Coolest DIY Transformers Family Costume

Introducing Kian as Optimus Prime, Riley as Starscream, and Anita as Bumblebee.

Riley about the Halloween costumes: I have always loved getting dressed up for Halloween and theme parties, but my poor fine motor skills left some of the details of my costumes lacking. That all changed when I met my wife, Anita, in 2015. Her mom once said, “Give her a scissor, some glue, and a bucket of garbage, and she will be busy for hours!” She has an incredible combination of creative vision and the ability to make those visions realities. Each year our outfits have become more and more complex. This year, our nearly four year old son, Kian, who is obsessed with Transformers, insisted on being Optimus Prime for Halloween. Soon after, he decided that I should be Starscream and my wife should be Bumblebee. For the next two months, our living room was an all-out construction site!

Anita took a number of ideas from web sites and Youtube videos (the one she watched most was made by transformerskids) but, for a big part, she designed our outfits herself. She struggled the most with my Starscream outfit for two reasons: 1. The scale of making an outfit like this for a grown man is a lot more challenging than making the same thing for a small child. 2. The mechanisms that allow the wings to lift and flip were finicky and complicated. But, she made it work!

One of the cool things about these outfits is that they cost very little. They consist almost exclusively of cardboard, glue, random scraps, and spray paint. The lack of monetary value is more than made up for by the investment of time and effort that went into them. I very, very roughly estimate that there is about 80 hours of work into the three costumes…though it would not surprise me if it was actually more. Nights and weekends were busy at our house. I don‘t think a day went by in the two month period that work was not put in.

Another thing that was very cool was how involved Kian was. He definitely takes after his mother when it comes to fine motor skills and crafting! He was so used to using scissors, glue, cardboard, and other tools that it was easy for him to help…and he loved it! He even got to try some new things like spray painting. I would never think to have a kid his age do many of these things, but Anita had confidence in him…and Kian proved her right!

The last thing that I want to mention is the way people reacted to the costumes. My parents literally scheduled an international vacation around seeing the costumes’ completions, and they were blown away. We made numerous stops at family gatherings, a restaurant, and senior living facilities. If the smiles and laughter shown by all was not enough to know how much people enjoyed them, the literal standing ovations by many certainly did the trick!

It was another wonderful Halloween that certainly created fond memories that will last a lifetime!

Anita about the Materials: (There wasn’t much that I had to buy for these costumes as I tried to use things we had around the house) I put the price next to the pieces I did buy for these costumes.

  • A LOT of cardboard
  • More cardboard
  • hot glue
  • Spray paint (blue, red, silver, gray, yellow, black) $6.50/can
  • Painters tape
  • Paper towel rolls for detachable exhaust pipes
  • Magnets for exhaust pipes
  • Playing toy ball gun ($2 from dollar store)
  • Inside of aluminum roll
  • Some pipe insulation (on top of optimus)
  • Wine corks (part of the wheels)
  • Modge podge for starscream’s nose cone
  • Soccer shin guards to attach optimus’ back wheels $4
  • Rollerblade hand protection for optimus’ front wheels (can be taken off after halloween)
  • Caulk for caulking the edges of the costumes (only done for optimus prime)
  • Micro led lights $13 (for 5)
  • Mini puck lights led $19 (for 6)
  • Blue gloves for starscream $8
  • Red long sleeve for optimus
  • Blue pants for optimus
  • Yellow long sleeve, and black pants for bumblebee
  • Gray long sleeve and pants for starscream
  • License plate printouts
  • Fishing wire
  • 2 little hinges for starscream $4
  • A bent piece of a foam flooring tile for the inside front of optimus prime (to keep the cardboard box from pushing on my son’s neck)
  • I cut an old backpack apart and added the straps inside optimus prime so the cardboard isn’t sitting on my son’s shoulders.
  • I think that was it :)

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023

Leave a Comment