Here’s the story behind our Sackboy caterpillar costume – My daughter wanted to be a caterpillar for Halloween and really liked the caterpillar costume worn by the video game character Sackboy in the game “Sackboy: A Big Adventure”. That particular Sackboy caterpillar costume has one of his iconic big zippers down the front and since she was wanting to look like a caterpillar (and not actually like Sackboy wearing a caterpillar costume), she didn’t want the big zipper. Everything else would stay. You can see in one of the pictures, her posing in front of a TV with the video game character wearing the caterpillar costume in the background.
For this Sackboy caterpillar costume, in order to make sure that my daughter could wear this for extended periods, I knew that I had to satisfy certain goals. First was to make sure that the Sackboy caterpillar costume was sturdy. If it wasn’t sturdy, it would either fall apart or we’d be constantly trying to adjust/fix things. Second, it had to be light. I couldn’t go crazy on reinforcing things or the result would be so heavy that she’d have to take it off after a short time. Third, it had to be comfortable. I didn’t want it to dig in at certain points or make her feel off balance. All of this while getting it to look good and look as close to the Sackboy costume as possible. Oh, and within budget (less than $80) and before the immovable target Halloween date.
Head On the Sackboy Caterpillar Costume
The first thing I had to figure out was the head. I debated different construction possibilities and eventually settled on using foam board as it would be both stiff and light. I cut up sections of a beach ball and used those pieces as a template for cutting the foam. Then I used contact cement to join all the pieces together, with a hole where the big mouth would be. In order to keep the head from tilting, foam pieces were attached to the inside top to let it rest on the top of her head, along with a strap to go under her chin.
Let’s Face It
For the face, I used glittery, shimmery pink cloth that I rolled up for the lips. The teeth were cut up foam pieces wrapped in white cloth. I used oversized googly eyes and glued them on to cut up foam pieces that were wrapped in pink cloth. The antennas were made from thin aluminum poles wrapped in HVAC aluminum tape. On their tips were LED balls that I set to light up in pink. These were screwed in through the top of the head using large 1-inch washers on both sides to give stability.
Chasing the Long Tail
The tail needed structure that was light and strong and so I chose to hang everything off of a square dowel. I attached two stuffed white cloth sections and covered them with foam domes. Similar to the head, I covered them in light green furry material and used thin, soft project foam covered in pink cloth for the pink stripes, adding in lightly stuffed legs on either side.
The hardest part was ensuring the tail would attach and stick straight out. This meant getting the body set up to be able to hold it firmly. So for the body, I used a t-shirt and wrapped white cloth around it and stuffed the belly portion. Then I attached a large, rectangular foam piece on the back with another wooden dowel screwed into that. At the bottom of that dowel, I put flat metal braces. Then on the tail I attached an L shaped metal piece that could slide down into those braces. The tail’s L shaped brace in the picture worked at first, but eventually started bending and so I had to replace it with a thicker one that was about three times bigger.
Putting on the Sackboy Caterpillar Costume
The costume’s body was already a snug fit that had to be slid down over her torso while she kept her arms up to get through the sleeves. The day before Halloween, she accidently had a door bang into her finger making it very sore to push through the sleeves to get it on. So I had to quickly engineer a cover to go around her finger and attach around her palm so that it protected her finger without letting anything touch it. After the body and pants are put on and the head gets placed on, the tail gets slid into place and she is good to go.
Reactions to the Sackboy Caterpillar Costume
The reactions to the Sackboy caterpillar costume were amazing. In addition to Halloween, we took her to different Halloween events and activities and there were many younger children that were wanting to feel her caterpillar fur. She ended up waving a lot to them as she went around and was so popular with the smaller children that it was almost like she was a mascot in an amusement park. We kept hearing compliments from people that it was the best costume that they had seen and many people could not get over how the tail was so big and somehow hanging out so straight from the Sackboy caterpillar costume and also that the antennas really lit up.
My daughter loved the Sackboy caterpillar costume and was constantly smiling as she wore it to all the places we went.