DIY Fully Operating Operation Game Halloween Costume

I am so excited to share with you the tutorial for my Halloween costume this year; it is seriously one of my favorite costumes to date! I was a fully operational {ha!} operation game man.  People could use a pair of “tweezers” and actually perform the surgeries on me and I would buzz just like the game Operation!

Trust me when I tell you that this costume looks a lot more complicated than it actually was simply because of the electricity involved.  The things that took the most time were searching for the tan clothes to use as the base of the costume and actually cutting out and wrapping the shapes with foil and tape.

The wiring was really simple, but I should probably put a disclaimer here, since electricity can be dangerous, to try at your own risk.  I don’t want to be the next “my McDonald’s coffee was too hot” lawsuit.  With a little common sense, such as making sure the battery pack is switched to off as you are creating the circuits, you’ll be fine.

Supplies:

  • Tan colored pants and top {$1.99 each at thrift store; this was the hardest thing of all to find and I contemplated just buying white long johns, dying it with tan Rit-Dye, and wearing some red shorts as boxers over the leggings}

  • Metal tongs {$1.99 at Dollar General}
  • White duct tape {$4.99 at Michael’s – 40% off coupon = $2.99}
  • Electrical tape {$1.00 at Home Depot}
  • 4AA battery pack with on/off switch {$1.99 at Radio Shack}

  • Mini 6V DC buzzer {$3.59 at Radio Shack}

  • Lamp wire {$0.43/ft * 15 ft = $6.45}

  • Red nose {$2.99 at a Halloween store}
  • Cardboard {already owned}
  • Fabri-tac {already owned; I’m sure hot glue or gorilla glue would work as well to glue the cardboard to the fabric}

  • Aluminum foil {already owned}
  • Sticky-back Velcro strip {already owned}

Grand total: $24.18

OK, so here’s how you do it…

Draw out the shapes that you will be using onto your cardboard.  Cut them out, and wrap them with white duct tape.  Set the white duct tape piece onto another piece of cardboard and trace it slightly larger on all the sides.  Wrap the larger piece with foil.  The shapes I chose were “broken heart,” “charlie horse,” “butterflies in the stomach,” “funny bone,” and “wrenched ankle.”

Make sure the foil reaches the back of the object; this will be connected to the wires to complete the circuit and allow the buzzer to work.

Lay out the shapes onto the clothes where you want them to be.

If you bought doubled wire, split the two strands at the seam.  {Remember, if you buy this kind of wire, you need to buy only half as much in total length because you can use each strand on its own.}

Make a small mark on the clothes near the center of each shape where the wire will pass through.

Pass the wire through the hole, and remove the casing around the wire.  You can use wire strippers if you have some, but I just used a pair of dull scissors.

Using the electrical tape, tape down the wire to the back of the corresponding foil shape.  Make sure that the exposed wire is touching the foil well so that there is a solid connection.  Place tape all over the back of the shape to give a stronger surface to glue the shape to the clothing.

Repeat the above step with all the shapes and glue them down to the clothing using your preferred method of adhesive.  Make sure each of the wires are long enough to reach the battery pack.  Mine was at my waist, so I cut the wires accordingly.

The battery pack is easy to assemble.  Place the batteries in the appropriate slots, and make sure the switch is set to off.  Tape the red wire to the red wire of the buzzer.  Then, tape the black wire coming from the battery to all of the wires from the pieces.  All of the wires should come together and twist and mingle as much as possible to get a good connection.

Next, the tongs need to be wired.  Place the exposed end of another piece of wire onto the tongs, and tape it down well with electrical tape.  Make sure there is enough wire to allow the tongs to freely reach all the pieces on your body as people try to perform the surgeries.  The other end of the wire should be taped to the black wire coming from the buzzer, as shown below.

Tape over the tongs with white duct tape, both for aesthetics and so that people have a place to hold that is non-conductive!

Adhere a piece of Velcro to the back of each duct tape piece and another to the front of each foil piece.  I found it beneficial to cut a small square of foil out, a little bigger than the piece of Velcro, and then put some electrical tape down over the hole for the Velcro to stick to.  Otherwise, the Velcro would adhere directly to the foil which is only wrapped around the edges of the cardboard, and would probably pull on the foil and rip it right off.  I needed only a very small piece of Velcro; it would of course depend on the strength of your Velcro, but make sure the pieces don’t require too much force to remove.

At this point, the costume is complete!  I hooked a carabiner to my pocket to slip the tongs into when they weren’t in use.  I meant to get a video of the buzzing in action, but unfortunately I totally forgot!

 

There are a few things I’d change if I had to do it again.  First, I’d tape the battery pack and buzzer onto a belt and wear it under my shirt; I just placed it in the waistband of my pants and it kept falling in and out.  I also meant to write the names of the body parts out on the clothes with a Sharpie but, again, I totally forgot!  Last, I had wired an LED into the red nose to light up along with the buzzer, but it was so dim that it just wasn’t worth the hassle of having wires near my face all night.  I would try to find a brighter one next time.

Here is a diagram of the circuitry in case my instructions weren’t clear:

As you can see, touching the tongs to any of the foil body parts will complete the circuit and make the buzzer go off.

Hopefully my instructions were clear enough for you to try your own version; I’d love to see it if you do!  Stay tuned later this week for the rest of the pictures from the Halloween party!

Have a great Halloween!

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5 Responses to DIY Fully Operating Operation Game Halloween Costume

  1. Tisa says:

    i want to steal this idea for next year. so cool!

  2. Pingback: Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

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  4. Latoya says:

    Use coupons when you can find obtain one get one-free income at your store.

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