Introduction: Vintage Television

Picture of Vintage Television

When my husband proposed making a vintage TV costume, initially, I wasn't so hot on the idea. Then I began to think about the first TV I can remember in my parent's living room - it had a blonde cabinet, sparkly fabric covering the speaker, and legs similar to the ones on our boomerang coffee table, then I began to get excited about the project!

Step 1: The Box

Picture of The Box

It began with a sports utility box from U-Haul that we cut down, and added holes for the head and arms. 

Step 2: TV Box

Picture of TV Box

My husband fashioned a box to hold the iPad. I bought a roll of wood grain contact paper from Home Depot to cover the box. 

Step 3: The Fabric

Picture of The Fabric

 I was obsessed with using sparkly fabric for the speaker. Unfortunately, since I didn't find it, I made my own weaving gold Christmas cord through a piece of brown fabric.

Step 4: The Grid

Picture of The Grid

The grid design on the speaker are dowels, hot glued together and painted with copper acrylic paint.

Step 5: The Knobs

Picture of The Knobs

The knobs were oven dials purchased from a mom and pop hardware store, and a knob I found lying in the street. They were painted and attached to the box with velcro.

Step 6: The TV Legs

Picture of The TV Legs

My other obsession with the costume was that it had to have legs. Originally, I was using the legs from our boomerang coffee table, but they too heavy for the box. Poster board proved to be the only material that would roll without creasing.

Step 7: Decorative Elements

Picture of Decorative Elements

A metallic poster board was used to frame the TV and for decorative strips on the sides and bottom.

Step 8: Rabbit Ears

Picture of Rabbit Ears

The rabbit ears were dowels, spray painted silver inserted into half a toy basketball painted copper. A small tart tin was used as the base.

Step 9: More Rabbit Ears

Picture of More Rabbit Ears

Two holes were punched in the center of the tin to wire the dowels. Two holes were punched on either side to sew the tin to a piece of an old t-shirt sewn into a headband.

Step 10: TV Show

Picture of TV Show

The key to the costume was going to be an iPad that was going to act as our television tube. A perusal of the Internet Archive gave us the perfect solution – the 1955 pilot episode of The Lawrence Welk Show!

Step 11: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

1/2" pipe insulation was added to the neck and arm holes for comfort, and to give the costume a more finished look. Then all we had to do was slip the iPad into the box!


SonicLoverSeth (author)2013-11-08

Cool! Were you able to download the old TV shows without much fuss?

Thanks! The Internet Archive offers tons of public domain programs in a number of different formats. After a little trial and error, we found that the h.264 file worked just fine. I downloaded the show: loaded it into iTunes and transferred it to the iPad. It looked and sounded great.

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