Halloween is a great time to stretch your creative muscles and be a little “bad” in a harmless way. I tend to go overboard with Halloween costumes…I’ve been everything from a Rubik Cube to a dinner table, all home-made, of course. One year, I even made a kayak out of some lumber and duct table and wore it over a wetsuit.
This year, with a few less parties to go to, and the weekends leading up to Halloween being a bit busier than usual, I decided to take the easy way out…I went to my local Savers store and bought a “priest” outfit, complete with a cross to hand around my neck, for $12. Being a priest is mildly amusing, but I felt that I needed to jazz the costume up a bit. With a little accessorizing, I turned my costume into a “drunken priest”.
I did this by making a bible with a “hideaway” liquor flask inside. It didn’t take long (maybe an hour or so) and didn’t require anything more complicated then scissors, glue, and paint.
Here is a list of the materials I used:
– An old hardcover book. I used a bible, but you can use anything, purchased from a library book sale.
– Corrugated Carboard (I cut up an old moving box)
– Scissors (and maybe a utility or Exacto knife)
– All-Purpose Glue
– Duct or Masking Tape
– Scotch Tape
– White paint (hobby paint is good, but any will do…I used left-over ceiling paint)
– A metal liquor flask that is smaller than the footprint of the book (I recommend full)
Got everything? Now, you’re ready to get started:
1. Cut the pages out of the book, leaving yourself an empty shell that is intact. For an added touch, leave the first few pages intact; so that when you open the book, the title page covers the “secret compartment”.
2. Cut strips of cardboard about an inch wide, and slightly shorter than the width of the book. These will serve as the top and bottom of your secret compartment. How many your project requires will depend on the width of the cardboard and the height of the book. My project required about 20 strips.
3. Stack half of the strips at the top and bottom of the book, making sure that the book shell closes correctly. Trim the cardboard if needed, or use more or less strips to reach the correct height. Make sure the flask fits in the between the stacks of cardboard strips. If it doesn’t, make them thinner.
4. Glue the cardboard strips on place by first gluing one strip to the back cover of the book at both the top and bottom of the book, then gluing the ensuing pieces on top of that one. Make sure the top book cover doesn’t get stuck to the top of the pile. You should now have something that opens and closes like a book.
5. Cut another strip of cardboard, this one the width of the book and the length of the distance from the top of the book to the end (the binding). This will become the “side” of your book.
6. Affix the long strip to the side of the book (on the opposite side of the binding) with glue and scotch tape. Your “book” now has four sides (top, bottom, side, and binding). Put the book aside for the glue to dry (I suggest emptying the contents of the flask while you wait).
7. Your book is now more or less complete. Shore any weak spots with glue or tape. I attached the top of the “top and bottom” stacks to the inside of the front cover with small strips of duct tape so that the front cover didn’t flop around.
8. Paint the cardboard parts of the book white…so they look like paper. Your “book” should now pass (close enough) for a real book. The white paint on the edges give the impression of paper. Obviously, a close inspection will tip off the viewer, but it’s close enough for a Halloween costume. Hold the book vertically to make it less obvious it’s been “tampered with”.
Your “drinking bible” is now complete. The costume was a big hit at the party I attended. It really all played out great. I arrived at the party, and grabbed a coke (instead of a beer?!) and walked over to a table of friends, sipping the coke. Someone commented, “What, you’re not drinking tonight?” So, I flipped open the bible, pulled out the flask, and “topped off” the can of Coke with a bit of rum. I then “blessed it” and took a swig. It got a lot of laughs.
If you decide to use this costume idea, I hope you have as much fun with it as I did. Another tip…the line “look to the good book for the answers to all your problems” is fun with this book.