In 2006, I wanted to make a homemade R2D2 costume that I could drive from the inside. You might not believe this but I am 5′ 11″ and 200 lbs and I fit in and drive this costume around!
I did a little research and printing out pictures and I came up with a basic plan how I wanted it to work. I thought hand drills would be a cool way to drive it with tank like hand grips. Discussing this project with my dad we started the project and several times thought about canceling the project. But we pushed ahead and finished it well before Halloween of 2006.
My brother Rodney made a couple machined parts that made up the wheel drives which were basically hand drill motors that drove a couple of rubber wheels with a friction transmission.
There is a camera in the front of R2D2, because I actually sit in reverse. The video originally was displayed on an Archos DVR (pre-tablet days). In the video, I was using my VGA i-glasses by virtual i/o from the 1990s… The reason I sat in reverse was mainly so R2D2 didn’t tip over from my weight.
There are two fans because it gets just a bit stuffy in there. There is also a speaker so I can play some sound effects. Also, special thanks to my son for the video editing :)
Here’s the R2D2 costume in action:
Here’s how I built this homemade R2D2 costume:
Awesome Quick and Easy R2D2 Costume
My grandson wanted to be R2D2 this year. How hard can that be, I asked.
I started with paper mache for the head, boy was that a mistake! It was messy and way too heavy! Luckily, that was the end to my hard, messy attempt. The rest was pretty simple and quick!
Using a yoga ball as a form, I covered it with plaster wraps. I bought the quick dry kind and was happy with how quickly they did dry! I didn’t remove it from the ball until the next day to make sure the outside was nice and dry. Then, I let it sit another day to make sure the inside was super dry. Since the head is much bigger than my grandson’s, I cut some slits in the top, ran some white duck tape through and taped his old bike helmet to the inside. I then balled up some duck tape, sticky side out, to stuff between the helmet and the head.
Next, came the spray paint. Again, I chose a quick dry type. I sprayed the whole thing silver, gave it a couple of coats, let it dry in between. Then, I let it completely dry overnight. I made a stencil to spray the blue center of the head. Yup, quick dry!Enjoy making your own R2D2 costume!
Easy and Mobile R2D2 Costume for a Child
I don’t like to turn down a special costume request…if we can find a way to make it, we will make it! My 8 year old daughter really wanted to be R2D2, the droid robot from Star Wars, for Halloween, but I was worried that she would not be able to move around much.
Her school has a costume parade, so she would be wearing her R2D2 costume to school all day. Therefore, the traditional trash-can R2D2 design was out. So we decided to go with a simple design that allowed for a great deal of mobility, while still capturing the iconic elements of the character. We also had to consider weather, because Halloween in Ohio can be quite cold.
The base of the costume is a simple white outfit: white pants, long sleeved white shirt, and white shoes. I created the detail on the front, back, and sleeves of the shirt using felt and fabric glue. We left the pants plain in order to focus the eye on the shirt. I took screenshots from the film to match the detail as closely as possible. Most of R2D2’s detail is on his front side, so I tried to recreate the most memorable features of the costume. Blue felt strips run down the sleeves to resemble R2D2’s legs. The back is mostly white/off white squares, like R2D2’s back in the film.
For R2D2’s trademark dome, we used a stainless steel mixing bowl. I padded the inside with a dish towel that we duct-taped in place. This kept the helmet from slipping around on her head. I also attached plain white ribbons that velcro’d under her chin. Next, I painted the helmet with acrylic paint. I used painter’s tape to create very straight lines. I found a gorgeous color called Pthalocyanine Blue that made the perfect color over top of the stainless steel. When the paint job was complete, I sprayed the whole helmet with clear coat to prevent scratches. The red indicator light is made from reflective tape. The round lens is a lens from a pair of costume John Lennon type glasses that I spray-painted black and hot glued in place. The protruding piece is a medicine cup that we spray painted black and attached with hot glue.
The reaction this costume got was amazing. My daughter was comfortable and could move easily, and had no problem going out trick or treating. So many people stopped and asked if they could take her picture! Our family went to a comic book convention a few weeks after Halloween and she got to wear it again–the Star Wars fans went crazy over our little R2D2! Again, lots of photo requests and inquiries on how we constructed it.
The total time to create this costume was probably 6-8 hours, with most of the time consumed in painting the helmet. Total cost was under $30–including the shirt, pants, and mixing bowl. This was one of my favorite costumes I have constructed to date!
Homemade R2D2 Halloween Costume
Creating this R2D2 costume was fun and exciting! First we took a regular light weight trash barrel and cut out the bottom and flipped it upside down. Next it was spray painted white and then the detail painting was done and holes were cut.
For the dome, We covered a yoga ball with paper mache about 4 layers and the deflated the ball. I then cut holes and then spray painted the dome. Finally, paint work on the dome by hand also. For his legs, we used plastic fencing slats. And to finish it off, he got wheels, round bike light, and wireless speaker attached to a continuous feed of R2D2 sounds.
Cool Homemade Child’s R2D2 Costume Made from a Collapsable Laundry Basket!
My son is obsessed with Star Wars, so I wanted to make that our theme for Halloween. However, I’m not a fan of any of the cheap costumes that are sold in store, and I always like my son to stand out and be a little different. So every year I make his costume. This year we were R2D2 and Princess Leia.
I made my son’s R2D2 costume from a round, collapsible, mesh, laundry basket, and the top is is big plastic flower pot. The body of the costume is covered in pleather and details are added with duct tape on both the body and head. I also added lights to the blue and red circles in the front, along with a white light in the back.
I took my son to Disneyland for a “Mickey’s Halloween Party” event and everyone LOVED his costume. Not just the park goers, but the cast members as well. Word even traveled around the park through the cast members about the little boy dressed up like R2D2. Everyone loved his costume and wanted to take pictures with him. He was pretty popular.
Coolest Homemade C3P0 and R2D2 Costume
This is one of the Star Wars Halloween costumes that is fun to make. My oldest son was Darth Vader and my youngest son was Yoda, so keeping with the Star Wars theme I had to come up with a character for my middle son. I kept searching for something to catch my eye, but none of the store costumes were cute for a 3 year old. So, we decided to make an R2D2 costume.
We started with just white poster board for the cylinder. I stapled elastic for the shoulder straps. Then we just drew most of the details and added a little felt here and there for buttons. For the hat, I took an old white mixing bowl. I glued grey felt all over the outside. I purchased some blue duct tape from a local craft store and cut out the blue squares and I also taped the edge of the bowl with the blue tape.
I painted a wooden drawer knob silver I got from the hardware store and placed it on top and on the side (I had an R2-D2 toy to go by for the details). I used half Styrofoam ball painted black for the "eye”. We just taped the R2-D2 helmet to his bicycle helmet when we went trick or treating. For the legs we just used some Styrofoam packing, cut it into two pieces, and attached with wire.
I hope you enjoy the pictures (There's even one of my 5 year old wearing it.)
Total Spent: $5-$6
More R2D2 Costume Ideas
Take a look at all the R2D2 Costume ideas on the site.