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Picture of DIY Xenomorph Cosplay

My very first foray into cosplaying, and really crafting in general, was inspired when I was thirteen by none other than the Alien movies. Inexperienced though I may have been, I knew that I wanted a proper xenomorph costume, difficulty be damned. Of course, after trying and failing to sculpt pieces from Model Magic, I discontinued the project, but it was still a goal of mine to one day own such a costume. So finally, five years later, I finished it--a wearable xenomorph cosplay nearly from scratch!

Unlike some makers online, though, I have no access to fancy tech like vacuform machines or latex casts. The aim of this tutorial is to provide simple instructions using relatively cheap materials while still having a great outcome. If you're like me, and this was also something you've dreamed of doing, I hope this tutorial will make your process just a little bit easier. And believe me, it's worth it!

(Note: As per lack of foresight, I didn't take too many pictures of some parts of the process, so I've drawn up some schematics instead.)

Let's get started...

Step 1: Planning the Project

As you may have guessed, this isn't the world's simplest project. I managed to complete it all in around three months, working in the evenings mostly, but if you don't want to rush it, I would recommend budgeting at least four months before you plan to wear the complete costume.

First, you'll want to figure out what kind of xeno you want to make! I went with a variation of Giger's original, nicknamed Big Chap, so some of the steps will be specific to that. The warrior type with the ridged skull will differ somewhat from my own.

I aimed to make my cosplay as cost-effective as possible, so a lot of the items I used are found items--you can try the same! You'll want to collect the materials beforehand. I made a lot of extra trips to the hardware store, but to avoid that, you'll need more than you think:

-Styrofoam blocks (enough to fill a 1'x1'x3' space)

-Air-dry clay (upwards of 2 lbs)

-Stringlike extras (think twine, electrical wire, shoelaces, etc)

-Tubing (ridged electrical tubing of different diameters, plastic tubing, feel free to vary it)

-Adhesives: Gorilla glue, superglue, Mod Podge, velcro, hot glue are all essential (I ended up using four bottles of superglue, so don't worry about getting too much)

-Pool noodles

-Craft foam! This is what the majority of the costume is made of. If you can, get plenty of both the thin and thick variants

-Acrylic paint (black and white)

-Lightweight flagpole mount

-Tools: X-acto knife, scissors, needle and thread, candle or access to open flame

-Black boots, pants, long sleeved shirt, vest, belt, gloves (all can be found at thrift stores)

-Extra black fabric pieces

-Poster board

In addition to these items, you'll want as many reference photos of your project as possible. Collect images of all angles of the head, hands, chest, and tail as possible--these will be the most handy down the line.

Now that we have our materials, we can start crafting the first step!

AnonymousModders made it!5 months ago
lol did it
naomiwankenobi (author)  AnonymousModders5 months ago
Nice job! Glad my post was able to help.
robert701 year ago
Great job! Love the facial musculature! Head looks a little small, but otherwise looks amazing!

Wow, this is a great costume! That was a ton of work, but it really turned out nice!

naomiwankenobi (author)  kylegilbert1 year ago

Thank you! Yeah, it was definitely worth the effort~

M209T1 year ago
Awesome!!! My favorite monster. You did a fantastic job!
naomiwankenobi (author)  M209T1 year ago

Thanks! I'm glad you like it

CalebGreer1 year ago

This is really cool. Nice work!

naomiwankenobi (author)  CalebGreer1 year ago

Thank you :)

Marvin28431 year ago

Great costume.

For the headache, a curved piece of metal or pvc that goes behind your head and connects to your shoulders could hold the xenomorph head which should alleviate that weight. A little clear silicone across the teeth would add that saliva look.

naomiwankenobi (author)  Marvin28431 year ago
Thank you! And thanks for the idea for extra support, I may end up trying that for Halloween this year :)
Swansong1 year ago

You did a really good job on all the detail of the musculature, I can't believe this is your first cosplay!

naomiwankenobi (author)  Swansong1 year ago

Thank you so much! Yeah, younger me had no idea what I was getting into but this was definitely worth the challenge.