My 18 year old daughter loves Lord of the Rings and this year she wanted me to make her a costume from the movie. I was very surprised when she told me that she wanted to be Lurtz!
I have been using plumbing pipe insulation (will refer to it as foam) for several years to form a variety of costumes. I originally found it when wondering around the hardware store looking for something that I could make snakes for a Medusa headpiece. It’s so great because it is so very lightweight, which enables you to make really large pieces without having the burden of weight.
When cut into strips you can form anything with it. I glued it using low temperature hot glue and small clamps. High temp glue will melt the foam and your fingers! The glue sets very quickly and so the process is quite quick.
I began by forming a mask that fit nicely on top of her head, so that I knew exactly where her eyes and mouth would be. I then began filling in the face, using strips of the foam, until I had the desired shape. I periodically had my daughter try the mask on, to ensure that the added strips hadn’t altered the shape and that the mask was fitting well.
When finished I covered the entire mask with felt. The felt stretches nicely and edges blend together well. I used low temperature hot glue and worked in small sections. I used white felt and once glued painted it with a solid base of a reddy brown acrylic paint. While this paint was still wet, I stippled on black, red and more of the reddy brown paint. Once dry, I added more detail with the black paint.
I stippled white and red paint under one of the eyes and painted the white hand print. Again I stippled around the edges for a more blended finish. I finished by dabbing a pink paint in areas to resemble the fleshy open areas.
The teeth were formed using small circles cut from craft foam. I cut them in half and formed the spirals and glued them in with hot glue. I painted them a dirty off white and when that was dry added brown and black at the gum line.
I purchased a long black wig from the dollar store. When you look at the wigs, you can see that the hair is sewn in straight lines, with roughly a half inch of plain mesh in between each line. I separated the hair at the front and cut down these lines to achieve the hairline. I then pulled the front section back and formed the pony tail.
I put a piece of foam around this and later covered it with the leather looking vinyl. At this point the hair was way too shiny. I took brown paint and watered it down. I then separated strands and ran a brush filled with the paint down the length of each one. I rolled the strands between my hands forming dreads.
I made a collar from the foam which was also covered in felt and painted. I used Velcro as a fastener. I sewed a body suit using stretchy fabric dark brown fabric and then stippled on red paint.
I made the chest piece armor from black craft foam and then using a combination of silver and black paint, brushed them both on at once. I also did this for the shin pads and all buckles. The chest piece went over my daughter’s head and all other leather pieces were hot glued onto this.
I purchased some brown vinyl because I couldn’t find the fabric that I wanted. The vinyl didn’t look like leather at all, so I ironed it and then bunched it up. The iron burned the vinyl and gave a good look but I did have to scrape my iron with a blade afterwards. I then washed black paint over the vinyl. I added a picture below to show the before and after of the vinyl.
I found an ornament of Lurtz to follow because he is a very dark character and it was very hard to see his clothing from the pictures that I found of him. Dollar store work gloves were purchased and I added on the leather detail and buckles. I then stippled a light brown paint over the entire thing to age it.
I took an old pair of my daughter’s shoes and hot glued leather onto them to form a sandal look.
Several kids screamed when she was out in her Homemade Lurtz from Lord Of the Rings Costume on Halloween night taking my Grandson trick or treating!