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Kids Turn Crafts  &  Projects

Make your own Pikachu
Be the talk of the town this Halloween

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My son Patrick wanted to be Pikachu (a Pokemon character) for Halloween last year. We decided instead of buying a costume we would come up with our own creation using paper mache.

You can make this life size version of Pikachu yourself following the instructions below. It isn't hard, but it does take some time and patience.

Adult supervision and help is required. You can use this as a costume but be warned - you cannot sit in this one, vision is also impaired so always be accompanied by an escort when wearing. The Pikachu can also be used as a decoration instead of a costume.

Materials needed:
  • Wire Mess (chicken wire)
  • Wire for tying
  • Newsprint (available at most newspapers)
  • paper mache paste
  • Paint (primer, and colored)
  • Cardboard (for tail and ears)
  • Paint Sealer
  • Yellow fabric (optional)

STEPS:

Prep
1) Tear strips of newsprint (inkless preferred) into strips about 6 inches x 2 inches.
2) Make paper mache paste. Allow to cool before using.
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Build Frame
1) Using wire mess or chicken wire form into shape of body of Pikachu (or other Pokemon character). Be sure to check the size with the person who may be wearing (if doing so).
2) Cut and shape wire mesh and hold in place using small pieces of wire twisted to hold.
3) To form body use one large piece, cut hole in top for head. Wrap another piece round sides and tie together with wire twists to form sides of body.
4) To form head use 3 strips of mesh placed criss-cross then shape to form a circle of head of costume. Leaving bottom open. You do not need to fill entire circle with wire as paper mache will dry hard and fill in open spaces. Hold mesh in place with twists of wire.
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Paper Mache Frame
1) Dip strips of newsprint (inkless is best) into paper mache paste and place on wire frame of body and head.
2) Overlap pieces allowing open areas for head, arms and feet.
3) Once body and head is completely covered allow to dry a minimum of 24 hours in a safe undisturbed place.
4) Once dry if paper is too thin you may have to add a second layer. Repeat above steps and again allow to dry.
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Painting
1) Before you begin to paint make sure entire head and body frame is completely dry - this can take 24-48 hours depending on thickness and size.
2) Paint all paper mache'd parts with a layer of Primer (use water based). This will help seal the paper and allow top coat to not sink into paper.
3) Allow primer to set before continuing. Dry time should be on paint can.
4) Once primer is set, paint your Pikachu yellow. (use a water based interior paint) You can buy at a hardware store rather then using small bottles of craft paint. Allow the coat of yellow to set. Once dry, if you have missed areas touch up - or put a second coat on.
5) Once yellow layer is dry you can begin to add special features including eyes, nose, mouth and back stripes and tips to ears. I used small bottles of craft paint to add the features.
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Finishing Tips
TAIL We cut the tail out of hard piece of cardboard, painted and later attached to back of costume.
ARMS Optional. We cut (on fold) a basic arm pattern from yellow cotton fabric. Sewed up one side to form arm. Glued with hot glue to arm holes to hold in place. This is not necessary as child can wear a yellow turtle neck instead.
SEALING If your Pikachu will be outside at all I recommend spraying entire body and head with a sealer. I used a fast dry acrylic enamel hobby spray paint. This will help seal and prevent any water damage. Spray in a well ventilated area.
HEAD To attach the head to body we used foam inserts to fit person wearing head. This will help balance and stabilize the head to the person wearing it. We also hot glued a yellow fabric collar around inside of head to go into body of Pikachu. This can be attached to the wearer either with safety pins or by being tied under arms, to help balance head.
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Please remember these tips:
VISION Warning!! It is very difficult to see out of this costume so please always use an escort when wearing. To make eye holes - cut into head where person wearing will see out - remove the paper mache and area where vision is impaired - paint the mess to match the head. Even with this area removed peripheral vision is impaired.

WALKING Walking is also impaired, particularly up and down stairs. Please use with caution and with supervision.

If you decide to use your Pikachu as an outdoor lawn ornament place a flood light under and inside to make him glow!! Do not use a flame - remember this is paper and will burn.

Crafts | Halloween Costumes