Introduction: Building WALL-E and EVE Out of Mostly Recycled Materials.
So my 4 year old said to me one day in September- "Daddy, I wanna be WALL-E for for Halloween". Not sure quite how to respond-- not wishing to fork out over a hundred dollars to the mouse empire for a canned costume, and set a good creative example I pondered how to make WALL-E. Drawing on some prior costume experiences made of entirely packing material, I took him on his first Dumpster Diving outing out behind my work (yes, I do work for the mouse, btw). We found a banker box, a section of high density foam rubber, an Apple Cinema Display box, and a MacBook Pro box, all with respective packing materials. Over the course of three weeks, we measured, cut, sliced, painted and choked on fumes to construct our beloved WALL-E. Most of it was constructed with his help, with the exception of the power tools :) -- I hope you enjoy our little creation!
Step 1: Wall E Creation
1 Banker Box (free)
1 MacBook Pro Box, with packing materials (free)
1 Cinema Display Box (free)
1 Pair of Restoration Hardware Goggles (reclaimed from an old project, retail 20 bucks)
1 bottle of paint each ( yellow, black, silver ) $10 or so
1 pad of photo-luminescent foam $1.99
1 pair of old sweats (found in back of the dresser drawer)
1 roll of packing tape (acquired from closet)
Step one- I cut out a hole for Ben's head and arms. With paper, I made a template for his eyes and attached to the goggles.... this was so cute I almost just called it a day!
Step 2: Base Paint
we painted the entire box black... why I don't know, I wasn't thinking clearly. In hindsight, I should have painted it white.
Needless to say, we had FUN painting it needlessly black. Notice how we used the cinema display box as a "work bench"
Step 3: Prep and Paint the Body Frame
Next we used some additional foam to form the loading flap, and bumpers. A yellow base coat gave us a canvas. The Detail paint was layered on, beginning with the brown rust layers and the silver control panel area.
Step 4: Goggles...
Using the original paper templates, I re-cut out the eyes with a stiffer cardboard (from the macbook pro box) and attached two foam rubber sides. Using my son as a template, I cut out a space for his head so they are wearable.
Step 5: Gloves...
Using the anti-static poly wrap for the macbook, I fashioned two "mittens" the size of Ben's hands. Since I don't have a sewing machine, I used Ductape and squares of cardboard that roughly mimicked WALL-E's hands.
Step 6: Tread
For the tread, I sliced a (dumpster dove) section of foam-rubber in half. This created a nice texture and a base to glue on the individual tracks of tread. These tracks are made from recycled acoustical/packing foam that I cut to length, and glued on.
Step 7: WALL-E Test Run
Our first test run the weekend before Halloween at a down-town trick-or-treat event proved quite successful. Minor wardrobe failures here and there (mostly treads, and steamy goggles), but for the most part it was a resounding success!
Due to weight considerations, I couldn't attach a real igloo cooler, so instead I fashioned a small amazon box into a mini-cooler. Here WALL-E uses it as a candy holder. My son really picked up on the "parlor trick" portion of TrickerTreating- adults loved it!
Step 8: EVE
Most of eve is constructed from a reclaimed polyurethane street lamp covering, dremeled out for head insertion, and viewing.
Step 9: Eve Eyes
Of course Eve needs glowing eyes. Since I'm lazy and at the 11th hour on this project (the day before halloween), I picked up a blinky LED kit from the electronics store (thumbs up to Electronics Plus, in San Rafael). A quick soldering job proved that my Electrical Engineering Degree didn't count for nuthn'.
Ben and I had a great time showing off our costumes at my work. My one day fashioning of an EVE really polished of the duo, and he will forever have the memories of him and dad spending a few weeks slaving away at WALL-E.