Interactive Toilet With Flushing Sound Costume
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Interactive Toilet With Flushing Sound Costume
|Costume type:||Costumes for Girls|
This homemade costume for girls entered our 2018 Halloween Costume Contest.
A word from Candice, the 'Interactive Toilet With Flushing Sound' costume creator:
My 7-year-old daughter insisted on being a toilet for Halloween this year. At first, I tried to convince her to be something else out of concern people might make fun of her for being a toilet. My daughter confidently said that she would be fine with it if kids made fun of her, so I decided to move forward in making a toilet costume for her.
I am so glad I did because my daughter got a lot of positive attention for her costume. I think she felt like a celebrity in it. Dozens of people asked to take pictures of my daughter in her costume and, since the candy can be “flushed” out of the toilet bowl and into the treat bucket below and the costume also has a flushing sound effect when you pull down on the flush handle, others requested to record videos of it. My daughter won a small prize in a local costume contest and our local news station shared a picture of her costume on TV. People would spot her costume from across a street and shout compliments to her. Others rolled down their windows and gave her compliments as they drove by. Several people asked us where we bought her costume from and each time she proudly told them her mom made it. My daughter felt confident and proud as she wore her one-of-a-kind toilet costume.
I think the best part of my daughter’s toilet costume was that it brought smiles to everyone around. Every time she wore it, strangers would walk up to us with big smiles on their faces and start talking to us. People young and old enjoyed seeing my daughter's costume and seemed genuinely entertained when they interacted with it. Most people were shocked when they saw that treats got “flushed” out of the toilet bowl into the treat bucket. A lot of people made a flushing sound effect when they saw the treats disappear into the treat bucket, only to be shocked again once they saw my daughter push down on the flush handle and heard the costume make its own flushing sound. At this point, most people seemed completely blown away. We were told over and over again that my daughter's toilet costume was the best costume ever.
Most of the time when we knocked on someone’s door to trick-or-treat, only one person would answer the door to hand out candy. But after seeing what my daughter’s costume could do, a lot of those people called other people who were in their home to come look at her costume, too. People would ask where we got it from, how I made it, whose idea it was to be a toilet, and other questions, so it was an excellent conversation starter. It subsequently took us a bit longer to get from house to house, which meant we didn’t get to stop at as many houses as we have in previous years. However, even though we stopped at fewer houses, my daughter got more candy this year than she has in past years. My daughter typically gets around 5 pounds of candy but this year, she ended up with over 7 pounds of candy. That happened because most people told my daughter they were giving her extra candy for having such an awesome costume. Some people, who recognized I put a lot of work into making the costume, also gave candy to me.
Since we live in a state that typically gets a lot of rain around Halloween, I wanted to make my daughter's costume out of a material that wouldn’t become easily waterlogged and/ or destroyed in the rain. I spent quite a bit of time researching options for materials to make my daughter’s costume out of prior to selecting EVA foam. I coated the EVA foam in Plastidip and a clear varnish. It rained quite a bit while we were trick-or-treating and the water beaded up on the outside of her costume, keeping everything inside of the costume dry. Her costume was light weight, durable, water resistant, and had a glossy sheen like a real toilet.
When I made this costume, I used the following tools: a heat gun, Exacto knives, a rotary tool, scissors, a hot glue gun, a ruler, and pliers. I also used the following supplies: white EVA foam mats, craft foam, a plastic bowl, a hanger, Velcro, Plastidip, paintable caulking, a can of white spray paint, clear gloss/ varnish, silver acrylic paint, a magnet, hot glue sticks, and a sound module intended for stuffed animals. Though it is not necessary, I also used a string of battery operated “fairy lights” I had on hand from the costume I made for my daughter last year and added this to the inside of the toilet bowl. I had some of the other supplies on hand as well and subsequently didn’t need to pay for all of them.
I estimate the cost of purchasing all of the materials from the store to be about $70, though not all of these supplies were used in their entirety. For the quality of the costume and the happiness it brought to my daughter and all of the people we encountered while she wore it, I think it was worth it.
I made this costume in 3 main pieces: the toilet bowl, the tank on the toilet, and the base of the toilet/ treat bucket.
I first worked on the toilet bowl. To make the bowl section of the costume, I bought a plastic bowl from the dollar store, cut a circular hole in it to enable treats to be “flushed away,” and spray painted the bowl white. Then I traced the opening of the bowl onto a piece of white EVA foam and used this to determine what size to cut the EVA foam to put around it. I used 3 pieces of EVA foam in the toilet bowl section of the costume – one piece was glued under the lip of the plastic bowl to support it from underneath, one piece was placed above the plastic bowl to look like a toilet seat and provide additional strength and support, and the third piece was simply the lid for the toilet. I used a strip of craft foam to make a hinge for the toilet lid and glued it all together using hot glue.
Next, I worked on the tank. The basic design for the tank of the toilet was a rectangular prism/ box. I left the bottom of the box open since this is where my daughter’s torso/ legs come out of it. I cut a hole out of the top for her head and cut holes out of the side pieces for her arms. I glued these pieces together with hot glue. I did not permanently glue the back onto the costume but instead attached the back onto her costume with Velcro. This enabled my daughter to slide in and out of the costume from the back rather than pull it on over her head.
The side pieces not only had holes cut out of them for her arms, but also had long strips of EVA foam that extended beyond the “box” shape outwards towards the front of the costume. In essence, the side pieces were L-shaped. These strips of EVA foam were wrapped around the front of the bowl and connected the toilet bowl to the tank. To finish the tank off, I added strips of EVA foam around the top of it to make it look like the tank had a lid.
I then added a sound module and flushing mechanism to the assembled toilet tank. To do this, I cut off a piece of a metal hanger and bent it with pliers so that when I pushed down on it from outside of the costume, the part of the hanger that was inside the costume went up. Since the ends of the cut hanger are relatively sharp, I used the hanger to pierce the EVA foam where I wanted the flush handle to go. I then cut a piece of EVA foam to look like a flush handle, coated it in Plastidip, and added a few layers of silver paint and clear varnish. I put a slit in the back of the flush handle that was long enough to fit the portion of the hanger that was outside of the tank into it. Then I glued the slit shut over top of the hanger, preventing the foam flush handle from slipping off of the hanger.
I placed the sound module in a corner inside of the tank and made a protective enclosure out of EVA foam to keep it in place. I placed the button for the sound module above the flushing mechanism in such a position that when the flush handle was pushed down from the outside of the costume, the wire hanger on the inside of the costume would push the button, triggering the flushing sound. Because the end of the hanger is poky, I put a piece of EVA foam on top of it to prevent it from damaging the button on the sound module when it was pushed. I also glued a magnet to the bottom of this piece of foam to weigh down the flushing mechanism, helping it return to its original position after being “flushed.” I glued another piece of foam to the inside of the tank underneath of the flushing mechanism so that the flush handle on the outside of the toilet would remain level when it was not in use. I added another small piece of hanger to this stationary piece of foam . The magnet on the flushing mechanism was attracted to the metal on the hanger so it would snap into place, ensuring the flush handle would stay level and would not bob around while my daughter walked around.
The end result is that when you push down on the flush handle from outside the costume, it pushes the button on the sound module inside the costume, triggering the flushing sound effect. Then it returns to its original position and stays there until you want to “flush” the toilet again.
I added additional EVA foam to the inside of the costume to both hold the costume in place and protect the flushing mechanism from being damaged. I did not glue this foam in – it remained in place by tension alone.
Lastly, I made my daughter’s treat bucket roughly into the shape of the base of a toilet and added straps and heavy-duty Velcro to it. The Velcro held the treat bucket in place on the bottom of the toilet bowl and the straps were there so the treat bucket could be easily carried when my daughter didn’t want it on the bottom of the toilet bowl. Having a removable bucket enabled my daughter to sit comfortably in her costume, to walk in it with ease, and enabled us to have easy access to the candy that had been “flushed” away.
Once all of this was done, I coated the exterior of the costume Plastidip and clear varnish/ gloss. Then the costume was finished.
Tip #1: since EVA foam isn’t cheap, I recommend making a template out of cheaper materials. I bought foam board from the dollar store and taped the pieces together to determine what size/ design would best suit my daughter.
Tip #2: a rotary tool works great for sanding uneven surfaces, cutting, and shaping EVA foam. With that said, an Exacto knife is less messy.
Tip #3: though you could probably make this costume without it, a heat gun can help seal the pores in the EVA foam and is great for bending it.
Tip #4: you can use paintable caulking to hide/ disguise lumps or bumps and/ or uneven surfaces and seams. Since it’s paintable, you can still add varnish to it to make it shiny.