By: Mia Cronan
Age: 3 and up
Parental supervision is recommended
A couple boxes, some spray paint, and lots of gadgets make this costume easy and a lot of fun to make. Using various things found around your home, you and your child will have a great time designing your own robot of the future!
What you'll need:
- Two cardboard boxes, one large for the body and one smaller for the head
- Silver spray paint and newspapers
- Screening material or silver toile scraps
- Assortment of buttons, beads, bright costume gems, plastic bottle tops, a spring toy (recommended: Slinky)
- Craft knife
- Hot glue gun
- Black permanent marker, various colors of paint pens
- Gray long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt
- Gray sweatpants
- Black gloves
- Two shoeboxes
- Tin foil
How to make it:
- Cut out a hole in the top of the larger box, large enough for your child’s head to fit through. Place box on your child, and identify where the arm holes should be. Remove the box, cut the arm holes, and put it back on your child.
- Place the smaller box on your child’s head and mark where his face is. Identify and mark where his ears are. Remove the box and cut a rectangular hole large enough for his eyes and mouth to be exposed. Cut ear holes where marked.
- Outside in an open area, with the ground protected by newspapers, use the silver metallic spray paint to cover the boxes completely with paint, and allow it to dry fully (see image).
- When the head box is dry, cut a piece of screen large enough to cover the rectangular face opening. On the inside, use your hot glue gun to secure the piece over the opening, all the way around the rectangle. Allow to dry.
- Using your permanent marker and paint pens, draw dials and gauges on the front of the body to your liking. This is where your imagination can go wild. Use your hot glue gun to attach buttons, gems, beads, and spring toy to decorate your robot, placing things in a symmetrical manner across the body. You can also go online and print off images of gauges or dials, then glue them on the front. Photos and photocopies of clock faces and calculators from catalogs or magazines can be used, too (see image).
- Turn your shoeboxes upside down and cut holes in the bottoms large enough for your child’s foot to go through. Cover the boxes with foil and secure with glue or tape.
- When dressing your child, have him put on the black shirt, pants, and gloves, then arrange the boxes comfortably for him. After his sneakers are on, he can put his feet into the upside down shoeboxes and go!
- If you’re lucky enough to have extra dryer vent pipes, those make great limbs!
- It is best to spray paint the boxes outside, far away from the house or anything that should not be painted.
- Make sure that your child is wearing the body while you mark the head box, as the location of the head will be determined by the body box.
Mia Cronan is a craft freelancer and mother of five based in Ohio.