The secret to this Homemade Saltwater Aquarium Costume is to have a really good sturdy box and lots of zip ties. I went to the UPS store to buy the box (~$8). I cut holes in the front and sides and wrapped the edges in duct tape to make it look like metal and to give it strength. I cut a hole in the bottom big enough for my head to fit through. I attached handles to the bottom to assist in lifting the box off my head. I used the kind of handles you use to carry a bunch of plastic shopping bags, but you could use something shaped like a drawer pull or just fashion handles from a coat hook covered in duct tape.
I covered the back and inside top walls of the box in blue tissue paper to make it look like water. I lined the 2 side walls with clear cellophane to make it look like glass (people kept poking it out though, so I would use clear plastic sheeting next time). I didn’t put it on the front so I could talk and hear. I lined the bottom of the aquarium with sheep-like plush fabric to make it look like sand. Then I used either a glue gun or zip ties to tie pieces of coral and some large seashells to the bottom. I purchased the inflatable, stuffed or plastic fish and crustaceans from Oriental Trading for $35. I used fishing line to tie the fish to the top of the box. It’s kind of fun because the fish move around and bump you when you walk!
I glued blue crinkle paper to the top of the box using spray adhesive to make it look like waves. I found the fish mask pattern for my face on-line (search for “fish mask”) and colored it in with magic markers. Then I glued it to light cardboard and cut it out. I mounted the mask to the top and bottom of the box using elastic thread so when I lifted the box off, it wasn’t attached to my head.
For the crowning touch to this homemade Saltwater Aquarium costume I mounted blue EL wire to the inside top of the box to illuminate the inside. This wire is powered by batteries and can be set to a steady light or a pulsing light. I used a really long piece of wire powered by a 9 volt battery. I think they cost about $15. It really “made” the costume.
The last step was attaching a sarong to the bottom to cover my body (I think using a grass skirt or foil fringe would be cute). I made signs to say “Please do not tap on glass” and put them on all sides. To make the back of the box aesthetic, I first covered it in blue tissue paper and printed out some images of coral reefs that I glued to it.
To be able to drink, I wore a drink holder fanny pack around my chest and a tall plastic drink holder (sippy cup) with a long straw. I gave it to the bartender to put my drink in it and used the straw to drink from underneath. Just a warning – this is a big costume and it was difficult to move through crowds. I had to find edges of rooms to stand or sit so I wasn’t bumping people in the head. Plus, it’s a little isolating to be inside a box all night. But it was an awesome, fun costume, so it was worth it!
Thanks to the www.Coolest-Homemade-Costumes.com website for the inspiration for my version of this Saltwater Aquarium Costume!