With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I’d show you some costumes I’ve been working on. Today, we are making a girls Pikachu costume out of duct tape! Duct tape is a great material to make clothing out of because it is durable and doesn’t require any sewing. It is also an easy way to make a custom fit costume because it wraps right around your body!
Here is what the final costume looks like:
And in case you need a little refresher, here is a picture of the Pokemon character Pikachu:
You will need the following materials for this project:
-yellow duct tape
-black duct tape (or electrical tape)
-a dress to use as a base (this dress will not get ruined or altered)
-velcro (one yard)
-foam core or cardboard
-a black headband
-brown paint (any kind)
-a paintbrush (any kind)
-red lipstick/lip liner or face paint
Step 1: Find a dress that is fitted and has the same shape and length you would like for your Pikachu costume and put it on.
Step 2: Start at the top and wrap the entire dress in plastic wrap. Wrap snuggly and use layers to make sure it is all covered. For the top of this costume we used a yellow bikini top but you can also wrap the top in plastic wrap and make that out of duct tape as well.
Step 3: Once the dress is fully covered in plastic wrap (this will prevent the duct tape from sticking to you and/or the dress!) start duct taping horizontally around the body. You can do this yourself but it will definitely be easier if you have two people. One person holds the duct tape and the other slowly spins around in place to wrap the duct tape around and around. Make sure you layer the tape so there aren’t any spaces!
The curves and corners of the body are a bit tricky, but just pinch the tape and tuck it in and don’t worry too much about it on this first pass because we will cover it and make it look pretty later :)
Step 4: Once the dress is fully covered in a layer of duct tape, go through and make vertical stripes around the back and sides to clean up the pinched corners. We left a 6 inch panel of horizontal stripes visible in the front because the contrast of vertical and horizontal stripes at your sides gives a lovely, slimming effect!
Step 5: Once the dress looks nice and neat, it’s time to cut it up! Take some scissors and carefully cut all the way down the center back. Be sure to cut through both the plastic wrap and the duct tape but not your dress underneath!
Try not to stretch or crumple the dress too much once its off – you can’t iron duct tape!
Step 6: Next we need to enforce all the edges of the dress with duct tape. Encase the top, bottom and back edges of the dress with duct tape by placing a strip of tape along one edge and position it so that half of the tape is coming off the edge of the dress. Then, fold the tape over and stick it to itself. Do this twice on the edges you made when you cut the back in order to give the dress an extra inch on which to attach the velcro.
Step 7: Now we want to make it so you can easily take your dress on and off! We will do this with just a little glue and velcro, nice n’ easy. Gently lay your dress belly-down on a flat surface. Measure out your velcro by lining it up with the length of the dress and cut the velcro so it is the same length.
The prickly side of the velcro goes on the outside (the yellow part) of the dress along the edge of the center back cut on the left side. The soft side of the velcro goes on the inside of the dress along the edge of the center back cut on the right side. This way you are never in danger of having prickly velcro press against your skin! Dab some super glue on the non-velcro sides of the velcro and stick it on those edges. Careful not to glue your fingers together or else you might have to be Spock from Star Trek for Halloween instead ;)
Step 8: Let the glue on the velcro dry and then try on your dress! You have completed the body of your Pikachu costume, ta-da! Next stop: tail and ears!
Step 9: Trace out the shape of the tail onto cardboard or foam core. You can also print out the one below and use it as a template! If you plan to print out the template, make sure you first click on the image to get the full-size version.
Step 10: Use scissors or a box cutter to cut out the shape of the tail. Don’t worry about cutting it out perfectly since we are going to give it a little duct tape makeover!
Step 11: Wrap the tail up in yellow duct tape. You can use any method or pattern you like, however I found it was easiest to first tape along the edges of the tail as seen in the pic below and then fill in the gaps with horizontal pieces of tape.
Step 12: Time to get those hands dirty and paint the tail! Use brown paint to paint solid brown all the way up the tail and stop just before the biggest square part on at the end. When you get to the big square end of the tail, brush the paint up in swift vertical motions to make it look like a little tuft of brown fur.
Paint both sides and edges of the tail and set it aside to dry. Depending on the kind of paint you use, you might want to do two coats of paint.
Step 13: You are almost there! Just the ears to go and then you are ready to evolve into Pikachu! Use the template below to trace two ears onto foam core or cardboard. If you plan to print out the template, make sure you click on the image first to get the full-sized version.
Step 14: Just like the tail, use scissors or a box cutter to cut out the ears. We will also be covering these with duct tape so save your perfect cutting skills for paper snowflake making day :)
Step 15: To tape the ear, first place one long piece of tape vertically across the whole thing.
Then, tape one long piece around the edges, folding over and pinching as you make your way around the curves.
Step 16: Take your black tape and wrap it around the top 3 inches or so of the ear in order to make the little black tips on Pikachu’s ear.
Step 17: Now it’s time for some ear piercing! Use scissors or some other sharp object to carefully create a hole at the bottom of both ears.
Step 18: Now, take a strip of duct tape about 8 inches long and cut/tear it so that it is only about 1/2 inch wide. Then, wrap one end of the tape around a screw or nail. Be careful that the tape doesn’t stick to itself while you are doing this because it is almost impossible to pull it apart!
Step 19: Use the screw/nail to thread the tape through the hole you made in the ears. Once it is through, cut or unwrap the tape from the sharp object.
Step 20: Take your headband and position the ear on top and slightly to the right. Then, wrap the ends of the tape that are threaded through the hole in the ear around the headband. Repeat with the second ear and place that one slightly to the left.
This should be enough to keep your ears in place but if you want them to be extra sturdy you can always wrap more tape around the headband and attach it to the base of the ears. All that yellow tape blends in so you can really use as much as you want if you are tape happy!
Step 21: You have officially completed making all the parts for this costume! Now, it’s just time to attach all the parts and style accordingly. Put on your yellow dress and position the tail in the back of the dress at your tailbone. Then, attach a strip of tape to the dress, wrap it around the tail and stick it back to the dress. I made you a little diagram below to show you what it looks like:
Use as much tape as you need to make the tail feel sturdily attached!
Step 22: Make-up time! Use some red lipstick, lip liner or face paint to make little red circles on your cheeks. Super cute!
Now put on those ears and some cute shoes and show off that handy work while getting some yummy Halloween candy, you earned it!
Have fun with these costume instructions and send me pics of what you make! Happy Halloween :)