Halloween 2002

I had a space alien costume in 1999 that I made from some silver clothes I got at Goodwill and a short piece of electroluminescent wire that I borrowed from a friend. In 2002, I decided to upgrade, so I bought my own wire and went to work. The results can be seen below. I have now worn this costume to three different parties, and have compiled the following FAQ:

Wow, cool costume!


What's it made of?

It's called electroluminescent wire, or EL wire. It's a flexible wire with a special phosphor coating that glows when you put a current through it.

So it runs on a battery?

Yes. See, I have a 9 volt battery in this pack clipped to my belt.

How long does the battery last?

Well, this is the end of my third party on the same battery, and it's just running out now. I don't have it on all the time, so I'm guessing somewhere between 6 and 8 hours.

Where did you get that stuff?

On the web, of course. Specifically, at elwirecheap.com.

Is it sewn onto your shirt?

No. I tried that first, but my shirt is stretchy, and the wire is not, so it didn't work. Instead, I made a rigid frame out of 16 gauge galvanized steel wire and then attached the EL wire to it using very thin 28 gauge wire to wrap them together. The entire thing can now be removed together by unhooking it in a couple of places.

Can I touch it?

Only if you are mostly sober.

How long did it take you to make it?

Certain questions are better left unanswered.

What about your hair? How long did that take?

About an hour. And an hour for the makeup.

Oh my God, it's flashing now!

Yes, there is a switch on my battery pack so I can put it in strobe mode.

Wouldn't it be cool if you could have it flash in time with the music?

Oh, you mean like this?

And now, the pictures:


With my friend Rafe

With some random guy who also lit up (but he had to plug into the wall. Jeez.)