Last year my kids insisted on store bought Halloween costumes. "OK" I said, "but you'll be sorry when you see how cool my homemade Doctor Octopus costume is". Of course, I didn't have any such costume. The kids thought I was full of it.
I didn't have any halloween parties to attend that year, and at my age I don't do much trick-or-treating, so by the time Halloween day rolled around, I still hadn't pulled together a costume. Was that going to stop an avid Instructables reader from coming through with a kick-ass Doc Ock costume? Heck no.
To be perfectly honest, while this was assembled at the last minute on Halloween night, it was not entirely a spontaneously creation. Like any good super-villian, I spent many weeks plotting and scheming.
This is my first Instructable, and probably not one that can be easily recreated to exact specifications. But if you are hell bent on making the scene as Doctor Octopus this Halloween, you should get some ideas here.
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Step 1: Supplies
All of the parts for this costume were gathered from my basement "workshop" (read: mess of tools and junk).
I had some lengths of pipe insulation on hand from an unfinished home improvement project. I also had a couple lengths of this soft copper tubing - it's the stuff you use to connect a refrigerator's ice maker to the water supply. My plan was to put the copper inside the pipe insulation to make them somewhat rigid and posable. Obviously, these would be the basis for Doctor Octopus' most distinguishing feature - his four robotic arms.
The backpack is smallish, form-fitting, and loaded with adjustment straps. I planned to somehow mount the robot arms. The other supplies were gathered as needed. In the end, they included:
- obligatory black duct tape (does this even need to be mentioned?)
- scrap piece of pine wood board
- deck screws
- "washers" (beer bottle caps)
- action accessories (neoprene back support belt, clunky sunglasses, pocket pouch thingy)
- some lengths of nylon cord
Step 2: The Robot Arms
First things first - robot arms.
I had two pieces of the copper tubing - one a little bit longer than the other. Doc Ock has four robot arms, so I folded the lengths of copper in half. As you can see in the photo, they are not quite as long as they could be, but long enough. I decided to leave the lengths connected for strength.
The black electrical tape you see around the pipe insulation actually came later - I took most of these photos during disassembly. The electrical tape helped to keep the copper inside the insulation tubes. The tubes actually have an adhesive edge that would have worked great, but then I wouldn't be able to use them to insulate my pipes :-) It works visually too - Doc Ock's robot arms are segmented.
I also wrapped some duct tape around the ends of the copper - this was a safety precaution. When this is on your back and a copper tube pokes out, it can be a little dangerous to people around you.
Step 3: Securing the Arms
I tried stuffing the arms into the backpack and securing them by stuffing t-shirts and other junk around them. This was predictably ineffective. The arms were too top heavy. They needed to be mounted to something heavy.
I found a scrap of pine that had some heft to it and was about the right size - small enough to fit in the backpack, and big enough that the backpack's tension straps could tighten down on it.
First, I bundled the four arms together with duct tape.
After replacing the copper, I positioned the tubes on the wood and ran back to the basement to find some washers. Obviously, a screw was going to tear right through this...
...beer...is there anything it *can't* do? The beer caps are actually perfect for this job, because they are nice and wide and the edges grab into the foam a bit.
Step 4: The Backpack
All that remains is to stuff it into the backpack and cinch it down until it stays put. Jamming in some old clothes helps. All the extra straps on the backpack came in handy, and some nylon cord finished the job.
Some duct tape added for good measure, and style points.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
For finishing touches, I attached this old pouch/pocket thingy to cover up the top of the backpack, where everything comes together. Looks kinda cool.
I covered up the white brand logos on the backpack with black duct tape.
Green jeans and a green sweatshirt. Not a super stylish guy, Doc Ock.
In the comics, he usually wears snazzy goggles. I found an old pair of very clunky sunglasses that seemed to do the trick. I think these are the kind that fit over your prescription eyeglasses.
The neoprene belt seemed to pull things together, and provided welcome lower back support for a night of drinking....errr, trick-or-treating.
The costume got good reactions around the neighborhood. My kids were impressed, and this year my 7-year-old wants me to help him make his own costume... a DIY'er is born - mission accomplished!
Participated in the
DIY Halloween Contest