Coolest Homemade R2D2 Star Wars Costume

Over the summer, I asked my 7 year old son what he wanted to be for Halloween. After seeing Star Wars for the first time, he recently became a huge Star Wars fan. So, of course, he answered ‘R2D2’. I assumed that there would be a costume that I could get pretty cheaply before Halloween, and then his costume would be done, but in searching online, I was only able to find R2D2 toddler costumes that were basically little onesies. I had seen an idea online where someone had used a bowl for R2D2’s head and a poster board wrapped around the body for a costume with no picture. To me, that just did not seem strong enough to last through several Halloween parties and Halloween itself.

So, I began my search for alternate ideas of a Homemade R2D2 Star Wars Costume. I thought of wrapping foam with a similar idea, using Styrofoam rings as a base for the poster board, and even using concrete forms from Home Depot. But, it was finally at Home Depot where I saw a gray ‘bullet trash can’ that immediately reminded me of R2D2, but I wasn’t too keen on painting it white, knowing it wouldn’t look as good, but it was a start. That became my inspiration.

I then spent August looking all over St. Louis for a better white bullet trash can, or at least white round trash cans large enough, but I couldn’t find any. Finally, at Garden Ridge, I found this perfect trash can for 12.99. I was concerned about how we do the head, and I envisioned him wearing the top of the trash can as a hat, and then the bottom with suspenders. But, my husband thought it would look better to keep in one piece, so he sawed holes in the sides for arms, and cut off a piece of the top of the trash can for my son’s head to show through. We also put suspenders inside the trashcan so he wasn’t carrying all the weight on his head.

We also lined the inside of the trash can top with foam. Next step was painting R2D2. Luckily, my son had a Star Wars magazine dedicated to the ‘real’ R2D2 and the actor who played him. I was able to use all of the pictures from that magazine to determine how the front, back and top should be painted. I then went to Michael’s Crafts to buy metallic blue and metallic silver paint. And, also a black paint pen to outline when I was done.

By starting to paint in September, I was able to take my time in getting the design down in pencil first before painting. I allowed my son to help me paint since it was his costume. For the arms, I ended up just buying a white long sleeved shirt from Walmart, and used $1 blue ribbon from Michaels to sew a stripe down the arms. For the pants, he wore white baseball pants that he already had. As an added bonus, at the checkout counter at Target, we found a $5 toy called ‘Yada Yada’ which is a mini tape recorder device. My husband and son recorded some R2D2 noises from the Star Wars movie on the device, so my son was also able to sound like R2D2 also.

It was a hit with his first grade class. The rest of the family dressed in store purchased costumes, Princess Leia, Darth Maul, and our dog was Yoda.

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023

5 thoughts on “Coolest Homemade R2D2 Star Wars Costume”

  1. You did an outstanding job on that costume. It was amazing my daugter saw it and loved it too. So cute great Mom or Dad to take the all the time to make something so special for your son. He will never forget it!

  2. I have a 7 year old who will be Luke Skywalker in the X-wing pilot suit. His little brother (2-yr old) will be R2D2. I brought a smaller trash can from Garden Ridge (thank you so much for the idea). I can’t wait to decorate it.

  3. This costume is awesome! I feel like I have a few questions but I’ll try and narrow it down.
    – Did you fasten the top of the trash can to the bottom?
    – Did you cut off the bottom of the trash can so his feet could fit through?
    Thanks so much!

  4. I don’t recall what size – it was the only white trash can in St. Louis. Lol. We made suspenders for the bottom half. We cut out entire bottom.

    Note: My son is on the smaller end of the growth chart.

    Hope that helps.


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