I came up with the idea while watching the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. I instantly was drawn to the character Groot, as he was big in presence but had charisma, and loved how his eyes captivated you. I liked all of the elements that created him, and how they were all visually stunning. It was at that moment that I decided to take on the challenge of creating Groot, as I knew it would be a costume that wouldn’t be easily duplicated, and would be fun to make. Plus the fact that it was the number one movie this summer, I knew people would recognize him.

I wanted to keep the budget, as well as the weight as low as possible, and keep the costume comfortable at the same time. The head is made of Eva Foam squares that I purchased at Ross. It is my favorite to work with, as it can be heated and formed to make great shapes, as well as it’s lightweight.

My costume body frame consists of a one piece batman muscle suit which I got from the thrift store, cut away the muscles, and covered with 6′ pipe insulation foam which I bought from home depot. I initially used a water mixture with elmers glue, with soaked paper towels to use as texture, but it was too sensitive to movement. I finally moved to 3M super 77 spray adhesive with 3M cloth tape, covering the foam to add depth and strength, as well as make for easy repairs and paint adhesion.

The stilts are made from 2X6 AND 2X4 wood from home depot, with various wood and L brackets and are 13″ high from the ground. A rubber mat strip from Harbour Freight was stapled to the bottom for security and grip. An old pair of shoes is bolted to the top of the stilt, and craft foam and pipe insulation form Groots legs. Plenty of hot glue sticks, rustoleum paint and craft acrylic paint help bring the costume to life. Moss from the dollar store was used throughout the costume.

I received so many compliments on my costume from nearly everyone I came in contact with, and plenty of questions as to where I purchased the costume from. Once I told them I made it myself, people were blown away. They could not believe it, and told me I was very talented. My favorite reaction were from the kids, while some were scared, others were mesmerized.

I also loved when people saw me from afar, and with big eyes and smiles were indeed impressed. There were also plenty of adults who were totally in awe as well. I took hundreds of photos, and couldn’t walk five feet without getting stopped to take a photo. I felt like I was on the red carpet of the movie premier, and that kind of reaction keeps me motivated and excited to consistently elevate my skill level each year.

The time alone it took me to create him was two months, and that I could really put emphasis into the amount of detail that made him such an awesome character, incorporating all of the vital characteristics that were portrayed throughout the film. I really wanted to challenge myself, as this would be my first time walking on 13″ stilts, as well as making them from scratch. I wanted my representation of Groot to be totally unique, as not to be compared to any other Groot. I added a wireless microphone and speaker, as well as rewired a toy Rocket Racoon from Walmart to complete the costume. In the end ” I AM GROOT”