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 hella 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 the library, aluminum foil from the dining halls, etc.)
For two weeks, instead of studying for 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 was 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 drunk frat guys tried sabotaging the head and wanted to pick fights with me. I shoved them aside and moved on my way. 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 fuck 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, really pissed off.
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 HD Fire, and a 5 lb. Hershey bar. I'm hoping if any of you guys out there could vote for my costume (vs. all the other ones with girls and tits...and tits will pretty much always win), I would be so appreciative and thankful to this 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 had gotten throughout my years in undergrad. When I hit into 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.