Making Myself a Monster: Halloween 2018.

November 13, 2018 By redstararts
Redstararts costumes
Benson Family Halloween 2018

I honestly have no idea when last I purchased a Halloween costume for myself. I have been using my imagination and ingenuity to build my own for years now, this year was no different. This time I decided to do something that I have wanted to try for ages, that is build a full body costume. I personally believe that it turned out pretty cool; and though I don’t like attention, I received plenty of it while trick-or-treating with my family. I am going to sum up for everyone some of the techniques and processes that I used to create this nasty guy. I would like you all to take into account that I was working with a bit of a budget, so some things may seem unnecessarily complicated. With unlimited resources, the time and efforts used would have been reduced drastically. As it is, it took me about a month to complete this little project(adulting sure didn’t help with the amount of time either).

redstararts Handmade Halloween Costume
Just an empty husk:(

As with most of my art, it all started with a few simple sketches. I pretty much only sketched the head, arms, and feet; the rest of the body parts were left in my imagination. After I was reasonably satisfied with the basic design, it was time to figure out how I was going to accomplish goals and what all material I was going to need. First off, I figured it would be easiest to just purchase one of those skin-tight body suits and use it as a base. After I bought the suit, I decided that I wanted to build the head seperate and attach it later. With the head, I started by sculpting the uppert and lower jaws as separate pieces with some ultra-light oven-bake clay that was purchased from Michael’sI wish I could remember the brand, because I want more). After the jaws were exactly how I needed thgem, I started working on the rest of the head. This part was quite tricky due to the fact that I have facial hair, but a little bit of plastic wrap solved that issue. After I prepared my head and made sure I wouldn’t suufocate, I pulled a leg of pantyhose over my head. When I was finished admiring myself looking like I was getting ready to rob a liquor store in the nineties, I marked eye holes, nostril holes, and around my mouth; then it was just a matter of cutting the holes out. When the cutting was finished, I coated my head(pantyhose on) with liquid latex mold builder that may be purchased at many arts and crafts stores. After a million years of blow-drying later, I had what appeared to be human head skin, and the base of my monster’s head. From there, I attached the jaws and set the head to the side for the moment.

redstararts Handmade Monster Costume
Side Profile of Monster’s Head.

The body was next. I wanted it to be like a second skin on me, so I set out to make a mannequin of myself. That part was easy enough because all I did was wrap myself in plastic wrap, packing tape, and secured some areas with duct tape. Afterward, I cut myself out, sealed my newly shed skin, filled it with foam. And just like that, POOF!, I had a new friend! Now, I simply dressed my new friend in the skin suit and slathered him down with about three layers of the latex, letting each coat dry before adding another one(I had some help from a heat gun). After the latex treatment, I attached the head and began the next big step, the task of mapping my own body’s musculature and giving my monster definition and texture. I just used a Sharpie to draw the muscle lines on; but for the texture, I painstakingly went over every inch of the body with lines of hot glue. I then made the long and sharp fingernails and toenails and attached them with epoxy adhesive(more on those nails later). With the nails attached and the hot glue in place, I added about four more layers of latex( once again letting it dry between coats). After all that latex was finished curing, I began pianting the fellow. Since acrylic paint likes to crack and peel when on rubber, I diluted the colors I needed to use. For the base coat, I went with a light grey and fleshy mixture. For any lines or accents, I used greys and blacks(diluted of course). For the gums, I played in paint until they appeared reasonably realistic, then coated the teeth, gums, and nails in High Lustre Mod Podge(  I will go more in-depth with the painting of the nails and teeth in a bit). After the dude was all painted, I sprayed him down with a can of FlexSeal and then sprayed him with a can of high gloss lacquer( to seal him further and give him a wet and juicy appearance).

redstararts handmade monster costume
Another Head Shot.
redstararts handmade monster hands
Hands.

The accessories such as the chains, collar, and hooks were all real and modified or fabricated by me as well. I’m not going to go into their creation unless someone wants me to, it was quick and easy with the right tools and a bit of imagination. Now, otn to those nails. I wanted to make sure that they were semi-rigid and strong, so I had to find the perfect plastic container to mutilate. When I found it, I drew the nails on and then cut them all out. After all that, I put on a pair of gloves and proceeded to shape them using the heat gun and my hands. This part was awful because I had to find just the right amount of heat and distance from the gun in order to keep from melting the plastic or the plastic not wanting to soften enough to shape. When the desired shape was achieved, I prepared the nails by sanding them with 150 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper. For the paint(on the teeth as well), I did a rough gradient using reds, blacks, and yellows. After they were painted,they all received the high-gloss laquer treatment AND were painted with gloss nail polish clear coat. All and all it was a ver enjoyable project and I learned a lot through trial and error, therefore next year will be even better.

redstararts scary halloween costume
Halloween Party 2018.

Note: I left the zipper on the back of the suit latex and glue free. As such, I went about hiding it with a velcro-on spine that I made in much the same way as the rest of the suit. Also, take note that this writing isn’t a straight forward tutorial so details are indeed missing. If anyone has any questions regarding a specific part of the costume, let me know in the comments. 

-Chris