This year I took an idea of a Homemade Hot Air Balloon Halloween Costume off this web site and ran with it. The hot air balloon I created started out as a laundry basket. I cut the bottom out of it; then I wove rope through the slots on the front and back of the basket. I saved four long wrapping paper tubes from Christmas 08 just for this costume.

Using newspaper, I stuffed the tubes at least ¾ ways full for sturdiness and taped them to the basket with duck tape, continued taping all the way to the top of the tubes. I pushed four small (in diameter) 4ft in length dowel rods throw two foam craft circles. Place one circle at each end of the rods. Leave enough rods at the bottom to place the rods into the top of paper tubes. I used string around the rod above and below the craft circles to tie the balloons on.

At this point, I spray-painted everything with a nice brown color. When dry I wrapped bright yellow rope around the top edge of the basket and the four long tubes. I bought long balloon animal balloons with an air pump! Inflated the balloons and tied one end to the bottom string under a craft circle and the other end to the top string above a craft circle.

You can adjust the craft circles distance from each other, placing them closer together makes your balloons round outward for the hot air balloon effect. I used string to bring the tubes closer together and bread ties to tie the top balloon section the bottom basket section.

For extra detail, I stuffed brown paper bags with newspaper, tied bright colored rope around the top to make the bags look like sandbags. I wore a hat with flames on it, a pair of goggles, and a scarf! To get the costume on and off I just put it over my head and pulled in on like a shirt til the basket rested around my waist. I practiced bending at the waist so I could be under doorframes, as the total height had to be at least 9 foot. I was also able to set down making this giant more comfortable.

I spent $1 on rope, $10 on balloons, $1 on dowel rods, and $3 on tape for a total of $15.00. I entered three contests and won 1st place in all of them. I won $190.00 in cash and prizes! Tons of people took my picture and I got mega attention! I love Halloween!