Quick Tip: DIY Back to the Future Costume Ideas
Back to the Future Day is today: October 21, 2015. That’s the day in which Marty and Doc Brown arrive in the future in the second movie in the series. As such, it’s a sacred day in the hearts of Back to the Future fans everywhere.
Now that we’re here in 2015 for real, a lot of the film’s predictions about the future have actually come true. Given, most of these are only due to corporate sponsorships (and senses of humor), but let’s take a tally:
- The Chicago Cubs: When the movie was released, the “Lovable Losers’” championship run was seen as a big joke, but the Cubs made it all the way to National League Championship Series this year, dethroning favorites such as the St. Louis Cardinals in the process.
- Hoverboards: Engineers at Lexus broke the Internet this year when they released video of a real, actually levitating hoverboard this year. Basically, when the magnets in the board are supercooled and suspended over a special metal track, science happens. Unfortunately, that means it doesn’t work on a regular road or sidewalk. Still pretty rad, though.
- Jaws 19: In BTTF II, Marty sees a holographic trailer for Jaws 19. As a joke, Universal made a fake trailer for the movie – a spoof of a spoof, and a little bit of a jab at themselves, too.
- Pepsi Perfect: Another brand in the movie, Pepsi, is making good on their futuristic product placement promise, by releasing bottled beverages in the shape seen in the film.
- Self-Lacing Shoes: This one is a few years old, but it still counts. Nike got their self-lacing sneakers, known as the Air Mags, made in 2011. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find some on eBay for all of the money.
Not bad! If you want to bring Back to the Future II to life in your own way, then why not make your own DIY Back to the Future costumes for Halloween? With a friend, Marty and Doc make a great costume idea for two. Here’s our quick guide to recreating these two characters.
In This Post:
How to Make a DIY Marty McFly Halloween Costume
A Marty McFly costume is easy enough to recreate with finds from your local thrift store, fittingly enough. We won’t go into too much detail here, but these are the main pieces.
- Dark red or maroon T-shirt
- White and blue plaid or gingham button-down shirt
- Blue denim jacket / jean jacket
- Blue jeans
- Red thermal vest / “puffy vest”
You probably have a lot of that already. The only piece that might prove problematic is the vest. If you can’t track one down for cheap and don’t want to shell out for a brand new one, you can make your own DIY substitute. Cut the sleeves off of a thrifted red zipper hoodie for a reasonably close replacement, or give the same treatment to a red collared shirt for a quick and easy semi-vest.
With that out of the way, there’s a few optional accessories you can add to make your costume extra awesome.
- Casio calculator digital watch
- Walkman with headphones
- Self-lacing high-tops
Cheap digital watches are easy enough to find at thrift stores and garage sales (even if they aren’t Casio), and old-school headphones and tape players can be too.
As for the self-lacing shoes, you can find collectible costume replicas of the ones from the movie, but for the purposes of a quick costume, it’s a lot easier to just find an old pair of high-tops. Paint them gray, add a Swoosh, and use some scrap fabric or white tape to create the strap.
You can also DIY your own Hoverboard prop, and you don’t even need to work at Lexus. Just start with a piece of foam board, cut it into shape, and paint it pink with green and yellow criss-crosses. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect – everyone will get what you’re going for.
How to Make a DIY Doc Brown Halloween Costume
To put together a Doc Brown costume for Halloween, the easiest way to get started is to go with a standard “mad scientist” costume, and build from there.
- White lab coat
- Khaki pants
- White scientist wig
- Hawaiian shirt (the tackier, the better)
- Rubber gloves
As with the Marty costume, a lot of this stuff is really easy to find, and some of it is probably already in your house. If you can’t find an authentic lab coat, you can try to cobble one together out of white fabric or a large white shirt. An Einstein wig is great for recreating the Doc’s crazy hairstyle.
That’s a good start for any scientist costume, but not it’s time to add a few more items that are quintessentially Doc.
- Steampunk goggles
- Remote control
- Tool belt
- Case of plutonium
Again, most of these costume accessories are self-explanatory. In a pinch, you can use an old pair of swim goggles in place of Doc’s safety goggles, and his remote control can be appropriated from an old kids’ toy.
To make Doc Brown’s briefcase of radioactive plutonium, start with a simple locking briefcase. You can find similar (and cheaper) cases like this that are meant for makeup or art supplies that will work well. Then, just paint it silver and stencil a black radiation symbol onto it.
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