Six years ago I made Halloween costume that featured a working wind up key. Four years ago I posted a tutorial on how to make said key and around Halloween it’s almost always my top visited post on my website. I was finally talked into redoing this tutorial in video format. I then was told that I should post it on here.
This key is great because you can add it to any costume and then suddenly you're transformed into a wind up . And this key is great because it's interactive!
You can watch the video above, or continue on for a quick video summary.
Step 1: Materials
- Foam core board
- Craft paint
- Wind up toy
- Exacto knife
- Elastic belt
- Matching fabric
*I used some bamboo I already had, so it had a pre-existing hole in it already, but if you're using a solid piece of dowel you need to drill a hole in the middle that's about the same size as the shaft of the wind up toy.
Step 2: Take Apart the Wind Up Toy
Take apart the wind up toy to get to the precious mechanism inside.
Step 3: Attach Mechanism to the Belt
Poke a hole at the mid point of the belt and stick the shaft of the wind up mechanism through. Use a small dab of hot glue to tack the mechanism onto the belt, taking care not to glue any of the moveable parts.
Cut a piece of fabric to cover the other end of the mechanism and sew around it.
Step 4: Make the Key
Draw your key out on a piece of foam core board. I traced around a glass to start making the shape of the key and then just free-handed the rest of it. At the bottom, don't forget to add a notch that's wide enough to accommodate your dowel and about 3/4 inch tall.
Glue the dowel onto the key.
Paint your key! I painted mine with an undercoat of black followed by some copper craft paint. If you're using foam core, don't use spray paint. The chemicals in spray paint eat away at the foam and that's no good.
Step 5: Glue the Key
Hot glue the wind up key onto the shaft of the wind up mechanism. Try not to overfill the key (like I did) because the glue will squeeze out and get on the belt, gluing the key to the belt, rendering it useless.
If you do happen to do this you can just carefully snip around the base of the key to try to separate the key from the belt.
Step 6: Strap It on With the Rest of Your Costume
If your belt matches your costume, you can totally just wear it on the outside of everything. Like in the picture where I'm depicting a wind up ... vampire. Or... witch... without a hat. Yeah, that's it.
To wear it with a corset so you can't see the belt, I threaded the belt through the back laced portion of a corset, buckled the belt and then finished lacing up the corset.
You can also just tie a sash or something over the belt to hide it as well.
Bonus: a wind up dog.