This year, I’ve just been too busy to put together a new costume – but I do have an old stand-by that I haven’t yet discussed here. The Colander!
Here’s a rather poor full-body shot, just to give you the whole affect.
Not exactly sure where I got the original idea for this – but as long as the lab coat is big enough, this costume is one-size-fits-all and thus extremely loan-able. Basically, it’s a lab coat, a colander, a long leather belt (ideally really beat up) and a whole bunch of electronical-looking thing-a-ma-jigs that are wired, taped, strapped or zip-tied to the colander.
I’ve put a few close-ups of the just the colander, so you can get a better look.
Among the things on there are:
a) A whole mess of colorful capacitors that I bought salvage on eBay.
b) A very long, loose spring that is just looped around the edge.
c) Some fishtank tubing, shoved into some of the larger holes in the colander and then looped around.
d) Brightly colored alligator clips, connected to various wires and items.
e) Colorful wire nuts, capping some groups of stray wires.
f) Some telephone cable, taped around the edge of the hat with black electrical tape, with the ends stripped and wire-nutted to stuff.
g) An old electrical outlet with one outlet and one switch.
h) A 15-Amp fuse.
g) A small light bulb.
To attach things to the hat, I used black electrical tape, some of that silver, super-shiny tape used on dryer vents and heating ducts, zip-ties, wire nuts, twist ties, and whatever bare wires were sticking out of anything. Duct tape or white bathroom caulk would probably also work well. Anything that makes it look like it was made in someone’s garage.
A note about the stocking cap. When I put the capacitors on, I basically just shoved the wire on each end of the capacitors through the holes on the colander and bent them over. This makes it very uncomfortable as it rubs against my head. I looked around for a surplus-looking stocking cap to keep my hair (and perhaps skin) from snagging on the wires while still keeping the general made-in-a-basement-lab look.
I’m really pleased with the way that it looks, and it meets all my “costume criteria” – I can eat and drink in it, it always fits, it’s pretty immediately recognizable as a mad-scientist, I can wear it all night long, and it doesn’t require me to drag around a hand-held accessory.