To my surprise, my 5 yr. old son wanted to be Luke Skywalker as a X-Wing Pilot for Halloween (thanks to the Lego Star Wars games). Since it was not the popular character costume of the season, I needed to make his costume again. (I made his “Coolest Bumblebee Transformer Halloween Costume 24”). After researching movie images on-line I decided that the main components that I wanted to make were the chest box, flack vest, flight belt, and helmet.
The helmet was constructed on top of an old toy football helmet. I took the facemask off, but kept the chin guard. I sketched the design on the helmet and then built up the form by hot gluing strips of carved pink insulation foam (the kind you buy at home centers in large sheets). This enabled me to gain the “ram horn” and “Mohawk” forms of the helmet. To give it a smooth finish, I used brown paper towels and paper mache made from wheat paste. Once dry, I was able to sand the surface to get a smooth surface. I used acrylic paint, sharpie marker, and black contact paper to add details and color to the helmet. I used acrylic medium as a topcoat to give it a glossy finish. I finished it off by misting flat black spray paint to give it the look as if it has seen lots of action. The goggles were painted and glued in place. It was made from the lens of a pair of safety glasses. Unfortunately, he could not see through the lens. Finally, the microphone was made from a bent piece of wire wrapped in black electrical tape.
For the chest box, I roughed out the main shape from a piece of foam insulation (same as the helmet). I covered the foam with cut pieces of thin cardboard stock (purchased from Hobby Lobby in the paper section). This was also sanded to a smooth finish around the edges. The buttons, knobs, and switches were created from hardboard, carved wood, half of a snap (part of the helmet after I took off the facemask), and washers glued to a thimble that I filed down to size. Paint and more acrylic gel medium was used to complete the piece. Fabric webbing was slid through slots in the side of the box and secured on my son with purchased snap closures. I finished the look by attaching ribbed plastic sheathing, used to hide electrical wires, as the hose connecting to the chest box.
For the flack jacket and flight belt I had to learn to sew. Using a simple hand stitching method that I learned on- line, I used needle and thread to construct the elements of the vest and belt. I would recommend using the thimble before turning it into the dial on the chest piece. I bought some cheap cotton muslin for the backing of the vest. To get the ribbed appearance, I cut strips from a type of curtain backing. I found this in the curtain / fabric section of hobby lobby (not even sure it’s real purpose). It has a hollow channel running the length, so I filled it with rope pieces to give it volume. I sewed layer after layer to give the ribbed effect. Webbing was sewn in place for the shoulder straps and Velcro was used on the sides to connect the front and back pieces. The flight belt was straps sewn together and I again used a snap closure to connect the belt once it’s slid on. This allowed my son to hang his toy light saber on his costume as well as look more authentic. I couldn’t find any orange sweats for my son to wear under his costume, but fortunately we found a cheap “NASA” flight suit costume that he wore under the constructed elements that I made.
The Homemade Luke Skywalker Pilot Costume is very solid and has survived a five year old running around in it for several evenings. Since I had some of the art materials already, and the helmet was donated, the entire cost of this costume was below $40. Have fun and get creative.