18 October 2014

#DIY Thomas the train halloween costume

I have been browsing the shops (both online and physical ones) for a costume that Riley would like to wear. The #halloween costumes they have in SM are too large for Riley. Even though the salesperson was insisting it will fit him, the pant legs are too long and the sleeves are tight. I found a cute firefighter costume at Mothercare but the price made me hesitate since he would not wear it often. I searched online to see if someone is selling a dinosaur or Thomas and friends costume but all of them are overseas.

Then I saw this site that made a kick-ass #Thomas the train costume for her boy!

I'm thinking it looks like I can do it (not the 3D face though!). Not perfectly but I can try. Why not?! We have tons of carton boxes at the back and I only need to buy a few supplies to color and make Thomas come to life.


I have chosen a box that is the right size for Riley. Something not too heavy for him to carry and has a double wall of carton to make it sturdy. I followed the pattern shown from Little Red Window, or at least I tried to make it close enough since our box dimensions are not the same. I taped the edges to close them and made sure that it would not break apart easily.

cover from Chef Tony's popcorn
I cut some circles from the carton to form the wheels. I only needed three circles as I only needed a half circle for the wheel.

The last wheel did not exactly fit perfectly so I had to trim it a bit. A bit lopsided, I know! I tried not to let it bother me as I am sure it would take me a while to make it perfect. I used a combination of glue, double sided tape, and packaging tape to stick those wheels under the carton. First I inserted the half wheel in the space between the double carton and the double sided tape is used here. When it is in place, I glued the edges to seal it. When the glue was dry, I taped it to make sure it is attached. Sinong segurista?! Me! 

At this stage I let Riley try out the train by letting him push it around. Well the wheels did not hold up from the abuse so I had to reinforce the wheels so they are 3 times thicker. I left the glue to dry overnight. After another round of testing to see if the wheels are better, I asked my husband to spray paint the body for me. I bought this can spray paint from the bookstore for around P250. And it did not cover the print on the body! It was transparent. Apparently, the carton was so porous that is soaked up the paint even after 2 coatings. Shifting to Plan B, I carefully cut colored paper (you can buy them in big sheets) to cover the whole body. Then using styrofoam and a styrofoam cutter, I made the circle for the face. I used black poster paint for the outside area of the face. And silly me. I forgot how poster paint transfers to your hand/body easily! So I had to cover the paint with packaging tape to prevent a messy situation.

Looking good!
I made long strips of styrofoam for the red bumper and attached it using glue all around the bottom portion. For the details, I made the pattern and number using Adobe Illustrator. The funnel was made from toilet paper roll. Finally, I downloaded the face from this site (thank you!).

Meet Thomas the train!

Cute right? My husband was asking if I can make him a Percy costume so he can match Riley's Thomas costume. Is he kidding me?! Luckily, he is...

So far he is playing with it by pushing it around. I have not placed the ribbons to make the carton hang from his shoulders yet. But so far, he is happy to step inside and make choo-choo noises as he goes around the living room. And it is still in one piece! Hopefully it will last until the Halloween festivities.

This actually took me almost two weeks to make as I only did it on the weekends. I'll try and get a decent image of Riley wearing it. So far it is hard as he is too fast for my lagging camera!

Hopefully, I can make him another DIY costume next year.


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