Hey Guys, It’s Sheila from your friendly NJ Playgrounds website!
So here comes another Halloween and I couldn’t resist sharing our latest experience…
Making a homemade costume for the very first time ever!
In this day and age, with youtube, google and facebook, the mission of making a homemade costume has been somewhat more accessible to the once-in-a-while-hey-I’ll-try-crafter. In keeping with my “journaling”, sharing information style, I had to document this interesting journey and give some props to the people on youtube that helped our mission.

The Inspiration

After 41 years of my life in the “purchasing store costume” way of life, the idea to make my kids’ costume came only because there is no inventory for the character in any store for a niche video game called “Five Nights at Freddy’s”. My boys age 9 & 10 were infatuated with the horror video game . Although I thought they were terrified of it as of last year, it looks like this year they embraced the jump scares and the weird characters that I still don’t really get. The excitement about the kids on making the costumes really fuels the fire. Googling the costumes, suggestions for youtube videos popped up on tutorials on how to make the costumes.
Here are the two videos that inspired us:

Withered Bonnie by bryphoenix- She has 4 videos total that lets you see each step sped up. Her voiceover directions are fantastic, and although sometimes she is out of frame, we were able to figure out the costume really well. It is really amazing how she was able to create this piece without a template, and just winging it.

Freddy Fazbear by Iron horse Cinema- Ok so these guys are a full fledged production company so the video tutorial is well done, and short. Some of the steps you have to hunt over in their facebook page. Much easier and less complicated since, withered Bonnie has 2 faces.

So watching a couple of those, you think, “Hey! How hard can it be? I’ll just take a trip to the dollar store, and get all those items, and maybe a trip to Fabricland”.

The Beginning

Doing projects that have crafty results has always been enticing to me. I do enjoy making arts and crafts, and the kids do too, so we were pretty excited for getting the materials for the costume. We learned that there are a few core tools/materials that everyone should have when making their own costume. Here is our top 5 list:

1) A Glue Gun and lots of Glue sticks- Wow, I had no idea how essential a glue gun is. I will never go back to “Tacky” glue again. Don’t forget the protective finger caps too, saves fingers!

We really enjoyed this safety video about using a glue gun by Lori Lane.

2) Craft Foam 1″ thick- We did not get our foam from Amazon, but we would in the future. They do have 1″ foam roll at Walmart. This is essential for making cool forms features on your costume. The color doesn’t matter, as all foam is covered with felt or material. In the Withered Bonnie video, bryphoenix uses a green upholstery foam.

3) Duct tape- Self-explanatory, but essential with the Freddy Fazbear costume.

4) Cutting implements- scissors, box cutter, exacto knife

5) A Good Youtube Video- When you have a good video, you can do anything!

Bonus Item- To hide your face, the $1 black nylons (pantyhose) at the dollar store work really well for many costumes

The Gathering of The Materials

Wow, lots of trips to Fabricland, Home Depot, Dollar Store, and ordering on Amazon. Also be prepared that if you need EVA foam, you will have to buy more than you need, cause they don’t come in any smaller sizes.

We could not find red non-blinking LED lights in all our trips to the store, so we ordered them on Amazon. Fantastic product, and you should definitely use them for your Red Glowing Eye needs.

The Process

So what I learned from this experience was that making your own costume requires a lot of patience, and if you arent very crafty you need to embrace the imperfections and go through lots of trial and error. We learned that for the side walls of Bonnie face, it’s kind of hard to judge sizing, so if you make a “how to” video on youtube, keeping a measuring tape nearby would be helpful to all your fans.

Estimating size of side walls for Bonnie Mask

Estimating size of side walls for Bonnie Mask

Here’s my son cutting the Withered Bonnie Mask out of EVA foam.
The  Process- The Withered Bonnie costume (especially) and Freddy Fasbear is very time consuming to make, there are lots of little things that need to be found/done to get it done right. So here are a few tips if you do go about this project.

Kids love to help so you should encourage them to do alot of it, my 10yo learned how to use the hot glue gun and did burn his finger, but it was a minor injury, (I did too!)  and he ultimately got some confidence about creating a costume.  In hindsight, I would definitely get these finger caps, to protect your hot glue gun enthusiast.

Grandmas and Relatives love to help too, the masks alone were very time consuming, and my mom pitched in for the body suit, and did a fabulous job.  I did sew the Freddy top, but it definitely was an amateur job when you get to the seams by the sleeves.  Extra padding on the suit is fun and makes for a little more girth for your animatronic friend.

You may have to cut out foam shapes more than once, since there is no template. If I would do it over again, I’d figure out the head shape better and redo the chin so that my son’s head could sit back further back.

4 yards of purple material is plenty but make sure you get the material to the person who is doing the body suit first so they can have their patterns and plan done before you haphazardly cut material to match the mask.  I had a tough time with this one, and have a super huge appreciation for minimal seams in costumes.  My mom was able to make do for bonnie.  For Freddy I learned to collect the material for the body suit first and then worked on the rest for the mask.

Also as you wander into the land of youtube you can learn from one video and put it in the other, for example we learned that a simple car sponge from the dollar store makes a great snout, a tip from Iron Horse Cinema we used in the bryphoenix bonnie video, (you can also foam shape it with scissors so it’s a little more rounded)


In process pic of my son wearing the withered Bonnie mask. Pink snout is a car sponge

In process pic of my son wearing the withered Bonnie mask. Pink snout is a car sponge

Some walmarts have a fabric center, like the one in Union (Rt- 22).  But for felt, you should go to the fabric store. We are big fans of our local fabric store, Fabric Land, the staff is very friendly, and the prices are reasonable. Amazon has felt too, but I find it so hard to judge material via computer.

Contact cement is pretty cool.  The Freddy Fasbear mask is duct taped together with lots of foam and we got brushes from the dollar store.  Do it outside though, lots of fumes!  You could just use hot glue as well, but the cement worked pretty well.

When in doubt, you make do… I used bits of EVA foam so that parts of the costume could sit well in the mask area.

I used a coat hanger as a frame for the teeth.  Then wrapped the Polyform Sculpey III Polymer Clay 8 Oz: White
around it, and my 10yo sculpted pointy teeth.  The teeth sat on a ledge of EVA foam in the mask since it was kind of heavy.

Endoskeleton Teeth Making - Withered Bonnie

Endoskeleton Teeth Making – Withered Bonnie

For making the hanging wires in Bonnie’s Endo, we painted pieces of foam black, hot glued wires from cables lying around in the workroom, and then used the thin wire to thread the foam through which went into the side blocks of foam on the sides of where the mask is attached.

All the videos for Withered Bonnie by the amazing bryphoenix:

The Results

Eric in his Withered Bonnie Costume before the school celebration

Eric in his Withered Bonnie Costume before the school celebration.

Close Ups of Withered Bonnie Endo Skeleton Head:

Son points to where his eyes are in the mask.  (Below teeth)

Son points to where his eyes are in the mask. (Below teeth)

Freddy Fasbear, 9yo

Freddy head using tutorial

Freddy head using tutorial

Going to upload a new full body one of Freddy with updated hat. That one was temporary. Paint didn’t dry yet for our intended hat.