My daughter wanted to be a 'Light Up Robot' so that's what we did! We went as a group, but you can make the kid robot, adult robot or mad scientist for the individual. Basically, her Homemade Light-Up Robot Costume is a silver, spray painted plastic container (head) and garbage bin (body).
HEAD: My husband drilled holes for the eyes, arms and neck hole. I glued a mouth that I drew on printer paper, used two shaving cream lids for ears and I hot glued a cup up-side-down to the top, cut a small hole for the spinning, wand (found at a party store) to slide in, duct taped the 'on' button down(which normally needs pushed to light up and spin) and then duct taped it into the cup.
BODY: My husband cut up the side of the trash bin so she could slide in. When it was time to get dressed, we just duct taped it back up the side. Prior, he also drilled holes for a string of lights (ones usually used for wreaths and are battery operated) on the inside. We found a blinky heart-shaped pin that we hot glued on the front. Also, since there is a lip at the bottom of her 'body', I placed glow bracelets in the lip so it looks like it is glowing from there, as well. I printed 'gauges' and glued them on the front, used dryer vents for the arms/legs. For the feet, I cut holes in two aluminum pans that were about the size of a shoebox and slide them over her shoes. (You can use duct tape to adjust so that they don't slide forward and scrap the ground when walking.) We also taped battery operated strobe lights to the tops of the pans. We tried to find plain silver gloves, but these silver and black striped ones looked cute, too.
My husband's costume was almost the same, but we didn't spray paint his, we just used grey garbage cans. He didn't have to cut up the side because he could just slip inside the can. We used a small, cheapy light up lantern for the top of his head and just hot glued it on top of the grey bucket. For me, the Mad Scientist, the costume was much easier! I just wore a lab coat, safety goggles, a stethoscope that my daughter had, spray painted my hair with white streaks, drew crazy eyebrows and a mole and carried a glow stick in a toy test tube.
HINTS- We bought dryer vents, the bendable ones, in two sizes, small for the arms and bigger for the legs. These can be tucked into the arm holes and duct taped, if necessary, after the body is in place. We also duct taped the 'legs' to the pants under the body, easy movement. The buckets we had fit perfectly, but if you can only find one that is too big, you can have the person wear a knit hat under it or even glue/tape a chin strap on the inside.We used regular grey/silver duct tape, but stores do carry the shiny silver kind.
Another alternative to anything battery operated that we used are glow sticks! They are cheap, come in a lot of different shapes and colors and can be easily attached with a hot glue gun right before going out. We got a lot of compliments and had a blast with these costumes! I can't wait to see what she comes up with next year!