This is a very quick tutorial for the angry bird costume Ethan wore this year. I wish I was one of those blogs with the perfectly staged photos with great light and awesome step by step actions, but the truth is, I work really quickly (I'm sort of a manic crafter) and it's a miracle I have any pictures of the process at all. I hope these are helpful if you decide to make one for your own kids some time. I imagine the sphere costume could come in handy in lots of ways.
Here are a list of the supplies you'll need:
2 pop-up hampers $2.50 ea
4 black laundry bags $1 ea
2 pieces foam core board $1 ea
felt or fleece fabric in yellow, white, grey, and red
ski cap in black $2
toilet paper roll
hot glue, crayon, string, and scissors
Step one: cut the sides out of the first hamper. The wire will start to bow out a little bit at this stage. Cut off the handles. Turn it upside down, but for now keep the bottom intact. This is where the head will go.
Cut the second hamper completely apart. You will use two of the wire circles in the next step.
To start making the sphere shape, hot glue the wire circles to the top and bottom of the costume cage. Make sure that they are pushing the wires out a little, but that they aren't so far up that the shape is distorted.
To make the sphere very round in the middle I made a ring out of foam core board. I found mine at the dollar store. It was small so I used two pieces and glued them together.
To make the ring perfectly round, make a compass out of string and a crayon:
I made two half circles with my compass, the second about 3 inches inside the first.
Before you glue the two halves together, put them inside the wire costume cage. It will be too big to put it in as a whole piece.
To cover the cage, which is pretty light and delicate, I knew I needed something super-light weight. I found these cheapy laundry bags at the dollar store. I used 4, but you might need more or fewer, depending on your covering technique. Cut the bags up the seams so that you have a flat piece of fabric.
The best way to cover a sphere with a flat piece of fabric is to start in the middle. I didn't discover this process til I was almost done, but I'll try to describe it.
Gluing as you go, start gluing the middle of the fabric taut to the foam core ring, and then go back and pleat the top and bottom to fit the contures of the sphere. Or just glue it on however you can figure. It will be a little messier, but most of the time the costume will be seen in the dark, so not that big of a deal.
The fabric is very sheer, so I used two layers. It was still just as lightweight as I'd hoped. Remember to leave a couple slits in the sides for arm holes. Or you can cut them out later if you forget.
Cut an "x" in the top of the costume (what used to be the bottom of the hamper) for the head to go through. Fold the flaps to the inside and glue in place.
For the hat, I used a black ski cap I found at WalMart, and a toilet paper roll covered in black and yellow felt. I cut a slit in the hat where I wanted the tube. Then slipped the tube inside, snipped around the bottom so it would lay flat against the inside, and glued the little flaps into place. It was very secure.
The face is made of basic shapes--circles and rectangles for the most part. The beak was a little tricky, but I just free-handed it and it turned out okay. I glued it on with hot glue.
This wasn't my favorite costume ever to make, but it was a really fun challenge. And this was by far the most popular of our family's costumes at the carnival. All night long I heard kids and adults yell out. "Hey, look at that angry bird!" So I guess it was a success!
I can't wait to hear how you use this tutorial to make your own sphere costume! Let me know and I'll put a link to it on the blog!