I make a lot of decorations/props for Halloween, but I rarely spend much time dressing up. This year, I wanted to have a costume where I could actively add more mild scares to my regular haunt.
My idea for a costume was fairly simple. Make an alien egg (similar to those in the Alien movie franchise) with an alien puppet inside and have a fake right arm to make it look like both my arms were occupied with holding the egg. People would approach the egg and I could use my arm inside the egg to make the alien pop up. One of the unforeseen benefits of standing around holding the egg was many thought the egg contained the candy. It made it real easy to get people close! The egg can also be used as a decoration in the future and more can easily be made to set the scene. I also think this idea could be used with other props, such as a large plastic cauldron.
As with most of my Instuctables, the project is fairly cheap (the egg costs approximately $12) and can easily be made without special tools/supplies.
I have added two videos of some people I scared, a video of Bob the alien getting a little crazy, and a video of a test I did inside my house (complete with EXTREMELY bad acting!). I hope you enjoy them. You'll probably have to turn your volume up to hear.
Step 1: The Egg (Basic Shape)
You will need:
Large trash bag
Great Stuff (Insulating Foam Sealant)- approximately 2 small cans
Optional: Plastic wrap, hot glue
Scissors and/or utility knife
I made my egg about 2 feet tall. I started by using a fold in my cardboard as the straight edge for the middle of the egg and drew half an egg. Cut that out and flip it to make another half. Use these to make two more halves and two whole eggs. Cut a slit halfway down the middle of one of the whole eggs and halfway up the other. Slide the two pieced together so the sides are at 90 degree angles. Tape the egg halves between each side of the piece you just made. Use tape to ensure the pieces stay somewhat equidistant from each other then place the egg template inside a trash bag.
I placed this on a plastic food container to keep it off my work surface. Use the Great Stuff and cover half the egg. Let it dry a bit, turn it over and spray foam onto the rest of the egg being sure to leave a large opening at the top.
Once this was cured, I cut a large section out of what would be the back of my egg to give access to my arm when in costume.
Step 2: The Egg (Lips? and Finishing)
Next, after measuring the distance/circumference around the opening at the top of the egg, I cut 4 triangles out of foam core board (you could just use cardboard) to cover that distance. I bent/rolled the pieces then taped them toward the top of the egg, leaving an inch or two of the egg visible. It's optional, but I placed a layer of plastic wrap on top of the triangle, so they could be pulled away from the Great Stuff you're about to spray. Spray the Great Stuff on the egg then onto the triangles to make the egg's lobes or lips. I don't know, I'm not an alien egg expert.
Because I was going to be using this in a darker environment I use a fluorescent green spray paint on the entire outside of the egg and a few inches down inside the egg. I then used an airbrush to make some blue patches and red "veiny" lines all over the egg. Red was also added to the triangular lobes. Hot glue was squirted and strung on the lobes before I gave those areas a coat of gloss coat to make it look wet (totally optional).
Step 3: Outfit and Fake Arm
The outfit I wore was a hooded painter's suit I picked up at Home Depot for about $8. It's optional and wasn't important for my purposes, but I did paint a biological warning symbol with an alien head inside it on the back.
Other items you'll need:
Rubber gloves (I used heavy duty ones I bought for about $6)
Small Strip of Velcro
Small piece of foam pipe insulation or pool noodle
Approximately 8 inch length of 1" pvc pipe
Air filled bags used for packing
When I was making the egg, I also filled the right hand glove with some Great Stuff. Understand it expands A LOT, so just spray a little into each finger and probably fill a third of the space in the hand/wrist. Insert the PVC pipe and position the glove and pipe so you can keep the pipe centered down the wrist. Mine was filled a little too much so I cut a little foam from the wrist area.
I apologize for the lack of pictures on the next steps.
Next, I cut a piece of pipe insulation that, when placed onto the PVC pipe, would reach my elbow joint. I used a little spray adhesive and put it inside the cuff/forearm of the right arm of the painter's suit. I placed a Velcro strip on the right cuff of the paint suit and inside the rubber glove, so when the fake arm is placed over the PVC pipe and into the glove, it will stick there. When the costume was worn, I placed several air bags used for shipping/packing in the upper part of the right arm to fill it out and make it look more natural.
I cut a slit down the middle of the right front torso of the painter's suit (from the nipple line to the belt line). This is where my right arm will come out and access the egg. I just folded white duct tape over the edges of where I cut to ensure it didn't tear.
Small holes were cut into the right side of the egg where the fake hand would be placed.. The hand was attached with zip ties. I placed one around the thumb and one around the wrist. Don't worry, these won't be seen as things are happening too fast for anyone to notice.
Lastly, since I planned to hold the egg for at least a couple hours, I cut a slit in the back of the egg and ran a 1 inch wide nylon strap with a buckle on it through the slit. When the entire costume is worn, the strap went through the hole I made in the painter's suit and around my waist/torso before being buckled (Velcro ends would also work well). Even though the egg is actually very light, the strap does aid in holding it against your body and you can let your left arm rest from time to time.
Optional: When in full costume, I wore my old black Marine Corps boots and also wore plastic safety glasses to add to the "this guy just came from the lab" look.
Step 4: Bob the Alien
Originally, I was going to make a facehugger style alien, but decided it wasn't going to be worth the effort for this. The scares mainly comes from the surprise movement coming from inside the egg. You could probably have a teddy bear pop up from the egg and it would still scare people. I decided to use things I had on hand, but you can make whatever alien or thing you want.
I purchased several small skulls connected to spines by a spring from Dollar Tree a couple years ago. I widened a hole at the base of the spine, then glue a piece of 1/2 inch PVC into the spine. There was about 5 inches of visible PVC left which is where I would be holding the puppet.
I glued some large cheap eyeballs (I thought they would really "pop" and be noticeable when the Alien popped up) into the eye sockets of the skull then used epoxy putty to make antenna, weird flappy looking cheeks and a strange looking mouth. I also used the feet from a cheap, small skeleton to make the fin/ear thingamabobs. I painted him and he was ready to scare many little children (and several adults)
Step 5: Halloween and Optional Steps
Halloween was a great success. I scared many people and everyone had some good laughs! Check out the videos to see a couple. Unfortunately, I didn't record the one teenager who got so startled half her candy went flying (I gave her a bunch extra to make it right).
I did have one problem on Halloween night. I purchased a motion activated "noise" box which I placed inside the egg which would be activated when the alien popped up. For $10 at Walmart, I was actually impressed with the item. It worked great when tested, but I didn't check it in the lighting conditions I would have on Halloween. The different lighting and shadows being cast set the box off too much, so I had to be more stationary than I had hoped. I do believe the alien popping out accompanied by the loud noise was a better effect.
To try and control those shadows I taped a small LED flashlight to the PVC handle of the puppet. It didn't help much, so I kept my thumb over the light until Bob popped out. This was actually a great addition because, as you can see in the videos, it helped light up Bob's face and big eyes and make him more visible.
Lastly, even though the egg was light, I would add another strap (probably over one shoulder and under one arm) to help support it so my left arm didn't have to actively support it as much.