My first thought for Halloween 2011 was to be a giant. That should make some impression on the other guests. Of course, the ceiling is a problem when the party in inside so I had to make do with a half-giant: Rubeus Hagrid.

I wanted the effect of the costume to be big so stilts was a must. With help from my father and my brother I got to lengthen myself by 44 cm (17 in.) to become a total of 225 cm (7 ft. 5 in.) standing on the stilts. Fortunately it was much easier than I thought to walk on them. To make the bottom part look like shoes I built a frame with thermal insulation normally used for pipes and wrapped them in foam rubber in the shape of shoes. That was then coated with latex (to get a better surface for the paint) and painted brown. To fasten myself to the stilts I bolted some old running shoes to the plateau (seen in the photos) for keeping my feet in place. Something was needed for the lower legs too and for that I just used some elastic bands with Velcro.

For the stomach/torso I taped the ends of a cheap foam mat together to get a waist-measurement of 73 inches and used a pair of homemade suspenders to keep it up. On my shoulders I put the shoulder protection from a hockey suit to also make me look bigger at the top.

Because of the size I had to make the clothes from scratch. I used regular sewing patterns that I enlarged. That was quite tricky I realised, especially for the pants, but because it’s just a costume I guess it’s not the end of the world if there are some irregular seams.

I couldn’t find a good beard so I ended up getting two wigs and converted one of them into a beard. At first I was going to make my own mustache but soon I realised it was going to be very hard so I just bought that too.

I did make longer arms but they didn’t look good at all so I took them off pretty early in the evening. I don’t think it looked that bad without them actually.

Walking around in itself wasn’t that hard but the hair in the face, the heat inside the costume and some narrow spaces between chairs, tables and one or two ceiling lamps made it a little cumbersome. It was worth it though because I won for best costume.