Being a fan of the Toy Story movies, I always wondered what would happen if Andy got a different toy for his birthday.
My costume this year is an exploration of that very idea. I have built big and bulky, ‘hard to wear’ costumes in the past. I figure that I’m only wearing it for one night, so I don’t have to be practical about costume comfort, or venue accessibility. Anyway, let me get into the nuts and bolts of the design.
I took a million pictures documenting the process of this build, something I’ve neglected to do in the past. I tried to include some important ones in the 4 pictures that I uploaded. I teach in a high school wood shop and have access to a great building space and some great tools. What I’d like to point out, is that some of my building methods are quite simple and accessible.
Before I started any building, I drew out some rough sketches of my idea. I then modeled the dresser in a 3d modeling program. I use Rhino 3d. You could use google sketch up as well. It’s free. You can skip the computer altogether and just make a cardboard mock-up. That’s what I used to do. I find that the computer model saves me a lot of time and figuring out.
To keep the dresser light, it’s built out of one inch blue foam. You can buy it at any hardware store for around twelve dollars and it comes in a 2′ x 8′ sheet. You can use a number of things to stick it together, but amazingly double sided tape works wonderfully. You can get tighter joints than if you were to use PL Premium or some other panel adhesive.
The corners of the box are joined using the round plastic drywall corner bead. This is also great stuff and sticks easily with the double sided tape.
Once I’ve pieced together the box of the dresser, I cover it in sheets of styrene(plastic). You can get these from any plastic supply store, and depending on the thickness, you can get a 4′ x 8′ sheet for less than $15. Again, this is stuck to the blue foam using double sided tape. I like the plastic because it protects the foam and allows you to paint with any type of paint, including spray paint. If you haven’t tried before, spray paint will dissolve your blue foam.
The top and bottom of the dresser are made using the same process described above. The trim is just vinyl trim you can buy at the hardware store. I stuck this on using Pl Premium.
The feet of the dresser are made out of foam crown molding that you can get at home depot.
The drawers fronts are made with blue foam as well, however the plastic is vacuum formed over top of the foam pieces. If you don’t have a vacuum former, you can build one. I had to actually build a new one, because my bottom drawers were too large to fit in my small vacuum former. There are a million easy DIY videos on Youtube that explain how to build your own. If you have an oven, a vacuum, and some basic tools, you’re in business.
After, I painted everything and put it all together, all I had to do was attach the toys to this thing and make it wearable. I cut up an old pair of kids overalls and bolted them to the top of the dresser. Most of the toys are bolted through the top as well. The smaller ones are stuck with double sided tape. The back of the dresser swings open like a door so that I can get inside, and it closes with a magnet strip down the side.
The last part of my costume is the icing on the cake. It’s a Chucky mask that I ordered online from Handiboy.com. This guy has great tutorials on youtube that demonstrate how to make your own mask. I didn’t have the time this year, but I think I might give it a go in the future.
This is one of the more expensive builds that I have completed. Where possible, I tried to get things at thrift stores. I had to buy a lot of the toys brand new. People don’t want to part with their Toy Story toys.
To infinity and beyond…..