to character. In the movie, Rocket wears an orange jumpsuit and I much prefer to wear a black dress than a jumpsuit…thus my interpretation!
- Simple black dress
- Orange felt
- Brown felt
- Black felt
- Brown fabric paint
- Black fabric paint
- Blue paint
- 1/2 foam ball
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Pattern paper
- Misc left over cable junk
- Black mask
- Raccoon ears headband and tail
Using pattern paper over the black dress, create a pattern for the orange stripe down the front and back. I chose to taper at the waist instead of doing a straight stripe.
Use that pattern to cut two pieces of orange felt.
Using the pattern paper as a guide, cut three black stripes for each side of the top front to glue on to the orange felt.
Sew the orange felt onto the black dress around the neckline and along the edges.
Using whatever you can find around the house (I used cables and a TV cable connector) Create the Y and small box from the front of Rocket’s jumpsuit. Cover the cable with orange felt strips.
Create brown felt strips long enough to cover the cable in the front, go over the shoulder, and meet in the back under the “backpack”. Use brown fabric paint to give the shoulders a little detail.
To create the “backpack”:
- Cut out an egg shape of black felt, large side on top.
- Cut out the inside shape out of brown felt.
- Cut a foam ball in half and paint it blue.
- Hot glue the brown felt to the black felt and the blue ball on the brown felt.
- Add some details with fabric paint to add interest.
Glue the brown shoulder straps to the orange base. Cut a “belt” of black felt and glue it to the waist of the orange felt. Glue the finished (and dry) “backpack” to the orange felt over the black belt and where the brown straps meet.
Attach a raccoon tail to the back of the dress and add a stripe of black felt at the bottom of the orange felt on the front and back.
Add raccoon ears, a black eye mask, a black nose (I forgot to add for the picture!), and black combat boots (wearing heeled boots in the photo, but will wear combat boots on Halloween) and I’m ready!
Now we all have our strengths and special talents, my husband’s special talent is to focus intently on a prop and make it amazing. He always impresses me with his attention to detail and this Rocket gun is no exception.
When we decided on our costumes, he immediately started planning the gun and asked me questions like “how big can I make it?” I said, “Well, how big CAN you make it?” The answer ended up being 4 feet long.
I requested that it be light and that I could stand it vertically next to me without it falling over when I wasn’t holding it, he made both happen. I threw in the request that if it was going to be really big, could it also double as a drink holder? Oh yeah, he totally did that too.
Below are some pictures of the process and the final gun. I don’t have a step by step, but he used cardboard, masking tape, papier-mache, a $5 toy guy (for the grip with trigger), craft foam and spray paint. I showed him the “Artsy Craftsy Tony Romo” ad after he finished and he said it hit a little too close to home. 🙂
Other Costume ideas:
Animals are always easy to do. Just wear clothes in the right colors and add some face make up, ears and a tail! You can make it warm and comfortable by having a base of a sweat suit or you can dress it up with a dress or outfit for work.
Inside Out characters are going to big this year! They are also fairly easy to pull off!
- Joy: Blue pixie wig, yellow sundress with green flowers, yellow “glow ball”
- Sadness: Blue bob wig, black round glasses, white cowl neck sweater, dark blue leggings, light blue socks, flats.
- Disgust: Green flip wig, green dress, purple neck kerchief, green leggings.
- Tina: black bob wig with barrette, black rimmed glasses, light blue tee, dark blue skirt, knee socks, high top sneakers.
- Louise: Rabbit ears (preferably on a pink fleece hat that covers the ears), low pig tails, green A-line dress, black Mary-Janes.
Wes Anderson movies
There are so many characters from Wes Anderson movies that make great costumes and are easily recognizable.
- Royal Tenenbaums: Richie, Chas, and Margot
- Moonrise Kingdom: Sam and Suzy
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Steve Zissou
- Wednesday Addams: Black dress with white collar and cuffs, black hair with braids, pale skin with dark eye makeup, black tights, black boots.
- Pugsly Addams: Black and white striped t-shirt, black shorts, black knee socks, black boots.
Easy and Cute
Scuba Divers: Black sweats, mask (or protective goggles), 2 empty plastic 2 liters painted black and attached to the back of the sweatshirt, craft foam over shoes for flippers.
Red Riding Hood: Black dress, red hooded cape from costume store, handle basket with red cloth napkin.
I have many more ideas pinned on my Halloween Costumes Pinterest page if you want to check it out!
One request, when picking your costume please be respectful, tasteful, and don’t make fun of anyone. There are so many amazing costumes out there, don’t cheapen yourself by putting someone else down.
Coming soon in Part 4 of my Halloween series we are going to talk about pumpkin decorating! You won’t want to miss it!
Enjoy putting your costumes together and Happy Haunting!