How to Make a Tornado Costume

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Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire

  • Tomato cages

  • Cotton batting

  • Duct tape

  • Spray paint

  • Battery powered small lights

  • Twine

  • Small model cars

  • Small model trees

  • Small toy cow (optional)

  • T-shirt

  • Wire cutters

  • Hot glue gun

In October 2010, more than 1.5 million people tuned in to watch Discovery Channel's show "Storm Chasers," which follows teams of people who track tornadoes for a living. The sheer volume of people following the show indicates a growing interest in weather and tornadoes. A DIY tornado costume is an unusual idea for Halloween or other events. You can make your own tornado costume with a trip to the hardware store and some work at home.


Image Credit: solarseven/iStock/GettyImages

Cut the Tomato Cages Apart

Cut tomato cages apart. You will need two to three tomato cages, depending on the size of the person wearing the costume. Use wire cutters to cut them down the center and then expand the wires. The tomato cages should come together making a cylinder form. Secure the cages together with duct tape.


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Cut Chicken Wire Triangles

Cut the chicken wire into rectangles that will cover each section of the tomato cage cylinder.

Secure the Wire to the Cage Frame

Tie the chicken wire to the tomato cage frame with twine or wire. Shape the chicken wire around the cylinder, overlapping rectangles. Go through any overlapping rectangles when securing the chicken wire to the cylinder frame.


Remove the Sharp Edges

Cut off any edges or cover them with duct tape so nothing will scratch the costume-wearer.

Add the Light Strings

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Image Credit: Jason Persoff Stormdoctor/Image Source/GettyImages

Loop the battery operated light strings around the cylinder. Start at the top and wind the batteries clockwise around the cylinder. Secure the string with wire or twine and tape the battery pack to the inside of the frame. Make sure you can reach the on/off switch.


Cut the T-shirt Into Strips

Cut a white T-shirt to create straps. You will want to cut the cloth into long strips and fold them over several times. Secure the straps to the top of the tomato cage form with duct tape or wire.


Wrap the Frame With Batting

Lay the cotton batting on the floor and place the cylinder frame in the center. Wrap the batting around the frame and pull it through the top and the bottom. Tape the ends on the inside of the frame. The object is not perfection--you are creating a tornado, so if it is a bit messy, it will be fine.


Spray Paint Some Circles

Spray paint circles around the tornado starting at the top and going around to the bottom. You are trying to give the impression of movement to the tornado costume.

Finish Your DIY Tornado Costume

Image Credit: Justin Hobson/iStock/GettyImages

Place small trees, cars and houses on the DIY tornado costume with a hot glue gun or twine. Don't forget to add a cow! The cow in the movie was a black and white dairy bovine.


Measure the person wearing the DIY tornado costume before you put the straps on. You will also want to have him stand in the cyclone and make sure he can walk properly and handle stairs. If leg room is lacking, cut the chicken wire at the front of the costume and just have the cotton batting hang down over the empty area.