Make a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man Costume for Halloween

Final Costume

Looking for a quick costume idea for Halloween? It’s not too late to make your own! I’ll even let you knock off my Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man costume. You will need to brave the fabric store but luckily you don’t need to sew. Here’s how it’s done.


Step 1

 Open GalleryCut Patterns

Start by cutting out patterns for the eyes and mouth.

Step 2

 Open GalleryTrace Patterns

Stand the tube up straight (you might need an assistant) and make a mark where your face is on the tube. Trace the mouth pattern where your face is, as this is where you will see out.

Step 3

 Open GalleryCut Mouth

Cut out the mouth. Be careful as nylon has a tendency to grab and keep ripping if you push too hard. Take your time.

Step 4

 Open GalleryMake the Eyes

Cut two white ovals (approximately 6″ x 4″) and two black circles (1.5″ x 1.5″) and hot glue them together. This can be scrap fabric or something new. I picked up some nylon to match the tube material. I also added a bit of blue on top of the eyes for eyelids.

Step 5

 Open GalleryAttach Eyes

Hot glue the eyes above the mouth. Then cut an oversized piece of black mesh to glue behind the mouth. This can be tulle, screen door material, interfacing or net. I found something on sale at the fabric store that was also very durable. Make sure you can see through it without much trouble. To make sure the net was properly attached, I placed blue scrap nylon to sandwich the glue and net to the nylon.

Step 6

 Open GalleryCut Arm Holes

Mark and cut two arm holes below the face. I approximated my arm size plus a bit. You will need to straddle the metal hoops in the tunnel. Once cut, measure the circumference of the holes using the flexible tape measure.

Step 7

 Open GalleryCut Arm Fabric

Cut two lengths of blue ripstop nylon 48″ long and X” wide. The X equals the circumference of your arm hole. Mine was 26″ around. Since this is ripstop nylon, you just need to make a small cut then rip the remainder of it. This will produce some strands of cloth. Just pull them off so the hot glue doesn’t grab them. Side note: Yes, I built this in my Lego room.

Step 8

 Open GalleryConnect Arms

Next, form the fabric rectangles you already cut into the shape of tubes and hot glue the seams. You could sew this but I opted for the quicker method. At one end of each tube, cut tabs 1″ deep by 1″ wide like you are making fringe. You will use these to attach your arms.

Step 9

 Open GalleryGather With Clamp

Working inside the tube is very challenging. If you have some clamps (or an assistant), gather the extra fabric and secure it together. This will make the build much quicker.

Step 10

 Open GalleryAttach Arms

Attaching the arms is just a matter of placing glue on the tabs of the arm and connecting them to the inside of the arm hole. Do this one tab at a time so the glue doesn’t dry. It will take some work but goes pretty quickly. Start with the seam of the arm tubes facing down.

Step 11

 Open GalleryFinal Costume

You are done! Time to test out your costume and work on your moves. I couldn’t find the 6′ children’s tunnel so I opted for the 9′. This meant I had extra room on the top and it wouldn’t stay straight by itself. I added a backpack with a PVC rod inside it to keep the head straight up and down. It also added a ton of height and interest to the piece. Happy Halloween everyone!


  • 6′ Child’s Fabric Tunnel
  • 3 yds Matching Ripstop Nylon
  • Black Mesh Fabric
  • Scrap White & Black Fabric
  • Craft Paper


  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Flexible Measuring Tape
  • Marker
About Nick Britsky 


I am a digital account executive by day and seeker of new skills by night. Maker Faires are my passion, and I have built projects ranging from giant Twinkie cars ...

More About Nick Britsky

4 Responses

  1. lilbro says:

    where do you get the blue tube?

  2. Heidi says:

    Can you explain about the backpack making the top not flop? I'm making this as a mascot for a nonprofit.

  3. Carmen says:

    Your nuts, and I love it.

  4. alizpinz says:

    Great costume idea!

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