Introduction: Easy Halloween Illuminaughty Costume

About: Indie game developer, illustrator, comicker, costumer, sword/spoon fighter, Viking enthusiast & wears many hats

Do you have 4 big boxes? No time? And a penchant for secret societies and fishnets? Then this costume is for you! Skip ahead to the supplies to get started (if you really do have no time!) or please enjoy the history behind this Halloween costume:

This fall was so hectic for me I had to cross out costume plans A, B and C and settle on D, but when the costume being made for my husband fell through, Plan D routed over to him and I looped back to doing a simpler version of costume Plan B - 'Illuminati'.

Now, my niece had requested I be 'Illuminati' and wouldn't give me any other details - what it meant, what she meant, whatever it was she knew it from (do the Freemasons have a cartoon out or something?). In the back of my head I logged the request, and as time ticked away I scaled down the epicness of the costume in my mind... and things started getting into that silly-and-stupid costume-making phase you enter when it’s 3am the night before Halloween. 4 giant cardboard boxes and one pair of fishnets later, I became Illuminaughty.

Not only was this an easy and quick costume, it was cheap. And fun. A̶n̶d̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶s̶u̶c̶h̶ ̶a̶ ̶p̶u̶n̶d̶e̶r̶f̶u̶l̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶.

(and because this was such a last minute construction, I don't have very many photos of the in-progress pictures - but I, er, doodled a few...)


4 Big Cardboard Boxes - I recommend calling a fridge, suitcase, moving or packaging company to see about getting some discarded and free boxes! I picked mine from KinsBrae Packaging. Free! And if you can't find big enough boxes, you can disassemble smaller ones and glue them together to give you a big sheet.

Black and White Acrylics Paint - I grabbed these from the dollarstore. $3.

Fishnets - Another dollarstore find (fishnets are also everywhere around Halloween). $1.50

Red High Heel Shoes - This is probably the most expensive part of this costume. If you already have red heels, great! Or maybe you can borrow some from a friend! I ended up going to the thrift store, and finding a pair of beige heels. I bought some red paint and clear glue to transform them, but really, if you can find and afford red shoes, go that route! $7

Stuff you already hopefully have:

Hot glue gun and glue


ruler (yardstick if you have it, or a really long straight edge + regular ruler)

exacto knife and/or scissors

Additional-Things-You-May-Need Note:

If you live in a region where it is know to be cold/raining/SNOWING during Halloween, you're going to want to bundle up. I wore 4 pairs of (thick flesh coloured) tights, plus the fishnets, with long thermal underwear underneath it all and multiple socks - if you do this make sure your shoes will still fit your cozy feet! I also wore gloves, a toque, two long sleeved shirts, and two sweaters. And I stayed warm.

Step 1: Draw and Cut Out Pyramid Sides

Collapse one of the boxes into one big sheet. Lay it down on the floor, then lie down on the box, centralizing yourself on it (get a friend to help you eyeball where you're laying). Using a pencil, mark where the sides of your head and shoulders are - provided that your shoulders are the widdest part of you. Maybe it's your hips or your stomach. Either way, you should be marking down the widest part of your body, making sure you also have marks for your shoulders and head, so you'll fit comfortably inside your pyramid. As long as the pyramid clears the widest part of your body, you can make the pyramid sides as wide or narrow as you like, provided they fit onto your cardboard.

Once you've drawn one, cut it out with an exacto-knife and ruler, or scissors. Trace the remaining three pyramid sides onto the other pieces of cardboard. And keep the cardboard scraps.

I know there is a good mathy way of calculating this, involving a formula for a pyramid plus your own measurements plus the area of the cardboard you have and maybe needing your volume and the pyramids volume...but while there was a debate in the household over what classified as a pyramid I decided just to lie down on the cardboard and take it from there!

Step 2: Partially Assemble Pyramid (Add Braces and Mark Eyes)

Once you have all your pyramid sides, cut out long rectangles *soon-to-be-braces) from the remaining scrap cardboard. Softly score/fold down the centre of these rectangular pieces. Hot glue one side of a rectangle brace to the inside of one pyramid piece, near the bottom, with the score of the rectangle flush against the pyramid edge. Glue the other half of the rectangle to another pyramid piece, lining up the pyramid pieces. Repeat this until you have ALMOST all the pyramid sides together - leave one side unconnected, as this will help you collapse down your pyramid for transporting/painting reasons.

This is a good time to test out that the pyramid fits you. Have a friend help hold close that open side. All good? Great! Now mark where your eyes/seeing-level is about on the pyramid.

Step 3: Sketch and Paint Pyramid Sides

Sketch on some bricks on all sides of the pyramid and one big eye on the front. You can make this as messy or precise as you like*, so long as you have at least one part of a brick-outline-side running across your line-of-sight; you'll be cutting out this section later so you can see.

Once satisfied with your mock-up, paint on those bricks and paint up that eye! Since my cardboard was solid brown, I just did a solid black outline for the bricks. I kept with a graphic minimalist approach and made the eye just white and black, but hey, if you want to colour in that iris or add some shading, go for it.

*personally, I made my bricks 4.25" high by 6.5" long, with all the outlines being half an inch. I drafted out all the bricks with a giant ruler, and used a serving platter and a few bowls for getting a suitable size for the eye.

Step 4: Finish Assembling Pyramid (Add More Braces, Cut Eyeslots and Add Handles)

After the paint has dried, and you have moved your pyramid to a place where you can comfortably get it through doors without collapsing it, finish putting it together. Join the two remaining sides of the pyramid together with a rectangular brace, and add even more braces, especially near the top and bottom of the structure. Cut out the horizontal-running brick line so you can see! (I cut out two, to accommodate for when I raised or lowered the pyramid.) When inside your pyramid, checking out how it feels and being aware of your visibility, mark where the middle of your palms rest along the pyramid sides; you'll put some handles here out of more cardboard scraps! You just need two more rectangles and scoring it four times, so that it will bend into a nice little handle. Make sure your hand will fit the middle part before hot-gluing it down to the inside!

Step 5: Put It Together and Wear It Out! (With Bonus Even Easier Costume)

If you're in, say, Canada, put on all your multiple sweaters and jackets and long woolen underwear.

Next come the tights! Then the shoes!! THEN THE PYRAMID! Ya done! A big thanks to my family for pitching in to help me with this and all the other costumes we decided to go for this year.

I went out with a group who took my sister's kids and their friends trick-or-treating, on a cold and wet Halloween night. My husband - Plan D, Dancing Pumpkin Man - and I both managed to stay dry (he danced continuous the entire night under an umbrella and my cardboard pyramid kept me dry... though by the end of the night it was a little illuminsoggy). I stayed really warm too, as my pyramid trapped my body heat, and I had layer after layer on. I don’t think I’ve ever worn so many pairs of nylons/tights/yoga-pants/long-thermal-underwear before. All the kids knew who I was (what is on TV these days???) but only the adults got the pun. I left the pyramid in my brother-in-law’s garage for them to recycle or reuse, but he’ll have to get new shoes if he wants to wear it - my self-painted heels got ruined by the rain!

AND if you want to make a Dancing Pumpkin Man costume, here's what you do:

Get a full-body-with-mask black bodysuit. Get a hollow plastic jackolantern and cut a hole out of the back. Drill two small holes on either side of the opening and run a thick elastic through them and knot their ends, to make a mask (gasp!). Put on both the bodysuit and self-made-mask, and go dance. Done!

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween Contest 2019

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019