I actually made this last year for Halloween and to wear to wintertime conventions when I wouldn't sweat to death.
Note: when you're wearing fake fur, you will always sweat, no matter the temp.
Anyways, I thought some of you craftsters out there might enjoy a little bit of a tute on a cheap and easy way to make Frank. It takes at least 2 weeks, though, so it's a bit to late for this season, but there's always next year!Pattern:
Simplicity 3609, View 3 (no tail)Pattern modifications:
Do not add ears so you have a plain cowl.
Add about 2 inches in inner length to the cowl so it covers your face up to mid-cheek and mid-forehead areas.
Make the legs a little bit longer so they gather at the bottom near the sneakers-- don't add the recommended elastic.
On the wrists, don't add elastic and make a bit longer than recommended.
For the pawsSupplies:
appx. 4 yards dark grey faux fur (medium pile)
appx. 1 yard white monster fur (long pile)/ faux fur
1 15-20 inch long zipper, thread, lots of hot glue
1/8 yard appx. of a vinyl/shiny material for the paw pads
8 to 10 faux bear/lion/other large game animal claws
Chuck Taylor/Chuck-style shoes
Delta Ceramcoat water-based varnish
Acrylic water-based paints in black, ivory, light grey, dark grey
wire mesh/aluminum craft mesh (1 pkg)
3 packs of Model Magic -- http://www.dick-blick.com/items/332/14/33214-3164-1-2ww-m.jpg
1 large pack Hearty air-dry clay -- http://www.hawaiianflowersforever.com/clay.gif
2 pieces of heavy duty elastic
Foam scraps (upholstery foam)
Note: you could likely substitute fur for fleece. It won't look as good, but it's still the same idea.Construction:
The suit is pretty simple. Following the pattern and modifications listed above-- make sure you have a long ribbon or something of the sort off the zipper pull, otherwise going to the restroom is a nightmare.
I ran out of fabric on mine, so I had to cut creatively and ended up with some weird seam lines. Ugh.
Also, when you get to the paws, you're going to applique stitch or glue on the pad fabric.
(Reference pic-- http://www.freewebs.com/darko_one/frank.JPG
As for the claws, I cut tiny slits in the glove edge, stuck the claw through then affixed it internally with glue.
There are several places to pick these claws up. If you have a Tandy/ Leather Factory store in your town, they have them (www.tandyleather.com
). Also, www.vandykestaxidermy.com
is a good place to find them.
You can always do what I did and mold and resin-cast your own, but it's more time consuming despite the money savings.
The mask is what takes nearly all of the time-- but it's more of a hurry up and wait sort of thing.
1. Using the wire mesh and your face as a template, carefully mold the mesh to the width and height and general shape you want with the mask and attached ears.
If you're able to, double up on the mesh for strength. Mark out (but don't cut out yet) where you want the mouth, eyes, nose to be-- especially the 'air'holes.
2. Using the Hearty clay, apply a thin layer, working it into the mesh without damaging the frame's shape too much.
3. When the first level of clay is dry and stable, start applying a thick layer of Model Magic, working up the face to create the nose, ears, raised mouth etc.
Leave the eye sockets blank, as well as the mouth under the muzzle overhang. This may take several layers.
4. When you have a good idea of tooth size, use the Hearty clay to mold a small set. Ditto on the eyes. Teeth get painted ivory and aged in the crevases by an apply-and-wipe method of painting.
Eyes are painted a silvery ivory and given extra varnish. I recommend making them about 2 centimeters smaller than the actual sockets-- which is actually easy to do since that's about the shrinkage of the eyes if you sculpt them directly using the socket.
5. When the layers of Model Magic are dry (takes about 12-20 hours depending on thickness), apply a final, smoother coat (using your fingers to smooth) of the Hearty clay. Fingermarks are okay. The face is actually quite textured.
Have fun with it, and don't worry about perfection.
6. When everything's dry, start applying paint. Two coats is best. When it's dry, put on at least one coat of varnish for that weird shine.
7. Using hot glue, glue on eyes to the sockets (they attach to the mesh), and the teeth to the overhang. Glue the mask's inner edge to the cowl edge.
Glue on some scrap elastic and foam for a better fit. I have two elastics- one around my neck coming up diagonally to my forehead, and one around the center of my head. It supports very well.
Visibility isn't great in this costume at all, but it sure scares the krap out of people.
Note: Because you're using air-dry clays, the project is totally easy to work on at home. Also, it makes a very lightweight mask, so there aren't any ear-breakage problems. It will chip, though, and it's heat and cold sensitive even after varnished, so it's not to be handled too roughly.
Hope this helps some one!