I came up with this Gas Pump Costume idea when I was working at a gas station during my college years, and needed a “quick” costume for a Halloween party that I would be attending later that day. I have since worn the costume to work, and other Halloween events.
The following items are needed for this costume:
1 box (slightly wider than the shoulders)
3-4 sheets of colored poster board
1 sheet of white poster board
Colored Masking or Duct Tape (preferably matches the poster board color)
Black Duct Tape
6 sheets of cardstock or construction paper
(1 each of orange, yellow, black, white, red and silver)
Clear plastic tubing – ½” to ¾” outside diameter
1 Self-stick Plastic Hook
1 plastic funnel
Red Permanent Marker
Fine-tip Permanent Marker
I cut the bottom out of the box, and cut a circle out of the top, just big enough to fit my head through. I placed the box over my head to determine where my arms should comfortably fit through, and cut slots in the sides of the box for mobility. I cut a small square out of the left-hand side of the front panel of the box to fit the “pump handle” hose through.
I covered the back, sides, and top outside surfaces of the box with the colored poster board and the front with the white poster board, trimming where necessary. Using the colored masking or duct tape, I taped the poster board onto the box, and created a trim around all corners and cut-out edges. This helped give the costume a smooth, finished look.
The colored cardstock is used for the details on the front of the costume. These included the credit card swipe pad, the total gallons, the sale price, per gallon prices of the different fuel grades, and the red “Emergency Stop” button. These were placed using double-stick tape. Using the permanent markers, I drew the digital numbers and lettering by hand. (I also found that reflective sticker numbers and letters work well, but permanent marker can reduce costs significantly!)
The pump hose was made using clear, plastic hose that can be found in the plumbing section of any hardware store. I covered it with black duct tape to look like a pump hose. The pump handle was crafted around the end of the plastic hose using a combination of folded cardboard remnants, a plastic funnel, and aluminum foil. The imagination had to be used a bit here, to create an object that looks like a handle! The cardboard remnants were simply folded around the hose, and the end of the funnel was cut to fit the hose through. Duct tape was used to tape it all together. Aluminum foil was put around the end of the hose, above the funnel. I found a sticker-mount plastic hook to hang the handle from on the front side of the costume. (Before mounting the hook, I made sure that the top of the pump handle hose was able to rest against the inside edge of the top of the square cut-out. This allows the weight of the hose to keep the pump handle inside when the handle is hung from the hook.) The other end of the hose was just duck taped to the inside of the box from underneath.
It took less than an 1-1/2 hours to make this costume. It is fairly lightweight, and is easy to quickly put on, and take back off. Regular clothing can be worn underneath, but I recommend solid, dark colors to draw more attention to the pump itself.