Yip Yip Costume
Finalist in the
I’ve found this fabric to work well for the body of the costume. It’s soft, breathable, and light enough to move around in but with enough weight to hold the package together. The downside to curly fleece is it can shed quite a bit when it’s fresh, so it gets rather messy. However, a good thing about this is that the fur on the fabric was so long that it easily hid the many safety pins I used. Another good option is something called Flurr (fleece + fur). You want about about 2.5-3x whatever your height is.https://www.pinterest.com/powerpoint_templates/modern-powerpoint-templates/
This is the mesh-like material that will form the mouth. It is important that the material be see-through, since this will be your window to the outside world. The mouth will probably consist of 2-6 layers of this material, depending on the specific fabric you have. The most important part is that if you hold it up to your face, you can see relatively clearly through to the other side (usually there is a light source outside of your costume), but no one can see into your costume through the mouth (no light source within your costume).
You can pick this up at your local Home Depot for a few dollars. A good half-oval shape is what you want. The dimensions I found were 7.5″x3.5″x2.5″, and I eventually cut in half length-wise however. This will form the lip.
For the eyeballs. 4″ in diameter will do, or 5″ if you want to go bigger.
This will be essential to keeping the costume on your head. Pick out something that is light, nothing too thick. You don’t want to start sweating too much while wearing the costume. It should have enough structure to it though stay firm and not flop around.
This should match the color of your costume. Thin pipe cleaners work well, you just need to buy enough of them to twist around to make a solid and flexible pair of antenna. Some glittery pipe-cleaner is also helpful in complimenting the solid colors.
Needle and thread (or staples)
Safety pins (various sizes)
A friend (very helpful to have someone to wear the costume as it is being created)
Drape the body fabric over your head length-wise so it runs from your heels, over your head, and down to your toes. However, give yourself approx 1 1/2-2′ of extra length for the front half. This is because you’ll need the slack for when you lift up what will be the jaw portion of the costume to move the mouth. Duct tape is a handy measuring marker for this step. While draped in the fabric, mark these points on the fabric:
Eyebrow line (approx upper edge of mouth)
1 3/4′ from the brow line to the lower edge (of the mouth)
Next cut out a rectangular piece from the black mesh to act as the mouth fabric. Be sure it has plenty of space to cover the hole. Depending on the transparency of your fabric, you’ll need several sheets to form the mouth. With my fabric, 3-4 layers was enough.
Here comes the tough part. After you’ve decided how many layers you want to form the mouth, you’re going to sew them to the body fabric to cover the hole. It helps to tape the black sheets together first so they can be sewn on all at once. This part can get frustrating as each layer may move about on it’s own, but just take your time. The good thing is, complete accuracy isn’t important, from the outside, no one can tell.
You’ve probably noticed by now that when draping the body over yourself, it tends to slide around a bit. To fix this, you’ll need to attach your beanie to the inside, right where you’ve marked the center of the top of your head. You can use large safety pins to get a rough position, then lock it down in place with smaller ones around the rim. When adjusting the placement, be sure your eyes are just beneath the upper edge of the mouth fabric, so you can see out through the mouth. However, you don’t want your eyes to be too low into the mouth, or it may look like either your Yip-Yip is always looking down, or it’s upper lip is wrapping around your forehead.
With the dimensions of the sponge I bought, I cut it in half length-wise to make it thinner (easier to handle). Mark an area a few inches past the lower edge of the mouth, and tape the curved face of the sponge onto the inside surface at that location. This is where all the movement will take place. Try moving the jaw up and down while looking in a mirror, to make sure it looks ok. When you’re satisfied with the placement, hot-glue the sponge on.
While inside the costume, have someone else mark a good position for the eyes, just based on whatever looks best. Another option is to lay the costume out flat on the floor, then lay the eyes on the approximate area according to what appears symmetric. Once you have that, you can hot-glue the balls directly onto the fabric. I prefer to have the eyes touching each other, so I glue them together as well.
Take the pipe cleaners and wind them up into a single shape as seen in the images. I used about 24 total pipe cleaners to get the structure right, with more making up the base and less around the ends. When it was all wired together I lined it with four glitter pipe cleaners, just because.
While inside the costume, have someone start sealing up the sides with safety pins. Fold the flaps inward and close them up. The safety pins can be about 6-8″ apart, going down the side. Just clean it up however you feel comfortable, as long as you can keep others from seeing into the costume from the sides. Don’t close it up too tightly though, you need space to move around, and to maintain the Yip Yip look. It doesn’t have to be super neat, the Yip-Yips have a pretty sloppy look. And in the end, you’re still essentially just wearing a sheet over your head. (Commenters have opted to sew up the sides or use velcro strips, both which work fine. Safety pins are probably the fastest option. In any case, you may want to leave a hole for you to let your arms stick out in case you’ll need them)
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Thank you so much for this! But . please help, I have two questions!! (I am not a normally crafty person, but my son saw this and just HAD to have it lol).
First question: For a 10-yr old kid who’s not quite 5 feet tall, should I adjust the mouth opening to be smaller? The instructions say for it to be 21 inches high, but that would be way low on him, like down to his crotch. 16 inches high is down to his stomach . can I use that instead?
And second question: I feel a little sheepish asking, but the person wearing the costume has to hold the mouth closed (grabbing the sponge) the entire time, right? If they let go, the mouth just gapes open?
Thank you so much, we’re so excited about our Yip Yip to-be!!
Does anyone know if there is a video of this somewhere?
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Unfortunately, the brand JoAnn’s uses for curly fleece does not come in blue anymore. I will most likely resort to terry cloth. Also, did you know the Martians were improvised off of hats? Therefore, for a better look, mayhaps one should make the head hole circular?
Oh my god, I love the aliens! Do you remember the one that goes,
“Ra-di-o!”? You did a fabulous job, and thank goodness the kids went
for it! It’s uncanny how much it looks like the yip yips. 🙂
where could I buy this in winnipeg
where would i buy this in winnipeg
on the previous step i noted the fragile state of our eyes, so what ended up working for us here was to hot glue (on low temp setting) the eyes to the antenna. we created a little semi-circle, c-shaped, base with the end of the pipe cleaner, and set the eye on top, secured with the glue. then we trailed the antenna up the back and secured the antenna with sewing pins criss crossed into the eyes. liquid nails would also work better for this. we hot glued (high setting) the base portion we created with the pipe cleaner to the top of the head and put some extra glue around the bottom to kind of “seal” it. then we just shaped the antenna out. they held all night.
we had quite a time trying to attach our eyes. the hot glue was just melting the styrofoam. we tried tape and super glue also, with no success. on one, (due to damage between the eyes caused by the hot glue) we ended up using liquid nails, which kept them pretty damn solid all throughout the night. on the other costume, there wasn’t as much damage, so i used a tooth pick to connect them (half the tooth pick in each eye) in the center and just put a little of the liquid nails in between, just in case.
Can you clarify where you suggest pinning the weight to weigh down the mouth?
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