How to Make a Ghostbusters Proton Pack

If you see something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? A Ghostbuster, of course. But you won't be very effective against the supernatural without your own homemade proton pack for zapping and catching the ectoplasmic nasties. It will take some time, but you can construct your own proton pack with some items you may have laying around your house.

Attach two straps for your shoulders to a sturdy medium-size cardboard box. The box should be tall and wide enough to fit on your back, but no more than about 4-inches deep. Cut two slits at each of the four strap attachment points. Each slit in a set should be wide enough for the strap to slide through, with at least 1 inch of cardboard between the slits. Slide the strap through one slit, behind the cardboard and out the other slit, then hot glue the end of the strap so it is secured. This is the proton pack base.

Cut a hole in the center of the large plastic lid big enough to fit a bolt. Use the craft knife to cut a similar size hole in the proton pack base, near the bottom. Put a washer on the bolt and put the bolt through the hole in the pack base from the inside. Slip the plastic lid over the bolt, put on another washer and secure the assembly with a nut. This is the proton generator plate.

Glue the four small plastic lids to the larger lid with epoxy. Space them evenly around the center.

Hot glue one small shoebox vertically to the proton pack base in the upper left. Glue the other shoebox horizontally to the upper right part of the pack base.

Attach old vacuum cleaner hoses to various portions of the proton pack using epoxy and duct tape. The actual design of the proton packs in the "Ghostbusters" movies and cartoon series varies, so the exact placement of hoses is according to your taste. One hose with a wand attachment should connect to the upper right shoebox. That hose will serve as the ghost blaster.

Cut two holes in a tissue box big enough to fit over the ghost blaster. Pull the box to within 4 inches of the hose attached to the blaster. Tape the box to the hose with duct tape.

Glue one end of a flat ribbon cable to the proton generator plate with epoxy. Twist the cable once and glue the other end to the proton pack base anywhere near the top.

Cut several vacuum attachments down to tube shapes using the saw. Use the saw or a craft knife to cut out circles from the acrylic sheet, then use the circles and some epoxy to seal one end of each tube. Attach the open ends of the tubes to various places on the proton pack base using hot glue. Arrange the tubes in any pattern you like.

Hot glue TV cables to the tubes and to other parts of the proton pack.

Paint your proton pack black with silver or metallic gray details. Use red and yellow paint to create various warning labels such as "high voltage," "radiation hazard" or "caution: ectoplasmic charge." Make up other serious or tongue-in-cheek labels.


You can use online pictures as guides if you want a more "authentic" prop.

Spare plastic car parts, such as old distributor caps or fusebox covers, make excellent add-ons for your proton pack.

About the Author

Tad Cronn is a professional journalist living in Los Angeles. His columns have appeared in the "Los Angeles Daily News," the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," the "Orange County Register" and other publications. He is an award-winning illustrator, author of "The Lynx," and an experienced handyman, model builder and gamer.