I’m super excited to start this Homemade Halloween Costume series with you today! I grew up on homemade Halloween costumes so naturally when I had kids, I started making their costumes just like my mom did for me. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into because over the years my goofball boys have come up with some crazy stuff for this mom to make. Some of the costumes (like the bumble bee) were very simple and easy to make while others (like the monster sized hamburger) took a little more thought. (Check out my quick video below) I’m going to share several of these costumes with you in the coming weeks and my hope is that while you may not have a need for these exact costumes, the techniques and materials used will help you tackle your own homemade costumes. So on the note, I’m starting off the series with this DIY Hamburger Costume I made for my son last year.
Here is a little sample of what’s to come …
Before I get into the crazy hamburger details, you may be wondering why my son wanted to be a monster sized hamburger? The answer is, I have no idea. I’m pretty sure my kids come up with this stuff just to mess with me. It’s a game they play called “Let’s Test Mom”. And it must be an incredibly fun game because they play it a lot! So for this particular round of “Let’s Test Mom” my son wanted to be a giant hamburger and the hamburger had to be super-sized and 3 dimensional. The challenge with this costume was to create a structure large enough to fit around my middle school son but still light enough to be worn around the neighborhood in order to secure a full bag of fun sized candy bars for me to raid when hes not looking. Hey, I have to get something out of this deal right?
My solution to create bulk without the weight was to make the majority of the costume out of foam insulation board. Foam insulation board is relatively inexpensive and is purchased in sheets from a home improvement store. I got mine from Home Depot. I’m going to list the approximate dimensions for the costume I made but keep in mind, the dimensions may need to be scaled up or down depending on the size of the child or adult its being made for.
• 2“ Thick And 1 ½ “ Thick Foam Insulation Board
• Foam Core Poster Board
• Expanding Spray Insulation Foam
• Hi Strength Spray Contact Adhesive
• Acrylic Paint
• Utility Knife
• Electric Carving Knife
• Yellow Fabric
• Red Fabric
• Green Fabric
• Poster Board
• 4” Thick Dense Upholstery Foam
• Masking Tape
To start, I cut a donut shape from the foam insulation board. I used a utility knife but you could use a jigsaw just as well. You want the inside of the donut shape to fit comfortable around the torso of the costume wearer.
For the Burger Meat I cut (2) circles out of 2″ thick foam insulation and glued them together “3M hi-strength spray contact adhesive” to make one big 4″ thick piece.
The Tomato Slice is (1) circle of 1 1/2″ thick foam insulation.
The Bottom Bun is (2) 2″ thick foam insulation circles and glued together with 3M hi-strength spray contact adhesive .
And now your family room should look something like this…
After the Hamburger Meat was glued, I used an orbital sander to smooth the glued pieces that may not have lined up perfectly and I rounded the top and bottom edges. Also, I created indents in the middle for texture like a hamburger patty. Then I painted the meat with a mixture of black and brown acrylic paint.
For the Tomato Slice, I did not use the sander since it was a single slice of foam. I did wrap the outside of the tomato with masking tape. The tape smoothed the outside of the foam and made it look like tomato skin once it was painted. I used orange and red acrylic paint.
Creating the Top and Bottom Hamburger Bun
For the Top Bun, instead of Foam insulation I used 2 pieces of foam core poster board and spray insulation foam.
Because my foam core poster board wasn’t wide enough, I taped two pieces together and then cut my circle. Once I had my circles cut, I cut smaller pieces of the foam core board and glued them on the large circle. This will support the top circle and provide a grid structure of hold the spray foam.
The grid was 4 inches high and graduated down to 1 inch.
The next step was to use expanding spray foam insulation.
Once the spray foam was dry, I used an electric knife (like the kind used to carve the Thanksgiving turkey) to carve and shape the bun. After I had the shape mostly smooth, I finished smoothing the bun with an orbital sander. The expanding spray foam gave the bun a texture that looked like bread.
I also used the spray insulation to cover the outside of the bottom bun. And like the top bun once the spray foam was dry I sculpted it with the electric knife and finished off with the sander.
I had to be careful with the spray foam because too much spray foam will get heavy. If I were to do it over, I would sculpt the entire top bun out of foam insulation board and the do a light coat of the expanding foam just to give it the bread like texture.
Painting the Hamburger Bun
To get the right shade of paint for the bun color, I got a real hotdog bun and tested my paint right on the bun itself. This helped a lot.
Hamburger Costume Condiments
We are almost to the end and its time to add the condiments! The condiments were super easy. I started with lettuce. I cut green fabric in a wavy shape and pinned it to the bottom bun.
After I had the lettuce attached I glued the hamburger layer to the bottom bun with the spray adhesive. The next step was to make the cheese. I cut triangles out of regular poster board and covered and glued yellow cheese color fabric to the triangles with spray adhesive.
I attached the cheese to the top of the meat then tucked and pinned in some red fabric for ketchup. Next I glued on the tomato layer. On top of the tomato I pined some mustard yellow fabric and then glued on the top bun. I was surprised how well the contact adhesive held the whole structure together. I did add a little spray foam from the inside to fill in cracks and add extra hold.
The last step was to add some dense upholstery foam on the inside so the costume will rest comfortably on the shoulders.
I had planned on drilling out arm holes but it turned out that there was plenty of room in the costume to move and reach out from underneath. It worked out very well.
There you have it, one big hamburger costume and the first costume in this DIY Halloween costume series . I hope that some of the techniques I used will help you if you are ever tasked with making your own crazy out of the box costume.
The next costume in the series will be a really easy one so come back later this week and I will show you how to make this sweet little bee outfit. Easy Bee Costume (here)
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