Lightbulb Kirby

“this would be cool”

In its finality, here is the entire process of creating the costume in which I am so gleefully standing in the photo above.

Initial Idea

inspiration art

So Kirby is a video game character created by Masahiro Sakurai under HAL laboratories, for nintendo in 1992. The most recent release of the game is Kirby and The Forgotten World. In the game, Kirby is the hero and must save the world by solving puzzles and crushing his enemies. One trait it has had since the very beginning is that of being able to suck up objects into its mouth and gain the properties of the object. In this game, Kirby has the opportunity to suck up a lightbulb which if he does so, turns him into a lightbulb and allows him the power of light.

2D thinking

Physical Making

From the initial sketches, materials were ordered off of the following list:

  • Materials:
  • round reed (rattan)
  • artificial cat gut (for binding reeds)
  • Black garbage bags
  • poly-batting
  • poly-fill
  • light pink cotton sateen fabric
  • RGB led strip
  • lithium ion battery
  • black wool fabric
  • white felt
  • white linen
  • pink silk thread
  • yellow hard hat
  • 3/4 plywood
  • nuts and bolts

then, I got to work…..


when in doubt, pivot to garbage bags

Time for an Arduino break

circuit diagram with lemon for extra flair

Final results

Take aways

I would say that this project reminded me that my eyes are almost always bigger than my stomach, meaning that if I think something would look hella cool upon perfect execution, I don’t think twice. While this project was not a total loss, i can see many places where given a stronger work ethic, knowledge of costume making and more time (oh where did it all go), it could be elevated to the next level. But since time is always at a premium (especially in this program) I am happy to say it turned out all right. I find soldering incredibly relaxing and arduino mildly frustrating, and there were some very cool work flow processes that I have heretofore never done. But if I could tell my past self about this project, I would say buy pre-made rings for the body, pattern with muslin, buy a bigger battery, and don’t touch the hot glue, because it is hot. Also, I would try and integrate the LED’s into the mouth and try and route the rattan rings so that they are not visible. Also visibility was not great.

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