9.19.2013

How to Make a Minion Costume

Hey, so Mr. Minion here is competing in costume contest. If you could head over and give him a click (he's #33), he'd really like it :) Click here!

WHAT???!!  Dude, I know you just said that in minion voice. I made this homemade DIY minion costume for a Halloween party last year and in my extremely bias opinion, it's awesome. :) This photo was taken in the "line up" at my friend Christy's house. Apparently this minion got into some mischief. She's the same Christy photographer that took all of the amazingly flattering pictures of my family on my about me page. Yes, I normally frolic in a field wearing fake eyelashes. Anywho... The costume took about a week (mostly because of the paper maché dry time) and cost about $50 (less if you already own an exercise ball).

Do you want to make a minion? You do. Here we go.

Supplies (there's lots, but hey, it's an awesome costume)
  • 4' x 8' Polywall Panel (sold at Home Depot in the Room Mouldings section)
  • Exercise Ball (slightly wider than yourself)
  • Paper Maché - Mix 1 part water with 1 part flour an a tsp of salt.  Easy.
  • Construction Adhesive (Either Liquid Nails or Loctite will work)
  • 2 empty/new quart size paint cans (sold at Home Depot in the paint section)
  • Small Cheap Playground Ball (I got mine at the dollar store)
  • Yellow Spray Paint
  • Duct Tape
  • Hot Glue
  • Blue Fabric of some sort (I used an old sheet)
  • Markers
  • Craft Foam Sheets, 1 black, 1 white
  • Utility knife
  • small nuts and bolts
Supply Help:
I know sometimes you have no idea where to get some of the oddball supplies I have listed.  So, I took pictures of some of them on the shelves at the stores to help you out... because I'm nice like that.

1. Polywall Panel from Home Depot - It's big and white and flexible. You should be able to roll it up and shove it in your car. I did.


2. Empty Paint Cans - They sell them right across from the spray paint at my Home Depot. You need 2.



Step 1
Blow up your exercise ball and measure the diameter. If it's new, the measurement will be on the box. Now roll the polywall panel into a tube until it's the same diameter as your ball. You'll probably need 2 people to do this. Once you get it into a tube the same diameter as your ball, clamp it or have person 2 hold it, and drill several holes at the seem and insert blunt screws (are those called bolts?).  Then from the inside, attach a nut to each one. Yes, the screws are going to show a little in the final costume, but I find them hardly noticeable once painted.
Please excuse the pre-paper mache chaos happening above.

Step 2
Plop your exercise ball in a large bowl to keep it from rolling around and paper maché the heck out of it. (1 part flour, 1 part water, a little salt. Dip strips of newspaper and smear them on) I had the kids rip up the strips of newspaper. Fun in the kitchen... black fingerprints everywhere. Yeah....
Exercise balls have a seam around the middle which really helps in getting a perfect dome. Just paper maché past the seam a little. You're trying to cover half of the ball. Do one layer at a time and let it dry completely before you move to the next layer to prevent mold. This process took a few days. I think we ended up with about 6 layers. For the last layer I used white copy paper so I would have a nice white surface to paint. Once the whole thing is dry, deflate the ball and carefully remove your hardened dome.

Step 3
Attach the paper maché dome to the polywall tube you made in step 1. I'll admit it, this is the toughest part of the costume. First I glued little scraps of foam just below the rim (you really could use anything for this), inside the tube with construction adhesive. You're trying to make a little ledge for the dome to sit on once you shove it in there. If you don't make a ledge, the dome is just going to slip down into the tube. You want it to stay right at the top. Let the ledge dry.

I trimmed my dome with scissors to the seam line the ball made in the paper maché. Give the top of that rim you just made inside the tube a generous bead of construction adhesive. Then you want to slip the dome inside the tube so it rests on the rim. If it doesn't fit, keep trimming the dome little by little until it slides in (or you force it). You want it to be as tight as possible. This took quite a bit of finesse. Run another bead of construction adhesive around the outside seam and smooth with your finger. In this pic we're cutting arm holes.. but you can see the dome glued to the tube here and the screws down the side.

Step 4
Cut arm holes and a mouth. I looked at a picture and drew the "WHAT?!" mouth with a pencil. I think I got inside the costume to determine where to put the arm holes. You will be seeing out of the mouth. That might help you figure out where to put them. We used both a power multi-tool and a utility knife to cut.

Step 5
Paint the whole thing bright yellow. I used Rust-Oleum spray paint. Let it dry.

Step 6
Make the goggles. You need to cut the bottoms off of two quart size paint cans (warning, they will be sharp). I used tin snips for this but a multi-tool with a metal bit might work. The fronts of the goggles are going to be the top of the cans where you'd put the lid on. You don't need the lids for the goggles.

You can't cut the bottoms straight off. You have to cut at a slight angle to get the goggles to sit flush against the rounded costume.  Like this...

Step 7
Make eye balls! Cut a cheap small rubber/plastic play ball in half. Even if there's a design on the outside of the ball, the inside should be white. Flip the ball inside out. Draw the eye part with a Sharpie. Trim it down with scissors until it fits inside the paint cans. Slide it in the goggle from the side you cut.  Attach with duck tape. Be careful... the paint cans are sharp!
I do realize what it looks like I am making... however, they are eyeballs. :)

Step 8
Attach the goggles with eyeballs to the minion (now that it has eyes, we'll call it a minion). I taped the paint cans together, ran a bead of construction adhesive around the rims of the paint cans, then taped them to the minion on the sides. Center the eyes right over the seam between the dome and the tube. If you put duck tape on the sides of the cans, the goggle strap will hide it.
A bit blurry, but you can see what's going on.

Step 9
Cut goggle strap, teeth, and hair from craft foam sheets. Hot glue in place. The goggle strap is made up of a few pieces. The teeth are just rectangles with rounded corners.

Step 10
Make shoulder straps on the inside to hold up your minion. I used two old belts for this. Attach them taught across the inside of the minion on each side, right over where your shoulders would be. Remember, you want your face to end up somewhere near the mouth so you'll be able to see. I secured them with nuts and bolts. The bolts will be hidden under the overalls when the costume is done. This picture is taken through the arm hole.

Step 11
Last step! Hot glue some blue fabric to the minion so he's not naked. I used an old blue sheet we had. Wrap it around the bottom, cut squares for the front and back of the overalls, and make straps.  I drew the logo with a Sharpie.

Tada! Now wear a pair of jeans, a yellow long sleeved shirt, black shoes, and black gloves. Your minion transformation is complete. Go wow your friends :)

We attended a costume party this night where we took second place. (We bought the Gru mask on Amazon) Yep, I was beat out by the Lego People made by Katie and Jon at Sew Woodsy! I have to admit, they're pretty amazing! We're both a part of The Really Awesome 2013 Handmade Costume Series below too. So click over and check out all of the costumes both on Really Awesome Costumes and on C.R.A.F.T. They're are so many ideas, I'm proud to be a part of it.

32 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. I have been looking for this polywall panel all over the place and no one seems to know what I am. Even at Home Depot! Do you have any recommendations for me.. or the location of the store you purchased the panel at so I can contact them?

      Thanks!
      Danielle

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    2. Home Depot no longer carries it . I found it at Menards.

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    3. We used a roll of foam as we don't live anywhere close to a large hardware store. Sometimes Orschlen's has those sheets of plastic, or Menards.

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    4. I found it at Home Depot take the pic from above the sku # helps them tell you exactly where it is located.

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  2. Holy cow! That is one awesome costume! Super impressive :)

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  3. This costume is awesome!!!! Can't believe it's a DIY!

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  4. You guys did a great job on this costume! I wish we could have tied because you totally deserved to win just as much as we did!

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  5. Great job! I'm sure it was a hit and will be again!

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  6. Hi! This looks like it took forever!! Love the idea, it's so creative! We included your butterfly costume in a round-up we did on no-sew costume ideas! Thank you for sharing!

    http://www.feltwithlovedesigns.com/2013/10/04/links-with-love-no-sew-diy-halloween-costume-ideas/

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it kind of took forever. haha But, we will be rockin' it around the neighborhood again this year. We actually got asked if the minion would be out again so it's gaining popularity in my neighborhood! :) Thanks for the share!!

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  7. I'm SOOOO excited to make this!!!!!! Thank you =)

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  8. How did you make the iris' look so realistic? Not just black dots?

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    Replies
    1. I did the outside of the iris with black sharpie and then just inside that I used a crappy brown marker. I just made the inside of the line pointy and jagged. I think I googled "eye" and just looked at a close up picture and copied it as best I could.

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  9. Yay! No doubt this one is the coolest Funny Halloween Costume at the moment. I've also include on my top list of Halloween costumes. Thanks for sharing and I do hope I could pin some nice photos on my Pinterest boards. Good day! :D

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  10. Thanks for the tutorial! I used some of the elements you listed & made my own minion costumes for my husband and I. Like others mentioned, there's no such thing as "polywall" here in rural Canada, so I had to improvise and use a foam mat with the same dimensions (it's the type that goes under a treadmill or even at a cashier's station) that I luckily found for 50% off! My paper mache collapsed when the balloons we used started to shrink, so I had to rethink and find another minion costume template to make the head out of the top of the mat. I cut 18-20 petal-shapes and sewed them together with twine and a tapestry needle. I then covered them with fabric to cover the stitches, and instead of the cans and inverted plastic balls, we used empty duct tape rolls and styrofoam balls cut in half. Gotta use what you have available, right? We won 1st place last night!

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    Replies
    1. Love it! I feel like that's how I make every project I attempt! Hmmm, this didn't work... let's see what I have laying around that I could use.... Thanks! So glad you figured it out as you went and won! :)

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  11. I love this costume idea! I'm attempting it for my husband. I was wondering did you trim the excess off of the panel once you shaped it into the cylinder?

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I didn't trim off the excess but that does make the costume heavier. Yup, I went the lazy route. A couple people have asked me this now and some of them did trim off the excess... it takes some of the weight off. Hope that helps!

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  12. I can't find polywall anywhere! =( I checked home depot and menards and all they had available was FNP or FRP panel which is too thick and heavy.. Any ideas how to substitute that material? I think styra foam will be too weak

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  13. How long did it take you to make this?

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    Replies
    1. It took me about a week, an hour or so each night to make this. I could have been done faster but I had to wait for the paper mache to dry.

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  14. Thank you for publishing this. I used this as a starting point for a costume for my daughter.. it was a big help!

    http://kearneyville.com/2013/10/29/halloween-2013-the-minion/

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    Replies
    1. AMAZING! You did a fantastic job! Love it. Thanks so much for the link!

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  15. Thanks for publish this! I used the steps for a costume for my daughter. It was a big help!

    http://kearneyville.com/2013/10/29/halloween-2013-the-minion/

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  16. Thanks so much for sharing. We made your minion and it was awesome!!! Our 8 year old loved wearing it and got celeb status at school for "best costume ever!" We made a couple of tiny changes (spray painted plastic bowl from the dollar store for the head because we didn't have time to paper mâché and foam craft balls for the eyes.). Thanks again!!!

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  17. Hi, quick question - what is the diameter of the costume? thanks

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