I made this Mr. Stay Puft costume for a yearly Queen Fan Club convention fancy dress night back in 2008. The theme was Halloween, so thought this would be something unlikely for anyone else to do.
Starting about 3 months before it was needed and with no plans, all I had was a screenshot of Mr Stay Puft from the film and a wife who thought I was mad! I wanted to try and make myself as tall as possible, so the only way I could think of doing that was to make it oversized, basically looking out of the mouth so it would give the extra bit of height (I’m only 5’ 10” so to look tall in a costume was always going to be tricky!)
The head is made from paper-mâché, using a large balloon inflated to about 4 times the size of my head, then gradually layered with strips of paper which was soaked in a very watered down wallpaper paste (wear gloves!). The balloon was completely covered except for about a 3 inch circle at the bottom (to pop it later) with about 4 layers of paper, left to dry for 2 days and repeated another 6 times until it was hard enough to lightly knock on and sound solid.
When the paper felt thick enough the hole was widened with a scalpel until it was big enough to get my head in so I was ready to do the next bit. Next step a layer of white felt was cut into strips, glued with UPVC glue and layered over the top of the paper. Cheeks and around the eyes were slightly padded with cotton wool between the layers of felt. The eyes are actually just done as paper glued onto the felt.
Between all the head making it was time to start the legs. A quick search on eBay for a pair or beige cotton trousers gave me the insides of the legs and makes it easier to put on and a inner shape to stitch the outer material too! I bought about 5m of white cotton material for the outer and wrapped around the waist and stitched along the waistband. The legs themselves were made in sections, first stitching around the ankle and wrapping the material right the way around the leg, filling with some stuffing taken out of 2 double duvets which was cheaper than buying actual costume (10 tog duvets so there was lots of padding, although what the hell a tog is I will never know but it made it lovely and warm!) These were then taken off, stitched up and repeated for the top part of the leg and the opposite leg after.
For the body, I used a large white t-shirt on the inside and stitched white material around the middle, filled with padding and repeated with the arms. The bib was cut as 2 large rectangles of blue felt with a head hole cut in the middle, stitched together and filled with more duvet padding. A white ribbon was stitched around the edge with a red bit of felt to finish off.
The hands were about the only thing I couldn’t really make, so I bought a pair of Mickey Mouse hands! The feet were just a piece of cardboard with a hole to get my foot through and a bit of padding stuck on top, with material hanging over (again with a hole cut) so it hid my trainers.
The hat was a chef hat altered and padded out to the right shape with felt used to do the blue band and white felt for the writing. An empty toilet roll was glued inside the hat and a hole cut in the head to sit it into so it could be easily put on and taken off for storage.
Drinking was always going to be an issue, but a chain of straws through the mouth could reach low enough to actually use and end up making it look like Stay Puft is doing the drinking!
On the night, we went into the hall through the side entrance and as we walked across the hall, everyone started singing Ghostbusters and I must of ended up in just about every photo that night. Luckily the costume making ended up worth the 3 months of sewing and bloody fingers (I’m not that good at it!) as I won the competition!