Our son Thomas absolutely loves trains, so my husband decided to craft him a Homemade Thomas the Train Costume made completely of recycled or left over materials around our home. We used various items such as: foam, cardboard, wood, paper plates, foam peanuts, straws, paint, caulking, empty toddler food containers, foil, paper mache & old flashlights. My husband even got the "lights" on the front and back of the train working! And put realistic "coal" made of foam peanuts in back! Our little engineer Thomas rides around in his Thomas that also has detailed interior consisting of "pipes" and handles. Seeing our son's face light up seeing this for the first time made every second worth it!
The process of creating this was rather simple. My husband designed the train using a drafting program. He then cut out the pieces from large card board boxes and framed the insides of the cardboard with wood, to make it sturdy. He then began gluing the pieces together and then applied a second "layer" to the train by using foam board for extra support and a smooth surface to paint. He then caulked any edges that were not flush. While waiting for this to dry, I made the paper mache face after making a clay mold for it. We then painted the entire body over several days allowing it to dry, and also add detail. After adding the face to the front, my husband added lights to the front and back, putting lights in each of the old flashlights (led lights connected to batteries) to allow them to light/flash just like a real train! Using old small boxes and a paint stick we made a controller for the interior and used paper and foil covered straws for various other interior pipes and pieces. This was such a fun craft to work on together as a family.
We are expecting a second son in January so we're planning on next year's costume for both boys already!