My kids love seeing silly things anywhere and one of their favorite things is the inflatable tube man (also known as air dancers) that seem to dance by themselves on the side of the road. I couldn’t help make one more costume before Halloween, an inflatable tube-man costume.
This inflatable tube guy is my silliest costume to date but Quinn also declared it the most fun. Just keep in mind it’s not really an inflatable suit but gives the illusion of inflatable tube men like you see at car dealerships. There is no battery-operated fan or aa batteries required but you can still be the life of the party with this goofy costume.
Before I even go into how I made it, you need to see the video of it in action, so you know why you NEED to make it too. Check out our video clips of the original wacky inflatable man in action.
So fun, right?!? Luckily it’s totally no-sew and you can be put together in an afternoon! Keep reading to see how I made this wacky waving inflatable tube man costume. You will look just like the catchy advertisement at car lots!
Make Inflatable Tube Man Arms
Start by cutting off the top and bottom of 2 hampers and then just the bottom of the third hamper. Use this extra material to create long red arm tubes.
I had just enough material to create this costume for my son, for an adult, I might have skipped reusing this material and just bought red plastic tablecloth covers to be sure I had enough material.
Cut wide rectangles out of your material and then fold and “hem” into tubes using adjustable hem tape. It works like double-sided tape.
Because I repurposed the extra hamper material, I had to attach several tubes together to make the arms long enough. You want to make sure the tubes are longer than the length of your arm so you can flap them around wildly.
Attach Inflatable Tube Man Arms
Adding the arms to the costume is a little tricky. You want to have someone try it on first to determine where to cut the armholes.
I hadn’t attached the three hampers together yet at this point, so I gingerly stacked them together to get a feel for where the armholes should be when they were wearing the costume.
Cut Arm Holes for Inflatable Tube Man Costume
Once you decide where the arms should be, cut the armholes smaller than you think you need. You can always make them a little bit bigger if necessary.
Stick strips adjustable hem tape around the top edge of an arm and then attach the arms to the inside of armholes. Because it’s adjustable, it’s easy to reposition the placement of the tape as needed. Repeat on the other side.
Connect Inflatable Man Body
To attach the three hampers together, I opted to use the Scotch Essentials Permanent Hem Bonding Strips. I needed something that would be heavier duty, so the adjustable hem tape wouldn’t work.
Cut the strips in half lengthwise and attach around the rim of one hamper. Once you are ready to attach two hampers together, remove all the paper backing and press two hamper edges together firmly.
Add Inflatable Tube Man Face
I used black and white duct tape to create the eyes. You can cut out paper circles first to play with size and placement before cutting your duct tape.
Remember always trace your design on parchment paper, cover the back with duct tape and then cut it out. Duct tape covered in parchment paper is much easier to cut.
I drew the mouth shape on paper first before cutting it out of my black mesh. Then I cut a hole on the costume face in the same shape and attached the mesh on top using more adjustable hem tape.
Be sure to make the hole smaller than you think, as you can always make the hole bigger if necessary. No eye screens are necessary since your can see and breathe through the mouth.
Waving Inflatable Arm Tube Halloween Costume
Ready to make your own Inflatable Tube Man Costume? Gather up the supplies and get going!
Inflatable Tube Man Costume Supplies
- 3 solid color pop up hampers
- black and white duct tape
- black mesh
- Adjustable Hem Tape
- Permanent Hem Bonding Strips
This costume is really easy to make. If you are making this for a little kid, you might only need 2 hampers to cover the full body of a shorter person.. Who else would love to dance in this costume at their next costume party?
More Funny Costume Ideas
Buy Inflatable Halloween Costumes
We tend to DIY or wear semi-homemade costumes but we can appreciate some good adult inflatable costume ideas like an inflatable t-rex costume perfect for a Jurassic World costume theme. I’ve even seen some cute or crazy looking inflatable baby boy or baby girl costumes. And speaking of crazy, don’t miss this silly inflatable kool-aid man costume.
Note: This post was originally published October 25, 2016 for Scotch Essentials.