*Reference image thanks to Ghostbusters Fans*
The original movie pads were actually Defender volleyball knee pads, but they are not made anymore and are getting harder and harder (i.e. more expensive) to find. I decided, for my husband's Ghostbuster costume, to make them instead of purchasing the white pads, custom dying/painting them grey, and spending a small fortune in the process. Here is how I made my version (click on the images for a larger view):
This is my pattern. I made a "back" and a "front". The front, or oval face of the pad, pattern measures 5" across X 5 3/4" high. This includes a 1/4" seam. The back, or strap of the pad, pattern is based off the size of the front pattern piece. I traced around the front pattern piece and added "wings" to the sides for the straps. The wings extend approx. 3" beyond the front pattern piece when centered. So, the back pattern piece is 11" across. I also added 1/2" for seam allowance, so it is 6 3/4" high.
For one set of elbow pads, you need to cut 2 fronts out of a fuzzy type grey material. You will need 4 backs out of a material that matches the color of your fuzzy material. I simply used the back of my fuzzy material. Flannel, butter suede, moleskin, or brushed tricot will work. The fabric I used was brushed tricot for $2 a yard in the red tag section of my fabric store. Whatever fabric you choose for the fuzzy portion should have somewhat of a stretch to it. If the fabric doesn't stretch at all, it's not a good match.
You will also need a package of grey bias tape, 1/2 yard of batting, and 10"-20" of 2" black elastic.
Here are my materials: Grey fabric, polyester batting, grey bias tape, and black elastic. All for probably under $5. (*Note that I purchased enough materials to make 3 sets of elbow pads, if you are making one set you won't need as much materials as I have pictured here.)
After cutting out the fronts from your fuzzy grey material, wrap the edges with bias tape, folding the tape in half over the fabric edge and pinning it down. For now, zig zag stitch the top edge only of your front pieces.
Right sides together, stitch 2 back pieces together, leaving the ends open. Repeat for the other 2 back pieces. Clip the curves.
Turn the backs right side out, and pin the fronts to them. Then, zig zag around the rest of the front edges along the bias tape. Be sure to keep the top edge, where you zig zagged before, open to allow for stuffing.
Cut two pieces of batting roughly 25" X 5". Roll them up from each end like a scroll, stopping so that there is about an inch between each roll. Turn the ends in, and pin. Cut a smaller piece of batting about 10" X 5", roll it up, and insert it in the center of your "scroll" of batting. Repeat so you have two, one for each pad. If desired, you can hand stitch the batting in place. I just held it in place as I put the batting inside the pad.
After you get the batting inside the pads, and you have arranged it the way you like, hand sew the top opening closed using a slip stitch. Then, using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew two "C" shaped stitches to create the correct shape for the pad, stopping about 1"-2" away from the edge of the bias tape.
Next, cut your black elastic to the correct length and insert one end into the "wing" of the pad and pin in place. Sew. Sewing the second end is a bit trickier, but it is possible. Repeat for other pad.
There you have it, your very own Ghostbuster elbow pads, and you didn't have to spend a fortune getting them!