I decided to make a hot air balloon costume for my 1 year old son G, he hadn’t been walking long so I was afraid if I attached the costume to him he would topple over. I decided to use a cardboard box covered in brown paper weaving strips in and out to give a “basket effect” (I got the paper from the local dollar tree). I also added some cheap piping insulation for around the top of the box to give it more of a rounded edge ( purchased for around $1.50 a package, I had plenty left over).
I cut the back off of the box and used ribbon to wrap around the stroller and tie in a bow so the basket part of the costume could easily be removed. After cutting to size I painted four PVC pipes brown, and wrapped with some left over jute from another project ( you can get it at most craft stores for around $2. I then screwed to embroidery hoops (I already had but can be purchased at any local craft store. I used the biggest I had on hand) to the PVC pipes.( I attached the PVC pipes to the jogging stroller once we got to the events, it only took a few seconds and we had to do it that way because it wouldn’t have fit out the front door and we wouldn’t of had a way to transport the costume fully constructed).
I attached balloons by knotting each end on the hoops. ( I would recommend doing this step the day of because the balloons do start to go flat over night ( I purchased the balloons from Walmart for around $1.50 per package, I think I used 3 packages each time). I added a sign made from the flap of a random diaper box and some old left over scrap book paper and jute. I also attached “sand bags ” they were just brown paper bags stuffed with plastic bags and attached with jute. My son wore a hat with ear flaps he already had and a pair of his dad’s goggles).
Everyone loved his costume, he won 1st place in the local pumpkin fest parade and contest. Other kids enjoyed coming to see him and took a lot of pictures with him and his costume and he was on the local news. He also won a contest the local mall held. My son loved all the attention he got from the older children, and I love creating a costume for him. My mom used to do it with us. Store bought costumes just aren’t as fun. I enjoy challenging myself to make a unique costume under $20.
This year I spent $4 total on pvc
$1.50 per package of balloons 3 per time dressed up 2 times so $9 on balloons
$1 on brown paper
$1 on zip ties
$ 1.50 pipe insulation
The rest I had on hand but I think this costume could still be made for under $25 if purchasing all the items.