When I saw Frida cameo in Disney’s Pixar movie Coco, I jumped up in my theater seat with excitement. As any Latino will tell you, Frida is the most celebrated painter of her time, and she’s still admired to this day. Her iconic unibrow, big flores (flowers) in her hair and beautiful traditional and indigenous Mexican fashion are a staple of her essence. I knew I had to cosplay her, along with her monkey Papaya.
Items You’ll Need
- Aluminum foil
- Glue (hot glue or crazy glue)
- Flexible wire
- Acrylic paint (various colors)
- Paint brushes
- Gesso paint
- D-ring or triangle picture hooks (you can find them at Walmart/hardware supply store)
- Magenta skirt
- Skeleton suit
Orange crop top
- Orange fabric
- Yellow fabric
- McCall’s sewing pattern (sizes available 6-22)
- Sewing materials (needle, thread, ya know)
- 4 Command hooks
- Black fabric marker/paint
- Black wig
- 2 big magenta plastic flowers (found mine at Walmart)
- Hot pink ribbon
- Snazaroo Facepaint makeup
- Skeleton gloves
- Black close-toed shoes
Papaya the Chango
- Start with shaping Papaya’s head, body and limbs with the aluminum foil. You’ll need a lot of it because it takes layers to build it up. As you shape his body and limbs, make sure he’s wide and long enough to hang off your shoulders.
- When the monkey’s body is complete, shape the wire for his tail, cover with aluminum foil and attach it to him.
- Insert wires in his limbs and stick them onto his body. For extra support, hot glue the sides, so the limbs don’t move around.
- Make an opening in the monkey’s front aluminum paws and jam the triangle hooks into it. Cover around hooks with foil for extra support. This is how he will hang from your shirt.
- Once your aluminum monkey is complete. Make the paper mache following this YouTube video‘s instructions. Layer your aluminum foil monkey with the paper mache. We added several layers to make it sturdier.
- Layer the paper mache until the monkey is fully covered and dry.
- Next, paint the monkey entirely with a layer of gesso paint. This will allow the acrylic paint to stick on better.
- For the spikes on his back and hairs on his ears, cut up small pieces of cardboard into triangles and 2 crown shapes (for hair detail). Then, glue them along his spine and place the crown shapes on his head.
- When you’re satisfied with the shape of your monkey, start painting away!
- Pick your monkey’s colors, start with the base coat and move onto the details. We decided to stick to Papaya’s colors in the movie, but you can go crazy with it.
- Let it dry and attach it to your crop top!
Thank you to cosplayer A Little Android who had an Instagram tutorial that inspired us to do it!
Stuff you can buy without the DIY
Whenever I cosplay, I follow the good ol’ cliche of work smarter not harder, and I try to buy things that don’t need to be made from scratch. The simple explanation for that is that I’m lazy. I found the magenta skirt, skeleton body suit and gloves with a quick search on Amazon and some browsing at my local Goodwill. Fue fácil (It was easy!).
Making your Frida’s crop top from scratch
If you can find a similar crop top for your Frida cosplay, DM right away with where you got it and skip these steps all together! I spent weeks looking through Amazon and shopping at Goodwill that I finally gave up. There was no option left than to make it myself. I was hesitant of making it from scratch because I suck at sewing, but I’m glad I did it because it was a learning experience. I’m glad my suegra (mother-in-law) helped me with the process!
- Follow the McCall’s patterns’ instructions and use your sewing machine to get the sewing done faster.
- I made a simple 2 inch rectangle pattern for the yellow trim for the shirt and then sewed it on.
- Once the shirt is sewn, use black fabric paint or marker to draw the triangle patterns on the yellow trim.
- Sew on the 2 command hooks where you will hook your monkey. I placed mine on my shoulders. It’s best to have your monkey done, so you know where to sew on hooks.
Now for the finishing touches that complete Frida’s look. I love painting my face If you have long black hair, you don’t need a wig. I was cursed with naturally blue hair, so I had buy a black wig and braided it following this tutorial. As for the flower tutorial, it’s super simple! All you need is a headband, felt and plastic flowers of your choice and follow my girl Threadbanger’s flower crown tutorial. Get dressed and leave the face painting for the last part because it’s the messiest! My husband Jose did the honors and followed the Estrada Sisters’ tutorial. Listo! Frida is ready!
Make sure to tag us on Instagram and share with us your Frida or Coco cosplay!
Watch our full YouTube video tutorial!