Published on January 12th, 2015 | by Ellyssa Kroski

Host a Fallout Craft Day in the Library

I became a huge fan of the Fallout video games after playing Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas and I wanted to create my own Pip-Boy 3000 (PIP: Personal Information Processor) which the player’s character wears to monitor their status, perks, inventory, and maps throughout the game. I was planning a Fallout-themed cosplay and I wanted to create one of these props to add to the authenticity of my costume. It turned out to be much easier to build than I thought it would be as a novice prop-maker and cost only about $10-$15 to purchase the materials. This would be an excellent project idea for libraries with makerspaces, or even those without as there are no power tools or large machinery involved.

Materials Needed (Photos of all of these in the tutorial video!)

  • 2 Foam core Boards
  • Spray Paint in these colors: Matte Black, Metallic Silver, Hunter Green
  • 3×2 PVC Pipe
  • 3 Water Bottle Caps
  • 2 Toothpaste Caps
  • Plastic cover from takeout food
  • Small wooden dowel
  • 2” L shaped wooden moulding (I couldn’t find one of these so I bought a plastic one and doubled it)
  • A black fingerless glove (I used a glove from a $1 gloves set and cut off the fingers)
  • Color Printouts of Stencils provided here:

Tools Needed

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Exacto Knife
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Coping Saw


Inspirational Photo

Here’s a screenshot of an actual Pip-Boy 3000 from the Fallout games.



Video Tutorial

The folks at HyperPropsFx have put together an excellent video tutorial and they are also the ones who developed the above stencils. I would suggest watching this video tutorial in its entirety before undertaking the project as some things become clearer later on in the video.


Suggested Alterations

Based on my experience creating my Pip-Boy from watching this video I would make a couple of suggestions:

  • The folks at Home Depot/Lowe’s etc. where you will get the majority of your supplies are usually very helpful and I would have had them cut the PVC pipe to the suggested 7-inch Pip-boy size as well as the additional 2-inch piece (which gets further cut down) before I left the store so that I wouldn’t have had to saw it to specifications myself. I also would have had the dowel pieces cut as well.
  • The additional 2-inch piece that the video tells you to cut up and glue over the Pip-Boy don’t exactly fit as nicely as the one in the video. I had to work with stretching out the 3” piece and trying to flatten it out a bit and then cutting it down so that it would lay flat over the Pip-Boy, so expect to have to do a bit of adjusting with that, but it comes out looking great regardless.
  • Before gluing them on, I spray painted the small pieces of the dowel which are supposed to be the lights of the Pip-boy a maroon red to make them stand out more and seem like they are turned off lights.

Here’s my Fallout: New Vegas cosplay complete with Pip-Boy 3000!


I get so many compliments on my Pip-Boy 3000 and I’m really proud to tell people that I made it myself when they ask. I had never used a saw or spray paint before this project and I surprised myself about what I could accomplish with tools. In a future post I’ll tell you how I made these post-apocalyptic Nuka Cola bottle caps that are used as currency in the game:




About the Author

Executive Editor Ellyssa is the Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 35 books including her latest book Cosplay in Libraries: How to Embrace Costume Play in Your Library. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at Pratt Institute and Drexel University, and an international conference speaker. She's also an avid cosplayer and has appeared on the Cake Boss TV show as well as in the official music video for New York Comic Con and many other events. Contact her at

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