Make a big splash this Halloween with this one-of-a-kind do-it-yourselfer!
Halloween is your one night of the year to blow the lid off the box and emerge as something completely new and unique – so make it count!
Easier said than done, right? Maybe not; maybe we just need to delve a bit deeper. Perhaps the cold depths of the sea are a good place to start!
Enter the Jellyfish costume. It’s cheap, you can build it yourself, it shows off your creativity, and it will help you in darkness, rain or shine. Not to mention, it is a serious conversation piece!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will require the following:
• A clear, bell shaped umbrella
• A set of tap lights (battery powered of course)
• A bag of zip ties
• Tissue paper (colors of your choosing)
• 16 feet of rubber tubing (1/4 inch diameter will work)
• Rainbow-translucent pipe cleaners
• Epoxy or super glue
• Scotch tape for odds and ends
Make sure you choose a bell-shaped clear umbrella. This is critical for sparking the synapsis that call upon the image of a jellyfish. (It is a pretty abstract costume after all. We don’t want to make people work too hard!)
Supplies in hand, take the following steps and you’ll be shocking everyone at the party in no time:
Count out eight rainbow-translucent pipe cleaners. I chose this variety of pipe cleaners because it gives off an effervescent, electric look. It also catches light well and gives a glittering effect reminiscent of illuminated sea creatures.
Attach one pipe cleaner to each rod tip of your umbrella. This is the first step in creating your dangling tentacles. You can attach the pipe cleaners with your zip ties, or as I did, hold them in place with scotch tape (don’t worry, the rubber tubing will later encase the pipe cleaners, so they don’t have to be spot-welded in place by any means).
Depending on how many pipe cleaners you have, and how tentacle-y you want your creature to be, you can glue, sew or otherwise attach pipe cleaners to the mid-sections of the umbrella on the rubber between the rods.
As with any DIY project, there is room for mixing it up! So be creative!
Take your 16 feet of rubber tubing and cut it into eight segments, two feet a piece. They will likely have a tendency to curl back on themselves as they do in the picture, but this will actually give the final product a surprisingly organic, wild look.
Attach the rubber tubing to the eight rod endings of your umbrella, encasing the pipe cleaners. In my case, I found that the pipe cleaners had a tendency to bunch and jam in the rubber tubing as I tried to slide it through. You can avoid this by cutting the tubing vertically, slicing a line down its length about seven inches long. In the end, this also made it easier to wrap the tubing around the rod endings.
To secure the tubing in place, I took a clear plastic zip tie and tightened it around the rubber tubing where it covered the rod ending. Repeat eight times and you have your tentacles.
Note that the pipe cleaners give the tentacles that electric look we were looking for!
With your tentacles neatly fastened in place, you are now ready to bring the jellyfish to life.
Open up your tap lights. In my case, I used four smaller (and very cheap!) tap lights. Each takes two AA batteries, but if you shop around, you should be able to find tap lights that come with batteries included.
Now you’ll want to grab your tissue paper, which ironically (or perhaps obviously) gives the inside of the jellyfish a look similar to connective tissue or cartilage. (Who really knows what is more accurate; I’m no jellyfish anatomy expert!)
At this juncture, you can wrap your tap lights in in the tissue paper, taking your zip ties and closing the tissue paper around the light and fastening the ties on the back end. As pictured, it will take a shape similar to a comet.
I repeated this process on all four tap lights, alternating colors of tissue paper (two blue and two white in my case).
This part of our deep sea voyage requires a bit of artistic trial-and-error. You want to give the tissue an organic appearance by crumbling and bundling it around and between the rods that uphold the top of the umbrella. I again utilized my trusted zip ties to affix the lights in place, binding the frayed ends of the tissue to the umbrella rods that uphold the top of the umbrella.
Now you can crumple and jam tissue paper where you see fit until it achieves your desired look. This can be accomplished by allowing the tissue paper to dangle slightly, while at once jamming it tightly in the space between the upholding umbrella rods and the umbrella rubber at the top.
In the end, you get something that looks like a glowing jellyfish!
Turn out the lights, and the party really begins!
You’re almost ready to light up the town. But if good just isn’t good enough, your next step is to take yourself out of the picture entirely. After all, the costume is supposed to be a jellyfish, not a person holding a jellyfish!
Assuming that you will be mostly sporting the costume in darkness, the best way to achieve this is to black yourself out. The most creative means for achieving this look is to utilize the black invisible man costume.
It will tell people without words that you aren’t there. In complete darkness, you might just fool a few people into thinking a jellyfish is actually floating their way!
Now tell me that doesn’t blow the lid off the box, or dare I say, fish tank?