This year my daughter Margaret age 10 came up with a homemade Fortune Teller Halloween costume idea like the machines in arcades. Each year she has an idea for a homemade costume and we work together to figure out how to do it.
For this homemade Fortune Teller Halloween costume idea we started with 4 pieces of acrylic from Home Depot. I wanted to make holes in the acrylic to connect them into a box with screws, make a hole in the front for her face and a slot for her to give out fortune cards. After several trips to Home Depot, I found out that there are no layman’s tools that can cut acrylic. We then tried brackets with foam mounting tape and it worked to keep the pieces together. Since we didn’t take pictures as we were making the costume, I tried to include a picture that shows the brackets (even though the brackets were not visible on the final product).
The next step was to add a shelf with a crystal ball, tarot cards and a box with fortune cards. We connected the shelf using the same brackets. We mounted the shelf with some space between the bottom of the box and the shelf, so Madam Margaret could slide fortune cards out to people.
Knowing that we were going to add a light over the crystal ball, we attached using brackets a piece of foam board across the top. The board was the opposite direction to the crystal ball board to give more support. The board was also narrow (not covering the whole top) to allow more air flow.
Before decorating the box and adding all the details, the most critical step was how she was going to be able to wear the box and walk in several parades while having her hands free to wave over the crystal ball and give out fortune cards. After experiencing walking in a homemade refrigerator and homemade jukebox the past 2 years, she didn’t have confidence that this year was going to be any easier.
I looked around for bungee cords to use to connect to the bottom of the box and over her shoulders. I found Twist N’ Stay ties at Kmart that hold up to 300 lbs. We tried several ways of connecting them and added a piece of acrylic in front of her body to help hold the box up straight without her holding the box. We ended up with the arrangement hopefully you can see in one of the pictures with both ends of the ties connected to the back. It worked great! She was able to walk for long distance parades without holding the box and was not tired at all.
The next step was my daughter’s favorite, going to the fabric store for fabric and Michael’s Crafts for jewels and letters. We cut foam board pieces for the top, taped fabric to them with foam board tape, taped fabric to the sides, attached the fabric curtain around the bottom using Velcro, added fabric as scarves to the back. The letters and jewels were glued to the front, back, and sides to enhance the look. The letters on the front read “Madam Margaret”. The color theme for the box and the outfit my daughter wore as you may guess was purple and pink. The pink fabric covering the top was removable.
We added battery-operated lights to the back of the box as well as a light above the crystal ball. The lights were a big hit at my daughter’s school’s Monster Mash in the evening. In the darkened gym, she looked like a real fortune teller machine in an arcade and was swamped with children around her handing out fortunes to them.
Margaret found a list of fortunes on the internet and we printed out over 200 of them on business cards. One of the pictures we have included shows Madam Margaret sliding out fortune cards. Even though it was a lot of work, it is fun making and wearing a homemade costume.