Most Halloween festivities take place at night, and you want to make sure all the hard work you put into your costume can be seen – that makes using EL wire a fantastic idea. Instructables user richardsonmeg10 used EL wire to become a glowing Marvin the Martian. She thinks simple shapes like cartoons work best, and since she’s a mechanical engineer and works on Mars rovers, Marvin the Martian seemed like a good pick. She started with sketches to figure out the basic design and colors. Here’s how she made Marvin come to life:
I played with a few different techniques. For the mask, I used some 18 gauge steel wire to make the basic shape, then followed the shape with the EL wire, securing every few inches and critical points with zip ties. To bridge gaps, I used black electrical tape to block light from unwanted areas. For the top of the helmet, I needed some added stability, so I included a few tape wrapped Popsicle sticks. A 3-1 splitter allowed me to use white for the eyes, green for the helmet and yellow for the helmet topper and only 1 battery pack. A cheap hairband sewn to the wire proved to be enough to hold up the mask and provided a nice place to clip the power pack in the back, where it can be hidden behind my hair.
For the body I went with a different technique. A quick search of the local hardware store turned up some black mesh material, used as non-slip surface for inside kitchen cabinets. This provided a good combination of flexibility and structure, while having many tie down points for zip ties. The actual wire routing takes a bit of planning and art, but is easy to go back and refine by clipping a zip tie and re-securing elsewhere.
Everything then got attached to a black dress.
Read more about the project at Instructables.