On a spooky Halloween night, the evil surgeon Phoenix decided to play a game of Operation. Poor Cavity-Aladdin's nose didn't stop lighting up and buzzing as Phoenix removed his funny bone, spare ribs, and charlie horse. Despite this, the evil doctor proclaimed the Operation a success!
These costumes were a combination of hand-made and store-bought pieces. We were inspired to create this Operation game set-up after we had a Toyland party for one of our dog’s birthdays.
Red and white craft foam
Glue (we used Fabri-tac)
Silver paint pen
Red, white and yellow poster-board
Red foam ball
White index cards
Black permanent marker
Step 1: Putting Together the Patient
We wanted to make the hospital gown have the same shaped pieces found in the Operation game. We sketched the pieces we wanted out on paper. We decided to use only the ones that might make sense on a dog, and left out such pieces as writer’s cramp (which would be in the arm). After looking at the real pieces and sketching them much larger on paper, we then traced the shapes onto red craft foam and cut them out. This represented the red colored holes the pieces rest inside on the game-board. We then traced the pieces again onto white craft foam, and cut out the insides, leaving a border only about a quarter of an inch thick. We colored these white borders silver with a silver paint marker. We then glued the borders on top of the red foam pieces, so that they would look like the silver edges that buzz if you touch them in the game. For the pieces themselves, we cut slightly smaller versions of the shapes out of white craft foam, and glued them in the middle of the red pieces. The only exception was the ankle bone connected to the knee-bone. For this piece we used a rubber-band, just like in the game, which we attached with two brads stuck into the red foam. We then made cards indicating the name of each piece with an arrow pointing to it. We glued the pieces and cards onto the hospital gown, in the approximate area of the body that would make sense.
Step 2: Patient’s Nose and Wig
For the patient’s nose, we bought a large red foam ball, around 4 inches in diameter. We cut out a circle out of the inside with scissors, so it would fit over the dog’s nose, with extra space around the nose to make sure he was comfortable and could breathe well. We put thin elastic cord on either side by threading in in with a needle and tying knots on each side. For the wig, we bought a costume toupee, and added elastic string in the same way, so it would stay on the top of his head.
Step 3: Surgeon Outfit
For the surgeon outfit, we bought a scrub shirt intended for a human. Size Small adult human shirts often fit on larger dogs, like a golden retriever. We then purchased a costume surgeon’s cap. We chose one with blood on it, to make it look more creepy. We also added elastic cord to the cap, to make it fit onto the dog’s head.
Step 4: Operation Game-board
We decided the Operation costumes would look best if we made an Operation game-board to go with it. The dogs can walk around in the costumes without it, and they look fine, but it makes a really cute place to pose for pictures. The game-board is simple to make. We based it over a long low table. The real game-board is red on the sides with a yellow top, so we made it the same way. We glued together red poster-board to fit the sides of the table. Measure the sides of your table to make sure your poster-board will fit, then trim it down to that size. We free-hand drew the letters in the word Operation on white poster-board, trying to copy the general font. We cut out each letter and glued them onto the center of one piece of the red poster-board. To attach the red poster-board to the table, you could use bubbles of duck tape, or glue if you want it to be more permanent. Then make another piece in yellow that fits the top of the table in the same way. We poked a hole in one side of the yellow poster-board and tied on a long piece of red yarn.
Step 5: Tweezers
Finally, we created the tweezers from the game using a small pair of salad tongs. We wrapped a piece of red felt over the handle, and glued it on. We then tied the tongs to the loose end of the red yarn, so it would be attached to the game-board. For a special touch, we tied a dog’s rawhide bone onto the tongs, wrapping it in place with wire, to make it look a bone piece being pulled out. And the costume is complete!