Halloween costumes in the past have always been shop bought, but this year we thought we would go down the homemade route, mainly prompted by the fact the kid’s new school likes them to come in wearing homemade costumes if possible and after being inspired by Susan and her fantastic cardboard creations.
Oli loved the idea of a claw machine and after browsing more homemade claw machines on Pinterest, and in between his laughter, he requested that we make one of those for his Halloween costume. Now typically I like to leave things to last minute so hadn’t even picked out a box before receiving a text from school on a Tuesday morning to say they could come in, in their costumes on Thursday. Instant regrets for costume choice then, that gave me just that day and the Wednesday to create something out of nothing!
Now I’m now crafting expert, I’m not even a fan of crafting, but we do these things for the kids right? So there’s no step by step tutorial from me as everything I did was made up as I went along. Now the first thing was finding a box, no worries for us seeing as we’ve just moved house and are surrounded by nothing but boxes. I then had Oli stand in the box as I marked where I was going to cut the front and the sides out as well as the bottom part, it was a guessing game to get the frame sorted. Then we painted it white as a basecoat and to help cover up the words ‘Charlotte’s bedroom’, this was left to dry before then starting with our chosen claw machine colour of red.
So while that was drying, it was time to figure out the technical side to it. I was raiding the recycling for all shapes of boxes to try to create the joystick part, at one point I had a toilet roll on top of a box and it just was not looking right, cue me sat there was with a sulking look, I had got that far with the box, I didn’t want the rest of it to throw it off. Then I had my hands on a box which housed an Amazon Echo just the day before, and inside was black, so I turned it inside out, and there went any need to paint that part. The Man suggested a pencil with a ball, the ball part being the game changer, I couldn’t find the ping pong balls I knew we once and I found the perfect thing in an arts & craft shops, foam Christmas decoration balls (they probably had a different name) so I had a small white foam ball which we chose to colour in yellow then popped it into the box using a black pencil. Continuing our going with the flow, we added a hole for the ‘toy’ to come out from, and I attached a yellow paper napkin for the door flap.
The rest of the details like the glass windows were simply created using clear cellophane, the words like ‘The Claw’ and 50c were done on the computer and printed out, if I had more time I would have painted these by hand and would have even add some lights around ‘The Claw’ to have made it more authentic. We still hadn’t decided what we were going to do with the toys part to the claw machine until the night before we thought he could wear the BB8 hat he got from Disneyland as we could fill it with our Star Wars itty bitty toys, therefore making it a Star Wars Claw machine!
Come the morning when he put on the hat, we discovered that the mouse ears made it difficult for him to wear the machine, queue a frantic hunt for something else. Their fancy dress box is still yet to make its journey over to Ireland but thankfully in one of my clothes boxes was my Darth Vader costume which did the trick (when did my son get so tall?) and also provided him for a costume to wear when the box came off. He had an inner shelf around him which sat all the toys and would have had the lollipop for him to hand out if I didn’t forget them, joys of staying up until early hours to complete something! Safe to say he loved his costume and it was a hit with all his friends!
Of course, Charlotte wanted in on the box fun when we started making Oli’s so we had a quick google of box costume ideas for her and can you guess what she spotted and instantly wanted to make?
Yep, she wanted to be Barbie in a box! This one was much easier than the claw machine; we already had a box which had a front opening, so I didn’t have to do any cutting work to the box, it was more painting than anything else. The only extras I added on was a cellophane front, and I printed out material including my own warning sign which stated ‘This doll comes to life, it walks, it talks. And it keeps talking. There is no off button. And it wants your candy’.
We didn’t have any pink dresses for her to wear and considering the weather not being that warm, I put her in a colourful long sleeve dress with she teamed with some tights. We did try and make an effect with a pink wig (from a Harley Quinn cosplay with the ponytails removed) some very bright makeup, complete with bright pink lippy and a huge hair bow. She loved her costume, and as she walked into her playground all the kids flocked around her, she loved the attention, and I was happy we did something homemade for her as well.
The costumes were big hits on Halloween as well! Charlotte wore her pink coat underneath which kept her warm, and we took the cellophane away so that she could see better in the dark and hold her candy bag. Oli didn’t fancy wearing the claw machine out that evening which worked well for us as we took away the cellophane and popped it over Dylan’s pushchair, and he was happy enough to sit in his stroller with it around him. They had the most fantastic evening and came back with enough candy to last them until next Halloween!