How to Make a Sphere Costume

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Making a sphere large enough to wear for a costume presents a creative challenge. But you'll definitely stand out in a crowd with a unique, hand-crafted costume. Once the base is constructed from papier mache, you can decorate your sphere to make a globe, basketball, baseball, soccer ball, Christmas ornament, Angry Bird, pumpkin or any other round costume idea you envision.

Things You'll Need

  • * Exercise ball (choose a large, medium or small ball depending on whether the costume is for a child or an adult)
  • * Air pump to inflate and deflate exercise ball
  • * Newspaper
  • * Computer paper (optional)
  • * Flour
  • * Water
  • * Medium bowl
  • * Large bowl
  • * Paint and paintbrushes
  • * Craft paint
  • * Craft knife
  • * Large plastic tablecloth
  • * Plastic wrap
  • * Masking tape

Make Your Sphere Costume

  • Prepare Work Surface

    • Spread a large plastic tablecloth over the floor where you will be working.
    • Cover a medium bowl with plastic wrap to prevent papier mache from sticking to the bowl.
    • Inflate your exercise ball so that it is firm and put it on top of the medium-sized bowl to hold it in place while you work.
    • Cover your exercise ball with plastic wrap to prevent papier mache from sticking to it.
    • Make sure the hole to inflate and deflate the exercise ball is at the top so you can deflate the ball once the papier mache is dry.
  • Only make enough of the papier mache recipe for one layer at a time. Allow layers to dry completely between applications.

    Papier Mache Recipe

    • Tear newspaper and computer paper into 2-inch wide strips. The number of strips you need will depend on the size of your sphere. Computer paper is optional, but white paper will make the sphere easier to paint.
    • In a large bowl, mix 1 part flour to 3 parts water until mixture is creamy.
  • Apply Papier Mache

    • Dip strips of newspaper in mixture and apply to surface of exercise ball. Cover the entire surface of the ball, leaving holes large enough for a head at the top and legs at the bottom.
    • Let each layer of papier mache dry completely before applying the next layer.
    • Repeat until you have a total of three layers of papier mache.
    • Apply a layer of masking tape on top of the third layer for added strength and structure.
    • Apply a fourth layer of papier mache atop the masking tape. Repeat until you feel your sphere has a solid structure.
    • Optional: For the last layer, dip computer paper in papier mache mixture and apply to the ball. White paper makes it easier to paint once dry.
  • Decorate Your Sphere

    • Once papier mache is fully dry, use craft paint to decorate your ball as desired.
    • After the paint is fully dry, deflate the exercise ball and remove it from the interior of your sphere.
    • With a craft knife, smooth the openings you left for your head and legs.
    • Identify where you want arm holes to be and cut them out with the craft knife.
    • Have someone help you lift the costume over your head and insert your arms through the arm holes.

    Alternative

    • You can also use the craft knife to cut your sphere in half vertically, one half for your front and one for your back.
    • Secure the two halves together at the top by stapling wide ribbon to either half at your shoulders.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on your costume theme, you can also glue feathers, ribbon and other decorations to your sphere with craft glue.
  • Do not begin painting the papier mache until it is thoroughly dry. If it is still wet, the paint will compromise the integrity of the papier mache.
  • Handle craft knife with care.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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