GLaDOS (Portal/Portal 2, Original Design)

“Oh, it’s you.  It’s been along time. How have you been?” -GLaDOS, Portal 2

 This costume is probably one of my most involved and fun costumes that I have finished so far.  Initially, I was apprehensive about whether I could pull this character off, as she is, after all, a giant computer without a solid pre-determined human form.  I played around a bit with the design, though.  I noticed that she is, actually quite human-like in form in her own way, much like the Venus de Milo.

Reference Pictures

Example Reference Picture from Original Portal

Example Reference Picture from Portal 2

I pulled my inspiration for my own design from reference pictures to infuse elements from both Portal and Portal 2 as well as from my own interpretation of the character.

The backstory in Portal 2 of GLaDOS’s origins from Caroline was a huge part of the concept.  I felt like I had to incorporate her human origins in the costume through an elegant, yet sad, bound form and half-mask while still portraying a robotic form similar to her end computer appearance.  I also made sure to include some cording and asymmetry, as well as a blue personality core in her hair, that could be thought of as either a nod to the original Portal or Wheatly in Portal 2.

(Upload of Design Sketch Coming Soon)

Welcome to My Domain

Photo taken by Karina Antigua (deviantart ID: strangexreality) in the Financial District of NYC



I created my pattern from scratch.  I used a fairly heavy, white bridal fabric for the majority of the dress.  The dress is all lined, though not with normal white lining.  Rather, it is a fairly stiff translucent fabric to give the over skirt more body.  The black skirt is a slightly lighter satin-like material.  I used black satin ribbon to edge the skirts and the top edge of the dress.


I made this pattern from scratch as well by wrapping my torso in duct tape.  I used the same fabric for the waist cinch as for the main dress and lined it.  I used plastic boning for support and sewed satin ribbon over each seam and used it to edge the waist cinch as well.


The initial form for the headpiece was formed from a plaster cast I did of my face.  I used a 1/2″ mesh wire over the plaster form to create the initial curve.  I used paper mache over that  and then smoothed everything out with clay.  I had to layer the clay with modge podge as it dried to try to prevent cracking.  In hind sight, I probably would have had better results with paper clay.  The headpiece was secured to my head with a very sturdy white headband.

 The pieces on the side of the mask as well as the eye piece was constructed largely with double layered plastic orange juice container and hot glue and other materials I was able to find around my apartment (eg: screws, twist ties, bottle cap).  Everything was then painted with acrylic paint and sealed with modge podge.

The core was a carved styrofoam ball that I layered with lots of modge podge to smooth it out.

Lastly, I had one of my more technically savvy friends put together the LED lights.  I had one blue one in the core and a yellow and red LED in the eye piece of the headpiece.  The battery pack for the headpiece was secured with twist ties under the curve towards the back of the headpiece to allow for easy access.  Yes, I was able to see out of the eye piece, I just had limited peripheral vision on my left side.

GLOVES, etc.

I bought a pair of white opera gloves off of and heavily modified them.  I used black nail polish to paint GLaDOS onto the left glove.  I used white opaque tights for my legs and used shoes I already had.  The wig is a 28″ wavy silver wig, I think from  I also had a black contact in my right eye and a yellow one in my left eye.  I had the yellow contact in my left eye so that I could take the headpiece off and still maintain the character and creepy effect.  I also used white powder makeup to make myself white and pale on my upper body.

The Final Touch – AUDIO

So, the headpiece limited my ability to speak because the plaster cast needed to be secure under my chin.  Yet, I wanted to be able to interact with other people.  Thus, I had a mini speaker attached to the back of the headpiece connected to an mp3 player that had about 60 quotes from Portal, Portal 2, and Portal 2 dlc.  It was really fun to have the audio component of the costume, helped me stay in character, and added a lot to my interactions with other people.  There were times when I walked by someone and they did a double take when they realized that I was “speaking” and had a wonderfully creepy effect.

Events and Publications

Worn on the 7th of April at PAX East, 2012. Won 1st place in costume contest at ZOTAC booth.

Worn on the 14th and 15th of October at New York Comic Con, 2011

Worn on the 3rd of March at Genericon, 2012. Won 2nd place in the cosplay contest.

Article featured on

Article featured on

Article featured on

Article featured on

Photo featured on

Photoshoots with Karina Antigua (DeviantArt ID: strangexreality) and Senén Llanos ( in New York City (January, 2012)

9 thoughts on “GLaDOS (Portal/Portal 2, Original Design)

  1. Hi friend, let me tell you that your cosplay are wonderful, congratulations n.n Well… am… I’m from Mexico and I want to make a cosplay of GLaDOS, within a month… And I want to know if I leave to use your design and your idea of the part of the head, is great! 😀 and want to know if there was no problem with that n.n

    • Hello! Thank you for the compliments. I’m flattered you want to use my design! It’s fine by me, although I would appreciate it if you would tell people where you got the design. Good luck and I hope your costume goes well!

  2. Your costume is fantastic, definitely one of, if not the best GLaDOS cosplays I’ve seen! I’ll be doing a costume of her soon as well and was wondering where you found all the audio. I would love to be able to speak as her without sounding like an idiot :p
    I just hope my costume turns out even half as good as yours.

  3. I reall really love your Cosplay! You did a great Job on the dress and headpiece , this is the best Glados Cosplay ive ever seen! C:
    I wanted to ask how you ‘talked’ with the audio , did you clicked on your mp3 player without even seeing where you clicked? Im just a little bit curios because i wanted to make a Turret Cosplay with Audio .
    (Sorry for my bad english)

    • Thank you for the compliment! For the ‘talking’, I usually had the quotes on random, though I did have a couple of instances where I was answering questions and I scrolled through the quotes to select a good one to answer with.

  4. Pingback: Theorycrafting: Nutcracko Shaco 12/15/2012 « britthebadger

  5. Pingback: White Rabbit Costuming | Theorycrafting: Nutcracko Shaco 12/15/2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: