Every Halloween I make a homemade costume for myself and any of my boys that request one. I’ve done it since I was a little kid. Last year, my boy asked me to make him a costume that required stilts. I wanted to utilize the stilts again for this year’s costume and waited for an idea. After seeing “Guardians of the Galaxy,” I knew I found my new costume. Groot! I’ve been planning this since we saw the movie and tried to come up with ways to do it.
I saw a you tube video with a professional costume designer showing how to construct a Groot costume out of tubing and foam. I tried and couldn’t quite get the tubing to work so I thought of another way to construct it which I hoped would work and it did.
For years I’ve been using spray insulation foam for all sorts of projects, from our haunted yard intestines to fake rocks. I decided to try it out as the roots and branches for my Groot costume.
I bought a cheap, paper, painter’s suit, about 8 cans of the foam spray insulation, brown paint and craft moss. I covered the suit with rows of the foam and let it dry, painted and then bent and folded the suit and painted again. I made two leg pieces to put on the stilts with an old tablecloth and the spray insulation. With spray glue, I smoothed on the craft moss.
For the mask, I used an old, foam camping mat and cut out the head and front bark pieces. I used a small dremel to etch the grooves to make it look like wood.
After painting, I got a dollar store pair of sunglasses and a pair of pantyhose and covered the eye sockets in the back with the pantyhose and slipped in the lenses from the sunglasses to create the eyes.
To close the suit, legs pieces and mask, I used a brown, vine, floral wire. I bought a pair of costume Groot hands to finish it off.
Right now I’ve been posting some pics on Facebook to document the process. Even at its beginning stages, before it was honed to look better, I was getting lots of positive feedback. I put it on today in the front yard to take pictures for the contest, and people outside stopped to come over and rave about it! Even though it’s not the Hollywood version, everyone seems to know who I am.
One kid screamed, “It’s Gwoot, its Gwoot! Do you wiv hewre Gwoot?”
That’s good enough for me!
My favorite holiday is Halloween because I get to test my technical and creative skills. I have built some of the most elaborate costumes with garage items and I absolutely love it. I do it because I love it! Whenever I start my Halloween costume endeavors, I’m met with tons of skepticism. My boys are extreme critics and my husband is German. When I start, I have an idea and just have to make it come to fruition. I collect the materials and start and the boys always say, “Ummmm, Mom, that doesn’t look anything like so and so.” or my husband’s logical brain starts to interfere with, “You really can’t do zat with zis and you should use zis because vat you’re doing is illogical.”
Every single time I have produced the result I was after and they are astounded that I was able to achieve the great costume ideas I’ve envisioned. My kids have even panicked and teared up while I’m making their costumes and then each time they jump around and hug me and say “Thank you, thank you, thank you! That’s perfect!”
Groot was no different. My kids were relentless with the criticism and the opinions and my husband kept telling me the foam wouldn’t work and that it was a waste of money, and the mask was too big, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I didn’t budge. I said thanks for the advice, just wait.
As usual, I was right. No, it’s not a Hollywood job. No, I didn’t construct it professionally, but I am a determined Halloween fanatic and am pleased with the results!