Introduction: Flying Zero From Nightmare Before Christmas

In the theme of Halloween, I created a costume of Zero from Nightmare before Christmas for my quadcopter.

List of materials

  1. Card-stock paper
  2. 2x 3v 3W blue LEDs
  3. 1x standard red LED
  4. Metal clothes hanger
  5. 1m x .5m cotton cloth
  6. Step-down voltage converter (can be substituted with a 3v battery)
  7. Quadcopter (This can be skipped if you want a mounted prop)

Step 1: Creating the Paper Frame

The overall frame was made from strips of paper stock connected using double sided tape. Remember the frame does NOT have to be perfect; all it needs to be is a general shape. Here's a great still image to try to replicate.

  1. Start with a circular loop about 2 inches in diameter to act as the head. All other parts will be built off this loop.
  2. The top part of the muzzle is created using a triangular strip folded into that slight loop.
  3. The bottom part of the muzzle is created in the same fashion as the top, but shorter and with less of a curve.
  4. Connect all the pieces with the double sided tape and don't be worried about it looking messy.

Step 2: Cover It With the Cloth

Cut the cloth in thin strips and layer the paper to create a one-piece look. I found that white tacky glue worked the best in attaching the cloth to the paper. As you progress try to cover all open spots with the cloth. Don't worry about messy cuts, it adds to the ghost image!

Step 3: Ears

Adding the ears proved to be one of the most challenging parts. As you can see the ears in the movie seem to flow and stay upright by themselves. I tried mimicking this movement using clothes hanger to hold the ears to the head.

  1. Cut 2 long strips of ovalish cloth at about 3 inches longer than the head.
  2. Create the stands using clothes hanger wire cut about 3/4 the length of the ear.
  3. Since cloth does not easily glue/tape to the wire, create a paper "plate" and glue both ends to the metal wire.
  4. Fold the wire in the desired orientation.
  5. Glue the wire to the head using tacky glue. (If the wires still seem to move reinforce the joint with epoxy glue)

Step 4: Eyes

The eyes were really easy to make. Just cut 2 circles out of the cloth then color black (I did mine with a sharpie). Attach the eyes using the white tacky glue.

Step 5: Nose

The nose was made from a very old papercraft model of Zero (made by Chamoo232) that is no longer found online. I took the template of the pumpkin nose and enlarged it, which can downloaded here.

Make sure to add an LED inside after assembling the papercraft pumpkin nose.

Step 6: Circuits (Nose)

I shared the power source of the standard red LED (1.7v) with the 5v power line using a resistor.

  1. Solder a resistor (depends on your voltage supply) to a white wire
  2. Solder the wires to the pumpkin led
  3. Hide the resistor using white heatshrink
  4. Test to make sure it works!

Step 7: Nose Assembled

The nose is added using a dab of hot glue at the tip of the muzzle. Make sure to glue the wire to the underneath of the top jaw using dabs of hot glue.

Step 8: Head Test

Here's a quick test of the LEDs in the head. I put one of the blue 3v 3W leds in the center of the head.

Step 9: Circuits (Body)

This step is entirely dependent on what power source you choose to use. I chose to use a step-down converter to lower the voltage from 5v @ the quadcopter's ESC to 3v for the LEDs. This step could also be done using 2 AA batteries or replacing the step-down with resistors.

Step 10: Full Test

Testing all the LEDs and step-down.

Step 11: All Done!

The head is attached to the quadcopter. The body can be created with a simple triangle cut of cloth. If you want to skip the quadcopter and make it into a hanging prop: glue the head to the triangle cloth and hang with fishing wire.

Congratulations you made a flying Zero!

Halloween Props Contest 2015

Fourth Prize in the
Halloween Props Contest 2015

Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest