Introduction: BP Oil Spill Clean-Up Costume

Picture of BP Oil Spill Clean-Up Costume

If anything could be more frustrating about 2010, i would have to pick the BP oil spill. But with every great tragedy there is a space to poke fun at those responsible.

This costume will make heads turn and you're sure to get strange looks from all your party

If you want to really help the gulf spill effort, please donate to some of the organizations helping clean up efforts

Thanks to the Yes Men, for inspiration.

Special thanks to culturespy and carleyy

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

For this costume you will need the following:

1 White jumpsuit
1 White hard hat
1 pair of black gloves
1 pair of goggles
1 dust mask
1 fake bird
1 can of black paint
Inkjet sticker paper with BP logos

Step 2: Officialize the Helmet

Picture of Officialize the Helmet

The first step is to "Officialize" the helmet using the sticker. Cut the sticker out nicely and apply to the helmet and PRESTO! You look official!

Check the 4th photo for the sticker template.

Step 3: Officialize the Jumpsuit

Picture of Officialize the Jumpsuit

Now with a larger sticker, make the jumpsuit look official. I applied the sticker and then used white glue on the back to make it stick even better.

I used another small sticker for the front chest and a large sticker for the back.

If your jumpsuit is actual fabric, you could use an iron on.

Step 4: Recreate an Ecological Disaster

Picture of Recreate an Ecological Disaster

Now it's time to add the oil spill.

First i filled the jumpsuit with plastic bags and hung it up outside. I then preceeded to throw paint all over it. I also did this to the helmet and the fake bird i got.

Let it dry for about 24 hours afterwards.

Step 5: Walk Around and Freak People Out

Picture of Walk Around and Freak People Out

Next step is to put it on and freak people out.

We got a few stares, and the seagulls ran away from me. They must have recognized the logo.

Hope you enjoyed this instructable and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


jtmcdole (author)2010-10-17

Just wanted to say thanks for this idea! My girlfriend and I pulled it off in about 1.5 hours with everything from Lowe's and my color laser printer.

We used spray glue and cotton balls to simulate tar balls stuck to the helmet. You can paint over the cotton easily. Spread it around a little and tack it in place with the glue and you have less spherical attachments!

jtmcdole (author)jtmcdole2010-10-17

Also; we chose gloss paint (would have gone with high gloss if it was cheap) to simulate shiny oil.

squishyjoss (author)2013-10-27

Its useful :)

KatherineSchreiber (author)2013-09-06


ilpug (author)2011-09-26

I did this. people loved it. just a tip, don't use poster paint, it peels off of the tyvek and gets ground into things.

Rapid Falvo (author)2010-11-14

Thanks for the great costume idea. I got the suit for free from a friend who trains people for emergency response. Hardhat was a free, outdated discard from a local company. I used Tremclad paint. It wasn't warm enough for the paint to dry outside. It ended up tacky, which made the costume very realistic -- but hazardous. Suggest you start this costume in a place and time where you can dry the paint properly! The squeaky duck was a big hit.

ploogle (author)2010-10-30

It's hanging up to dry now, but will be done soon. (Left to dry all night, now has good airflow with open doors.) It turned out really nicely! I also have a respirator mask, gloves, and a couple fake birds. I decided to forgo the helmet because I couldn't find any that were decently-priced. I'll wear a hair net instead, probably.

ravioli221 (author)2010-10-29

I really love this idea, in Ireland here and got all the materials for under €10!

Disposable coverall with hood - €6, went without hard hat.
Latex gloves - 80c
Goggles - €2, would have been cheaper if I'd borrowed my brothers :P
Dust mask - 75c
Printed logo - Free at college

Made a oil mixture too from stuff in my kitchen :P

KilletaH (author)2010-10-29

I know this is last minute, but has anyone run into any type of problems based on the type of paint they used? I have some old black oil based paint and just want to make sure I'll be okay with that before I rush out and start on this AWESOME costume.

ravioli221 (author)KilletaH2010-10-29

I'm not using paint myself, using a mix of glycerin, cocoa powder, bovril (molasses are equally good) and some sugar to make it stickier, works out much cheaper!

pfdanielson (author)2010-10-28

just finished tonight! im going to school wearing this tomorrow!!!!!

frenzy (author)pfdanielson2010-10-29

Please post some pictures!

nikkaly (author)2010-10-29

Hey there! This seems like an awesome idea. I'm trying to figure out a last minute costume. I live in Canada. Anyone know where I can purchase a white jumpsuit?

Robzilla898 (author)2010-10-15

I know I'll probably get blitzed, hated, etc., etc., but I hate it when the comments for something fun like this devolve into a political shouting match. We have enough of those. Instead of hopping onto a soapbox (unless it's an instructable about buidling a soapbox, in which case such actions would seem very appropriate), we should focus on the issue at hand...making effing awesome stuff.

This is an awesome costume! I love it and I'm going to make one and wear it and love it and be happy and have a great time and take all the credit for it like it was my own original idea...just kidding :)

Robzilla898 (author)Robzilla8982010-10-29

Just a quick update: my brother-in-law and I made a couple of these costumes for Dallas pubcrawl and we used black paint on the suit and black caulking on the helmets. The caulking (notice I'm trying to stay away from saying "black caulk") makes a nice gloopy, dripping effect on the helmet (*that's what she said*) and it peels off the plastic hardhat easily so you still have a functional, relatively clean helmet after the fact.

P.s. -- sorry for all the inappropriate, immature interjections into my comment... >:-)

sensoryhouse (author)Robzilla8982010-10-28


frenzy (author)Robzilla8982010-10-15

I understand the comments devolving into politics because the costume is pretty political. That said I totally agree.

sensoryhouse (author)2010-10-28

Epic! Where can I find a white jumpsuit?

BTW, Can someone please delete the useless political comments. This area is for commenting on a project and asking questions or giving advice.

Go to youtube to argue politics!!!!

Galt (author)2010-10-14

Fabulous and topical costume...and relatively inexpensive too. I would only offer to add that other than the color tweak, instead of carrying duck decoys a couple of novelty store rubber chickens with appropriate petroleum camo would lend some authenticity. If you want to go for a more literal look, how about a spritz of benzine and hydrocarbons before you head out.

The impromptu diatribe by the European nationalists is interesting. Let's all focus on being more divisive and keep labeling each other while the puppet masters keep taking our money and having their way with the world. Yeah, that's productive.

As for the references to history, well how about this. B.P. was originally founded by the guy who found oil in Iran. The Iranians wanted more money for their natural resources once the staggering wealth that it represented was made evident by the evil entrepreneur that had developed it. Eventually they just took it all. What later became known as B.P. didn't like this so they went to the world court and got bounced.

Like a good Allie Eisenhower did what America has been doing since Monroe's time, kinda modeled after our European forebears, and decided to install a more cooperative government. So the CIA assassinates a sovereign nation's leader and gets a share of the Iranian/BP oil for the corporations that run America. When Europe did it we called it colonialism and empire building. Now we like to call it Imperialist hegemony. Catchy huh?

So the Iranians decided that they were tired of the whole western rule by Shah proxy and kicked every body out. Let us not leave out that B.P. was also controlled by the English government for a while until Maggie started her privatization moves to pay some bills (apparently the socialists ran out of other peoples money to spend). B.P. was/is also a big player in the American oil company consolidation moves that have been taking place since the trust busters created all of the little Standard Oils. We are after all talking about the third or fourth largest company in the world, and they didn't get that big sellin' fish and chips in Lecester Square.

B.P. is a giant corporation that has by extension millions of shareholders. These people (union pension plans, banks and governments) all want something of a ROI, and most don't really care how that is derived as long as it doesn't reveal itself in living color all over the nightly news. People still want there gas as cheap as possible, investors still want their profits and CEO's still want their bonus'.
All of the finger pointing and chop busting aside, the spill was horrific and the true impact won't be known for decades to come. A cursory review of the Prince William Sound spill and aftermath should help to clarify that point. Ranking the size (which BTW is still beyond any real quantification) is quite was big and it was bad for everyone.

As far as clean-up efforts and the American government's reticence to foreign aid, well don't forget that we do have a huge yet fragile ego, and more importantly, we have labor unions that will not be ignored. Even in this economy, catastrophe cleanup work is still work, and our unions want the representation that they have bought and paid for, so you can hardly fault Mr. Obama for not acting like Chile's President, he's got a shrinking support base that he has to pander to.

Whether momma earth can continue to absorb and compensate for our mistakes and greed remains to be seen, but common sense seems to illustrate that we don't want to make any more of a habit of this sort of thing. Taking a poke with a topical costume such as this should help to remind everyone in our ADD / 15 second video clip world that it happened, and that we all have a little petroleum goo on our hands where blame is concerned.

msspurlock (author)Galt2010-10-14

Talk about beating a dead horse.

When we start hearing people admit how badly Obama failed on this and how beholden he is to the oil industry, THEN we can keep bringing this up.

rstoplabe14 (author)msspurlock2010-10-14

How did Obama fail on this exactly?By forcing BP to make a fund handled by a third party (as in neither the government or BP will be in charge of the money). What BP did was wrong and could have been prevented, and Obama is to blame because..... I still cant find one thing wrong. You people in the GOP can never be happy, you're hot and cold at the same time, one day you're for a policy change and when the president decides its a good idea you're immediately against it. Make up your mind.

I read the "be nice" policy, but seriously, errrrrr!

msspurlock (author)rstoplabe142010-10-14

I don't know whether you're trying to rewrite history or you genuinely don't know enough to comment.

Were you around during the months it took him to do...anything?
Do you know BP was one of his biggest contributors?
Did you know he prevented the states from releasing and using booms that could have prevented total disaster?

Anyone who doesn't like your guy is automatically GOP, huh?

Not very mature.

Why don't you read some of the non-GOP news sources who have written on all these themes? Or maybe comments from the panel Obama himself set up?

"A panel assembled by the White House to assess the government’s oil spill response issued a report declaring the Obama administration created the impression that it was “either not fully competent” or “not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem.” While the spill itself drew daily coverage for months, this story was quickly reported and vanished within 24 hours. NBC offered a full story in the evening, ABC and CBS in the morning. None of these stories allowed any comment from Republicans, and there were no interview segments."

rstoplabe14 (author)msspurlock2010-10-14

Uh uh, really?

Im not sure what "months" you speak of, but let me break it down a bit, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig disaster occurred on April 20, 2010. Response from the White House took 9 days. But lets use your scale, it took 0.29 Months for him to publicly respond. Keep in mind that this was BP's disaster, and it was BP who needed to respond. It was up to the White House to push them to do it.

Ok, so on to your second statement; BP was one of the biggest contributors to what? Joe Barton?

On the third one, well, I've never heard of that, and I was quite informed during the process, but where did you read that?

Ok, down to your 4th, Im going to apply the old " If you talk like, act like, and walk like" philosophy. It is common trait of conservatives to have a positive view of giant corporations (especially oil companies), and dislike liberal presidents. You just fit the stereotype. Was I wrong? I've gotten good at this in the last few months.

Im not sure of the source of the quoted content, so I wont comment on it.

msspurlock (author)rstoplabe142010-10-15

By the standard you established during Katrina, none of the previous is relevant.

rstoplabe14 (author)msspurlock2010-10-15

What does one of President Bush's Administrations biggest disasters (out of many) have to do with BP and Obama? Are we now blaming Obama for Katrina, or the lack of repose from the federal government.

I live in Florida, and during the 2004 Hurricane season, in which 3 hurricanes and one tropical storm devastated parts of the state, President Bush sent federal aid rather quickly to this brother's state (Jeb Bush, 43rd Gov. of FL, is the younger brother of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the US, also, the one of the worst after Ronald Regan). In contrast Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News) showed us the suffering of the people of "The Big Easy" had endure, while the U.S. Federal government played a game of "Hot Potato". Our response to the disaster in Haiti, in which our government had no reason to respond (technically), was extremely well coordinated, considering the infrastructure and the fact that it was not in US soil. But in New Orleans, people suffered.

One of the things that is just impossible for me to understand, is why a city in the mainland US, one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth (not for long if we keep going the way we are), could not do an "air drop" of food, water, and first aid. OUR MILITARY DOES THIS ALL THE TIME IN AFRICA! Why didn't we land helicopters with national guard troops, then have them distribute the essentials in the super dome and the convention center.

We are getting out of topic though.

msspurlock (author)rstoplabe142010-10-28

Yes, and Obama did nothing for Kentucky.
Too Republican, I guess.
People froze to death.

All I ask for is consistency.
A POTUS who said he was going to cause the oceans to stop rising and heal the planet sets a pretty high standard.

Either blame presidents for natural disasters or don't.
Just don't change the standards when your messiah gets into office.

a-stjohn (author)msspurlock2010-10-15

We are all beholden to the oil industry. What? You don't like driving your car to work, heating your house in the winter, your fancy tech gadgets protected by hard plastic coatings, and on and on...

msspurlock (author)a-stjohn2010-10-15

Personally, I don't have a problem with those examples, but I know people who obsess over it do.
Frankly, I'd like to see real solutions and alternatives that work, and less useless noise about it.
For starters, somebody who gives us a battery that can be produced without adding to China's out-of-control cancer problem, or an affordable(!) solar panel that doesn't fail after five years, or even better, cold fusion, would have every right to lecture us.

But the answers never come, just more "no" and lecturing and more killing of technologies that would help short term, but not necessarily solve the problem. Onshore drilling (cue the catterwalling) , clean coal (cue the banning) or safer reactors (another no), for example.

static (author)msspurlock2010-10-14

Speaking of beating dead horses. Yes the Obama had failed on this. As did the previous administrations , and a long list of others.

Galt (author)static2010-10-14

Neither pachyderm nor jackass be I, and nothing would ever make me happier than to see my government function efficiently..or even honestly. As a paying customer I've felt ripped off for several generations now, so this is nothing particularly original or specific to the present figurehead. George or Barak...who cares, we all end up holding the same end of a stinky stick.

The third party was a set up that was created by the ruling administration and the appointed head of said same was placed by the one and only messiah that apparently can do no wrong. No doubt there will be countless scandals of misspent and misappropriated funds, as there already have been accusations of, but it's not really too much different from the reaming that we've taken over Absurdistan or any of the countless other abuses that we suffer at the whim of the money masters. We're merely the host to which the ticks attach themselves.

Get over the labels, bury the true believer stance and look at it for what it is. We all pay and they all play. That's part of why the whole poking of fun at B.P. seemed so great in the first place.

Now if someone could just come with a comparably witty costume for the crooked know-it-alls at the Federal Reserve...

jrossetti (author)Galt2010-10-15


scottadamsmith (author)2010-10-27

Awesome idea, just got done making mine tonight and it looks great. After finishing though, my wife told me she thinks that I should not wear this to work. I never even considered for a second that this would offend someone other than say a BP stockholder or employee. Anyone else think this is not safe for work? I am 99% sure I am wearing it there, unless a ton of people chime in advising against it.

timnitro (author)2010-10-20

um im making this costume and i was wondering if i can use the water proof more of a tarp jumpsuit ?

frenzy (author)timnitro2010-10-22


timnitro (author)frenzy2010-10-23

where can i get a fake bird ?

skootles (author)timnitro2010-10-26

Dollar store, or the hunting section of a sporting goods store.

oneworden (author)2010-10-25

I made a costume for both my wife and I. They turned out awesome!!

- White Jumpsuit - $10
- Black Gloves - $3.50
- 1 Pint Gloss Black - $10
- Hard Hat - $6
- Goggles/resperator - $5
- Stickers - $3

I went over to the FedEx store and they printed off my logos for cheap and the label paper they printed on sticks without any extra glue.

We went to a Halloween party this past weekend and everyone loved the costumes, though it didn't seem that costumes were as original as the year prior.

lolotox (author)2010-10-22

Sweet and easy to do.

I hope multitudes show up at the same parties in this one, it'll only make the point better.

A nice companion costume might be "volunteer wildlife washer" (finely re-pelleted styrofoam and glue with a fake animal in a cheap washbasin).

Nice work!

The Ideanator (author)2010-10-21

Hahaha, this is awesome.

superMacaroni (author)2010-10-17

My Dad and I were talking about Halloween costumes and what I wanted to dress up as for Halloween. I said, "BP written onto a box using a sharpie" minutes before I logged onto instructables and saw this. LOL

ploogle (author)2010-10-16

What type of paint did you use? Also, where did you get those gloves?

I'm really wanting to do this for my costume, and am almost done scoping it all out.

jtmcdole (author)ploogle2010-10-17

INTOP (I'm not the original poster), but we used gloss latex enamel paint (cheapest we could get) and we picked up the chemical gloves on the same isle as the paint isle at the hardware store. They look more like lab gloves than they look like household cleaning gloves.

zemplus (author)2010-10-17


bart.p (author)2010-10-15

this is a great idea, its so easy to make and for sure it will be a hit at this years haloween party i think im gonna wear it to school day before haloween :)

zygomatic (author)2010-10-15


bryandhispup (author)2010-10-13

I hink I just found my costume this year... where did you find the inkjet stickers?

They should have it at Office Depot or Staples.
If not you can check out Amazon. They have it for sure :D.

Perfect Thanks Potatoperson...

illuminatis (author)bryandhispup2010-10-15

if you know someone that works for bp you can get real stickers. My company painted some tanks in a bp plant a cpl of years ago,and we all had got some, funny thing is under the ones we got it said " safety first", which makes the costume even funnier now... Also you can find the logo on their website, and large enough not to need retouching, if you want to print it.(BTW, a google image search yielded some funny results when using the search term " BP Logo"

static (author)bryandhispup2010-10-14

Save the BP logo included in this instructable and print it out. Depending on how much you need to enlarge it you might have to touch it up using a paint program first

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a full stack web developer focusing on security and privacy.
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