I was inspired by many of the ideas on this site, and set out to create a Homemade Thomas the Tank Engine Unique Halloween Costume Idea for my 2 and a half year old.

We used two boxes for the body (well, one box for the front and then two paper box lids that are duct taped together for the back, taller box). They were painted blue with acrylic paint and then hot glued together. The flaps on the main box were taped so they stayed “open.” Once the blue dried, I used masking tape to tape off the black areas and painted those, then the red areas.

The front is a cardboard hat box that was painted black. I used silver poster board for the face, and hand painted the eyes, nose, etc. using a black paint marker. I did cheat a bit and found some canned goods that were the right size for the eyes and the round shape of the nose so I had something to trace. The buffers are just tiny versions of the large hat box that I found at the craft store.

I used red electrical tape for the red outlines, and yellow foam for the number 1, whistles, and round windows. The wheels and silver bar are made of foam board. The inner circles on the wheels (we called them hubcaps) are actually the bottoms of paper cups that were cut off, painted blue and glued on. The smoke stack is a round oatmeal box that was painted black, and was a great place to put candy.

The straps are elastic, held on by industrial strength Velcro that’s attached to the underside of the box (they cross in the back).

Overall, this project probably took about a week (working for about 1-2 hours each night) and cost about $20-$30 for supplies. Definitely worth it. I hope he wears it again next year – or maybe I’ll paint all the blue areas green and he can be Percy instead.