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Friday, October 18, 2013

DIY Pac-Man Costume For Under $15!

For Halloween I wanted to be Pac-Man.  Figuring it out took a little ingenuity, but overall wasn't too bad!  

$0 Cardboard
$1 Roll of cheap duct tape *had this already
$1 Bag of Glue Sticks
$8 Quart of True Lemon Yellow Paint (Walmart brand)
$3 Black Paint (sample would be plenty) *had this already
$1 Black mesh *had this already
$14 Total, I payed $9 because I had most of these supplies.

Hot Glue Gun
Box Cutter
Paint Brush

I found an image of Pac-Man someone used for an algebra or trigonometry class.  I measured the diameter to be 2 3/8", and the length of the mouth to be 1 1/4".  

I got all my cardboard for free at Costco.  Usually there will be some slip sheets in their metal box bins, but if there isn't just ask around.

My first attempt was a 25"  circle with a 60 degree 13" equilateral triangle cut out of it.  To create the circle, you can use my tutorial from our Minnie Mouse Bean Bag TossAs you can see it was a little small.  OK A LOT SMALL!  Time for attempt #2. 

The next attempt I used a 36" circle with an 18" triangle.  For the triangle, draw an 18" line.  Next line up a protractor and mark a dash at 60 degrees.  Draw another 18" line from the end of the first line, through that dash.  Connect the two lines.  

Once you have your circle and triangle, place the triangle on the circle, lining up two corners to the outside of the circle.  Trace it, and cut out the lines.

For the arm hole, I took a couple different plates and saucers and matched them up with my arm until I found one that worked, traced it and cut it out.

Copy and cut for the second side.

For the connecting center, I measured from shoulder to shoulder which was 16."  I added 1" to be safe (I regret doing this because it doesn't sit directly on my shoulder), and 1" for the connecting kerf.  Cut your connecting center so the cardboard is horizontal.  This way it can roll and take shape.

Once you have your center cut, roll it up so it will take shape easier.  Next make a line 1/2" in on each side.  Take a blade and make cuts up to that line, bending inward as you go.

Begin your assembly.  I hot glued and duct taped the pieces together.  The top mouth section was the same as the rest of the center pieces, except I used stiffer cardboard (unbent), and I cut a rectangle out so I would be able to see.  The bottom I cut a piece 23"x18," and rolled 5" worth of it.

Once all the assembly was complete I finally got to the fun part!  PAINT!  I got a quart of Walmart's True Lemon Yellow paint and  I had some left over black chalkboard paint for the mouth.  

For the eyes, I wanted them to look like a backwards Pac Man. 

It took a couple different saucers and bowls to figure out a good size for them.  I drew a circle, measured to the center point, and drew a 60 degree triangle from it.  I wish I had done this before assembly and painting.  

Finally, I hot glued black mesh to the eyes and the front viewing rectangle.

Pac-Man in action!  
It was a lot of fun making it, and even more fun wearing it!  I did bump into a car at one point while trying to pick up a balloon that was running off in the wind.  The peripherals aren't great, but it's a small price to pay for a awesome costume!

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Here's a reader-made costume for her son that she posted on our Facebook page!  So flattered that it worked out great for him!



  1. Thank you sooooo much for posting this!!! My son told me he wanted to be Pac Man for Halloween this year, and I didn't know how I would pull it off. I found this online, made the costume, and it came out GREAT!! He was a HIT!!!


  3. so far so good, and for others' reference, a 30" circle is good for a tall skinny 7 year old! thanks for sharing!!

  4. That's an awesome job, I love son wants to be a pac man too , excellent idea

  5. Thank you. I'm making this for myself and going to try and figure out how to do the ghosts for my kids. :)

  6. Thank you for the perfect measurements. I had no clue what angle to cut the mouth at. I'm making one for me and my 4 year old is going as Inky the ghost.

  7. Perfect...grandson just announced that I was going to make pacman costume for him...ty

  8. Thank you for your idea, I set up the costume for comic con and it was incredibly well received!!

  9. Where did you find such a big cardboard for free?

  10. Worked like a champ for my son. Instead of using black cardboard for the mouth we went to joanne fabrics and found a black polyester that he could see out of but you couldn't see inside the pacman because of the darkness. Then we attached sticky velcro to the fabric and mouth to attach the fabric. This also makes it easier to get into and out of the costume as my son has to push it open some when entering and exiting. He is super excited to wear it tomorrow. A big portion of the fun and pride was in making it ourselves. We used spray paint which I dont think worked as well as roll on paint would have. Total $8 paint, $2 fabric, and $12 for the velcro (ouch). Wish I could attach a picture of the final product. We also used the cardboard circles we cut out for the arms to make the eyes. We painted them black and used the glue gun to attach them. This was a great project! Thank you!