Last Minute Doctor Octopus Costume




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... 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!

Happy Halloween...

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    20 Discussions


    4 years ago

    somethings telling ne to make this and be slenderman:D XD


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You're my new favourite DIY scheming villain! Never turn good!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    id like to do something like this but with tentacles

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    *Sideways.* (Experience talking.) Completed this costume tonight for my son. CANNOT THANK THIS GUY ENOUGH FOR PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION!!! Photos to follow. :)


    This is just the Instructable I've been looking for! I want to somehow combine your idea with the animatronic hands from this instructalble (
    to give it a more real look! any ideas on how I can combine the 2? I want to be able to move the hands with string tied to my hands or legs somehow.

    Who would want a store bought costume after seeing your very very cool handmade one?
    I have a friend who grew up in really poor family, and her mom used to make all her clothes.  My friend really wanted "boughten" (cute expression huh?) Anyway, when she became an adult, and people paid her mom a lot of money to custom sew for them, she  realized that her mom was actually very talented.  Your children will look back on your inventions with real pride when they are older!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, great! Just add some "claws" at the end of the "robotic-arms", as the original doc-oc has, and it would be perfect.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    im going to modofy it to be the darkness tentacles from the 360 game the doesnt docokcs arms have little fingers

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Doctor Octopus has 4 tentacles, always has. And his arms do have little fingers on the end.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    "DR OCTAGONAPUS BLARG!" XD dont know it? go to youtube ;) hehehe nice costume man!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    That is really cool! Just be careful that you don't bump into things!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Not that I necessarily want to see it happen to you but i have always wanted to see a spontaneous fight between a guy in a spidey costume and a guy in a doc oc costume, or really any good hero/villain pair.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Sweet! In the dark, who can tell it's a 10-minute costume? Looks impressive.