Introduction: Segway Costume

Here's how to make a hilarious Segway costume.  You can make one for under $60 if you already have a bike helmet.  My friends and I were a group of 6 Segways (a Chicago Segway Tour), but this would also be great for Paul Blart Mall Cop or Gob from Arrested Development.  Once you have the materials, each Segway costume only takes a couple of hours.

Step 1: What You'll Need.

Here's the shopping list, along with approximate prices.  Note:  The Pool Noodle and Camping Waist Pack are missing from the photo below.



2 - 15 qt. Oil Drain Pans - $8 each
2 - Small Ice Scrapers - $3 each
1 - Mini Backpack - $9
1 - Camping Waist Pack - $8
1 - Car Cupholder - $2 (enough for 5 costumes)
1 - Large Pool Noodle - $1

6 ft. - 3/4" PVC pipe - $1
4 - 3/4" PVC 90 degree elbows - $1 each
1 - 4 Tier Black Plastic Utility Shelf - $24 (enough for 6 costumes)
1 - Grey Electrical Conduit Junction Box - $3
1 - 3" long nut with bolt + washer - $1
1 - Pack of Black Zip Ties - $1

1 - Pair of Pants (light color is better)
1 - Pair of Shoes (light color is better)
1 - Bike Helmet

Scroll Saw
PVC Cement + Primer
Utility Knife

1 - Safety Vest (Segway tours wear safety vests sometimes, and it looks funny)

Step 2: Cutting the Platform.

The shelves will become the platform of the segway.  First, take one of the shelves and cut it in half.  After it is cut in half, cut a rectangle out of the cut side, about 6 inches deep.  Leave the side walls of the shelf.  You should end up with a sort of U-shaped piece.

Step 3: Drilling the Post.

The tube sections from the shelves will become the post of the Segway.  The tube sections are designed to fit together, and 2 tube sections combined are the perfect length for one Segway post.  Drill one hole in the overlap to secure the two sections together with a zip tie.  Drill another hole about 2 inches down from the top.  This hole should be on the narrower end of the tube.  Be sure to drill all the way through both sides of the hollow tube.   

Step 4: Assembling the Handlebars.

The post from the previous step is combined with the mini backpack, 2 small ice scrapers, and car cup holder to make the handlebars.  First, put the 3 inch bolt through the hole in the ice scrapers (mine came with a hole in them, but if not drill a hole).  Next, slip the bolt through one side of the hollow post.  Then, catch the top loop on the mini backpack around the bolt before threading it through the opposite side of the hollow post.  Finally, add the cupholder (which also had a hole in it).  Tighten the washer and nut to secure the assembly.

Step 5: Adding the Handlebar Base.

The final step in the handlebar assembly is attaching the electrical conduit box to the post.  Be sure that the post will connect toward the front of the segway, and that you keep the handle bars perpendicular to the conduit box.  Basically, all you do is press fit this together.  It takes a good bit of pushing and twisting to get it on there, but once it's on, it's on.

Step 6: Attaching the Handlebar to the Platform.

To get a secure connection between the conduit box and the platform, zip tie them together.  First, drill 6 holes in the conduit box, 3 on each side.  Then drill 6 holes in the platform, adjacent to the 6 holes in the conduit box.  Loop three zip ties through to connect the two parts, and tighten down.  Be sure to really crank down on the zip ties to get a secure connection.

Step 7: Building the Fake Legs.

The PVC pipe and 4 - 90 degree elbows will become the "skeleton" of the fake legs.  Cut 3 sections 7 inches long.  These 3 short sections will become the two feet and the waist.  Cut two legs approximately 24 inches long.  You may need longer or shorter fake legs depending on your actual height.  When the Segway is fully assembled the waist of the "skeleton" should be at your waist, and the bottom of the wheels should be about 3 inches off the ground.  To attach the PVC pieces, use PVC primer and glue, as this will give you a strong hold that will last.

Step 8: Dressing the Fake Legs.

The pool noodle, pants, and shoes will dress the PVC "skeleton" to make the fake legs look real.  First, cut the pool noodle in half, and slit it up the side using a utility knife.  Then, slide the pool noodle sections over each PVC leg.  Next, put on the pants and shoes.  Finally, trim any excess pool noodle that sticks beyond the PVC waist.

Step 9: Attaching the Fake Legs.

Position the dressed fake legs on the front of the U-shaped platform.  You will be walking with you real legs hidden behind the fake legs, within the open end of the U.  To attach them, drill 4 holes straight through the shoes AND platform, 2 in the front and two further back, on both sides of the PVC pipe foot.   Thread zip ties up through the platform and shoe, around the PVC pipe, and back down through the shoe and platform.  It's a little tricky to get the zip ties through the shoes, so you may have to work at it for a minute.

Step 10: Trimming the Wheels.

There is a handle and a spout on each oil drain pan.  Use the scroll saw to cut these off.  The handle side will become the bottom of the wheel and the spout side will become the top.

Step 11: Attaching the Wheels.

The oil drain pans are zip tied to the sides of the platform.  First, line up the platform about 1/3 of the way up the oil drain pan.  Remember that the flat side will be the bottom of the wheel.  Then mark where to drill holes in both the platform and the wheel.  Drill holes in the front and back of the platform and wheel.  Thread zip ties through and crank them down tight.

Step 12: Attaching the Waist Belt.

The camping waist pack (a.k.a. fanny pack) is what holds the costume on you as you walk around.  One zip tie on each side of the fanny pack will attach it securely to the waist of the PVC legs.  I cut a hole in each side of the pant waist, so that the waist belt could thread through the pant belt loops, and I slit the pants straight down the back, so that they could wrap around your real legs a little more.  This helped the illusion, especially from the side.

Step 13: Finishing Touches.

Your Segway costume is almost done, but there are a couple finishing touches to make your costume even better.

1.  Tape some padding to the inside of the U-shaped platform.  Your shins will bump up against this occasionally, and the hard plastic can be a bit sharp unless you add some padding.

2.  Secure the tops of the wheels to your fake shoe shoelaces with zip ties.  Otherwise the wheels will have a tendency to flop down a bit.

3.  Wear black shoes and pants on your real legs, so that they aren't as noticable as your lighter colored fake legs.

4.  Be sure the waist belt is really tight.  The tighter it is, the more comfortable it will be to walk around.

5.  Add some details!  We added paper "Chicago Segway Tour" signs along with matching bike helmets, and safety vests.  My friend below was the tour guide, so we put an orange flag on his Segway. 

Step 14: Roll-out and Enjoy!

Clip the waist belt around behind you and you are riding your Segway!  Many people thought that we were riding real Segways, even when we were indoors.  Because the costume is so easy to get on and off, it also makes a great photo-op for other people to try it on.  We had such a great time this Halloween, and we received lots of compliments on our costumes.   

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