Introduction: Lifesize Frankenbot Costume (Cheap and Easy)

I felt the need to "up the scale" a bit concerning everyones favorite hubby; the instructi-bot! So instead of saying ‘I made it!’, I can now say ‘I wear it!’.

Supercheap, supereasy and superfun!

I hope I’m doing him justice with a wearable version of this years Halloween-papercraft-challenge; Frankenbot.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

The abosulute minimun to make this with is; boxes, paint, glue and tape. I made all the extras out of different materials, but you can also just paint everything on the boxes! you'll be done for less then about $10,-!

That said, i only had to buy the green paint and the flooring plinth making my cost about $10,- aswell!

  • 3 standard moving or storage boxes
  • 1 square box (I had to make mine square)
  • 1 extra piece of sturdy cardboard (I’m making the wheels out off, you can use 1 of the moving boxes aswell just do this after you’ve made the arms so you know how much is left)
  • 140cm (2x70cm) sure-tube (they fill these with concrete to make pillars, we make them into legs)
  • Ducttape
  • Glue
  • Iron wire/ rebar wire/ rope (I’m doing the headstitches with pieces of rebarwire)
  • 2 BIG bolts (the iconic neckbolts)
  • 18 smaller bolts (for the bottom decoration edge of the bodybox)
  • 3 jarlids (these will be the buttons on the bodybox)
  • 2 plastic rings (for the ears, I used the couplingslip from a PVC pipe connection)
  • Strap with a buckle (to connect headbox to head)
  • 2 straps (about 100cm each, for carrying straps inside the bodybox. This will keep the body tight against the head so needs to be an exact measurement, or just work with adjustable straps!)
  • 0,5x3,5cm floor-edging or plinth; about 2m (for the bottom edge of the bodybox and the small chestpiece)
  • Rivets + riveting gun (for connecting carryingstraps and wheels to legs)
  • About 2m of rope/ paracord (for the carrying of the legtubes strapped to a belt)
  • Markers
  • Measuring tape
  • Stanly knife
  • Scissors
  • Green and red paint + brush
  • Grey/ silver spraypaint

Step 2: The Body

I’m stacking up 2 storageboxes onto eachother for the body. I have the foldable boxes which don’t require tape to close. By leaving the bottom of the top box open, I have 4 ‘flaps’ which I scoot into the bottom box (along the sides). The top of the top box, the ‘flaps’ that fold into eachother, closing the box, are shaped into the chest- and backshape (angled edges).

All the seams created and corners or edges get a ducttape cover. Ducttape is a notoriously bad sticker to cardboard, you might want to use a boxtape. You can also glue all contacting cardboard to eachother.

I cut the bottom out of the bottom box, but I leave 2 edges or rims (about 4cm wide) along the long side of the box. This will help the box keep shape and offers some rigidity.

The part cut out of the bottom is just big enough to cover up the topside of the top box. The only thing left is to cut a hole in it just big enough for your head to stick through! I used a small trashbin-lid for size.

Step 3: The Head

The head is made of a squared beer box. “Any” box will do as long as the measurements are close to the width of the top part of the topbox (where you cut your headhole). The beerboxes are rectangeled so I had to square mine out!

I’m using glue and tape to hold the shape together, and using the same trashbin-lid I draw and cut out the headhole in the headbox.

I use a piece of keychain-strap to make a headstrap inside the box. I place a adjustable buckle on the strap and connect the trap on the inside of the box using 2 screw-into-eachother screws. I sandwich the stap and cardboard-box in between 2 small pieces of VERY sturdy cardboard.

Step 4: The Legs

My dad had some left-over pillartubes that would just fit my leg into. He had a 140cm piece which makes me 2x 70cm legtubes, just about enough!

The legs are not connected to the rest of the costume, they are carried on a belt and held in place with some paracord. Both tubes have 4 small holes near the top just big enough for paracord to run through. I tie in 4 pieces of paracord (about 30cm) knotted off on the inside using a simple 8-knot. The cords in front of the crotch and butt connect the tubes together, each end is connected to the other tube.

All the way at the bottom are 2 cardboard circles attached representing the wheels. I gave the wheels a rivet connecting them together (they are both VERY study carboards, you can’t do this to stogarebox-cardboards).

Step 5: The Arms

You should be left with one storagebox. When opened up and laying flat I cut it in half giving me 2 equal pieces of cardboard.

Measure out 16, 32, 48, 64 and 68cm out from one of the edges, these will be folding lines. The small piece (4cm) on the side is a gluing strip.

Once you’ve decided which side will become the top, measure down 16cm on all sides, cut the corners free so you have 4 separate ‘flaps’. These should fold in nicely and you can glue these together closing off the shoulder of your arm.

My box isn’t long enough to do the same to the ‘wrist-side’. So I made a extra cut-out from 2 leftover pieces measuring 16x36cm. This gives me a 16x16cm cover with 2x 10cm on the sides for gluing into the arms. I recessed the cut-outs about 10cm inside the arms for a better fit with the body on. All that’s left is cutting out holes for your hands to pass through (do this before gluing into place though!).

The hole that sits on my shoulder is an oval cut-out measuring 20x16cm. I cut out a circle inside the actual markings leaving a couple cm of rim standing. I slit these in and fold them over hopefully studying up the cut-out a bit.


The hardwarestore was unable to mix me the exact color Frankenbot has… the closest I could get was colorcode; MAT 151B04. I got a ¼ gallon which is more than enough.

After the first coat is on I’m thinking to myself; “I’m going to look like a cracked-out mutant ninja turtle worked out in Minecraft… damn…” especially the square eyes now give it a minecraft-look…

Everything does need a second coat, and some ducttape-parts might even get a third. Its not taking the paint as good as I had hoped.

Since some ducttape was actually coming loose, I used the paint as a sort of glue aswell, dripping paint in between and bracing from the inside with a piece of wood. Hopefully it will stick enough to have a smooth appearance (/outside).

After the second coat everything is covered, even the ducttape! Yay!

Step 7: Face; Ears

You can make some simple ‘ear-disks’ out of a couple of cardboard circles and stack them up to your preferred height, maybe wrap around a piece of printerpaper to cover up the showing cardboard-sides and paint it red, presto!

I tried to make them with Styrofoam first but my red spraypaint ate away at the foam…

I found a 110mm PVC coupling slip that fitted perfectly. I cut the coupling slip off and split it into 2 rings. I simply covered these with some cardboard and glued it in from the inside using some hot-glue.

A quick red spraypaint finishes the earprops!

Step 8: Face; Eyes

The eye disks are a cardboard cut-outs glued on top of the face. I tried taking shape and size from our little friend. The cut-outs are spraypainted red and accented with a black permanent marker.

The ‘pupils’ are cut out completely so I can see something.

Step 9: Face; Stitchings

I used small pieces of rebar-wire to create the headstitches of our Frankenbot. I first make a cut in the box and rough up the edge a bit to simulate a ‘scar’ and by poking the rebar-wire through the cardboard and bending it tight on the inside I make quick work of the brainsurgery our friend had.

For accenting I run some red nailpolish on the inside of the cut and let it drip a little at a spot or 2 before putting the ‘staples’ in.

Step 10: Face; Neck-Bolts

I have no idea what the bolts are called that I'm using here... They were among the biggest in my toolbox.

By cutting 2 small pieces from the 0,5x3.5cm flooringstrip and drilling a hole in where the bolts screews in tight i make simple work of the neckbolts! Cardboard itself wouldn't be strong enough to hold the bolts standing out, so i glued the wooden piecen on the inside and screwed the bolts into place.

Step 11: Buttons and Deco-Strip

I’ve got 3 coffeejar-lids that are the right size to act like the chestbuttons on our (not-so-)little friend. The top of the cap is indented and carries the brandname, so I wil inlay a piece of cardboard covering this up.

They are simply glued on the body just like the horizontal chest deco strip below the buttons (which is spraypainted grey and accented with a black marker).

Step 12: Bottom Edging

The bottom of the bodybox has a decorationedge. I interpreted this as a metal edge with bolts running all along the bottom edge. We need a little color differation on this costume!

I use a 0,5x3,5cm wooden flooringstrip spraypainted grey. Drill 5 correctly spaced holes for the long sides and 4 for the short sides before you paint though. The wooden strip is glued to the box and the bolts are there for decorational purposes only (even though they stick through the box and have a nut on the inside).

Step 13: Wheels

I had a VERY strong and sturdy cardboard that I made the wheels out of. Simple circle cut-outs spraypainted grey with some white and accented with a thick marker. They are connected to the bottom of the leg-tubes using a rivet.

Step 14: Detailing Arms, Legs and Hands

For the legaccents just above Frankenbot’s knee and the ones down the arms, I painted a darker green ring around the leg and sleeve. Everything below the darker green ring on the sleeve is spraypainted white. I will simply draw accents and fingers using a thick marker.

Halloween Contest 2018

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2018