My costume this year started out as the Governor of the town of Woodbury from the Walking Dead. But several months ago I got the idea to do a Grim Reaper. I didn’t want to do one on stilts like I saw all over the web, I wanted to make one with proportionate body parts. The idea blossomed and then quickly snowballed into a huge ten foot costume that I’m afraid will get me or someone else killed. My goal is to frighten but after getting the first reaction we got, I’m a little concerned people might freak out. I will post the video in the video section.
I drew up the concept of what I initially wanted.
The pvc frame was designed to fill the backpack and kind of extend out from behind and fit over the wearer.
Backpack and basic frame
The arms were made to scale measuring myself and scaling it up so it would look porportionate. I used the smallest PVC pipe available to keep the total weight of the costume down. For the joints I used end caps and wired a small circle between the two end caps with holes to give it a feel of actual human-like movement.
The elbow joints
Molded body made of metal/mesh
I used a metal mesh to form the body. This part was tricky and stabby, good thing I’ve had my tetnise shot! I basically molded bent shaped and bent the metal until it was close enough to the shape I wanted. I used metal wiring and twisted them like the twisty ties you get on bread to hold every bend and contour in its shape.
My amazing Mother in-law and mesh screen.
For this step, I would like to thank the most inspiring woman I know, my amazing and wonderful Mother-in-law who helped me make this costume despite currently battling stage three breast cancer.
We used about 15 yards of fabric and scaled up a pattern she found. Through several fittings she did an awesome job coming up with and creating the exact look I was hoping for.
The Robe and arm perspective.
The hands were the tricky part. I found an online blogger who guided me through the entire process.
They are basic and simple to make. I used PVC pipe, metal hangers, bic pens, cotton balls and latex paint.
The skull and finished product
The skull was purchased by a friend at a thrift store. An interesting fact, I scaled averything around the size of the head because I wanted it to be exactly porportionate.
To give you an idea, here is a picture of my wife and one of our kids standing next to the Reaper. Which I still have yet to name. There is always just “Death” However, I’m leaning towards “Georgia Lass”. Named after the main character in the series, “Dead like me” or Geoge for short.
Perspective as to the scale, my eyes are at his belt line.