If you dig around the junk drawers in your house, you’ll probably turn up an extra flashlight or two. The plastic variety are reasonably cheap and easy to find. Though their primary purpose is providing light (duh), you can use any extra flashlights you might have as a cosplay accessory. Here are five suggestions on how to use the object in a costume:
Headlamp – Dressing as a miner or a character who uses a headlamp? A flashlight is a natural choice for the job, and it means you don’t have to purchase a special headlamp. It will work if you’re wearing a hat with extra room on the top, like a plastic construction helmet. If that’s the case, simply measure and cut a hole large enough for the flashlight to slide through the front of the helmet and glue it into place. You should probably attach an elastic band to cradle the flashlight and keep it from resting on the top of your head.
Belt buckle – You don’t have to use the flashlight in one piece. Disassemble it and examine all the parts. The round top works as a great belt buckle or belt buckle cover. Add silver or gold paint for a metallic look or leave as is. It would be easy to add LEDs or a NeoPixel ring into the casing for some sparkle.
Lightsaber hilt – A plastic or metal flashlight makes a perfect lightsaber hilt. It’s the right size and many flashlights have textures that just need highlighted with paint. Jen of EPBOT created a beautiful steampunk hilt from a vintage flashlight and wrote a tutorial that will give you plenty of inspiration. I think the metal really sells it.
Miniature rocket launcher – Separate the plastic handle from the rest of the flashlight, and you have an option for a portable rocket launcher. It would be sturdier than foam or cardboard, and it’s light enough to wear on your arm. You can attach it to a glove or just bands around your arm. Paint and polymer clay or air-dry clay can add flair.
Steampunk accessory – When you’re assembling a steampunk ensemble, gadgets and gizmos are king. They should look the part and if at all possible, serve a function. A flashlight could be modified into a mechanical looking tool, or you could empty out the guts and attach it to your belt to use as a canister. Punch holes in it and add LEDs for extra dazzle factor.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.