Introduction: Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube People

Picture of Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube People
We've all seen them on Family Guy and at those cheesy store grand openings, and even at car dealerships. This costume is very easy to make, I made it from things I had from around the house. Not only is it a fun costume but it is the best costume to make someone laugh. Everyone knows what it is when they see it.

I even stood by the road and was doing the Wacky Waving dance to cars driving by, the look on the drivers faces were priceless.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  • 2 round pop-up laundry hampers
  • Black felt
  • White felt
  • Elmer's Glue
  • Hot Glue Hot Glue gun
  • Bright colored fabric (I used some old bedding sheets)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing supplies
  • Zip ties

Step 2: Forming the Body

Picture of Forming the Body

Okay, to make the body all you need to do is cut the the bottom out of one of the hampers and cut all the handle things off. Using zip ties, attach the two hampers together. To determine the location of the arm holes, slide inside the hamper tube and have someone mark the location and just cut out holes big enough for your shoulders.

Step 3: Adding the Skin...(not As Gross As It Sounds)

Picture of Adding the Skin...(not As Gross As It Sounds)

For this step there are a few ways to add the skin. You could stitch the fabric together, which is the preferred option because it looks the best. The other option is to use velcro (this is much faster). Whichever method you choose to go with make sure to make the arm sleeves twice the length of your arm for the long flailing look. Also make sure to not make the fabric fit the hamper tube snugly, leave a little room for wiggling.


Cut the mouth like shown in the pictures below, make it big enough for you to look out and for your desired look.

The Velcro method is certainly faster than sewing, all you have to do is place Volvo one the inside of the fabric and the other on the outside of the fabric on the other side.

All that's left to do is to give him eyes, cut the felt to size. For my costume the eye dimensions are:
white-4.5" dia
black-2" dis
Once the eyes are glued together, use hot glue to attach them to the body.

Pro tip: I doubled up the white circles because it was a little transparent

Step 4: Practice the Motion

Picture of Practice the Motion

Before you crawl into the tube, put your arms on and pin them to your shirt using safety pins.
All you have to do now is practice your Wacky Waving motion!

Get ready to be the bell of the ball and for people to laugh with and at you.



TheresaB41 made it! (author)2017-11-22

Instead of using felt for the eyes, I made mine with the top of a remade graham cracker crust, a paper plate and a black piece of plastic. glued together and made google eyes. HUGE success at company's annual Halloween contest. Had a ball!!!

SantiagoV6 made it! (author)2017-10-31

I took it to school last year and made a video about it.

spordan1 made it! (author)2017-10-30

Awesome Idea, my friends loved it ! Thanks

Made it in 2 hours using safety pins, no sewing, and the best part : it's foldable haha

thespis (author)2016-10-22

I'm about 5'10, will I need three laundry hampers? It seems when I measure it out the baskets will stop just above my knee, especially if i leave space above my head.

Nessasaur (author)thespis2016-11-18

Nah that's good it makes walking easier. Just make sure the fabric goes way past the bottom of the hamper and down to the floor

monkeymade made it! (author)2016-11-01

This tutorial is great! To keep the hampers in place on my 8 year old we tied the belt from his robe to the bottom hamper's handles. His arms went in the handles and the belt over his shoulders. The "hair" is pipe cleaners covered in fabric.

JamieT67 made it! (author)2016-11-01

We did it! Thanks so much for this instructions! Used felt for eyes, sewed the cloth onto the top of the hamper, also tried using hot glue to secure the cloth instead of sewing. We also used the hamper's handle as shoulder support!

mcollazo made it! (author)2016-10-30

Thanks for the instructable! Just finished making one for my nephew who's obsessed with wacky inflatable tube men. The only small changes i made were that i used giant googly eyes with velcro, and i used stretchy performance fabric (from Joanns Fabrics) for the skin and kept everything in place with safety pins. Thanks again!

gilmore0522 (author)2016-10-23

I'm not sure where to put arm holes in..... I'm making this for my children, & we are stuck on this step...... there isn't any support if I just cut holes.

JohannaM15 (author)gilmore05222016-10-25

I am having the same issue, and i added the armholes (was NOT easy). now, it just falls flat, and the top falls down on top of her head. tired sewing a pillow inside, but that made it too top heavy. i'm trying to brainstorm to see what i can either have my kid wear on her head OR what i can sew inside the tube at the top to give support....

AliciaM82 (author)JohannaM152016-10-27

I just picked up three dowels to put on the inside of the costume from my sons shoulders up to the top of the costume. Ill probably either sew a little strap to put them in, or maybe even try just taping them. Another thing I read was that someone had their child wear a backpack and put a little pvc pipe in it to hold up the top. I'm hoping one of these two works! Good luck :)

michelle walker (author)2016-09-24

I have been trying to figure out this costume, but can't figure out where to put the eyes and mouth because my head is too close to the top Did you put something into the top so that my head would be lower?

So we brainstormed and came up with several options. The hampers were too wide for my children's shoulders, so we needed some extra support to hold them up.
First option was to somehow make straps. Second option was to instead of cutting off the bottom of one hamper, just cut a small hole to fit your child's head. And then attach other hamper w zip ties . That's what we ended up doing. And it worked.
I have photos if you are interested.

JohannaM15 (author)gilmore05222016-10-26

thank you - my main issue is hat's already over the fence and we can't do the same thing you did to "save" it. but, i have a few ideas... happy halloween!!

can you let me know how you made out with this? I'm struggling with the same thing! :)

gilmore0522 made it! (author)2016-10-25

We made it work. And tweaked the instructions given.

TammyR70 (author)2016-10-04

it has to do with where you place your arm hole i think

I am going to make this for Halloween! Can anyone who made it tell me how tall they are, how much fabric it took (and what it cost), and how many hampers they used? I'm thinking I'll use two since I'm five foot. I also found vinyl hampers which I think would allow me to skip the fabric, aside from the sleeves. Has anyone tried vinyl? Thank you!

(My friends are going to love this costume! It fits my personality so well!)

lime3D (author)2016-07-22

How about attaching pool noodles to the insides of the sleeves, to go from the 'elbow' to the end? That way you can hold onto the noodle with your hand, and point the sleeve up and outwards if you want.

ElzbietaS (author)2016-04-28

OMG thank you for posting the instructions, I am so making those for me and my son for Comic Con this year :)

parisusa (author)2016-03-26

Al Harrington gives this a thumbs up! And so do I! A fellow Massachusetts resident! This is Wicked Awesome!

NgocN14 (author)2015-11-04

Loved this! I made it this halloween and it was a huge hit! Check out my DIY video to see how it turned out!

The Oakland Toy Lab made it! (author)2015-11-01

Thank you so much! Your costume idea is incredible and the dance moves are flailingly endless. The bounciness of the hampers are just wonderful, and made for infinite giggles. We made some!

LiamT16 (author)2015-10-31

Thanks for the instructions guys! This was a lot of fun..

jcrits1 (author)2015-10-29

when you said to make the arms 16" wide, is that how wide the unsewn fabric should be? As in the diameter of the arms? Or should the diameter of the sleeves be 8"?

JyoticaB (author)2015-10-28

What is the best way to attach the arms?

I sewed then in with a gathered Sean, but you could just make arms, pin then to your shirt, and stick them through the arm holes.

J.Julian.V.Sammy made it! (author)2014-11-25

I saw these GIFs and couldn't stop laughing - so I figured I'd make one. I stitched two hampers together - zip ties a MUCH better idea. I also opened up the top of the costume to avoid sweating to death (it's surprisingly warm) and to give me an easy way to get my head out while walking my young daughter around the town. I also left the pink mesh over the mouth, sewed the arms to the costume itself, and stapled big googly eyes on instead of using felt/cloth.

If I make another version of this, I'll go for three hampers with a larger diameter, making it a bit taller and also with the bottom going almost to the ground. If it's larger and taller, I would leave the top on too - it won't be so warm - and open up the mouth completely to have no mesh.

Warning to anyone making one of these: you won't be able to stop laughing, and people won't be able to talk to you. I rode the streetcar wearing it and watched with some glee as people giggled and snickered and laughed.

DanaK16 (author)J.Julian.V.Sammy2015-10-28

Question, can you see through the mesh?? Or are you pretty much blind the whole night?

J.Julian.V.Sammy (author)DanaK162015-10-29

You can see out just fine, but they can't see in.

Spac3M4N. (author)DanaK162015-10-28

Why not just test the mesh you use and see if you can see through it beforehand?

I have questions!!! How did you sew the fabric to the tubes? On both sides or down the back? Also, what diameter do you recommend? I'm 5'6" about 140lbs. Would 15" diameter be too small? Does the larger diameter make your arms hurt or sit awkward when not waving them?

The fabric is sewn into a tube and then attached at the top with safety pins. No point sewing it on for a short use costume.

You want the diameter to be close to your shoulder width do you can really flap the arms. 15" sounds l our it would be pretty good.

The arms are a bit awkward no matter what, but the thing is really light. I made shoulder straps to spread the load and tie me into the structure, using the cart straps that came on the hampers, but some steps of cloth pointed on would work fine.

Practice the slow delete and sudden inflation move with little jumps for extra fun. :)

Infinitevortex (author)2013-11-04

What hilarious costumes! I just love the faces you put on them.

boston09 (author)Infinitevortex2013-11-04

Thanks! Its basically the face I was making inside too :D

I can vouch for that!

jessyratfink (author)boston092013-11-07

hahahaha! that actually made me laugh harder than the slightly lethargic tube person in the gifs

matthewj2 (author)2014-08-31

Hey, do you think i could sit down in that? (maybe make one and go to school in it)

You can sit - but it's not a comfortable sit.

ALECIALLEY (author)2014-05-22

hahahahahaha..... very cute

creativity123 (author)2014-05-03

Those are awesome!

creativity123 (author)2014-05-03

Those are awesome!!

suitcasepotato (author)2013-12-05


poofrabbit (author)2013-11-21

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween costume contest! Can’t wait to see if you win good luck!

RollerScrapper (author)2013-11-06

Hilarious! I thought of the family guy episode as son as I saw the main image. Great job!

ecsaul23 (author)2013-11-05

funny! great idea. Now you just need the guy from the movie Escape from planet Earth :p

neumanmatt (author)2013-11-04

These are great. Clever, simple, hilarious...all good stuff.

Curleymongoose (author)2013-11-04

You're on mrsyndicate's instagram for the day of the dead

mikeasaurus (author)2013-11-04

So great!

boston09 (author)mikeasaurus2013-11-04


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