Friday, October 19, 2012

Digger Costume Part 1

Halloween Costume Series #6

How to Make a Toddler Digger (Excavator) Costume

Finally I've gotten to the last costume in my series!  My little Adventurer's Digger Costume.  My sweet little Adventurer is 25 months old and is in LOVE with construction work, big equipment, and tools.  We really don't push any stereotypical boy toys or activities, but we let our sons discover this stuff all on their own.  
When we bought the Little Stone Cape back in February, there was a lot of odd jobs to do and my husband had his tools out and was working on some project or other for weeks.  The Adventurer became obsessed with tools then.  And this summer we visited my parents three hours away.  My dad, who is an excavator/foreman for a plumbing company, had a "digger" in his back yard for a project he was doing (the man does not know how to do anything small... like a certain daughter he has, lol).  My boys loved it.  My then 20 month old, especially, went nuts over it.  He now talks about papa and his digger A LOT.

Still though, when thoughts for a Halloween costume started going through my head, I was not thinking "digger" for him.  I actually thought my 3 year old would like to be a dinosaur, and my 2 year old would like to be an alligator (their favorite animals of the moment).  I asked them and instead got two very decided answers, "Pirate," and "digger, DIGGER!"  There is no way the little one knew what I meant when I said Halloween.  But he knew he was going to be a digger, whatever this Halloween thing was.

I was up to the challenge and started making plans.  I started by deciding the proportions I felt would be right for a two year old.  Compact enough to walk with ease, digging arm not so big it gets in the way.  I actually drew a picture of the scale I was going for.

Then I selected a box that I felt met those proportions.  As I said in my post about the truck costume, I really feel that a diaper box is the perfect size for a child this age.  I didn't have one of those sitting around this time, but I was able to find another box about the same size.

After that I went online and did my research.  I googled "cat excavator" in images.  After looking at several pages I decided that the one I liked that met the proportions I wanted (for the most part) was the 315C.  So then I did a google images search for "cat 315c" and selected three images from three different angels (front left, front right, and back).  Then I drew my sketch of how it would look.  I did change the proportions of the arm to make it maybe a third smaller.

Ok, so here is what you will need:

  • small box that fits the proportions of your design and child (detailed above)
  • painters tape or wide masking tape
  • primer or white paint 
  • acrylic paint (yellow, black, red and white for a CAT excavator)
  • scissors or box cutter/exacto knife
  • wire (20 gauge or thereabouts) 

I'm not going to give you a bunch of specific directions, measurements, or templets.  I feel that this sort of project will be different for each person depending on the style of excavator they want to make and the box they choose.  Instead I'm going to do a kind of photo essay on the steps that I did so that you can replicate it or just let it inspire you to do a similar project.

I worked on this for about 2-3 hours total to get to this point and since I can't work on it while my Adventurer is awake now that it looks like a digger instead of a box with lines and tape (he'll just want to play with it instead of let me work on it), I decided to blog about how far I got with it yesterday, finish it tonight, and then post "part 2" tomorrow.

I used the template to make the arm and shovel pieces out of cardboard.

Click here for part 2.  First I'll prime the whole thing, paint the details, then add the straps.

For the other costumes in this series, click these links:

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