Being great South Park fans, my teenage sons had asked me to design Halloween costumes for them including Kenny, Kyle, Cartman, and Stan. After spending a few days trying to figure out how to make them, I decided to go with paper mache. My Dad had made Flintstone paper mache “heads” for our family 30 years ago and I had used this method in other costumes.
I usually start with punch balloons as the basic form for round heads and use 5 to 6 coats of paper mache for a solid base. (I also made a couple extras in case I made any mistakes) I coated them with Gesso to make an even surface to paint. The rest of these heads were pretty simple (except for Kenny). I sketch the basic features and cut out the mouths for the wearer to see through. The heads tend to rattle around on your shoulders, so I hot glue pieces of upholstery foam inside to provide a better fit and cushion.
I made hats for the characters out of card stock or foam covered with felt. The costumes were matching felt shirts (just very basic sewing) and felt mittens. Eyebrows were scraps of black felt.
Kenny presented a problem because he didn’t have a mouth the wearer could “see through”. After much thought, I decided to create the illusion of the inside of his hood using a fine black mesh to look through. I supported his face on the mesh using coat hangers glued to the inside of the head. He actually turned out to be the best of the bunch. After I was mostly done, my sons’ friends asked me to use the extra heads to make ancillary characters- so we also had Randy and Mr Mackey. It was a great cast.