This past year (2016), my partner and I watched the TV series, Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I remember seeing it on TV as a kid, but my family wasn’t big into Sci Fi. All I remember was seeing that bald guy (Piccard) on TV. There was one bald guy who sat at the back of our church every Sunday, and as a little kid I thought huh, that space guy goes to our church too! I also thought that the group of little old ladies in our church were the Golden Girls 🙂
Anyhow, this year, I finally learned that there was more to Next Generation than the bald guy who went to our church. I loved watching through Next Generation, it really opened up my mind to the way that Science Fiction is really another venue to talk about social issues and human relationships.
For some reason, the Borg really stuck with me. I like how they deal with the idea of individuality and group mentality. In the US, sometimes it feels like we live in a hyper-individualist society. In other cultures, groups are sometimes more important.
I also like the technological aspects of the Borg people. After working in tech for the past five years, and spending more and more leisure time with mobile phones and computers, it makes me think about how the lines between human and machine are blurring. Then of course, there are the more obvious, darker sides to the Borg, assimilating the technologies of and annihilating all who cross their path in order to improve their own technologically dependent society. Now that’s scary!
Hmmm…another reason I wanted to make the costume is because in the day-to-day life, I’m a quiet, introverted lady. I wanted to break the mold for once, and be a badass for Halloween 🙂
How long did it take to make the costume?
I wanted to spend longer on the costume, but only had two weeks to work on it. I think it turned out pretty well, given the short time frame 🙂 The total cost was probably about $100, but you can probably make it for less cost with a little more time and planning 🙂 Below I’ve outlined the materials used to make the costume, and an estimated cost (in US dollars) for each. It’s not an exact replica of the Borg on the show, but I think people can still recognize you, and hopefully you’ll have fun making it, and wearing it! (I wore my costume while riding my bike around town, and got a big old wave from the firemen in their big red truck, so…that made it all worth it :))
How to make the Borg costume:
- A long black shirt – I bought a shirt from the thrift store for $10
- Black pants – These were in my closet, black tights or leggings work just fine
- A Black vest (fake leather is good) – I got this at the thrift store for $16
- A big belt – You can use a tool belt and stick devices in it (like old cellphones, game controllers). I just had a big wide belt in my closet from a thrift store.
- Skater pads – These gave more robustness to the costume, and added to the machine look. I think I got these for about $16. For elbow and knee pads.
- Wrist gear / Punk bracelets – I found some cool studded bracelets at the nearby thrift store. You could also wear old digital watches, or some other kind of heavy duty wrist wear.
- Boots – I have a pair of purple Doc Martins that have come in handy for a lot of outfits 🙂 You could also get some black rubber rain boots.
- Gloves – This is probably not necessary, but you can get a pair of biker gloves or even just plain black gloves (I got a pair from the local costume store). If you want to get fancy, you could glue some metal pieces like old nuts and bolts on there too.
The Head piece
- Steampunk Goggle – I picked up a pair of steampunk goggles from the Halloween store for about $12. I removed one of the goggles, and sewed the headstrap back together.
- Bald cap – I got the bald cap from the Halloween store for about $10. You can probably order a white bald cap. I painted mine white with acrylic paint (though I wouldn’t recommend acrylic since it chipped pretty badly & washes off in the rain).
- White face paint – You can get a bottle of face paint from a costume store or online for a few dollars.
And last but not least! What’s a cyber punk costume without a little wiring?!
For the wiring, I went to Fry’s Electronics and had a grand old time perusing the computer hardware aisles 🙂 I wanted to go with a bit of a green theme, so picked up some neutral wires, along with some green shrink tubing and green LED lights with a battery pack. Now the lighting is really the icing on the cake for this costume. You will glow with an other-worldy glow with the battery-powered LEDs if you go out and where this at night. You can also reuse the LEDs, I now have them struck up on my bicycle and they are quite bright!
- Spiral cut tubing (1/2″ – 3/8″ diameter) –
- Telephone spiral chords
- Battery-powered LED lights (I got them in the camping section at Fry’s Electronics)
- Shrink-wrap tubing (I picked green since I had a bit of a green theme)
- Glow sticks – The glow sticks are really fun and add extra glow (again, I had a green theme, so I just used blue and green glow sticks). I just stuck the glow sticks in my pocket. Glow sticks are fun too because you can share them with friends~!
I sewed the wires onto the shirt and pants. But…if you don’t have the time or Home-Economics experience to sew, you can probably just ducktape the wires to the clothing too 🙂
That’s it! Happy costume-making~!