Grue Trainer – part 2

Note that, because I eventually put a cloak on my foam dude, that proved to be too much weight for the foam alone to bear. I had to do two things:

  • Jam a spare curtain rod down the middle to give it some rigidity.
  • Make a basket/jock strap-type rig out of cloth straps and sewed it to my homely beige girdle, so the body didn’t slip too low. Pics to follow

Now the body sits high and doesn’t curve forward and press on my head in an annoying fashion.

dude torso in shirt

So I had an old black fabric shower curtain from Operation Sedan Back Seat Hairy Dog Containment (unsuccessful; and I chopped that up to be the torso’s shirt. It wasn’t necessary to clothe the back of the torso, but I did it anyway.

Sewing is for suckers
Sewing is for suckers

I used hot glue because it is fast and I am lazy, but also because it’s easily rippable and re-gluable in case you make mistakes, which I never do.

The dude’s left arm is foam. I chopped my foam into convincing-sized pieces and stuffed it into some gloves from eBay (found by searching for “medieval gloves” and picking the cheapest). I bent up an old wire hanger from the dry cleaner and stuffed it in the palm and fingers to give it some shape and stability.

The dude’s right arm will be partly mine. That means the sleeve needs to be open above the elbow so I can slip my arm into it.

Sleeve open to elbow
Open to the elbow, like so

Make sure the foam arms are stuck to the torso good and tight, because if they come off once the sleeves are on it will be a pain to put them back. Again, I don’t know from experience, because I never make mistakes.

The torso in its shirt:

One fake arm
You see where I’m going with this

I ordered a styrofoam head off of Amazon. I painted it black (acrylic paint only!; which looked awesome. Then I tied a mask to it that I got for twenty shekels from an antique shop in Pasadena that has a bunch. Of course, you can do whatever you want for the face.

I hot-glued a scrap of black fabric (it happens to be the same square I cut from the dress) to the chin of the mask. This will fill the gap from the mask to the cloak and keep my fake head looking plausible.

mask with drape
So plausible

Let’s take a break from the body to talk about ears. Grues need ears! It is so.

I wanted to make some fluffy catlike ears. I don’t know why. It seemed cute. I cut two matching triangles out of pink craft foam, which, like the black shower curtain, I just had lying around for some reason.

I squished them up like this in a general ear shape.

shading and veins

Then I let them unsquish, and with colored pencil I colored shading and veins in the appropriate areas.

pink ear triangle

Then I resquished, applied foam glue to the parts that would stick together (though hot glue would work just as well) and tied the base with dental floss to hold it until it dried.


Next: I learn important lessons about cutting faux fur, one of which is to cut it outdoors.


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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