My 4 year old son absolutely LOVES Transformers. Last year he wanted to be Optimus Prime. I bought one of those cheap Walmart costumes with the little jumpsuit and plastic parts. I hated it! When he told me he wanted to be Bumblebee this year I looked at the same type of costume and was even more disappointed than the previous year.
I'm not very crafty but decided I would try making one myself. With the help of some tips from other costumes on this website and few alterations of my own, this is what I came up with. I think it turned out GREAT!
I started by tracing my son on a large piece of butcher paper. Then I drew out all the pieces over the tracing. I cut out the pieces and traced them onto the camping foam. I used a craft knife to cut them out. I made 2 identical cut out pieces of each shape (except for the feet and the wings) and then glued them together to give the costume a thicker and more dimensional look. The camping foam likes to stay rolled up so I used a blow dryer to straighten it out. After all the pieces were cut out I started carving in the details on each piece.
After each piece was finished I started painting. I Modge Podge'd each piece before painting it because I was afraid the spray paint would eat the foam. It worked out great except when I glued all the pieces together and put the straps on. The Modge Podge comes right off with a little pressure so everything had to be re glued directly to the foam. After I did that everything stayed together great. Make sure you use a low heat glue gun so you don't melt the foam.
When I started painting I started with two coats of white primer. Then painted each piece with the primary color that the piece would be. I did all the detailing with acrylic paint then sealed it all with another coat of Modge Podge for that shiny affect. For the autobot symbols I found the images online and then just Modge Podge'd them to the costume. I used elastic straps to attach all the pieces to my son however I used Velcro to attach the wings to his back.
For the helmet I just layered the entire helmet with foam and attached the dimensional feature and then painted the whole thing.
By the time Halloween was over and we had been to a number of different parties and trick or treating the costume was still intact! The paint had chipped a little but other than that it was still in great shape and my son had a fantastic Halloween. All in all it took about 12 hours of work (not including paint drying time) but it was completely worth it to see that smile on my little guys face! Enjoy!
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