Introduction: Electronic Football Costume

For Halloween, I had this idea to make an electronic Football player. For those that remember it, it was a game where you had little football players that vibrated around on a metal playing field. They each had a base and it was pretty hard to control their movement.

First I'd like to warn you that this costume does have some safety issues. For the environment I used it for, my office, it worked quite well. But your ankles are essentially locked into place so you don't move fast, but that actually helps sell the outfit.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Your childhood memory

Rectangular storage box, any color. I used clear. The Sterilite one was about $10, this was the most expensive purchase.

Hot Glue Gun.

Heat Gun (Optional)

Pliable plumbing hose


More Hot Glue Foam (Optional)

Batteries and switch ($1)

Motor of some sort ($1)


Optional pieces: Football outfit (I created my own)

Large shorts - Large

Shirt "Jersey" - I found this at Target for $7. It was different than what I had originally planned, which was all black oversize Tee shirt, but it had the right Jersey-eske shape.

Step 2: The Base

The idea here is to cut two holes into the base that your feet will fit through so you'll be standing in a relative comfortable position. You'll have fake shoes on the base so it will look like you are standing and when you run the motor noise, you are shifting your feet back and forth to actually move. By putting all your weight on one foot, you can even swivel your body without actually making it look like your legs moved. Remember, you're just a plastic toy football player!

I had some challenges with the shoes. My first idea was to melt the plastic storage box so that it would create the bump illusion of my shoes. While trying this, it actually melted holes more quickly than I wanted. I next tried wrapping a smaller pair of shoes in tinfoil, then melting empty milk jugs until they formed a cover. This sort of took the right shape, but when I tried to combine multiple melted pieces, they wouldn't connect smoothly. I next tried paper mache but they turned out too stiff to easily slip my feet through. My final idea was to just sew some fabric into the shape of a shoe and somehow glue it to the base. My fear was it might not hold spray paint well and would not match the look of the base. While digging through fabric, I came upon some foam rubber. Since the texture wasn't going to be different anyway, I used a knife to cut out a rough shoe shape, cut a hole where my foot would enter, and hotglued them onto the base. Spraypaint made the color match and I was nearly done.

Step 3: The Base Noise

I then grabbed an LED set of Bats with a battery back and switch ($1 at DollarTree). I cut the wires and then opened up a small electric Screwdriver. I also had a motorized hand held fan that would work. Anything with a motor that ran on double A batteries. I soldered the wires that led to the batteries, to the wires that led to the battery pack. I hot glued the 'noisemaker' on the inside of the Base, where it would be hidden, and passed the wires and controller up through the back foot hole. I held the controller and could turn on and off when I wanted.

Step 4: The Helmet

I wanted the helmet to to look like a toy. I couldn't find a kids helmet in town, and real ones looked too authentic. So I decided to use 2 plastic large bowls. I found 2 at a 'DollarTree' that were white and thin plastic. I wanted a softer plastic, not the brittle kind. I used a box cuter and scissors to cut about 40% of the side open. Since you can paint it, it won't hurt to use a sharpie to sketch out what you are going to cut. It had to allow enough room for my neck, and for me to see out once it was on. After I was happy with how it lined up, I cut the second bowl as a mirror image. I then glued them together with hot glue. I also glued cardboard on the inside to connect the two bowls and provide some reinforcement.

To create the face frame, I used the heat gun on some plumbing tubing I had lying around. Any circular tubing no thicker than your pinky should work. I made the frame but I couldn't make it flush against the helmet sides, so I used cardboard to wrap around the edge and glued them on the sides of the helmet. Then I applied black base paint and used orange for the frame, since I was going to make my player Halloween themed.

Step 5: Uniform

I stenciled 13 onto the shirt and used Orange Duct Tape to make stripes on the arms. I attempted to sew Orange ribbon instead, but that did not end well. I also added a side stripe on a pair of black shorts, and that completed the uniform.

Step 6: In Action

And here it is in action. I switch on the motor and start bumping into things. It went over quite well at the office, I hope you like it.

Halloween Costume Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest