DIY : Mr. Potatohead Costume Tutorial – Rina Kim – Medium

TIME SPENT

50 hours

MATERIALS

  • chicken wire
  • paint: black, yellow, red, white, brown
  • velcro
  • paper mache: flour, water, newspaper
  • cardboard
  • masking tape, paint, duct tape
  • paint brush
  • wire cutters
  • yarn
  • trash bags

INSTRUCTIONS

Body Construction 1: unravel chicken wire and with wire cutters, cut length in half. Create two rolls and interlock the end pieces, being mindful to point the end pieces outward rather than inward to avoid snags or skin cuts.

Body Construction 2: Stack rolls on top of each other and start bending the body to desired shape. With wire cutters, cut out holes for 1. arms on each side and 2. eyebrows (this is where to look out from). For added security, duct tape the edges.

Once the body structure is complete, tie straps of rope on the inside so that the costume can comfortably rest on your shoulders.

Paper mache: Grab a big bowl and create paper mache with flour and water. Rip up newspaper into strips and from top down, start pasting onto the body. Be mindful that each layer dries thoroughly before adding another. For a really hard body, paste about 4 layers.

Accessories/Body Parts: while waiting for paper mache layers to dry, it’s time to create Mr. Potatohead accessories/body parts. These are the ones I created, but it’s totally up to you:

  • nose: bunched up newspaper that was taped and contoured to the desired shape. This needs layers of paper mache.
  • mouth: cardboard cut outs
  • eyes: cardboard cut outs
  • ears: cardboard cut outs
  • hat: cardboard cut outs
  • moustache: thin cardboard cut out and tied yarn along it for hair

Painting: I had difficulty getting the right brown color for his body because the paint looked different wet vs dry so the costume has about five coats of paint on it. To avoid this tomfoolery when the desired batch of brown is created, paint a very small area and wait for it to dry to see if it’s the correct shade.

Securing Pieces w/ Velcro: Mark with a pencil where you want the eyes, nose, moustache and mouth to go. The body will be a bit bumpy, so try to find a smooth flat area. Once that’s done, place velcro on the pieces. If you plan on drinking, find where your mouth is located in relation to the body and poke a hole as a straw hole. Mine was right underneath the eye (yellow dot).

Outfit: wore a long sleeve white shirt I owned and purchased white gloves from a 99 cent store and blue pants from Goodwill. I wish I found blue shoes to wear, but my black Dr. Marten’s worked perfectly. I also carried around a tote bag that had my extra pieces and a sign so those engaging with the costume knew to pull the pieces off very gently.

Left: latest version by PlaySkool. Right: a baked potato version by RK.

All in all, he was a blast to make and wear out on the town. Here are some videos to see him in action:

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