I chose to create a Gizmo costume this past Halloween mainly because I enjoy 80’s movies (I was Elliott/E.T. last year), and also because I enjoy making large mascot style heads that get in the way at any party I take it out to (prior to E.T, I was Animal from the Muppets).
I gave myself short of a week to make this entire Gizmo Costume. I wanted it done to take out for my birthday, which happens to be on the 29th of October each and every year. This was probably not the smartest move by me, but nonetheless, I somehow managed to finish on time.
I bought a ton of fur and vinyl (for the mouth and ears) from a fabric store near by. Seeing as I don’t own a sewing machine and didn’t have the money to invest in one, I hand stitched the entire suit by hand… and my fingers are still feeling that. I had some experience making a large costume head before.
I used a balloon blown up inside the strap portion of a hard hat. I then covered the entire thing in layers and layers of spray foam insulation, trying to build out the sides to give some width much like the way Gizmo’s head sits. I don’t necessarily recommend spray foam insulation as I am sure it’s not good for you… however, it’s very easy to get the shape you want, and I guess I don’t value my brain cells as much when it comes to elaborate costumes.
Once the spray foam was all set, I actually built out the sides a bit more using some bubble wrap – probably not the best option, but I was rushing to finish. I had to carve out a lot of the foam from the inside so I could jam my head in. Not that my head is that large, but it is bigger than a balloon.
The eyes were made from a Styrofoam sphere. I cut in half and got my friend to paint the actual eyes on the front (I’m not one for painting). I cut holes straight through the foam in the front so I could place the eyes in from the back. I used vinyl to make eyelids and line the lower eyes – which I think adds quite a bit to the costume. When the fur went on, you can’t notice it as much, but I still know it’s there.
Since I was running very late and it was the night of my birthday, my friends and I started slapping the fur on with hot glue and safety pins (I am the one in the wide headband – attempting to keep foam particles out of my hair). The ears are definitely something I would improve for the future – but we somehow managed to get them presentable to go out with. I could see somewhat through the mouth… somewhat. In the future I’ll have to find some more eye-holes to look out of.
It turned out to be a great costume; I got a lot of comments from taking it out on my birthday and from my coworkers when I took it to work – although one person said “Oh look, Pikachu!” I am not going to hold that against how the costume looks.