The Halloween Top Hat Automaton
When asked to write and article for my favorite magazine -- MAKE, I jumped at the chance.
Editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder asked me to document how I made my trick top hat for their
first-ever special Halloween issue. The entire issue is dedicated to Halloween DIY projects.
The top hat contains a hidden mechanism that is attached to a bicycle brake cable and lever.
The wearer runs the cable down one sleeve and discretely holds the lever in hand. A little yellow
finger-puppet monster bursts out of the top of the hat anytime you squeeze the hidden brake lever.
UPDATE: I replaced the rubber finger puppet with a little wooden monster of my own design. The articulated arms move as a result of the monster's motion. The hand on the hat brim works particularly well, appearing to grab the rim of the hat as the monster emerges.