This is a terrifying four-legged Stilt Spirit costume. I was lucky enough to go with 3 friends of mine to Dragon Con 2012 and not even before I returned home from my 5 day adventure I wanted to start building costumes. I am not a small person by any means so I knew there were more challenges ahead of me than most people. Building my own stilts was the only option I had if I wanted this costume to work so I started to study. I learned everything I could about wood strength and how to create a safe, comfortable set of stilts. After a month of drawing up plans and researching I started to create. It took me 2 months total to completely finish the stilt spirit.
I used 1/2 in. furniture foam glued/wired/taped/sewn to a base of chicken wire. I used an entire roll of Gorilla Tape, 87 glue sticks and 2 cans of spray adhesive, 3 needs (they don’t like to be ran through glue and foam) and a set of finger prints. The front stilts are made from XL stilts that go up to 6’6″. The horns were also hand made by me using expandable foam, cardboard, paper clay and paint. The tiny rooster skull that the stilt spirit carries on her horns was donated by a friend who does taxidermy as a hobby. 20 yards of foam, and about 30 yards of fabric were used in the stilt spirit.
I can move around easily in the costume and I can get in and out of it myself so long as I have a high enough perch to sit to put the stilts on (the back of my car works perfect). The costume is actually comfy, HOT oh so hot, but comfy. When I am tired I can easily just rest on the “crutches” and the back stilts are made to my exact specifications so they are like walking on kittens. Fluffy, fluffy kittens.
The costume terrifies people for some reason. They are always curious were my face is. I am actually looking down the entire time and can see about 2 ft in front of me so its very important that I have someone with me to guide me along. It’s amazing what someone can accomplish when they put their mind to it.
The hardest part was walking for the first time. It was awkward. As my husband put it “its like watching a deer being born” and that’s not far from the truth. Now after hours and hours of use I can get around with out much effort at all. I originally made everything too big. I looked like a deranged turtle with a beetle body. I ended up ripping the whole thing apart and cutting away about 2 ft. total of foam.
The most fun I had in the costume was when I was at a local childrens trick or treating event and parents would force their terrified children to come stand by me to get a picture. Little did the parents know, when the child would stand by me I would grumble in a low voice “give me all your candy!!” and more often than not the kid would bolt away from me in terror.