Halloween is right around the corner, and you don't have a costume ready! You don't want to spend big bucks on something fancy you'll only wear once! And you don't want to get lost in a sea of junk at the thrift store!
Now there's a better solution! That's right: instead of watching TV, you can be TV! Amaze your family! Delight your friends! Impress your co-workers! Just follow these easy, simple instructions:
Step 1: Step 1!
Because of the weird, cartoony, retro shape and angles, I first made test sketches and a small 1/8 scale version to see how everything would fit together. This allowed me to avoid the application of trigonometry. The weird shape is optional, and a normal, rectangular TV design works also.
I also wanted to make the full-size box fold up flat, so the scale version also let me test that out.
For the full-size version, I put to use several large sheets of leftover bristol board. I later got blue cardstock to put on top of them for the exterior color. Either material would've worked on its own, since it would be sturdy enough when folded into a box. And it'd make the costumer lighter. Of course, you could also use corrugated cardboard, posterboard, or foam core.
For an average-sized head like mine (hat size is ~7 1/4), and this particular shape, the dimensions worked out to this:
11.5" max height, 10.5" up the middle
14.5" max width
Front panel is 10" along bottom edge, 14" top, 10" left, 12" right.
Making your own will require a lot of trial and error. When trying to narrow down the fit, I used some old calendar sheets and low-tack tape. I also went for a slightly snug fit so it wouldn't wobble too much, but I later came up with some last-minute braces (step 4).
Step 2: Step 2!
The left and right panels have a 1" long flap on top, and I made the top panel's flap 2". It may be best to cut these flaps out separately and then attach them, so they fold more cleanly.
I also learned later that these panels each should be two separate pieces (lengthwise), and then taped together. This allows the sides to fold in more neatly when the box is collapsed flat.
Black paper was applied to the back panel, to make a dark background for your head, if no screen sheet is attached to the front.
Contact paper/transparency film is then put on the outside of all the panels for a nice glossy finish. After a couple of mistakes, I realized that the trick is to first apply an edge, then slowly peel the backing off while laying the film down flat with something like a ruler.
I then used packing tape along the panel edges to piece them together, and Scotch tape for various patch-ups (another lesson learned: have "invisible" handy, and not "frosty").
Step 3: Step 3!
On the front panel, I cut out an opening, then applied a layer of black paper underneath for the outer screen edge. If desired, a screen image will applied behind this. In this case, the image is a non-widescreen 9" x 7".
A strip of felt was used for the speaker, but anything works here, including a marker.
Two simple control knobs were made out of bristol board. Foil was wrapped around them, then pipe cleaners were rolled into them and extended out for sticking into the TV. There are probably other, better options here.
An antenna base was made out of black construction paper, although something sturdier should be used. Pipe cleaners were also used here for the antennae. Again, there are other ways to make these.
A logo was drawn on the bottom.
Step 4: Step 4!
To stabilize the box on my head, I added some cardboard strips to brace the top. One each was taped between the front and back panels, and a little below the top panel. "Cross-beams" were added. Again, there's probably a much more elegant, efficient solution for this.
For the screen, an old Indian test pattern was downloaded, printed onto 8" x 11" paper, then covered in contact paper.
This particular image was also good for not making mouth and eye holes too obvious. Static snow would also be ideal. Color bars probably wouldn't, unless you can find tinted film to match.
If you'd rather show off your pretty face, or would prefer a wee bit more peripheral vision, you can always go screen-free. Keep in mind that this will allow others to know you're the one with a cardboard box on your head.
Other potential accessories include legs that stick out underneath the set, and a power cord extending from the back. And look, the box folds up for easy transportation and storage!
And there have you have it! A beautiful, inexpensive replica of a television that fits on your head. May God bless television.
(The preceding was an unpaid-for Instructable.)