Six Days, that was the total time available to put this Homemade Ironman Halloween Costume Idea together. Because of the short time, I had to find construction material that would aid in rapid assembly. For the arms and legs, I used cardboard carpet tubes I got (for free) from the local flooring company owner. Tube pieces were cut to appropriate appendage length with multiple pieces used for the legs and upper arms. This was done by slicing the tubes length-wise, opening them up, and by separating a couple layers of cardboard along the edge, the two tubes could be spliced together. Plastic from 2 liter pop bottles were used to add “muscle” definition and then everything was wrapped with duct tape. To allow joint movement, I cut half circles on the front and backs of each piece, leaving center tabs that overlapped, which I then drilled and added small bolts. Those bolts were then covered by milk jug caps.
The chest and stomach pieces were made from a couple of tall kitchen garbage cans from the dollar store. For the stomach piece, I just cut the top and bottom out of one of cans and covered with duct tape. The “lower” cover piece is made from the top of a cheap plastic cake carrier which is upside down and cut to leave the appropriate cover. Additional plastic was added at the sides to complete the waist. The chest piece garbage can was slightly larger than the stomach piece but still needed to be cut to allow it to fit around. Additional plastic was needed to complete the circumference. Plastic from 2 liter bottles and a couple large plastic pretzel containers were used to complete the chest definition. The shoulders were made from the tops of the pretzel containers, cut and duct taped together. The chest piece was then covered with cheap cloth material and painted.
The feet were made from small garbage cans, cut in half and then segmented so that the pieces overlap at the bending points. These were attached to an old pair of boots which slide up into the legs. Again, duct taped together and painted. The hands are a cheap pair of work gloves with a hole cut in the palms and painted to match. The chest and hand lights are small “stick-n-click” LED lights with a couple layers of milk jug plastic over them to defuse the light.
Finally the helmet is made from and old child’s bike helmet with the foam insert removed. The mask was made by tracing a pattern (found on the internet) onto a small garbage can which was cut and bent. The ear pieces (not easily seen) were made from two plastic “breathsaver” mint cases, cut down and taped to the side of the helmet. The whole thing was covered with duct tape, then cloth material, which was then painted. Underneath it all was burgundy sweatpants and a dark long sleeve shirt.
1 – cardboard carpet tube
2 – tall kitchen garbage cans – plastic
5 – small garbage cans – plastic
1 – cake carrier – plastic
8 – sets of bolts, washers and nuts
1 – roll of paint masking tape
3 – “stick-n-click” LED lights
1 – pair of work gloves
1 – pair of old boots
1 – milk jug
several 2-liter pop bottles
a few large pretzel containers – plastic
several rolls of duct tape
burgundy spray paint
gold spray paint
Total cost about $100.00
Here are the ups and downs and final notes on this costume. The “Up”: This costume was good enough to take first prize at the local sports bar. This is where the picture was taken and why it has no background. The original looked like Ironman was guarding the booze and that’s not the correct message to be sending. The “Down”: I didn’t remove all the “pinch points” at the joints so I have a couple bruises were I didn’t have totally free movement.
Finally, I believe the construct technique used here could be used to make other costumes like Robocop, Halo Master Chief, or a medieval suit of armor. It’s not too expensive, fairly easy to do, and if started early enough could result in a really nice costume.