From DIY home decor to handmade gifts, here are the best arts and crafts to spark your creativity

Be Dr. Freeman for Halloween

It is October 30 and you need a costume fast. Something simple, yet creative. Something that will make your video game playing friends green with envy.

In this Instructable, learn how to make an ultra-simple costume that will make you everyone's favorite theoretical physicist .

Okay, I realize that this Instructable is not particularly earth-shattering, but bear with me. I had originally wanted to make the HEV suit worn by Gordon in the Half-Life series, but had quickly ran out of time and lacked the funds. Instead, I choose to create a more simple yet hopefully still recognizable costume.

Note: more photos on the way. I play in our college's pep band and hope to get a few shots of me and the rest of the band at a volleyball game on Oct. 31. Most, if not all, the band will be in costume, hence the reason for my own get-up.

Double-Note: More photos are here!


You will need the following materials to make this costume:

Nice clothing. A sweater vest and a pair of khakis would be preferable, but black slacks and a button-down shirt with tie will work just fine.

Lab coat. I live on a college campus with a biochemical science program, so there are lab coats a-plenty. Or so I thought. I would fit well in a medium sized long coat, but the local bookstore was out. Fortunately, I have a friend who let me borrow hers. It is a bit of a squeeze, being an extra-small long coat, but as long as I do not extend my arms, it isn't that bad.

Old name badge. You will use this to make, what else, a name badge. I used an old Wal-Mart badge from when I worked there over the summer.

Image editor of choice to make the name badge. I used the GIMP.

Printer and printer paper to print out the name badge.

Knife and scissors to cut out the badge.

Note cards to reinforce the name badge.

Step Away From the Razor!

Ideally you will have started a month earlier on this project by growing some facial hair. Remember that you are aiming for a mustache and goatee, so keep shaving the sides of your face.

If you do not have that kind of time or that kind of body, either claim to have shaved or be a different Black Mesa scientist.

You may also want to track down a pair of glasses as well.


Create the name badge using your image editor of choice. Alternatively, if you are feeling uncreative, simply use the one I have provided here, in both .xcf and .png form.

Cut and Tape

After printing out your new name badge, you will need to cut it out and tape it to a few note cards, trimmed to the same size. If you are also using an old Wal-Mart name tag, you will find that it is secured to a person's clothing by a spring-loaded clamp that is itself attached to the tag by a loop of plastic. You will need to cut out a slot at the top of the tag to secure the clamp to it. Finally, cover your new tag with clear packing tape if you are cheap, or actual paper laminate if you are not.

Put It On

That's it! Your done!

Okay, maybe not that exciting, right? Well, what do you expect? I waited till the day before Halloween to make this. Originally, I wanted to make the HEV suit as worn by Gordon out of some cardboard and some spray paint, hence the reason why I had all that clear tape in step 4.

As for the volleyball game: a huge success. The SIUC Woman's Volleyball team did not do so well, but the band performed beautifully if I do say so myself.


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