Cool Stuff: Flux Capacitor Halloween Costume

Back to the Future-themed Halloween costumes have been done many times before. I've seen many many Marty McFlys, a bunch of Doc Browns, a couple Biffs and Griffs, and even one guy dressed as a DeLorean time machine. But this must be the first time I've seen anyone dress as the Flux Capacitor, the device which makes time travel possible. /Film reader Juan Garcia from Austin Texas created this costume for Halloween 2008, but he submitted it to the site just this week (or did he go back to the past and appear in the costume in 2008 and return back to the future to e-mail me the photos? too confusing...). Hit the jump to see the costume in action.

"Flux Capacitor" Costume – Halloween 2008

Every Halloween I try to make a fully homemade costume for myself, but like to start as early as possible. This year my wife and I took a trip to Yellowstone in October, so I didn't have as much time as I usually do to build over the weekends. After some deep costume pondering, I came up with the idea of doing the "Flux Capacitor" from "Back to the Future" because I figured its "boxy" shape would make it easy for me to build it in one week. It proved to be a hit at both the Halloween Costume Parade on 6th street in Austin, Texas, as well as at a friend's Halloween party.


Gorilla Tape and Gorilla Glue (my new best friends!)

Classic Duct Tape

Clear Packing Tape

U-Hall Storage Box

Black "Science Board" Box

Clear (Thin) Plexiglas

Grey Butcher Paper

Clear PVC pipe

Fluorescent Yellow Acrylic Paint

Silver Acrylic Paint

Black Acrylic Paint

Red Acrylic Paint

PVC Pipe Connectors

Grey Foam Pipe Insulation

Yellow Plastic Rope

Red Electrical Tape

White Sticky Letters

Coleman (Yellow) Camping Glowsticks

Foam Packing Squares


I purchased a U-Haul box that is supposed to be used for transporting clothes, turned it upside down and taped only one side together. Head and armholes were cut after doing careful measurements, and grey butcher paper was wrapped first over the top of the box, then around the sides to provide the "metallic" look of the Flux fuse box. The paper was secured with clear packing tape so that seams weren't visible. I then added the "Warning Signs" at the top of the box by measuring the letters and cutting red electrical tape to match the length. Letters were added one by one. Final step was to add the grey foam pipe insulation to look like the fuse box's glass binder and provide a 3-D effect.


Getting the black "science board" to line up with the "viewing glass" was a bit of challenge. Leftover cardboard had to be glued to the interior of the U-Haul box because the science board wasn't 100% the same size (shy by just a few centimeters). Once the box lined up, I was able to take that interior "shell" out and added the PVC pipe connectors (which had been painted red) and yellow rope (which had been glued to the connectors). Gorilla tape and glue were used to secure these, as most of the individual pieces in this project. Next, the flexible clear PVC pipe (which had been painted yellow inside to look like glowing glass) was bent and each piece lines up with the red pipe connectors and yellow rope. Once secured, these were glued in place and the entire setup was left to dry overnight. While it was drying I cut a piece of Plexiglas to line up with the shape of the foam insulation, and glued it to the back. This was also allowed to dry overnight. Next day I finished up by adding the "warning sign" on the "glass" same as before (red tape and white letters) and also painted over my "glue spots" in the interior section with either silver or black paint, depending on where they were. Once again, everything was allowed to dry overnight and the next day I secured the interior to the exterior by cutting holes on the sides of the box and taping the pieces together, then covering with silver duct to add extra 3D detail, and to match the grey butcher paper. Final steps were adding an "Outatime" license plate with Velcro to the back (found online, cut, then laminated) and foam pads for my shoulders to alleviate some of the costume weight.


Just before putting the costume on, I would activate fresh glowsticks, place them in the painted PVC pipes -and voila – I was ready to rock!