Trash Can Costume - Candy Trap

Trash Can Costume - Candy Trap
Note: I made this trash can costume last year and it was a huge hit! Our house is in the first nice neighborhood north of Detroit so we get hit with over 100 kids. Kids from the city come out our way because it is safe and because we give out great candy. I know that some people get annoyed with all of the people but my neighbors and I love it. It is a party atmosphere and most of the kids are quite young and super cute.

When I was a kid there was a guy in our neighborhood that used to jump out of the bushes in a gorilla suit and scare the bejeezus out of us. It was one of my fondest memories of halloween. Last year I decided to be that guy.

Unfortunately, I don't have any bushes. An alternative would be to build a trash barrel disguise. I built the disguise below and then sat in it right on the front lawn. Not one single kid realized that It wasn't a trash can and I scared so many of them that I lost count.

Here are some lessons I learned:
1. Kids don't want to be half-scared. After scaring the pants off of about 20 kids from 10-12 years old a group of 8 year olds came up. They were right in front of me but I didn't have the heart to scare them too much. I stood up and gave them a half-hearted "boo.". I will never forget the look on the kids face. I will describe it as bored/annoyed. He just looked at me and said "you're not scary. YOU ARE A TRASHCAN".
2. Parents like you to scare their kids. In fact, they think it is the funniest thing they have ever seen.
3. The more heartily you scare one group of kids the more likely they will be to wait on the next door neighbors lawn to see you scare the next group.
4. You should wait until after the kids get the candy to scare them. If you try to scare them when they are running for the porch they won't even see you. They have a lazer focus on the free candy.
5. Kids that are all wired up on candy have no memory. You can scare them then cross the street and scare them when they come to your neighbors yard.
6. I scared about 90 kids, only one cried (a small child in her mother's laughing arms) and one fell over backward.


Here is the story of how I made a trashcan costume and how you can too. All it takes is a trash can with lid, a few screws and a saw. I picked up the parts and brought them to art class.

My friend Gabby and I got to work with a plastic trash can. One of the first steps was to attach the lid with some machine screws. This made the whole trash can more solid so that we could attack it with a jigsaw.

Gabby was pretty excited about this. I think she liked the prospect of having a more solid structure with which to work. Either that or her favorite song was playing on the radio. If I remember correctly, it was "I want it that way" by the Backstreet boys. Being a backstreet boys fan myself I was excited as well.

Here are some pictures of us making the candy trap along with the original concept sketch.

Cutting the can.
Here I am cutting the trash can. I didn't use a pattern or anything for this, I just cut the bottom out of the can first and then got inside it. I completed the design by figuring out which pieces needed to move so that I could crouch down inside the trash can. It took only a few cuts to make arm flaps, a head flap, and a back-flap.

Total project time so far, about 20 minutes.
Me with the finished can.
This sure was easy. Here is the finished trash-can costume. You can see the head-flap and the arm flap. The back flap is on the other side.
Hiding In The Trash Can
Here I am hiding in the trash can. If I crunch down really well, I can pass for a trash can. Also, I can see out of the top flap.

The neighborhood kids don't stand a chance.
RAAAHHH!
Here I am scaring you!
Here is the original concept sketch.
Here is the original concepts sketch for the trash can costume candy trap. I figured I would save it so that you could see how the idea started.
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When I am not carving pumpkins, I run The World's Most Private Company and The World's Most Private Store. I also found success as the founder of BulletSafe Bulletproof Vests. My most important work though is raising my three kids and trying my best not be a terrible husband. I have a fun life.