Costume Steam or Smoke Mechanism


Introduction: Costume Steam or Smoke Mechanism

About: I am a foam fabricator and own a costume and prop design company called Partybot Designs. I take on commissions of any scale from cosplay costumes to festival stages. Follow me on all social media under "Par...
A lot of costumes can benefit from a steam or smoke effect. After lots of trial and error, this is officially the easiest, cheapest, and most flexible (as in mounting possibilities). All you need is an canned air duster, a hose clamp, metal strapping, string/cable/twine, and a power drill.

Bend the metal strapping in the shape shown in the picture. The spot at the bottom of the can has been bent to increase rigidity and help hold the can in place. You'll drill a hole which is larger than the gas flow outlet, but smaller than the black nozzle pressing piece. I carefully cut apart the large trigger head off the can of air to get the piece that presses down on the stem. I would recommend hot gluing it to end of the can to increase durablity.

Version 2.0 will be a plastic spacer with an interior diameter slightly smaller than the nozzle and an outer diameter that can be strongly mounted through the metal strapping. It should be much more durable and reliable.

Next assemble and align the hole with the nozzle. Slide the hose clamp over the end with the rope attached and down around the bottle. CAREFULLY!!!!! tighten the clamp to hold the strapping in place, but DO NOT compress the can itself as that would be VERY risky. If you're concerned with grip you can slip some rubber inside the hose clamp.

To mount the entire apparatus into the costume, you can screw the strapping or Gorilla Glue the strapping into place. 

IMPORTANT: You have to mount it angled so the top is pointing down so that the liquid shoots out and not just air.

SAFETY: As a consequence, if there is inhibited flow, cryo cold liquid can drip out and possibly burn you. Don't mount right next to your eye or other pieces of skin.

To do a quick change setup, you can attach the hose clamp to the strapping, leave it slightly loose and slide the bottle through it . This helps in a contest where you may want to blow a LOT of smoke/steam, but not have to take things off to "recharge".

For the string setup, it will depend on your costume. You could employ a straight pull, a pully, or guide tubing to get the angle just right. You can add tubing, but you can only go with short lengths and minimal bends as it will condense and not give a good cloud effect.

Lighting: A game changer is to add a small LED flashlight to the mounting setup (second hose clamp). When you shoot the cloud at night you'll get an effect almost identical to the crazy beam coming from the unicorn. You can also change color.

If you use this design, please post a link in the comments!!!



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    8 Discussions

    This ... Where is the Tutorial?

    I have made a dragon and would like him to breath smoke, if i was to use this method would it still work if it had to travel through at least 2/3 ft of pipe?

    someone once told me that if you spray someone in the face with that stuff their lungs will flash-freeze, now whether or not that is true i do not know but it is something to take into consideration

    I really like this idea and want to give it a go for a steampunk blunderbus for next year's mardi gras.

    One thing I'm worried about is the risk of ignition - the air canister I got (computer cleaner) states it's highly flammable. How do I prevent a stray spark or lit cigarette etc. from turning it into a flamethrower?

    Also, as you're spraying into/near public, is toxicity of the propellant an issue?

    Thanks again for this idea!

    -Fizzy-won't turn thois

    OK, that is plain wicked coming out of that costume! Nicely done!!