How to make your own Pacman costume

By Jeff Mitchell

Looking for a great group idea that will allow you and your friends to stand out amongst the hordes of cheap store bought costumes? These clever Pacman costume ideas can accommodate up to five people, but require a decent amount of work. The supplies can be found in any local craft store and is fairly cost effective for a quality costume. If these steps are followed correctly, you will impress everyone on the one of the biggest nights of the season.

Pacman
Clearly the most important, Pacman will set the tone for your group costume.

To construct Pacman, you’ll need measuring tape, scissors, cardboard to form the structure, glossy yellow poster paper, duct tape, spray adhesive and black construction paper. Allow three to four hours to construct the costume.

First off, measure the individual’s waist and height. Add about two inches extra to each side of the waist to determine the width; this new width measurement will be the width of the spine. To calculate height, measure from the individual’s head down to their knee.

Cut two Pacman faces out of your cardboard. The diameter of the sphere should be the height that you measured before.

The spine is the most crucial part of the Pacman costume, as it has to hold the two faces together as well as accommodate the width of the individual.

The spine will be comprised of two pieces. The first piece should be a long rectangular piece of cardboard that has enough flexion to follow the circumference of the Pacman from the top lip to the base of the head. A second spine should be created to accommodate the space from the leg holes to bottom lip of Pacman.

Once the spine and faces are completed, use duct tape to connect them together. Apply the duct tape to the interior of the costume, in order to avoid having the material visible from the outside. Have the individual try the costume on to make sure it is structurally sufficient as it should remain fairly rigid.

Once you are positive the costume will hold, use spray adhesive on the cardboard to attach poster paper to the Pacman. Cover the entire costume in yellow poster paper, except for the gap where the mouth is.

On the mouth, use cardboard and poster paper to cover the bottom jaw as you did for the spine, but leave the top half open as it will act as eyes for the individual inside.

Lastly, apply a circular piece of black construction paper onto each side of the face to act as eyes.

Ghosts
These ghosts are an easier construction to make than Pacman as they are smaller and are require only one spine component.

To create the ghosts, you’ll need measuring tape, scissors, cardboard to form the structure, glossy white poster paper, duct tape, spray adhesive, spray paint and white and black construction paper. Allow three to four hours for construction of each ghost.

The ghost costume has a “post office mailbox” build. Each individual should be measured separately for their height and width and the costume should cover the head to a bit below the individual’s knees. Again add two inches to each side of the width so that the fit is more comfortable.

Create a ghost face template by creating an oval and then cutting a wave like pattern in to the bottom. Get a photo as a reference so you can get an accurate idea of how the head should be shaped. Use this template to cut out the form of the ghost from the cardboard.

This project only requires one spine that will run around the entire costume except for the bottom for the individual to put their legs through.

After the spine and faces are completed, use duct tape to connect the spine to the faces. Again, have the individual try the costume on to make sure it is structurally sufficient.

Once you are positive the costume will hold, use spray adhesive on the costume to attach white glossy poster paper to the entirety of the costume.

Spray paint the costume in either blue, red, orange, or pink. Do not spray the cardboard directly, as it will warp the material. This will give the costumes a very glossy and finished look.

Place an oval of white poster paper on each side of the face for the eyes. Add a piece of black circular construction paper inside to create the illusion of eyes.

Cut a rectangular slot out of the spine near the top so that you can see out of the costume.

Once completed, practice moving around in these costumes so that you are prepared for Halloween.

Avoid wearing the costume in the rain, or where water might damage the costume, as the frame is made of cardboard.

If made correctly, each ghost will cost around $25 to create and the Pacman around $30.

Amidst the plethora of last minute iParty products, a creative and homemade costume like Pacman and his accompanying ghosts will make you stand out and catch some attention.

Jeff Mitchell may be reached at [email protected]