The Dancing Baby Groot costume (character from Guardians of the Galaxy) I created is made entirely from paper, duct tape and glue. I had wanted to try making a paper costume and a tree-like character is perfect for this.
For the head I started with a large tube of paper . I used paper from Home Depot. It is available in the paint department and comes in rolls about 3 feet wide and 50 ft long for about $10.
I cut a large piece of paper that was 3 ft by 8 ft and made the base tube for the head about 5 ft around.
Inside the base tube are 3 rings (also about 5 ft around) that are cut from sturdy cardboard that were used as ribs to keep the size and shape of the tube.
The rings were duct taped to the paper base tube. The rings are placed about a third of the way from the top and the bottom and at the center.
The tube is formed with 2 layers of paper wrapped around the rib rings. I glued these paper layers together.
Then I added one more layer of paper. The final layer of paper has vertical wrinkles in the of paper for a bark-like appearance.
For the wrinkles I took a piece of paper the size of the headpiece and made a roll (about the size of a roll of gift wrap). Then I squeezed the roll as tightly as I could until the paper was thoroughly creased. After opening the creased roll I tried to flatten it back out making sure that the creases were fairly even.
With the final creased layer laying flat on the ground I drew out flame-like branches at the top of the head. The flames vary from 8 to 10 inches and about 3 inches wide. They can be sketched on in pencil on the wrong side of the paper until the look is right.
Once the look was right I simply cut the flames out with scissors. Then the top layer was glued on to the tube
The bottom edge of the head piece is rolled inward. I rolled up about 8 inches from the bottom edges. It is rolled tightly.
At the top opening of the head, I glued in a circle that I cut to fit the opening. Before gluing in the circle I wrinkled it slightly for a little texture.
Lastly I drew on the placement for the eyes and the mouth. I cut out the eye holes in the same size as the balls that I found for that purpose. The eyes are dollar store foam balls cut in half and painted black. The eyes are glued in place on the inside.
The mouth area was slit open using a razor. I made the mouth slit large enough to see out of.
To keep the head piece from flopping around while I was dancing in the costume, I added another ring on the inside that fits nicely around my head to give the headpiece more stability.
For Groot's body, I used a body form to help with the size and shape.
First I placed a paper dress shape over the body form. Basically it is a paper tube with arm holes. The tube goes about down to me shins. I used the paper from the Home depot in the 3 ft. length it came in and just fit it loosely around my body to get the width.
Then starting at one shoulder, I wrapped twisted 12 ft lengths of the 18 inch wide paper around the body in diagonal twists. I placed another twist of the paper immediately adjacent to the first , following the same diagonal path.
Continuing with this pattern, I completely covered the entire tube dress. To keep the diagonal wraps of paper in place I used a lot of pins. Once I was satisfied with the vine-like appearance of the diagonal paper wraps then I painted a 50/50 mix of white glue and water into all the joining areas of the paper.
The arms were added after the body was done. They are limbs of 3 foot wide paper that were pleated and twisted. I formed these over tubes.
I shaped the arms making them wide at the armpit area and tapering down to a pointed tip that extends beyond the wearer's fingertips. There are a couple of small holes that I added for the fingertips to go out through. This allows some use of the hands.
The arms were then pinned to the body and glued in place. The pot was made similarly to the head except that it tapers in as it goes down for a conical shape.
It is made by covering cardboard hoops with a tube of paper. Try to keep the paper as smooth as possible with no bumps or creases showing. It could be formed over an actual large pot or laundry basket to help with the shaping.
This part was duct taped together on the inside and glued on the outside seam.
The pot has a decorative rim at the top that I made from poster board. It is about 4inches by 5 ft. Just long enough to go once around the top of the pot.
Finally I topped the pot with a single piece of paper that I cut an asterisk shape hole into tat was a little larger than the size of the body of the costume.
The wearer dons the costume by cutting a slit in the back of the body and opening the back just enough to step in. Then step in to the pot and put on the headpiece.
This paper Dancing Baby Groot costume is super light weight and is easy to grab the rim of the pot to walk around.
Better yet, put on an awesome mix of music and dance to the groove!