How to Make a Star Wars Stormtrooper Costume. An authentic, movie-accurate version of a Star Wars Stormtrooper costume costs thousands of dollars to create. Using the following steps, you can make the costume for a fraction of the cost and include the details that make it easily identifiable.
Things You'll Need
2 large white plastic trash cans
Soldering gun for "drilling" through the PVC
Black rubber "feet" (used under the legs of furniture)
White furniture glides
Fabric tape measure
4-inch PVC 90 degree angles (for knees and shoulders)
12 to 15 feet of thinner gauge PVC (sewer line) (for arms and legs)
20 to 24 inches 6-inch black plastic sewer line (neck collar)
Foundation garments: black leotard pants with footstraps and a black cotton long-sleeve t-shirt
Purchased full helmet ($40 to $120 in retail stores)
White and black spray paint designed to fuse with plastic surfaces
Flip top lid of a large, white plastic trash can
24 inches of white panel strip molding
2 medium white plastic trash cans
2 plastic marine battery storage boxes with angled lids
Vinyl boat bumper (white)
White belt, preferably with grommets
Black knit gloves
Pull-on ankle boots (no laces)
Black plastic recipe box
Footed salsa bowl
Purchased Stormtrooper gun
Novelty police vest from toy store
3 ft. of 2-inch PVC pipe
2 2-inch PVC end caps
2 4-inch PVC end caps
30 inches 2-inch flexible vacuum hose
Research the details of the costume in the "Star Wars Visual Dictionary." Have several 3-D action figures on hand for reference. Build the costume to fit the body to avoid pinching and chafing.
Remove the collars from the PVC 90 degree-angle and split them lengthwise along the underside. Use the heat gun to soften the plastic. Mold it to the shoulders, elbows and knees (See Resources).
Measure and cut the lighter gauge PVC pieces for the biceps and forearms. Use Velcro to join the pieces to the shoulder piece and breastplate. File the cut edges to smooth any roughness. Add detail with the strip molding.
Fashion the front and back of the torso from the two large white plastic trash cans. Connect the front and back at the shoulders and sides with stick-on Velcro tape.
Hinge the lower portion of the rear torso for ease of movement. Attach the black rubber feet and reflectors to the front section for torso detail. Cut elements from the novelty police vest, spray paint white and attach to the breast plate (See Resources).
Use the flip-top lid from the large trash can to make the codpiece. Allow ample space for the movement of the legs. Fasten the codpiece to the lower side extensions of the torso with Velcro strips.
Cut sections from large white trash can to serve as the front of the thigh and calf pieces. Cut the back pieces from smaller trash cans. Fit the smaller pieces inside the larger ones and glue in place. Trim the edges for a smooth fit and detail with white furniture slides.
Backpack and accessories
Remove the lid from one of the marine battery boxes. Fit it to the underside of the lid on the other box, then bolt the two joined lids to the top edge of the base of the box at a 45 degree-angle. Hinge the lid for access to the interior of the backpack.
Attach the two 4-inch PVC end caps to either end of the boat bumper to create the gas mask. Use a scrap of the white trash can to fashion a holster. Attach the holster and the gas mask through the grommets of the white belt.
Spray the flex hosing black and add to the backpack as in the model. Insert the gun into the holster. Glue the salsa cup to the rear of the backpack just below the lid. Glue on the recipe box to serve as a respirator.
Shape pieces of white trash can scraps to fit over the back of the gloves. Spray paint the boots white.
The forearm pieces rest on the wrists. The calf pieces rest on the ankles. Neither is Velcroed to another piece. Refer to the action figure or picture for accurate details of the shape. Hold the PVC between two wood blocks when using a vise so that the plastic is not marked by the metal. Use the heat gun on "low." Keep the heat gun moving over the surface of the PVC to avoid brown spots and blistering.