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Preying Mantis Costume

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Preying Mantis - Homemade costumes for kids

Front and Mask

More views: (click to enlarge)
Photo #1 - Front and Mask Photo #2 - Back Photo #3 - Arms

Heather sent 13 amazing bug costumes as entries to our online Halloween costume contest.

Costume type:  Costumes for Kids
Categories:Halloween Costumes, Animal Costumes

This homemade costume for kids entered our 2011 Halloween Costume Contest, and won a special prize in the Most Creative Costume nomination!

A word from Heather, the 'Preying Mantis' costume creator:

This costume was anther of our "Insect" theme this year.
I made it for my nephew, who is fascinated with bugs, especially weird ones.

It was pretty simple, and I whipped it out in about an hour. I was worried he wouldn't like it, that it wouldn't look exactly like he thought it would, but he absolutely loved it.
He actually got mad when he had to take it off!

Below are the instructions and an illustration chart.

Preying Mantis Costume Illustration Chart

Materials Needed

Body:
Corrugated Plastic or Heavy Cardboard
Zip Ties
Grass Green and Light Green Felt or Fabric
Spray Adhesive
Strip of Fabric

Wings:
Heavy-duty Wire
White Knee-high Nylons
Zip Ties
Black Sharpie Marker

Arms:
2 8x10 sheets Green Craft Foam
Heavy Cardboard
Zip ties
Grass Green and Light Green Felt or Fabric
Spray Adhesive

Face Mask:
Heavy-duty Wire
Grass Green and Light Green Felt or Fabric
Spray Adhesive
Strip of Fabric
Green Glitter
Red Glitter
Light Green Pipe Cleaners

OPTIONAL! Green Fleece to make a poncho to be worn over the clothes!

Take your sheet of corrugated plastic (or cardboard), draw out the body shape, then cut it out. (See 1)

To give the body more of a 3D effect, bend the board as shown by the lines below to get it to curve out. If you want the body to stay in that shape, use some string to tie the sides. Do NOT tie them together. Leave it slack enough to where it won't flatten back out. Cut ant loose tails off the string once you have it tied off. (See 2)

You can also add the strip of fabric to make straps. Drill or poke holes where shown below. Also do the holes to attach the wings.

The straps will probably tie around the waist, but if it becomes uncomfortable, make sure the fabric strip is long enough to go over the shoulders, under the arms and tie at the back.

To make the wings, bend the wire to make the wing frames. (See 3)

You can just use one piece of wire, and when you get back to where you started, just zip-tie it together in the middle. Just make sure you use your body piece as a guide to judge the size of the wings. They only stick out from under the body piece about 4".

Cover the wing frames with the knee-high nylons. Pull them as tight as possible and secure them at the open end with zip-ties to the wire frames in the middle.
Draw the "veins" on the wings with the marker. Attach them to the BACKSIDE of the body (part facing the person's back) using the holes you made earlier, and securing them with zip ties. (See 4)

Using the spray adhesive, cover the entire piece of board with green felt. Make sure it goes over the edge enough to stick on the backside of the board. Use the light green felt as accents. (See 5)

For the arms, take the green craft foam and roll it into a tube (Make the tube smaller if the person WILL NOT be wearing a heavier coat). Glue the ends together. You will need two of these (See 6). Cover the pieces with grass green felt. (If you want)

Take some cardboard roll it to for the "arms". you'll need them to curve back towards each other. Use zip-ties to connect the pieces together, and bend them to the angle you want them. Use a few more zip ties in the corners to get them to stay angled. (See 7).

Cover then arm parts with light green felt, using the grass green as accents around where the leg joints.

Attach the pieces to the tubular part using zip ties. (Green if you can find them).

For the mask, use wire to make a frame. (See 8)

Add a few support wires to get the mask to stick out a bit.

Add the strip of fabric to tie the mask around the head of the person.

Cover the mask with grass green felt. Cut holes in the felt for the person to see and a hole for the person to breathe through.

Use the red glitter, light green felt, and light green pipe cleaners to add accents.

OPTIONAL!!! Take the green fleece and make a poncho. (See 9)

You can cut slits in the fleece on the backside to slip the strapping for the body piece through so you can't see them. (See 10)

Rating: 3.7 of 5. Votes: 7

7 votes
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