Cool and Realistic Arcade Games Group Theme

My friends and I do a group theme every year and this year we settled on going as an arcade. These costumes took about 20-30 hours apiece and were well worth the time and effort! We won two costume contests and had a lot of fun.

All the costumes are made from dollar store foam board that was covered in glossy vinyl from a sign supply shop to get the hard, plastic look.

Cut the individual boards to the correct size and shape and apply the vinyl using a squeegee before assembling the costume. Once the boards are covered in vinyl, assemble the costume with hot glue and duct tape on the inside only. I also added some extra pieces of foam board inside the costumes connecting the corners for added support. You can also use corner brackets/L brackets from a hardware store and secure them using gorilla glue.

To make the boards look like one continuous piece, I cut 1/2 in strips of vinyl and lined all the outer edges with additional vinyl. The inside was lined with black craft paper and black elastic straps were attached to the insides. We’re wearing black shirts so it’s difficult to see that there are actually straps going over our shoulders to hold the costumes in place.

All the graphics for the costumes are vinyl decal stickers were ordered from an online printer.

Skee Ball: The netting was made from white yarn that was hot glued into place and the ball hoops are white poster board.

Pacman: The joystick is a Styrofoam ball painted red on a stick painted black. The white buttons are ceramic cabinet knobs from Home Depot. The screen is just plastic poster cover over a print out of the Pacman game.

Claw Machine: The glass is plastic poster cover. The inside of the machine was lined with silver metallic poster-board to make it look reflective. The class was made from white craft foam. Hold craft foam over a stove burner for about 15 seconds until it becomes hot and flimsy. Using your hands, give it the curved shaped and hold it for about 15 seconds until it cools down. It will stay in this shape after it cools down. I heated and shaped each piece of the claw separately then glued them together and painted it with a silver metallic paint. The joystick is a pair of toy nun-chucks from the dollar store that I snapped in half and painted the tip red.

Whack a Mole: The mallet was made by wrapping a can in black craft foam and the handle is the other end of the dollar store nunchucks used for the claw machine. I secured it in place with hot glue and used yellow yarn as the “cord”. The holes are lined with black paper and fabric pockets on the inside.

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