I’ve made pretty elaborate costumes in the past, but don’t go overboard every Halloween. I wasn’t planning on something real time consuming, until I saw a car commercial that featured some of the Muppets. One sighting of the Muppet called Sweetums and I knew that’s what I was going to make. The best feature of my costume is a fully operational mouth.
When people tell me, “I have an awesome costume”, I can surprise them by having the actual costume reply, “Thanks”. Or since the clothing is just raggody and dirty I’ll probably reply, “Thanks, but this isn’t a costume. These are the only clothes I could afford.”
I started by making a frame for the head with 1/4 inch threaded rods. That way I could connect different pieces with figure 8 metal pieces held in position with 1/4 inch nuts. I placed all of the connector pieces where they should be and bent the 1/4 inch rods into place. I also used the same method to form a helmet in the middle of the frame. The jaw can spin up and down on a 1/4 inch extended nut that just rotates on the end of threaded pieces of rod.
The rod I used for the jaw extends past the hinge point so the cables attached to the end must be pulled up in order to open the jaw. I have two hooks on both sides to attach rubber bands, which hold the jaw closed. The two cables go up and through pullies, where they come down and attach to one hook. In the clothing I made there is a cable running from the top center down to the side of my hip with a loop at the end. When I put the head on I can pull the cable to open and close the mouth. Then I stitched foam padding around the frame and spray painted it brown.
I bought a clear plastic Christmas tree bulb, which I cut in half and painted the inside. This gives the eyes a realistic shine. They are plastic so I could drill small holes to run thread through and attach. Under the eyes I just stitched red fabric over the foam padding to create the same look. The nose and lip are the same red fabric shaped with the foam. The teeth are just white leather pieces.
The clothing was easy because Sweetums is always featured in raggedy clothes. I just used a big piece of burlap and a rope for a belt. I used the foam and some fur to make the feet and hands with velcro to attach them.