My 9 year old daughter wanted to go as Eve (from Disney/Pixar's Wall-E film), but there were no costumes for sale. So we decided to build one. It took a few evenings, but was a big hit.
For this Instructable, you'll need:
- a white trash can
- hot glue gun (and a lot of hot glue sticks)
- wire mesh
- black panty hose
- blue spray paint
- skil and/or speed saw
- an old baseball cap or hat
- EL wire (blue and green) and appropriate power/electronics
- paper lantern (we got it from IKEA)
- stiff plastic L (we used an IKEA storage top)
Step 1: Buy a Trash Can that is the right shape
We found a trash can made by Umbra called the "Sway". Ideally you would find one with a curved base, like Eve. Make sure that the person who will be wearing the costume will fit it - so make sure they can stand in it before you buy it.
After you do anything else, you'll need to cut the bottom off so the wearer can get their legs through. You'll want the top of bottom to get up a bit above their shoulders. In my daughter's case, that meant there was about 18" from the bottom of the can to the ground.
Step 2: check the fit
Make sure that the person who will be wearing the costume will fit it - so make sure they can stand in it.
Step 3: cut arm holes
For this I used a Ryobi speed saw, but you could probably drill a hole and snip them out with a wire snips.
Step 4: make shoulder supports
This was the part that took the longest to solve. The problem is how to actually support the body of the costume as you walk around. We decided the best way would be to build some "wings" that would sit atop the wearer's shoulders. This is the strongest and leads to the least fatigue of any of the ideas we came up with.
To make it work, we started with a plastic top from an IKEA container, and using a Skil saw, cut out two wings that we bolted to the inside of the can, above the arm holes. Another important thing here was to get some foam (that we covered with fabric) and attach it to the wings where they will rest on the shoulders. We attached the fabric to the foam and then that to the wings with hot glue, but we used two bolts and washers to attach each wing to the can.
Step 5: cut the face opening in the head
If you got the right kind of trash can, although you will need to do is cut one side of the swingy opening off and secure the remaining part to the rest of the can.
Make sure you don't slice through where the swinger attaches to the rest of the can.
I attached it to the rest of the top with a very generous helping of hot glue.
Step 6: make the face plate
Clearly, you could electrify the eyes and do some neat things here. We made a strategic call that we wanted as clear a line of sight as possible for the wearer, so we were more concerned with being able to see out that make this part look awesome.
This actually added up adding to the costume's awesomeness, since the eyes were not visible in darkened rooms, while the leaf light was very visible in those situations. This caused Eve to look like she was "sleeping" (as she does in the movie) when the leaf light is activated.
We got some metal mesh from Utrecht (an art supply store) and using the part of the head we cut out, figured out how much mesh we needed to fold it over once (to give us some structural strength, your mileage may vary).
After shaping it to fit in the opening, we covered it with black pantyhose.
Step 7: paint eyes on faceplate
This was another step that was finally easy, but took a lot of experiment to find the write way to do it.
We finally cut out an eye outline in cardboard, and then just used skinny tape to cover over a series of lines on it, and used that as a stencil with spray paint.
We covered the overspray with a black sharpie marker, and it looked great.
Step 8: attach faceplate to head
For this we used tape to hold it and then hot glued it on the inside. We also pushed the mesh out to conform to the curve of the top.
You will use a lot of hot glue on this project - or at least, we did.
Step 9: add a cap to the inside of the head
We took a beat up old baseball cap, cut the bill off, and hot glued it to the inside top of helmet. Make sure you test fit the cap with the intended wearer of the costume.
Step 10: Build Eve's blue space contrails
When Eve flies around in space, you see these blue circles that emanate from her. I have no idea what they are, but they look cool.
Since my daughter's legs would be sticking out of the bottom of the costume by about 18", I decided to use the blue circles as a way to hide her legs.
We found a paper lamp at IKEA that was on sale that had the right shape. I got some black spray paint that had sparkles in it, and after cutting the length I needed, painted it.
Again, it was important to fit the costume with the actual person who would be wearing it.
Step 11: strobing blue contrails of EL-wire
To give a sense of the blue contrails moving behind Eve, we decided we wanted to have a series of circle that would strobe in a pattern.
I found a 4 channel circuit with battery pack for $8, and ordered it along with 25 feet of blue EL wire from Coolight EL wire
When it arrived, I soldered four runs of it, and then hot glued it to the exterior of the painted paper light body. I ran the wires up inside a wire holder and hot glued the whole thing to the inside of the body, making sure I made the on/off switch easily reachable.
Step 12: build the heart light
Eve has a light on the left side of her body which pulses green with a simple image of a plant on it. I drew a picture on the computer, coloring the plant part black and the part around it green.
I then took a poster tube and cut out the paper to fit inside it. I cut off a 3" section of the tube, and covered the inside with silver foil. I did the same for the end cap. I then drilled a hole and threaded through 3' of green EL wire, and hot glued the battery pack to the side of it.
I then taped the paper printout of the plant on to the left side of Eve's body, and hot glued the poster tube assembly atop it.
Because I was running out of time (this was the day before Halloween), I bought it from a local electronics shop in Berkeley, Al Lasher's on University
Step 13: wear an outfit long white sleeves
My daughter put on a white unitard and headed out trick or treating. The costume was a big hit at school and out in the neighborhood!
We even visited Pixar and took a picture in front of some pictures from WallE.
I hope this inspires you to make your own Eve costume - we had fun, and it's great to have a costume that boys, girls, and adults equally think is cool.