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My son and I made this costume together back in 2012 when he was 7 years old. Over the years since publishing this video of the costume we have gotten many inquiries from people wanting to make there own. So, finally... welcome to my first Instructables....The Amazing Roly Poly costume.

My son loves insects and spent his childhood telling people that he was going to be an entomologist when he grew up. He decided to be a Roly Poly for Halloween long in advance so there was a great opportunity to get to know the critter. We scoured the internet for pictures and facts (did you know that a Roly Poly is actually a crustacean that breaths with gills?), we caught them in our back yard, studied them and even dissected them to see how their cleaver shell was constructed. Then we got to work on the costume with the conviction that the costume must be able to roll into a ball just like the real thing.

This project was not made with the creation of an Instructable in mind, so I will apologize if advance for not having better photo documentation

Step 1: Step 1 :Getting the Size Right

Picture of Step 1 :Getting the Size Right

To be a convincing Roly Poly (aka Wood Lice, Pill Bug, Potato Bug, Grammarsaw, or Chuggypig, Moneky-Peas, or....) you need to get the shape right. Catch a few Roly Polies and measure their length and width. Divide the length by the width - this gives you the aspect ratio of the bug. You need to get this aspect ratio right to look like a real Roly Poly. Get a large piece of cardboard or paper and trace the body of the person to wear the costume. Measure the length of from the top of the head to the mid-calves or so. Now, multiply this length by the aspect ratio to find the width of the costume. This will also be the approximate diameter of the Roly Poly when it is in a ball. Have your would-be costume wearer crouch down and make their body into a ball as small as they can. Make a rough measurement of the diameter of their crouched body - will it fit into the width you calculated from the aspect ratio. If so, congratulations, you have the costume size. If not, you will have to make the Roly Poly a bit wider until it's width is the diameter of smallest ball the person can crouch into.

Gcfrk1813 months ago
I Have a question so the 1/2 diameter flexible plastic rod goes through the drill holes made on the shell?
Brian9969 months ago
You should change to title of Step 6 to: Have a Ball!
CosmicGM10 months ago
That's so cool!
gm28010 months ago
Well who doesn't like roly pollies. Nice project. Thumbs Up!
glamourd11 months ago

Idea: So that the wearer does not have to lift the top in order to see when going from house to house Trick-or-Treating, create either eye-holes or a cut-out panel covered with mesh fabric (you can decorate this so it is not obvious) for easy visibility.

PaulNorton (author)  glamourd10 months ago
I like your line of thinking glamourd! We experimented quite a bit with the height of the shell on his body and different ways to mount the head. It is definitely not the most comfortable costume we have made, but it compensates by being one of the most crowd pleasing!
HAHA! this is so awesome. Great Job!
PaulNorton (author)  anne marie laney10 months ago
Thanks Anne Marie!
ggallen10310 months ago
Love it....and that you can ball up.....
StefanosM411 months ago
This is so funny!! :D
RayP2411 months ago
I love it! Well done :)

That is awesome! I amazing creativity.

PaulNorton (author)  DIY Hacks and How Tos11 months ago

Thanks! We had a great time doing it!