Back to our Halloween costumes…from last year! The Lego costumes had bodies were made from cardboard, large furniture boxes. I measured a lego mini figure and proportionally made measurements based on everyone’s height to create a pattern. They were cut out using my jigsaw (yes, I used a saw for cardboard – it’s what I’m comfortable with!) and taped together on the inside and the outside using Gorilla tape. I first tried duct tape but it didn’t stick to the cardboard like the Gorilla tape did.
I initially thought I would quick spray paint all the bodies. But a trial run left me with undesirable results. The paint soaked into the cardboard and all you could see was the tape on the edges. Plan B: Cover the cardboard in fabric and paint the design on the fabric. Plan C: skip the bodies all together and wear clothing that represents the bodies. I was determined to make plan B work.
I didn’t think covering the boxes in fabric would be extremely difficult. However, I’m not a seamstress and I basically had to create slipcovers for each box with odd angles. The results were a long shot from being perfect but they were 100% better than plan A and still better than plan C.
With fabric covered boxes, I used our video projector showing lego guys to trace designs on the boxes. I then went to work painting each design with craft paint.
This was probably my favorite step out of the whole project. I remember Steve was out of the country the week before Halloween and all I had was cardboard box bodies somewhat put together before he left. As I painted late into each night he was gone, I saw the costumes coming together and it made excited. Each detail I painted added to authenticity and it wasn’t the chore I thought it would be. The task was more than rewarding and I watched some great movies in the process.
My mom came into town while Steve was gone and was with me while I painted a few of the bodies. She shook her head in disbelief that I was spending as much time as I was on each body. And although the word “crazy” escaped her lips more than once in describing the process (or perhaps referring to me in general) she pitched in and helped me out. Two of the costumes needed some pants to go with their bodies – and she sat at the sewing machine and whipped them out. Where was she when I was covering the boxes?!
By the time Steve arrived home just in time for Halloween, he was amazed by the finished product. The kids continually tried them on and loved them. The bodies and the heads sat on our dining room table in hopes of not being ruined before the big day and everyone that came to our house and saw them could not wait to see them in action.
Who could’ve predicted that we would have record heat (breaking 100) on Halloween. Those costumes were not meant for summer weather and our heads were a bit toasty. But the kids were troopers (aside from Cannon who was sick that evening and didn’t wear a costume at all!)
Just about everywhere we went – we were celebrities – we took a lot of pictures with random people. It was a fun night.
After Halloween was over they sat back on the dining room table until I could figure out what to do with them. I have high hopes of wearing them again someday – so they carefully sit wrapped in garbage bags in the attic awaiting to make their grand re-entrance!
It was this time last year that I had the brilliant idea to create a family of lego costumes for Halloween. I’m great with coming up with grand ideas – the follow through on this one was pretty intense and I altered my plans a million times to simplify them. However, they will probably go down in history as my favorite Halloween costumes…ever. Fair warning – this project is not for the faint of heart – but perfect for the lego enthusiast!
Like I said before – it started with an idea when I was talking to my friend. I sent her this picture shortly later from Home Depot to let her know my plan for Lego costumes was in motion.
The costumes have two parts: Lego head and body. Today I’m talking about creating lego heads and they were time intensive.
The heads were created from cylinder concrete forms. I bought three different sizes for different sized heads. Cannon and Bennett used the 8in forms. Hallie and Hunter used 10in forms and Steve and I used 12in forms.
I used a jig saw to cut them to height – customized for each kid. To create the round edges I used 2in foam insulation (it comes with shine paper and the outside, I peeled it off) that I attached to the bottom with Gorilla tape and shaved and sanded the edges to make them rounded.
Each person chose which lego character they wanted to be and as such I had to create hair to match their character. Hindsight is 20/20 and doing it again, I would skip the hair and make everyone have the generic knob on top like typical lego heads have. But my vision by this point was way too big and I felt the need to create hair.
I layered the 2in foam and glued several pieces together. And then the carving began. Carve, shave, sand…repeat. My patio was a disaster for weeks. Every time someone came over, I had to explain the horrific mess.
I spray painted the heads yellow and sprayed the hair as well – the easiest of all the steps. Hallie even pitched in and helped paint.
I drew faces on with pencil and hand painted each of them and cut out the eye holes so we could see. (Hunter’s is missing is big pirate hat on top of his head)
Finishing the heads was a breath of fresh air. The kids loved trying them on and I loved how they turned out. Seeing them complete gave me the motivation I needed to move on to the bodies because at this point – with all the time they had already taken – I was ready to just be lego heads for Halloween! One costume would’ve been completely manageable – a family of costumes was a bit much!
Hallie came home from school pretty disappointed the other day and announced that she didn’t need a Valentine’s box because they would be making one as a class.
Hunter came home with a note that he needed a box which instantly resulted in a “No fair, when I was in kindergarten they didn’t let us come up with our own.”
She sulked for a few minutes and then eagerly jumped on the chance to help Hunter with his box.
We browsed Pinterest and every few seconds he chimed in with, “Wait, scroll up, scroll up. I like that one.” Two minutes later I would get the same reaction, different valentine’s box. He liked the dragon, the football field, the ninja turtle, the minion and I can’t forget the toilet. Seriously – boys! I finally threw out the idea of making a box out of legos. He suddenly made up his mind and he ran upstairs with Hallie and they started sorting all the legos to find all the right pieces. He even came up with the idea for his initials on top.
As a graphic designer, Christmas cards are something I look forward to and plan far in advance.
This year’s card idea hit me in September when we were contemplating Halloween costumes. We were the Incredibles on our card one year, why not be Lego people this year?! But if I was going to go to all the effort in creating the time-consuming costumes, the card deserved a little extra punch.
Here’s the front and back. “Everything (at Christmas time) is Awesome”
And the inside – a pop-up lego family. “When you are part of a team. Merry Christmas from our team to yours.”
The whole idea driving this card was the pop-up, its what I was most excited about designing. And as I started pricing dies out I saw my vision being slowly squashed due to price. But the printer I usually use tipped me off on a search to finding a laser die cut service and I found a great one. If anyone is looking for affordable die cuts – smartpress.com was awesome – so much cheaper than traditional dies.
And because these questions were asked time and time again after we sent out our card:
Yes, those lego people are really us.
No they are not photoshopped on.
Yes, they were slightly uncomfortable and somewhat hard to see out of.
No, I will never make one of these costumes again!
Yes, I am keeping them. They’re currently wrapped in plastic in the attic for who knows how long before we pull them down and revive the Lego family.
Yes, we were a hit at the neighborhood Halloween party and basically ended up posing with every family for a photo op. And most predicted the Lego family would make the Christmas card.
I’ve said this before but it’s my favorite card to date!
You know what I love about Halloween – its the gateway to the holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
According to the news, we experienced “an unseasonably warm” Halloween, and there was debate whether it might have been the warmest on record at 95 degrees. I had to laugh as I scrolled through my instagram feed seeing my friends across the country, many dressed up in winter jackets with costumes barely fitting over the top. Rosy red cheeks and winter hats. It was a different story in our part of the country. It was hot. We our friends the Heatons (my college roommate and her family) visiting and we tried telling them it’s usually not this hot this time of year. But we made do and we had ourselves a grand time.
Bennett’s preschool had a party and he dressed up as a pirate…a feisty pirate! You know what they say, “Pirate by day, superhero by night.” Perhaps I’m the only that says that but it’s fitting in this situation.
His best friend was also a pirate.
We gathered the kids – including our visitors and went to Hunter’s school Halloween parade. This is where a month of preparation for his costume (as well as the others costumes) finally gave me some satisfaction as I saw him strut through that parade with pride. He was the only lego guy and it was awesome. He told us later he felt so famous because everyone was shouting at him and trying to give him high fives. To a six year old – that is everything!
Because we had company, the kids attended their Halloween parties and then we pulled them from school to enjoy the day. We did Halloween bingo, an afternoon at the park and because of the unseasonably warm weather, our guests wanted to jump in the pool. It is freezing. And we warned them. But the novelty of a pool is never lost on visitors and minds were made up that it was a swimming day. How many people can say they swam in an outdoor (not heated) pool on Halloween? I thought it would be a quick jump in and jump out. But no, although it was cold, they jumped in and out and in and out for a good amount of time. There were water wars and diving contests and all sorts of fun.
We took pictures before heading out to the neighborhood/ward party. Quick note about the costumes. We (when I say we, I really mean me because Steve just rolled his eyes when I told him my idea!) decided to make lego costumes several weeks ago. Each kid chose which lego mini figure they wanted to be and I went to work. I had no idea when starting this project the time commitment these would take. I was cautiously optimistic when I should have been realistically pessimistic! They. Took. Forever. And that is not an exaggeration. And because I can’t predict the weather, I had no idea weeks ago when I started that they would be worn in 90 degree weather. They were hot. But the kids were rockstars and wore them with pride. However, their heads had to be removed at the party so they could eat! Minor detail!
Our friends went as Peter Pan and the lost boys – much better suited for warm weather!
We spent the evening enjoying an outdoor chili feed with neighbors and friends and then gathered candy with the kids as we made our way back to our house and enjoyed the fun Halloween house.
The nice thing about young kids trick-or-treating is it doesn’t have to last very long before they’re legs are tired and they’re asking to go home. The amount in their bags is always ten times more than they could possibly enjoy and they have just as much fun sorting their candy in piles and trading as they did gathering it.
Halloween did not disappoint – so grateful we had friends to enjoy it with!