Cut a circular base from the foam board. Cut a hole in the foam board base for your head. Hot glue the sombrero to the foam board, ideally centered over the hole. When you realize that the sombrero is, in fact, not centered over the hole, cut away more foam board so that your head will fit into the sombrero. Hot glue huge amounts of bubble wrap around the base and over the sombrero. Hot glue the tap lights onto the bubble wrap. Align the 6 battery packs for the LED string lights around the base of the foam board and hot glue them in place. Wrap part of the LED strings around the base to further light up the inside and tape them in place. Cut the sleeves off the ugly shirt and then hot glue it over the top of the bubble wrap, tap lights and LED strings. Cut little holes in the fabric to pull the LED strings through. Turn the monstrosity over. Cut the middle wires from the shower poufs and hot glue them to the bottom of the base to make some pretty realistic tentacles. Add some ribbon. After 4 pretty serious burns to your fingers and glue EVERYWHERE, you'll have something that looks like this:
Decide it's not obnoxious enough and add more ribbon and more sparkly wire decor things. Put on the tie-dyed tights and the blue shirt. Realize you are going to be really cold because it's 50 degrees out and getting colder. Add a blue sweatshirt. Put the 5 pound monstrosity on your head. Keep your head tilted slightly to make up for the off-center hole in the base.
Ta Da! You are a jellyfish!
Show up at the 2012 Firefly Run with your awesome and supportive friends. Tap the three lights on the top and flip the 6 switches on the base for the LED strings so that you glow. It would be good if you remember to keep your head tilted so your costume doesn't tilt.
Wander around the area so that everyone can see you. At this point you will also get the opportunity to pose for about a thousand pictures with strangers because they all think your costume is so awesome!
Time Out: Put the jellyfish costume in the car, run the 5K, put the jellyfish costume back on.
Walk around the finish line/party area some more. Take more photos. Then supply your awesome and supportive friends with cowbells.
Enter the Costume Contest. Make your friends cheer loudly and shake the cowbells rowdily during the audience voting portion. (Side note - the rules on the Firefly Run website specifically state that you do NOT have to run in your costume. Otherwise, I would have sucked it up and tilted my head while precariously balancing that jellyfish for the full 3.1.)
After a tense moment when it comes down to you and the guy with the awesome, but a little too realistic Ghostbusters costume, win the costume contest! Claim the prize - a new generation iPad! Woo hoo!
Play with the iPad all day on Sunday and then realize that it really isn't what you want, because you'd really rather have a laptop with a keyboard. Decide to sell it. Box it back up. Advertise the iPad on your work classifieds for $450, $49 plus tax less that what they are selling for at Target and Best Buy. Collect your cash.
VOILA!!! That is how you do it! $80 is now $450!!
And for reading this far, I'll give you a bonus story of a very sore loser. This lady was dressed as a fish bowl. I went up to her before the race and made a joke about how we belong together. She just looked at me. I explained that I was just joking because I was a fish and she was a fish bowl...get it? She turned and walked away. Okay... After the costume contest (in which she didn't even make the audience-selected Top 4), she came up to me. I thought she was going to congratulate me, cuz, you know, I'm really awesome and all! Brian had us pose for this picture before she started the conversation. Note the forced half-ass smile.
She said, "Can I ask you how you came up with your costume idea?" I answered, "I thought of things that glow or light up and I thought a jellyfish would be cute. Then I looked online for jellyfish costumes, thinking I was really clever. Turns out there are a bunch of jellyfish costume pictures online! Who knew?! One site even had directions." Smile. She didn't return the smile. She said in a quite accusatory tone, "It's just that last year's winner was a jellyfish." Me, confused: "There was a Firefly Run last year?" Sore Loser: "It was in a different city." This was said over her shoulder as she was walking away. Wow. She must really have wanted the iPad.