This was my Halloween costume for 2009. It took about a month and a half of planning and work. I built both a Pacman and Ghost, but this writeup will focus on the Pacman. The suit has a functioning mouth as well as speakers built in to play sounds from the game. It stands 5 feet tall on its own, and requires some crouching to get though doors while it's being worn.
Here is a video of the suit in action
Here is a list of the materials I used:
1/2" CPVC pipe
Bleached muslin (Both 48” and 96”)
Black sheer fabric
Yellow Latex paint
Black and Clear spray paints
Amazing Goop Plumbing glue
CPVC Primer and glue
Wheel Bearing Grease
Dry Teflon Bicycle Lube
Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Building the Two Sides
Also, while you are building the sides you should install T-joints for the crossbars.
Any area where there is not joint to assemble things I just used lots of electrical tape to hold things together.
Step 3: Putting the Outer Frame Together
In this step I also cut out one of the cardboard sides, but this was unnecessary since it didn't go on until near the end.
Step 4: Building the Mouth
Once the two "jaws" were built, I installed them with steel wire and electrical tape at the back corner. This allowed them to be flexible, but to also hold in place.
For the movement I installed pulleys using steel wire and electrical tape, and fed the rope though them. This took the better part of a week to get working properly, so patience is a virtue. I didn't want to have to open the mouth back up, so I also attached Thera-Bands to act as a retraction mechanism. After some tweaking they worked beautifully.
The jaws did have a problem with recessing too far into the suit, so I added "stops" for them.
At this time I also installed the back pack frame using 1" PVC pipe and lots of electrical tape. In retrospect I wish I had waited until the mouth was completely finished since I didn't realize just how front-heavy the suit would be.
Step 5: Dressing the Mouth
Later on in the process I decided to paint the inside of the suit black. I wish I had sprayed the PVC just prior to this point, and that I had sewn black fabric onto the inside of the yellow. There was lots of frustration trying to glue black fabric into that area once the whole thing was put together.
Step 6: Attaching the Muslin
Once the glue is dry just cut off the excess muslin.
Since my mouth pieces weren't built just right they stuck out of the primary frame at some point in their movement. Both were at different points. Because of this I had to cut a section of muslin out and re-attach it later once the cardboard sides were on. I left extra cardboard sticking out past the frame in the offending areas and just glued the patches of muslin to that.
Also, don't forget to leave a hole for yourself.
Step 7: Attaching the Sides
Also, once the sides are on I would recommend painting them with a primer. I had issues with paint soaking in and causing bubbling.
Step 8: Dressing the Outside
I reattached the sections of muslin that I had cut out by gluing them onto the cardboard and got painting.
I had used spray-glue to attach posterboard to the surface of the cardboard so that it would look cleaner. It worked, but when I painted the posterboard swelled up badly and looked terrible. The fix for this was to stretch bleached muslin over the whole side and glue it on. This was very time consuming and required lots of straight pins. The end result looked very nice, so I would say to just go this route in the first place.
Once the sides are ready, simply paint the whole darn thing. Remember to lay something down underneath wherever you are working so that the paint doesn't get all scuffed up. I also painted Pacman-shaped eyes on with black paint.
Step 9: Finish the Inside
So here I took the time to foam in a pair of battery powered speakers (along with their battery module) and a battery operated fan. Using latex paint makes this thing very hot to wear even when it is in the high 30's outside.
Finish up any other interior work that needs to be done, like attaching the hip-belt if you haven't already.
Step 10: Finish the Mouth
Step 11: Completed!
Here is the video of the suit operating again