Sock Monkey, Muno and Mr X - Halloween 2010

How d’ya like me now!!!??

And so… that time of year when the house turns into some kind of weird factory littered with spandex, foam and knitting paraphernalia, as we jump into making Halloween Costumes! If you’re not into Halloween, or you’re only here for the Travel Photography, then feel free to tune out for this yearly nothing-to-do-with-photography post…

This year we decided to do the characters from the Kia Commercial. We couldn’t convince enough gullible victims to do the entire gang of characters – so we settled on Sock Monkey, Muno (from Yo Gabba Gabba) and Mr X.

My better half also took care of most of the creating for this year, as resident designer, sewer, knitter and all-around fabric-extraordinaire!

I think this year was a pretty good contender for our most-fun year, vying for first place from the Lego Couple Halloween Costumes that we did in 2007. I think it definitely ranks up there as the most comfortable costume so far – comfortable as in “possible to see and walk, both at the same time”. I did however nearly lose an eye (just one of course), on some low branches and scaffolding…

First up, Jeni’s Sock Monkey!

Sock Monkey

Update… Jeni now has her online shop open, with knitting patterns (including one for the sock monkey hat) as well as the actual sock monkey hat finished product for sale… stop on by at the Sock Monkey NYC Shop!!

Jeni taught herself how to knit socks last year… so it was an obvious progression to make an entire life-size sock monkey costume. Naturally.

She knitted the costume mostly from remote locations… on the subway… sitting in coffee shops… winning at poker… I even caught her in the movie theater, furiously knitting during an action scene. Hence why there’s not a lot of action shots of the knitting. Plus, it’s really really boring.

The body was made from 1 inch foam, sewn together at the joints. Then the leg components / body component / arm components of the knitted covering was put on around it.

The head was also foam-based, shaped into the head with the eyes cut out. Again, master knit-modeler Jeni knitted the entire head part to put over the foam like a simple cover!

The head was then buttoned down to the material at the back, and there were some hand-holes so that she could put her hands out from the ‘monkey-hands’. Side note: Conveniently machine-washable. No tumble dry.

Sock Monkey Relaxing Sock Monkey Standing Sock Monkey Butt Knitting the Monkey 

Mr X

This one turned out to be one of our favourites! Started with an exercise ball to model the whole thing on, gradually building out a number of interconnected rows of wire. The idea was that the whole costume would ‘hang’ on our friend Lori’s head.

Once the wire-frame was completed, (multiple flesh-wounds later…) a load of brown paper bags were cut into shreds, leaving one end intact. The intact end could then be folded over each row of wire to build up the hairy skirt thing! Only flaw in the plan was potential rain issues… luckily that didn’t happen!

Jeni speed-knitted a quick jumper and arms for Mr X with black and white stripes, and then fitted that to the middle of the costume. More paper bags for the arms as well.

Some foam and black material (and trusty glue gun) topped out the costume, and some last minute eye-holes.

Mr X - moulding the body Mr X - adding the bristles Mr X - the walk test

Muno (from Yo Gabba Gabba)

The largest, but possibly the easiest was my ‘Muno’ costume. Same 1-inch foam idea… but with the front and back cut out of a single piece. The head was then put on later. Jeni stitched the two together, and added full length zips – one going up the middle of the back, and one going down the full length of the right leg (think kid’s footie pajamas). Getting in and out was tight!

The head was a big dome (topping out the costume at around 8 feet tall), then we used white material with a pie pan and some more foam (shaped into an eye-ish shape!) for the all-important eye. Swathes of red spandexy material covered the entire costume. And then the dots were cut out of the top of plastic water bottles.

I don’t think I’ve known a person drink so much fizzy water, but needs must, so Jeni dutifully drank 32 bottles in just over a week. Each top was cut off and then covered in more of the red spandex and held with rubber bands on the back. These were hot-glued into place on the morning of the parade… actually took longer than I anticipated because with the lump of material on the back of each bump, it was like gluing a jack-in-the-box down.

Added the teeth and the mesh for the mouth (where I would eventually see out of) and we were ready.

In a last minute test, I found that we’d probably need a way to hold the head up straight, so I modified a t-shirt to support a broomstick on my back, which then went up into the head to support it. Not exactly comfortable, but it did the trick… nothing that duct tape and ingenuity can’t fix.

Yo Gabba Gabba Muno beginnings Yo Gabba Gabba Muno testing Yo Gabba Gabba Muno bumps! Yo Gabba Gabba Muno guarding the costume

Family photo relaxing after the parade. Jeni’s already taking orders for next year. No really!

Muno - Halloween 2010

Update… this one made us laugh – link to About.com’s Halloween 2010 pictures. Check out the caption on it:
“This Sock Monkey was the cutest Halloween creature of the evening. His pal Muno of Yo Gabba Gabba! fame was also pretty darn cute. Their other friend appeared to be dressed as an adorable hay bale”.

Also, check out Jeni’s website that has the knitting patterns for the sock monkey and a whole load of other knit-tastic stuff for sale!

Related Posts:

Link to more ‘in the making’ photos on Flickr
Where the Wild Things Are – Halloween Costumes 2009
Pacman and the Ghosts – Halloween Costumes 2008
Lego Couple – Halloween Costumes 2007
Youtube Channel for the LegoCouple