My son, Jackson, is three years old. He struggles a little bit with his alphabet, but he can name every single Transformer, and quote directly from the movie. (What can I say, we focus on the important stuff in our family!) He frequently runs around the house, going from being on his hands and knees to standing and making the “transform” sound effect, before yelling, “Autobots, roll out!”
So when it came time to decide on a Halloween costume, there was no question, he wanted to be Optimus Prime. Money is extremely tight right now, and buying a costume was not an option, so I decided try to make a costume for the first time ever. Again, money is tight, so I created this costume on $8.00.
I purchased red, blue, and silver craft paint, super glue, two pieces of felt, and Velcro strips. My sister donated her two silver cheerleading leotard sets that I handstitched to fit him snugly. The arms of one of the sets fit his legs perfectly!
The helmet was a plastic fire hat that I cut the brim off of and painted blue. His chest was made from his little brothers baby wipe box, painted red. The base of his boots were Kleenex boxes, painted blue. The exhaust pipes were made from paper towel and toilet paper rolls. I made the tires from a cardboard roll mailer that we had in the basement and black electrical tape. All the other pieces – the shoulders, the wrist bands, the grill, part of the boots, the attachments of the helmet, and the mask were made from painted Capri Sun boxes.
It took me about three weeks to complete, but I have a three year old and a eight month old, so actual the time I spent on it was about four hours total! I was lucky to get in about eleven minutes of costume building a day!
The costume is held together by masking tape and lots of velcro. It was a lot of fun to make, and my husband (also a Transformer fan) was my consultant on authenticity. We modeled the costume after the 1980s cartoon of Optimus. I was surprised at my hidden talents. It may not have the most well designed costume, and given better resources I may have been able to make a more intricate suit, but my little boy wanted to be Optimus Prime, and if you ask him, he made the transformation.