Introduction: Pac-Man Costume

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What other icon represents 80's video games and arcades better than Pac-Man. And when thinking of ideas for a video game inspired costume to drop jaws and the costume contest, I went no further than Pac-Man. With a little bit of patients, cardboard, and inspiration from this guide, our favorite yellow video game creature will soon be a fashion statement.

I hope you enjoy my first Instructable!

*Disclaimer: I will be giving the exact dimensions I used but you do not have to use the same measurements. . This model is able to be scaled up or down to fit the person. The dimensions I gave will fit most people.


The supplies and tools you are going to need to carry out this project are:
-A few sheets of cardboard (I got four-five slip sheets from Costco)

-Yellow paint (I used acrylic paint but you can also use spray paint)

-Black paint (Same as above acrylic or spray paint)

-A knife to cut cardboard

-A glue gun with glue sticks

-A role of black tape (for the visible parts of the costume)

-A role of any colored duct tape (for unseen parts of the costume)

-A black Sharpie

-Black plastic hardware cloth

-A straight edge

-Pencil or pen

-A string (for making a perfect circle)

Step 1: Cutting the Cardbored

The Pac-Man costume consists of six simple pieces of cardboard that all come to form Pac-Man. Because the general shape is mostly blocky the cuts won't be too complicated.

Note-Very Important-For both the inside of the mouth and the three sides on the top, back and bottom of Pac-Man (The last two paragraphs) make sure the curve and fold is going with the grain of the cardboard. (The little grooves/lines in the cardboard. Check the photo above for an example.) This will make the project miles easier and less stressful and difficult.

The first pieces to cut are the identical circular sides. They are each 3 feet (36 inches) in diameter and each cut out of one slip sheet of cardboard. The mouth is just like a slice out of a pizza and is about 22 inches from bottom to top. To make the perfect circles I used the method shown here but instead made the string 18 inches long. You only have to make one circle then trace it onto the other one. To create the mouth just make a wedge that starts directly in the middle and is 22 inches from bottom to top at the edge of the circle. For me I made the arm hole a little off center and 4 inches in diameter but just made it to fit your arm. Cut the circle, arm hole, and mouth out with a knife.

For the inside of the mouth cut a strip of cardboard that is 36 inches long and 12 inches wide. Again these are just the dimensions I used. Bend it in half so each side is 18n inches long. In the middle of one side cut out a rectangle with the dimensions of 13x8 inches. This will be the hole to see out of and will be covered by plastic hardware cloth. Also all the inside edges will need to have tabs where you can glue and tape on.

The last three sides between the two circular sides that you made earlier will hold everything together. The bottom two pieces had the dimensions of 23x12 inches and the top, longest one was 37x12 inches. These pieces will curve to make the top, back, and bottom of Pac-Man. Because of this they will need to be curved to accommodate the circular shape of Pac-Man. Lastly these pieces will need to have tabs going lengthwise but NOT widthwise.

Step 2: Color

What would Pac-Man be without his trademark yellow!?!

Painting this costume is very easy and simple. I used yellow acrylic paint with the biggest sponge brush I could find. I did the same with black. I'm sure using spray paint would be fine too. Depending on the paint you get, a few coats of paint might be needed.

What colors for what places:

  • Black-Inside of the mouth
  • Yellow-Everywhere else

The eye can be colored right now or when everything is assembled, but I suggest doing it while Pac-Man is in pieces. For me I just made the eye 5 inches in diameter with a slice in it just like Pac-Man's shape himself (You can also just do a circle eye). I used the method shown earlier but with a 2.5 inch string instead. I colored the eye in with a black sharpie. Make sure to have the eye on both sides.

Step 3: Assembling

Now that you have all the pieces ready it is time to put them all together and make the Pac-Man costume you've been waiting for!

To assemble the Pac-Man start off with one of the circular sides. With the tabs you made earlier tape and glue the three pieces that make up the top, bottom, and back, and the inside of the mouth to the first circular side. Make sure to leave a space to get into the costume between the bottom and back piece (The picture above shows where you should leave a gap to get into the costume). The rest of the cardboard should be flush with each other. In this step it may be helpful to have someone hold the cardboard pieces together while you put them together. The method I used to make sure everything was strong, was glue gunning the tabs to the circular side then duck taping (since the tape is on the inside it won't matter what color it is) over the hot glue. This will ensure a sturdy bond between all the pieces of cardboard (The pictures above are how I secured the cardboard with the tap over hot glue method)

. Do the same thing on the other circular side. Again it will be very beneficial to have someone hold the pieces together while you do the tape and gluing. Getting inside the costume and gluing will be the best strategy to get the best results.

Once everything is taped and glued together you are almost done. The last thing to do is to tape black plastic hardware cloth to the hole in the inside of the mouth you made earlier. This time use black tape so because this part will be visible in the final result. With the hardware cloth on all you have to do is wait for your costume to dry, and it is time to show off your work.

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