Introduction: Reeling in a Fun Halloween Costume: a Windowpane Flounder

   At our high school, hands-on activities are common learning opportunities. We love doing inventive projects that get the mind going, and help get away from boring, textbook lectures. Our goal is to learn something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Technology class is one course that specializes in getting in plenty of hands-on activities that are fun and educational.
   In our Technology class, I was assigned to design and develop a costume fitting a marine theme decided by my group, consisting of me and several other classmates. This costume had to fit a flat-pack design, which would allow it to be stored in several flat pieces, must be made with slotted construction, and cannot include fasteners like tape. The costume had to be made completely of cardboard, could not include fasteners, and could not be too difficult for the average parent to create. For this project, I chose to make a Windowpane Flounder to fit our groups theme of ‘Nektons’.

Step 1: Materials List:

Tool:                       Use:
T1. Pencil              Draw increments along sides of cardboard.
T2. Ruler               Measure increments along side of cardboard.
T3. Eraser             Erase lines on cardboard.
T4. Exacto-Knife  Cut out pieces of cardboard.

Supply:                                       Measurements:         Qty:                  Use:
S1. Large piece of cardboard    4' x 3'                            2                      Body Plates
S2. Small piece of cardboard    6" x 2'                            1                      Shoulder Straps    

Step 2: Making the Body Plates

1. Using one of the 4’ x 3’ pieces of cardboard (S1) and use the pencil (T1) and the ruler (T2) to make one foot increments along the 4’ sides.
2. Connect the increments identifying the 3’ line with the pencil (T1). This will divide the cardboard into two parts: one that is 1’ x 3’ and one that is 3’ x 3’.
3. Using the pencil (T1), draw a circle within the 3’ x 3’ area. Draw a triangle with the pencil (T1) going horizontally from the line where the 3’ x 3’ area and the 1’ x 3’ area meet to the end of the cardboard. Follow the picture above for help.
4. Erase the line separating the 3’ x 3’ area and the 1’ x 3’ area using the eraser (T3).
5. Cut around this body shape with the Exacto-Knife (T4). This will give you a fish-like body plate (P1).
6. Repeat steps 1-5 using the second 4’ x 3’ piece of cardboard (S1). This will give you a second fish-like body plate (P1).

Step 3: Making the Shoulder Straps

1. Using the Exacto-Knife (T4) and the ruler (T2), cut a line down the 6” x 2' piece of cardboard (S2).
2. You should now have two identical 3” x 1' pieces of cardboard. These will be the shoulder straps (P2)

Step 4: Parts List:

Part:  Name of Part:              Qty:
P1.    Fish-like body plate    2
P2.    Shoulder strap             2

Step 5: Assembling the Costume

1. Cut slots on both of the body plates (P1) on the sides 4" from the top of the costume using the Exacto-Knife (T4) and ruler (T2).
2. Insert one shoulder strap (P2) through the slot on the left on both body plates (P1).
3. Insert the other shoulder strap (P2) through the slot on the right on both body plates (P1).
4. The costume has been successfully assembled! Check the pictures above to check your accuracy.

Step 6: Disassembling the Costume

1. Pull each shoulder strap (P2) from the slots on the body plates (P1).
2. The pieces can now be stored flat.