How to Make a GWAR-Type Costume

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GWAR is a heavy metal band known more for its outrageously dressed performers than its music. The GWAR costumes were originally planned for a use in a low-budget film, but after the band performed in them, it became their catch. Although making an exact replica of a GWAR costume maybe difficult and time consuming, you can make your own GWAR-type costume with just a little time and effort.

Things You'll Need

  • GWAR mask
  • Newspaper
  • Liquid starch
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Hot glue
  • Football shoulder pads
  • Cardboard
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Spray paint
  • Felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Aluminum foil
  • Black tights
  • Scissors
  • Halloween makeup
  • Purchase a GWAR mask from a specialty site, such as the Oderus Urungus mask available form Horrorbid (see Resources). These masks are expensive, usually around $85 or more. If you cannot find one or do not want to spend that much money, choose any scary monster mask. Also purchase a pair of monster gloves and monster feet.

  • Tear strips of newspaper into 1-by-4-inch strips. Dip the strips into liquid starch and pass them through your fingers to remove excess liquid. Place the strips onto the outside of an upturned large mixing bowl. Cross the strips over one another until the bowl is completely covered with two to three layers of newspaper. Allow it to dry completely. Repeat this whole step a second time. This will create two paper mache half bowls. Attach the half bowls to the top of a set of football shoulder pads with hot glue.

  • Draw and cut out two sword shapes, each measuring 24 inches long and four inches wide at the widest point, from cardboard. Add five triangular 1-inch notches near the base of each sword. Attach the swords to the center of each half bowl from the prior step with hot glue. If extra support is needed, hot glue a straightened wire hanger to the back of each sword.

  • Spray paint the shoulder pads, half bowls and swords with a dark, silver metallic paint. Allow them to dry completely.

  • Cut two pieces of black felt. The exact size depends on the size of your arms. The length should be the length of your forearm, from the wrist to the elbow, and the width is the width of your forearm. Sew the two lengths of each felt strip together. This will make two arm guards.

  • Crumple pieces of aluminum foil to create 30 cones, 3 inches long each. These will be the spikes for the arm guards. Spray paint the cones with the same spray paint you used in Step 4. Allow the paint to dry. Use hot glue to attach the cones to the arm guards using any pattern you would like, placing half the spikes on each arm guard.

  • Make two shin guards the same way you created the arm guards, cutting two strips from black felt. Stitch the seams together. Create six more spikes using the same method you used to create the arm spikes. Spray paint them the same way and let them dry. Attach three spikes on the back of each of the shin guards.

  • Wear a pair of black tights. If desired, use scissors to make some tears in the inseam of the tights.

  • Use black Halloween makeup to outline the lines of the abdominal muscles to finish the look.

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