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Coolest Child’s Backhoe Costume

My son loves construction trucks and backhoes are his favorite by far. Of course that’s what he wanted to be for Halloween. We scoured the internet and found ONE picture of this sort of Child’s Backhoe Costume, but no directions.

In the end, to make this costume we needed:
3 yards yellow felt (or yellow paint and brushes)
1 yard black felt (or black paint)
1 John Deere Logo decal
3 diaper boxes
1 larger box
1 bottle Elmer’s Non-toxic glue, or glue gun if parent’s will be assembling
Clear packing tape
Two different sized round plates for templates
1 Box cutter or good scissors

We used the 3 diaper case boxes and 1 larger box to build the frame of the backhoe. I purchased all the felt and a John Deere decal at our local JoAnn’s fabric store. It cost about $12. We used an entire bottle of Elmer’s glue to get the felt to adhere to the outside surfaces ($3). We took a dinner plate and used it as a pattern for the cardboard wheels. We used a slightly smaller plate for the center of the wheels. We took the same plates as the pattern for the felt that we used to cover the cardboard wheels.

We took one of the diaper boxes (used Seventh Generation boxes) and cut out window areas on the top roof section of the first box. The second box was used as the base where my son would stand. We attached straps on the inside so it would ride on his shoulders. We used the last two boxes to make the bucket and shovel parts of the backhoe. This was mostly just cutting boxes and for the bucket we rolled it over our knees to get that rounded look. We made slits in certain parts of the bucket and shovel so we could fit them together. We attached the pieces of the backhoe together using the packing tape and using the slots we’d cut beforehand. Then we laid out all the felt and started cutting it to cover all the outside surfaces of the backhoe. That part took about 2 hours.

The total time for the costume was 6 hours. In hindsight a smaller box would have been just fine for the shovel and bucket—they were huge for our 2 ½ year old son. It meant our kid had a larger/heavier backhoe to wear around. I also would have painted the whole thing rather than glued felt over it if I was going to tell someone how to do it again. Overall the whole thing cost about $15, and took 6 hours total, but we had one happy kid.

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11 thoughts on “Coolest Child’s Backhoe Costume”

  1. If only I could be 3 again, I’d be begging for this. Brilliant costume in it’s simplicity in design, clear instruction, remarkable result. Well done!

  2. Thank you all so much for your comments! Our son loved his costume and drew a lot of attention at the Halloween parade. This could definitely be made in adult-size, just need bigger boxes. :)

  3. This is a great costume! Strange question, but if you still have it and aren’t using it, would you consider selling it? We live just north of fairfax and don’t have the time to make our own costume. I’ll check back on this site to see if you’ve responded. Thanks for taking the time to share the info.


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