Electronic Props #electronichalloween

One rule of thumb, if you ask those who make Cosplay a very serious undertaking, is that it isn’t the clothes that makes the costume — it’s the props. (Or is it the attitude?)

Here are a bunch of places to check out to get you inspired for your #electronichalloween projects!


Welcome to the passionate and wildly competitive granddaddy of all places on the Internet obsessed with the activity of replicating (down to scratches and handling marks) props from movies, games, and other popular entertainment: the Replica Props Forum (or, “the RPF”). While some of the goals may seem a bit niche to those visiting for the first time, the level of craft and technical no-how here is darned impressive — some replicas actually beating out the original movie prop in a face-off. A visit to the forums is always a real eye-opener in terms of ranges of techniques and problem solving that goes into getting surface treatments, built-in electronics/LEDs, and other elements to look just right.


Here’s my favorite Arc Reactor from Thingiverse, rigged up by the talented Skimbal. If you spend a little bit of time on Thingiverse, among other places, you are going to see quite a few makers tackling the Tony Stark Arc Reactor. In fact, I’ve noticed that one in five male 3D printing enthusiasts will tend to declare: “I’m going to make a full suit.” (Only the brave few do.)


If you have been watching some of the great design work coming out of the “MakerBot” user on Thingiverse lately, you have probably been enjoying (among others) works of elite RPF participant and now MakerBot Maker, Todd Blatt. These two pieces are less demonstrative of his replica skills from his hackerspace days, but the MakerBelt and the Shofar (above) are both worth checking out.

Check out this great Fake Geiger Counter from one of our customers: a prop that really adds a level of drama and interactivity to a costume.

Hey, since you’re putting up Halloween electronics projects, maybe my Fake Geiger Counter would fit. It uses an Arduino to create a simulated geiger counter sound effect – perfect for a mad scientist lab!

Last year, Josh Di Mauro took the inexpensive off-the-shelf EEG “brain reader” called the Neurosky Mindwave and extended it into an open-source set of wearable cat-ears that respond, somewhat accurately, to the mood of the wearer. Fans of nekomimi take note. When last I chatted with him, he was planning to go after tentacles and other appendages next.

And remember… that if you create a prop that catches fire, you can drop it: much harder to do with a costume!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Each day this month (Monday-Friday) we’re going to have a special “Electronic Halloween” post here on Adafruit. It will be a hack, mod, project or something we’ve found that combines all the best things about electronics and Halloween.

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Don’t miss our FIRST EVER Google+ Live Hangout On Air Costume Contest! It will be on Saturday, October 27th! Stay tuned for more info about that– for now be sure to join the Adafruit Google+ page!

View all our Electronic Halloween posts here! From now until 10/31/2012 use the code HALLOWEEN2012 on check out to get 10% off anything in our “EL Wire/Tape/Panel” category.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been a member of the RPF for a long time- some of the costume and prop builds there are truly exceptional. A very talented group of individuals.

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