Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Last Minute Halloween DIY: Robot Costume

Every year I like to make my kids' Halloween costumes, but pretty much every year I find myself leaving it to the last minute. I always have good intentions to get the costumes made early - I usually  have all the materials purchased months in advance - but when it comes to the actual making of said costumes, I always leave it to the very last minute. It probably doesn't help that October is always a super busy month in our home with Lola's birthday right in the middle of the month and many of our favorite festivals in the lead up to Halloween.

One thing I always try to do when making the kids' Halloween costumes, is work with clothes that they already have in their closet. Rather than full costumes, I like to make accessories that work with regular clothes. That way the accessories can be worn for much longer for dress up play

I'm sure that there are plenty of other parents out there like me who leaves costumes to the very last minute, so all this week I'm going to be sharing some super simple last minute costume DIYs.

First up we have a simple robot costume!


This costume is really easy to make and mostly consists of items you'll have at home - including recycling! You can make it to pretty much any size (just use a bigger or smaller box) and can decorate it anyway you like. You could paint the box or use silver contact paper to cover it, but I like to use duct tape to cover it as it strengthens the costume as well. We all know that Halloween costumes take a bit of a beating by the time trick or treating is over, so anything that makes the costume stronger is good in my books!


Here's a look at how I made Mathilde's robot costume...

What you'll need:
Grey long pajamas (I like these from primary.com) or leggings and long sleeve top
Cardboard box large enough to fit child's torso
Plastic bottle lids
Silver duct tape
Split pin paper fastener
Silver pipe cleaners
Silver hair glitter (I used Redken Metal Fix)
Box cutter
Hot glue gun


To start off you'll need to find a box that fits your child's torso. We get a lot of Amazon deliveries to our home so I had an assortment of boxes to try out, but ultimately decided to go with an old diaper box as it fit Mathilde perfectly. Amazon boxes are much stronger though, so if you have one that fits go with that. Tape up the box securely using the duct tape.

Cut out the bottom of the box and tape around the edges to make sure that it is still held together securely.

You'll now need to cut out head and arm holes. For the head hole I traced around a soup bowl slightly larger than Mathilde's head. Make sure it's centered on the top of the box and trace around it with a pen. Cut out the circle with a box cutter. For the arm holes I found a glass that was just the right size to comfortably fit Mathilde's arms. You'll need to make sure that the arm holes are large enough for movement. Trace around the glass on each side about an inch down from the top. Cut out with the box cutter.


Before you start decorating, it's always a good idea to have your child try on the box. Mathilde was convinced she already looked like a robot just like this!


Now to start covering the box in duct tape. Start by covering along the edges. One thing that I like about decorating with duct tape is that you don't need to use scissors as it is easy to rip. To cover around the round edges just place a strip of tape across the edge, rip it to the edge of the cardboard and then fold over the edge and smooth down. The tape is pretty flexible so it's pretty easy to smooth out lumps. To keep the round edges smooth it's best to make multiple rips and fold smaller sections over at a time.


Once all of the edges are covered it's time to cover the whole box. Working from the top cover the box one strip at a time until you reach the bottom. As the box I used had colorful graphics on it I needed two layers of tape to completely cover it without the graphics showing through. If your box is plain you can use just one layer.


Once the box is completely covered in duct tape you can start decorating. I felt like the robot body needed something other than just buttons so I made a simple dial screen to add to it as well. You can find a template here. I printed the dial onto sticker paper, but you can always just print it onto regular paper and glue it on. I cut the arrow out of cardboard and covered it with black masking tape. I poked a hole through both the arrow and the box (at the point where the colors on the dial meet) with a skewer and then used a split pin to secure them together. Mathilde loves that the arrow spins.


Mathilde and I then worked out her chosen placement for the bottle top "buttons" and I glued them in place using a hot glue gun. Just run a little of the hot glue around the edge of the lid and stick it down. The glue is pretty strong so you won't need a lot.


Once the glue is dried it's time to put the costume on!

Dress your child in the grey pajamas and carefully place the robot box over their head. I tied Mathilde's hair into two little buns. I made the mistake of doing this before putting the box on her which meant I had to fix her hair up a little. It's easiest to put the box on before doing hair. I wrapped a piper cleaner around each of her buns and pointed them upwards like antennae. I then "painted" the silver glitter onto her hair with my fingers. 


All done!


 Time for a robot dance!


Grab your pumpkin bucket and go get some candy. Trick or treat!


I'll have some more simple costume DIYs coming soon so stay tuned.

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