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My sons love the game, Plants Vs. Zombies so they decided to use it as the basis for last year's costume. I think it turned out super cute, except that when my older son got tired of his Peashooter mask and took it off, he looked more like a frog.
The zombie costume was relatively easy. We went to the Goodwill and found appropriate clothing to wear by using the game zombies as a model. The plant costume was decidedly more challenging. First, we had to decide on which plant to do. I talked my son into the Peashooter, because it is the plant on the box and I could envision how to make it from scratch. Some of them would be really cool but beyond my crafting skills.
Approximate Time: 3-4 hours, plus drying time
Buckethead Zombie: The dark pants were raggedly cut on one leg and the bottom was left hanging around the shoe. He wore grey pajama bottoms underneath for warmth and to make his skin look more dead. The jacket was too big so we didn't feel like we needed to rip it up but that would have been more zombielike. We left the shirt unbuttoned at the sleeves and the tie was left sloppy.
The fingerless gloves worked very well, the ones I had were chunky red and orange stripes and looked like he had torn out the fingers and were all bloody and dirty. He wore a gray hat, which hid his hair and also padded his head from the metal bucket, which I had for storage in my bathroom. The bucket had splashes of blood, as did his hands and clothing. We also could have made more blood splashes but I didn't want to ruin the nice jacket, even though it was just a Goodwill find and only cost a couple of dollars.
We did slick back his hair and applied grey makeup to his face and other exposed skin but it wore off very quickly. His naturally missing teeth also added to the costume. He really got into it, shuffling and moaning "Braaaiiinnns" every few minutes. Here he is eating gummy "brains".
There are other types of zombies in the game, the one with an orange cone on it's head would also be effective. Try to keep it simple though, to make sure it is recognizable.
Peashooter: For the plant, I used a hoodie and sweatpants as the base. Because I couldn't find all three pieces in the same color, I took some grey sweatpants, a grey zipper hoodie and an old white shirt and dyed them a bright green in a bucket.
I think a pullover hoodie would have been a better choice if I were to make it again, but make sure it is large enough to fit the round styrofoam or other round form for the head. I got XL adult, which was probably a bit too big. I attached leaves to the bottoms of the legs to mimic the greenery at the bottom of the plant, but it wasn't big enough so wasn't really obvious so I would get bigger leaves next time.
To make the mask, I took a plastic pot liner, like you might get in a potted gift flower and cut out the center. This left the sides to come out from the face. A dog cone from the vet might also work. You just need to make sure that the person can see out and that the sides are perfectly straight.
I cut up the now green T-shirt and used strips to cover the sides. I didn't sew it but used fabric glue instead, which allowed me to cover up any gaps and was very forgiving. I worked symmetrically, which made it seem more plant like.
I did reinforce the inside with green electrical tape but didn't like the way it looked so I covered it up with more fabric and fabric glue. I just kept adding more pieces until I liked the result.
To keep the mask positioned correctly, I attached green swimming goggles. I was going to sew it in place, but I wound up using fabric glue, which is surprisingly strong.
Then I attached the wires and balls to be the shooting "peas". I kept them pretty short but positioned them at different distances from his face so it would look more like they were in motion.
It doesn't show in the photo, but I also added a glow necklace around the inside front edge, which gave off an eerie glow and sort of hid his face. Next time, I would use green makeup so that his face was more obscured.
For the head, I glued in a half sphere of Styrofoam and then carved out an indent so it sat on his head better. This stuff is really messy so I wound up covering it with another piece of fabric so the flaky stuff wouldn't get in his hair
I added two large black buttons as the eyes, with wire stuck into the styrofoam. The ones I had were faceted so they looked more 3 dimensional.
I attached leaves on the top and it was done. I had planned to attach the hood to the mask but it didn't really look much better so I kept it in two pieces.
By Jessica from Hillsboro, OR
At the last minute, my son decided he wanted to change costume ideas and be a Doom Shroom from the game Plants vs Zombies. So with some quick thinking between my wife and I, we were able to put together a pretty decent costume.
Approximate Time: 20 minutes
First, we found an umbrella that was proportionally the right size to look like a mushroom. My son had a small umbrella he uses for school and it looked too small so we used one of our larger ones.
Next, we cut two sides of a large black plastic garbage bag so it would lay it out in one flat sheet. We folded the corners under the umbrella and taped the bag to itself. Then we taped a second bag perpendicular to the first so the umbrella was entirely covered.
After taping up any loose bits, we cracked two red glow necklaces to get them glowing and taped them in an angled teardrop shape to look like angry eyes.
Last, we had him put on a black windbreaker with gray sweatpants to match the general coloring of the game character.
By Jess from Hillsboro, OR
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