So a few years back, I saw a big box and decided I would do something special for Halloween.
I never thought I’d be very ambitious with any sort of costume or project, given that I had no prior experience with sewing, constructing, or any real type of cosplay or art project.
Fueled by my love for Sackboy and all things Little Big Planet, I decided I would undertake making a costume from whatever materials I had lying around or could get my hands on. Being a full time college student (not to mention pretty much being almost completely on loans going to Cornell), the budget I could muster up was a measly $50.
And that $50 pretty much went all to the burlap material I used to cover up the whole costume (yards of art fabric is crazy expensive, especially their eye-gouging shipping costs). The rest was whatever I could gather from friends, departments, and materials I would borrow from my classes (glue, tape from engineering/art, aluminum foil from the dining halls, etc.)
For two weeks, along with studying for my exams, I worked at that costume for hours on end. The final product doesn’t look terribly impressive by other cosplay standards, but I’m damn proud of what I did given my constraints and the limits of my costume making abilities.
The biggest challenge of the costume was obviously the head. I basically wrapped the burlap material around the giant cardboard box as a preliminary framework of the rounded shape I wanted to achieve. I then stuffed as much free Cornell Daily Suns (that’s our newspaper) that I could find to puff up and fill out the form. But problems arose when I started the stuffing. You could see the newspaper coming through the little holes of the burlap, so I ended up having to wrap the material around the box a second time. To keep the whole box on my head, I attached it to my bike helmet underneath the box. To see, the burlap material was already porous enough to look through.
The rest was a matter of wrapping cardboard into cylindrical shapes and attaching them to some throwaway pants and shirt I would specifically wear on Halloween. What was most time consuming was the fact that due to my budget and how the roll of burlap material came in as, I had to use every bit of the fabric to ensure it would fully cover the costume - that meant patching little bits and pieces that I had cut and luckily decided not to throw away.
The other issues were the cardboard cylinders I used for the limbs - they gave the bulkier shape I wanted for the arms and legs of Sackboy, but they were highly immobile and stiff. I worked around this by splitting the cylinders at the joints and connecting the pieces with the burlap material (think of the fabric as a ligament over a joint). The zipper was yea you guessed it, more cardboard, but wrapped in aluminum foil. When Halloween came around, I was ready to hit Collegetown and see how people would react.
A crapton of girls thought it was cute and gave me a hug. A bunch of other students gave me very odd and questionable looks. Many more simply laughed. I’ll tell you this: being under burlap material is like asking to to be baked inside an oven. It was a chill October night in Ithaca but that didn’t matter underneath that head.
In the end, I had an amazing time with my friends and lots of praise from random passerby. Obviously no one knew what the heck I was (only 3 people from the whole night guessed correctly, or at least said, “You’re that guy from that PS3 game!”) but it was worth it. I think I had more people thinking I was Domo-kun than anything else.
When my parents came to pick me up at the end of the school year, they threw out my costume thinking it was trash - that I wasted my time on complete nonsense instead of studying for my exams. I was devastated and frankly, infuriated.
The only remnant I have is the picture you see above of me standing by a fridge.
Little do they know that I entered it into the facebook Amazon Costume Contest and am now a finalist.
I’m in the running for a $1000 Amazon Giftcard, a Kindle Fire HD, and a 5 lb. Hershey bar. I’m hoping if any of you guys out there could vote for my costume (the one without boobs), I would be so appreciative and thankful to the community. Voting ends 11/6 at midnight.
I’m under the Finalists tab as the Sackboy (and pretty much one of, if not, the only fully video game character represented…besides the Joker).
I was so proud of that low budget costume - something I had poured my love and dedication into. I was more proud of making that costume than any grade I got in a course at school. When I hit a snag, the experience taught me to be creative, to be innovative with what I had and what I could do with the resources I was given.
Maybe after winning, my parents will realize how much video games play a role in my life, or how much they mean to me.