I love Toy Story and always wanted to make an awesome Buzz Lightyear costume. You don’t see many of those due to the difficulty of crafting the armor pieces. So I set out researching how to make costume armor. Some great resources for me included:

  • Punished Props and the foam armoring books by Bill Doran
  • Evil Ted Smith youtube channel
  • theRPF

I settled on making the armor our of foam (gym and craft foam), since it would be faster to make and light weight (both great things for a Halloween costume). I then had to make templates for it all.

For painting, I started by sealing the foam with a heat gun. I then covered it in Modge-poge followed by several coats of white plasti-dip. I then used rattle-can spray paint for the other colors, and acrylics for the details. I then covered it all with a few coats of clear-coat.

The under suit is mostly just sweats I bought at a thrift store. Looking back, I would probably change the bottoms to white sweats. I then attached the armor with velcro and elastic straps.

The round joints are made from stuffed tubes of spandex. Really simple, but effective.

It was fun to make, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time. I gave myself a couple of months so that I wouldn’t have to rush it (also since I have a family and a job to juggle as well). Of course, we then decided to wear the costume for our local Comic Con, which gave me a month less. So finishing the painting and the strapping to hold it all together led to a couple later nights. Not too bad though.

The costume turned out great and was fun to wear. Kids especially loved it. It’s fun when your costume looks good enough that kids don’t look at you like a person in a costume, but rather as the character. It made the effort worthwhile.