I made this costume for the NYC Halloween Parade in 2009 - it's a Picture Strip from a Photo Booth, featuring 3 silly pictures of me (enlarged to life size and mounted on Foam Core) and "live" box with my face, all wearing the same outfit and mugging for the camera. Materials used: Various sized wooden dowels and flat wood trim pieces Long, Flat Aluminum Bar Strips - at least 5 feet tall Belt Spray Glue White and black Duct Tape Hot Glue Black Foam Core Starched cheesy background Curtain Silly Enlarged Pictures of yourself wearing the outfit you plan to wear on Halloween Large white pieces of foam core for mounting pictures Foam Rubber Scraps for comfort padding 2 screws to connect shoulder arms to aluminum strips Battery powered light strips (optional)
First, I made a tacky orange curtain that I ironed and starched "accordion" style for the backround in the pictures, and then posed for some silly faces shots with the curtain behind me and wearing the outfit I planned to wear on Halloween night (pay close attention to the weather!). Once I picked 3 pics I wanted for the picture strip, I enlarged them and printed them to life size, then mounted these onto foam core.
I ran 2 long flat, bendable aluminium strips (see picture) on either side and curved the picture strip inward a little, also to accomodate lighting since I made it for an outdoor evening parade. In between each picture, I used flat rulers/wood trim as separators that the pictures mounted on foam core was taped to. To connect everything, I used strips of white duct tape to make it uniform.
The costume was attached to me by 2 wooden arms extending backward (screwed into metal strips on either side in the middle of the second "live" box), resting on my shoulders with 2 metal "u" shaped brackets (padded them with scraps of rubber foam for comfort and covered with black duct tape to hide visibility) connected by another piece of flat wood to stabilize it behind my shoulders. I don't have the "u" shaped brackets anymore, they were the base of an old broken fire tool set that that fit the bill at the time. I think you can substitute for some sort of over the balcony railing/over the door bracket or something...depending on the size of your shoulders. Really, anything to make those arms on your shoulders "hook" over a bit should work.
In order to keep the picture strip costume at a distance from my body, at the waist I had spray glued a large square block of foam rubber padding, atop of a securing belt that was attached across the inside of the picture strip under the foam block and strapped behind my back (I also made a little box glued on top of the foam square for my phone, wallet, etc...), just to make sure it didn't move from side to side.
At the end of the wooden arms, I had tall thin dowels stretching upward at a slight angle that supported the curtain behind my head while I wore the costume. I balanced the top of the curtain using triangular black foam core pieces attached to the sides of the top portion of the picture strip.
I kept making diffirent faces for the "live" box, it was a lot of fun! I also carried a camera flash I flashed throughout the night as I posed for pictures but I wouldn't recommend doing this as I was severely blinded by the end of the night.
**Optional: Since I made this costume for an evening parade, I attached battery powered lights on either side of the "live box" and at the top and bottom ends with zip ties and covered them white duct tape to hide them.
Finalist in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Contest