Halloween Costume How-To: Peashooter

Hello again! Welcome to PopCap Halloween Tutorials episode 4. When we made a list of the characters we would be working on for this project, I felt pretty lucky to get the Balloon Zombie (oh-so-simple!), but I was a little intimidated by my second-week task of Peashooter.

If I started photosynthesizing last Halloween, I still wouldn’t be able to pull this off without some serious cosmetic surgery.

When you’re intimidated, it’s best to break things down to components and start from there. For this costume, you will need: a plain hat (or at least a hat you don’t care about), Styrofoam balls, green paint, green wire, green felt and black felt. Tools: hot glue gun, wire cutters, paintbrush.

I used a plain old baseball cap as the foundation for my little felt sculpture. Look just to the left of the cap for a happy accident brilliant idea: that is a piece of cardboard that comes with a new baseball cap! I was all set to have to improvise a piece of rounded cardboard or use an empty soup can or something to make the mouth of the Peashooter, and then I looked inside the brand-new cap to find a perfect little piece of cardboard there already, holding the shape of the hat.

Use hot glue to affix the cardboard into the bill of the hat, making the nice round shape for the front part of the peashooter.

Next, you want to cover the entire baseball hat in green felt. This is a little difficult (ever wrapped a stuffed animal or basketball as a gift for someone’s birthday?).

Start by cutting your felt to the approximate size of your baseball hat. I cut a piece of felt that would cover the hat from ear-to-ear with a few inches extra to glue the felt to the inside of the hat.

You also want to leave extra felt on the front part of the hat, as you will use this felt to cover the bottom part of the hat’s bill as well. After you finish gluing, you should have a hat almost fully covered in green felt.

Cut the green felt so you can glue it to the hat's bill

This is what the fully-wrapped peashooter base will look like

Next, cut out little circles of black felt and glue them on for the eyes.  You may feel a little silly at this stage if you bought a full yard of black felt… not that I know anyone who did that.

Once it was all neatly glued into place at the front, I built myself a leaf to attach to the top. This was done in the same way the sunflower petals from Tuesday’s post were constructed: I cut a leaf shape out of thick paper, then cut two pieces of felt that same shape but just slightly larger.

Make like a tree and leave

I glued the paper to the bottom piece of felt, then glued the top piece down as well. To finish it off, I used a black magic marker to lightly draw on leaf vein patterns. I glued that to the top of the hat at the back.

The real magic of this is it allowed me to cover up the imperfect back seams I made (did I mention how hard it is to cover round things with flat things?).

Finally, I took the balls I’d painted green the day before and cut myself a length of wire roughly three times as long as the mouth of the peashooter.

Poke the wire through the felt and bend the short end tight against the cardboard as an anchor. Push the long end all the way through so it sticks out of the mouth.

String the balls on at equal distances along the wire.

Use the wire cutters to twist the wire back on itself so it’s poking into the front ball. This keeps the ball from falling off and the wire from injuring people!

Finally, dress in green from head to toe. That part’s easy! See you again next week for more costuming fun!

Hey Zombie, come closer... closer... closer...

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