Families, groups can call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy with DIY costumes

The littlest one could be Rocket, the smallest of the Guardians.
The littlest one could be Rocket, the smallest of the Guardians. | Source

"Guardians of the Galaxy" was the biggest movie of the summer, and is now the third biggest movie for Marvel. As a result, kids and adults will want to be these criminals-turned-heroes for Halloween.

The five characters make it easy for families and groups to dress up. Dad can be Groot (since he is the tallest), Mom can be Gamora, and the kids can be Star-Lord, Rocket and Drax. A smaller family could use the final scene for inspiration and carry a baby Groot in a pot. A group of friends could each dress up as their favorite character.

Because there is a costume for everyone, it's better if the costumes are inexpensive and easy. Using t-shirts from craft stores, paint and colored duct tape creates simple DIY costumes that are also durable for play.

For the examples below, the first scenario is used, but the directions can fit most.

Star-Lord
Star-Lord | Source
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Star-Lord

Star-Lord is the leader of this group of misfits, so let the middle child play the part. Besides the craft part of the costume, the child should add a gray t-shirt and black pants- items he probably already owns. All that needs to be made is the jacket, belt/sack and a Sony Walkman. (The mask is not needed. Tell the child it is only needed if he plans to trick-or-treat in space.)

Jacket

Supplies:

  • Red long-sleeved shirt, a few sizes too big so it could look like a long coat
  • Brown "puff" or 3D paint
  • Brown matte paint
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Iron

First, fold the shirt in half longways and iron to create a center line down the front of the shirt. Cut down the center line to turn the shirt into a jacket.

To help create the shoulder patch, use paper to create a pattern that goes over the top of the sleeve and can be used on both sides. Outline the design with the puff paint and fill in the matte (let one dry at least two hours before using the other). Allow the paint to dry for four hours before painting the other side.

Belt/Sack

Supplies:

  • Brown duct tape
  • Sticky Velcro squares

Star-Lord carries a sack which my child thought was a belt that drapes over one shoulder like a sash. As a result, I made a belt that can drape over his shoulder. To add a faux bag, just layer the duct tape to make a rectangle and cut to the bean shape of the bag and tape it to the belt.

The belt is created by pulling out a long enough piece of duct tape, sticky side up, on a table, then carefully sticking another length on top, sticky side down. Add Velcro squares to the ends.


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Gamora

Gamora's costume was difficult to design, as the costume designers for the movie likely discovered. This design keeps it simple, and keeps the wearer covered, even if she decides to go with green body paint instead of a green long-sleeve shirt underneath.

In addition to the green long-sleeve shirt, black active pants will complete the outfit. She could paint her face and whatever the green shirt doesn't cover with green cream make-up (available where costumes are sold). To create the multi-colored hair, just color the ends with either hair chalk or temporary spray-on color (both also available where costumes are sold).

Top

Supplies:

  • Black t-shirt
  • Black "puff" or 3D paint
  • Black matte paint
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Light-colored pencil
  • Paint brush
  • Iron

First, iron a center line on the shirt as with the Star-Lord costume. Then, put the shirt on the costume-wearer. Decide how low the neckline will be, and mark that spot with a piece of tape. Also place tape just under the chest and at the belly button. Take the shirt off to draw the design and paint.

Using the center line, mark two inches off on either side of the neckline tape with the colored pencil. Then, using a ruler, draw a line on each side of the neck of the shirt to the corresponding neckline marks, then connect the marks. Starting from each mark, draw parallel lines down the shirt. Within these lines, draw an "X" to fit between the under chest mark and the belly button mark. Draw a small bar under the "X." This complete design can be seen in the photo to the right.

Next, fill in the area above the "X" (the chest coverage), the "X" and the bar with the matte paint. Trace all lines drawn with the puff paint.

Once dry, turn the shirt inside out and cut off the sleeves. Turn the shirt right-side out. Then, cut out the neckline along the paint outline. Last, cut out the middle bottom space along the paint outline.


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Wrist Bands


Supplies:

  • Black duct tape
  • Stick-on Velcro squares and dots

First, overlap two pieces of duct tape (just longer than what's needed to wrap around the wrist) sticky side up. Set aside.

Pull out another piece of duct tape- at the same length- and fold in half longways. Place one end on the first pieces of tape on a slight angle. Cover the sticky sides of duct tape with duct tape, sticky side down.

To complete the band, stick a Velcro square on one end, then wrap the band around the wrist to find where the corresponding Velcro square should fall. Connect the over thumb part to the wrist band with a Velcro dot.

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Fringe the bag to create the branch look.
Fringe the bag to create the branch look. | Source
Staple elastic inside the leg branches so they do not fall.
Staple elastic inside the leg branches so they do not fall. | Source
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Groot

Groot is tallest Guardian, which is why Dad is our Groot. Dad can wear his khaki pants and brown shirt with these tree branch accessories.

Branches

Supplies:

  • Brown paper grocery bags
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Elastic

First, cut bags along the seam and cut out the bag bottom, creating one large sheet of brown paper per bag. Then, "fringe" one side as seen in the photo. For Dad, 1" sections work, but a younger child may look better with 1/2" sections.

Cut to size pieces of bag to wrap around the head, arms and legs and staple to fit as a hat, arms and legs. To keep the legs from falling, staple elastic inside the leg branches. Make sure the legs are wide enough to pull on and off.

If desired, reinforce the staples with duct tape on the inside of each limb.

As an alternative, a cheap (or thrift store find) brown shirt and pants could be cut like the bags and worn over the base layers. For a shirt with an elastic cuff, fold the sleeve up 1/2 to 2/3, and cut from the fold up to the cuff seam.

To make the baby Groot, a plastic flower pot, crumpled up black paper and brown pipe cleaners are needed. Stuff the pot with the black paper. Twist a few pipe cleaners together, pulling out arm branches. "Plant" the baby Groot in the pot and let whoever is dressed up as Rocket carry him.

Velcro sticky dots help seal the newly created leg openings.
Velcro sticky dots help seal the newly created leg openings. | Source
Front
Front | Source
Back
Back | Source

Rocket

Rocket is the smallest member of the group, so the smallest member of your group should play the role. Besides the items to make for the costume, the wearer should find brown pants and a brown long-sleeve shirt. Rocket wears an orange jumpsuit over his fur and is a raccoon, so a mask or face paint and ears will be needed. Rocket's costume will take the longest to make simply because of the wait time for the paints to dry.

Jumpsuit

Supplies:

  • Orange t-shirt long enough to reach the knees or come close
  • Silver "puff" paint
  • Silver matte paint
  • Black matte paint
  • Blue "puff" paint
  • Pencil
  • Tape

First, turn the shirt inside out and cut of the sleeves along the seam. Turn the costume right side out and put the shirt on the wearer. Mark with tape a few inches below the crotch. Take the shirt off and cut a slit through both sides up to the tape. Add Velcro dots along the slit like snaps are placed on baby one-pieces to create the shorts portion of the jumpsuit. (It may be easier to line the dots up if the shirt is inside out.)

With a pencil and a ruler, draw out the design to be painted on the front and back of the shirt. The front has three straps with buckles on each side, which are basically rectangles. The back has a cyberish panel (appears to have something to do with the scar on his back from the experiments) connected to the straps on the front. This is drawn first with a silver hexagon between the shoulder blades. A silver rectangle is at the base of the hexagon, like a handle. A blue circle is in the center of the hexagon. The black base for this (what's connected to the straps) surrounds this cyber structure.

Then, paint the strap design on the front of the shirt, outlining each element with puff paint. (The silver buckles are simply three lines of the puff paint blurred together.) Once dry (about four hours after final coat), paint the cyber design on the back, once again outlining each element with puff paint. Be sure to wait a couple of hours between each color so the colors do not bleed.


The raccoon mask kit found at Target. (2014)
The raccoon mask kit found at Target. (2014) | Source

Mask

Supplies:

  • Kit (available in 2014 at Target)

or

  • Craft Foam in black, gray/brown and white
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Elastic or string

or

  • Paper plate
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Elastic or string


If you can not get the kit, cut pieces of foam like shown in the kit or create a mask out of a paper plate. Be sure to cut the eye holes big enough so the child can see.

If you prefer not to make a mask, make construction paper ears and tape them to a headband that fits the child. Then, with black makeup, paint the circles around the eyes, the end of the nose and lines for whiskers on the cheeks.

A detailed Drax costume.
A detailed Drax costume. | Source

Drax

Drax is bulky, shirtless and bald, so a painted hoodie paired with black pants will transform a child into this character.

Supplies:

  • Gray hoodie
  • Red paint

Red marks are all over Drax's head and body. Depending on how artistic you are, the design could be very intricate or very simple- almost like tiger stripes. Examples of the two types of design can be seen by comparing the Drax action figures to the Drax Disney Infinity figurine.

© 2014 Samantha Sinclair

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