Making a Tony Stark costume

A new year, another costume party! The theme of the party was “comic books”, and i decided to make a tony stark costume. I wanted to play with electronics, and it is always fun to add some LED lights to things. The costume included an arc reactor on the chest, and a iron man glove with light triggered by hand movement.

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I had actually started playing with a LED illuminated glove a couple of days earlier. The circuit consists of 10 ultra bright blue 3mm leds, a couple of resistors and a 9v battery.2016-03-02 11.49.05

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A nice glow in the dark

The arc reactor body was made up of hot glue that was melted into a plastic cup. It created a round and semi-transparent base for the reactor. I made 10 small holes in the back of it, and glued the LED’s in with hot glue.

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The back of the arc reactor

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Great success! The light is diffuse and evenly spread out

I added a metal ring and some carton to create the arc reactor look from the movies. The whole thing was fastened to a pulse-belt using velcro straps and hot glue. The entire system was fastened on the belt, which was very practical.

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The complete thing

The glove is based on a normal rubbery glove. It was covered in cut out pieces of a pizza box. I followed this guide on how to do it. I recommend using foam like in the guide, since the the carton is not very fond of being bent and stretched. The carton was glued to the glove with hot glue. I did not take any pictures of the process, but it took quite some time. I ended up making the glove a bit too tight, so taking it off was nearly impossible.

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The starting point

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Carton cutouts

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After some spraypainting

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Top side after spraypaint

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Microphone holder  + shoe box = paint shop

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I added some copper painted carton pieces for extra coolness

Now onto the electronics. Initially i was going to create a system with pulsing light and sound effects. This system would take a good amount of space, so i would have to extend the glove to an arm in order to fit it all. I also did not have time to put it all together. The circuit i made was much simpler, and i could fit the battery in the glove.

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Circuit parts

The LED light is an off the shelf 12V “lightbulb” from Clas Ohlson. It had 9 LED’s, and had an effect of 1,5 W. The light was impressive when used with a LiPo battery. I used two tactile buttons in series, so that both had to be pressed for the light to come on. The buttons were placed inside the glove, in point where pressure was applied when the right hand gesture was made. The battery is a 3 cell (11.1V-12.6V) LiPo at 1000 mAh. I did not that much capacity, i only needed the voltage and current output. A smaller 12V battery would have been better, but this is what i had at hand.

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Finished glove electronics

I took a small plastic cover, and filled it with hot glue. It created a nice diffuse effect like on the arc reactor. It was attached outside the LED’s with, you guessed it, hot glue.

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Electronics successfully fitted

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It works!


The light is triggered by pressing all fingers backwards

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Complete costume. ( The arc reactor looks better in real life)


Snapchat from the testing

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The gear after the party. The arc reactor was fine, but the glove lost some parts


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After the costume party, back side

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The gear now rests quietly in a shelf together with the golden gun

Sites i got inspiration from:


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