Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wimpy Kid



Gus loves to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. So when we were kicking around ideas for Halloween costumes last month, I suggested he go dressed as Greg - the Wimpy Kid. 


I got my inspiration from this bobblehead doll. Eric built the head out of various Smoothfoam™ pieces that I ordered from their website, and he used black window screen for the eyes and mouth. It was surprisingly easy to make this mask - compared to the WuShock Eric created a few years go.


The rest of the costume includes: a long-sleeved white shirt, a short-sleeved white t-shirt, black shorts, white tights, white cartoon hand gloves, a black backpack, and shoes covered in black Funky Foam sheets.


The newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book comes out in November, so I printed out large color copies of the cover and made a giant book out of foamcore. This also serves as Gus' trick-or-treat bucket.
I'm not sure the adults at Trunk-or-Treat last weekend knew what Gus' costume was, but every kid we met certainly did. I heard voices all the way across the parking lot yell "Hey Wimpy Kid.... I like your costume!!!!!" One little boy even followed us around and asked to get his picture taken with Gus. It's a big hit with the 12-and-under crowd and I'm sure it will get a great reaction from all the kids at school next Monday during the costume parade. Can't wait.

*As an update to this post, I've had a lot of people contact me and ask me if I'd be willing to sell my son's costume. Unfortunately no, he's pretty attached to it. But I can tell you the shapes and sizes of the Smoothfoam that we used so that you can make your own costume. My husband cut, carved and sanded the body parts into the shapes we wanted. Then he cut holes in the head and inserted the hair, nose & ears with tabs that he had carved into the foam shapes. Everything was glued in place with hot glue. And we painted the hair with gloss black spray
paint.

Here are links to all the shapes and sizes of Smoothfoam:

We used some black, see-thru mesh fabric for the eyes and mouth. And we hot-glued some cubes of soft upholstery foam inside the head (to keep it from wobbling around.)

I found the cartoon gloves here.

And for the shoes, I just bought some black slippers and hot glued a sheet of foampaper around them. I'm sure you could just use black boot-like slippers or black tennis shoes.

Good luck!

*** UPDATE 10/2/12
OK. Wow. I've been getting a crazy amount of questions lately about how we made the head. Unfortunately, we didn't really plan on making a tutorial out of this post, therefore we didn't take any "how-to" photos during the process. (Plus, we don't usually have a plan when we make our costumes, we just dive in and see what works. Or doesn't.) 

But in an effort to answer some questions, I took a few more closeups of the Wimpy Kid head so that you could see how the hair is carved to look curved, and how we pieced it together. I'm also including some some pics of how the nose and ears are shaped, how the black mesh screen is glued over the eye and mouth holes, and images that show the pieces of foam that we glued on the inside to keep the head from bobbing around. We're not professional costume builders, by any means. We mostly just use the tools and supplies we can find at home or online. My husband is a woodworker, so he naturally has a shop full of tools. I realize most people won't have a handheld jigsaw to cut the foam or orbital sander to smooth it. That's what we used. But I'm sure a utility knife and some sandpaper would work too. Just might take a little longer and look a little rougher. I hope this is helpful for those of you trying to attempt making this. I applaud your efforts... go for it!















41 comments:

Heber and his "Deli" aka: Adele said...

Would your husband be willing to make the head for me for a price?

Project Denneler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

is thier other places to get the head

Project Denneler said...

As far as I know, Smoothfoam.com is the only place I've found that sells them that large.

Anonymous said...

great costume! you could paper mache a large ball from walmart and have the same costume for a lot cheaper than the foam. Although the foam would be nice to form the ears and nose. Might even use that for the hair as well. Love how you used the "book" for treats. The whole thing is very cute. my son said If I made him a costume like this he will go to school singing that song "patty patty is a fatty........" he'll have a blast I'm sure! Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks so much for sharing your awesome costume! Not sure what we've gotten ourselves into (lol), but we ordered the foam after our son begged to have a similar costume. What type of cutting tool(s) did you use to shape the foam? And the sphere comes in 2 pieces -- did you hotglue them together before cutting the hole for your son's head?

Project Denneler said...

My husband cut the Smoothfoam pieces with a handheld jigsaw. I'm sure you could also use an exacto-knife or utility knife, but you might have to carve, rather than cut. He sanded everything smooth with is handheld orbital sander. I'm sure regular sanding by hand would work too. We just happen to have an entire woodshop full of tools. I realize most people don't. ;)

And yes, the sphere comes in two halves. We hot glued it together before cutting the hole for the head.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

does your kid want to be diary of a wimpy kid again? also,can i rent the costume for halloween

Project Denneler said...

Sorry, a local friend of ours is borrowing it this year.

Anonymous said...

an i use it next year... for halloween

Muriel Weidemann said...

Great costume... I'm an elementary school librarian and I sure wish I had one for our upcoming book fair! A little pricey for me and I'm clueless regarding tools. Scholastic needs to see your handiwork and get some for their fairs! My students adore Greg and the Wimpy Kid books! Thanks for sharing your idea!

missy said...

I have a question about the book. How did you make it? Its fantastic. Really impressed with the whole costume. You and you talented husband could start an on line business. Just start making them this year for next year! Love it.

Project Denneler said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. As far as borrowing or renting, I think we'll try to keep ours at home. My son still really likes it, and I'm more than happy to let local friends borrow it, but I'd rather not risk shipping it off. Thanks for asking though. (Might see if our school librarian wants to borrow it for the book fair..... That's a great idea!)

How did we make the book? I found the highest resolution image of the book cover online (Google images) last October - since the book wasn't out yet - and made a large format print from it. Then I spray glued it to foam core, and built the book/box with the remaining foam core. If you have a scanner, you can scan the front of any of the book covers and do the same thing.

Weezy said...

Thank you so much for posting the materials used and instructions! We successfully made this costume for our 9-year-old son. He won 1st place last night in the costume contest, but more importantly he is having so much fun wearing this costume! It was so kind of you to share this information with us! Smoothfoam is a great idea and it gives us ideas for other costumes!

Project Denneler said...

That's fantastic! So glad to hear that your son loves his costume and that you were daring enough to attempt making it. Hooray for Halloween!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the fantastic idea. We attempted our version of this costume and although I am not the most creative and don't have a handheld jigsaw it didn't come out half bad. I would say I struggled with the ears the most and they could still use a little work but not bad for a knife and sandpaper.We are all excited for Halloween tomorrow:)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome idea! We did this for our son this year and it was great. We also modified it and made a "Hello Kitty" head for our daughter. The company you used/recommended was fantastic...now I know where to go for future projects!

Project Denneler said...

Really happy to hear that so many attempted to make their own Wimpy Kid - with success! Yea!!!

And yes, I'm a big fan of using Smoothfoam on our projects now too. So much better than traditional styrofoam.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the links to Smoothfoam & the how-to info. My son was really bummed that stores did not have any wimpy kid costumes. His face lit up when he saw the costume you made. We made this for him & it looks awesome!! This costume was a huge hit with the neighborhood kids too!

Anonymous said...

can you make a Santa head following your directions

Project Denneler said...

A Santa head? Hummm... Possibly. Not sure how that would work, but I encourage anyone to experiment. I think you could certainly make a snowman head. This would be ideal for making a fun Frosty costume.

Anonymous said...

can your husband make me one too for my child? OR would you let me rent it for this year(2013)?

Project Denneler said...

Sorry, we're not in the costume-making or renting business, but thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

why can't you let me rent it then?

Project Denneler said...

I appreciate that you like the costume so much, you want to rent it. But I'm not interested in renting it out. It's large and costs more than $75 package and ship (I know this for a fact. You can make your own cheaper than I can ship this one.) It's also made of styrofoam and can get crushed and dented very easily. My son likes his costume and occasionally wears it just for fun. We'd like to keep it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

okay thanks for telling me why.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Just starting on this for our kid and was wondering if your son could see through the eye holes or if his eyes were lined up with the mouth. (Kinda hard to get a sense of that with the head being so large.) Thanks for your help!

Project Denneler said...

Excellent question. He mostly looked through the mouth area. He could see through both, depending on how the head was resting on his head, but he mostly looked down to see where he was walking and viewed through the mouth.

Anonymous said...

Do you think I can make a Mickey Mouse costume with your tips?

Project Denneler said...

Well.... I'm sure you could probably make a Mickey Mouse mask out of Smoothfoam pieces. The ears would be very similar to this mask, just bigger and placed higher. But I'm not sure how you'd make the Mickey Mouse mouth/nose area. You might need to attach some other Smoothfoam pieces and carve it with a knife to get the shape you want. Good luck!

Sandra Bickford said...

I just got all the pieces today in the mail .... My son is very happy .... Thank you for sharing this awesome idea ....

From New Jersey

Project Denneler said...

Fantastic, Sandra. Good luck! Send me a photo when you're done. I'd love to see it.

Sandra Bickford said...

I did it ..... my son love it .... thank you so much .... but how I can post pictures?

Project Denneler said...

If you have photos you want to share, just email them to me: sdenneler@gmail.com. Thanks!

Sandra Bickford said...

I just sent you the picture .... Thank you .....

Anonymous said...

Thank you to you and your husband. We made this costume for our son to wear for his storybook costume parade at school and it was a big hit. Turned out wonderful. Thank you again

Anonymous said...

how the hell did you make that I need more info.

Allyson Ferebee said...

What do you think about using a 12' head because I don't think the 16" will be here in time...worth doing?

Project Denneler said...

You know, I think it really depends on the size of your kid. My son was already 5ft tall when he wore this costume (he's quite big for his age.) So proportionally, the 16" was the better option. If you're child is shorter (more like 4ft), I'm sure the 12" sphere would work.

Allyson Ferebee said...

Thanks so much and we are working on it now, will let you know how it turns out. Y'all did a great job, it is adorable!

Anonymous said...

How the hell did u make that? It look so fucking good. Make one for me know how to ha..!

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