It’s that time of year when parents of primary school aged children in Australia either spend every spare moment trawling Pinterest for ideas for Book Week costumes…or they curl up in a corner and wish it was all over…lol. Ok, perhaps there are plenty of parents who are somewhere in the middle!
This year is our last year of primary school, and therefore the last year of having to come up with a costume for Book Week, so we thought we’d try for something BIG! And after a bit of searching, we found a costume idea that fit the brief. You can follow my Pinterest board of ideas here.We went for a combination of two ideas, and were happy with the result. And it’s lucky we live quite close to school, because I nearly couldn’t fit it in the car and thought I may have had to walk it up! But with a little bit of luck, and a little bit of gentle shoving, it just made it!
Here it is having a test run the day before the parade:
It is actually a fairly easy costume to make! But you do need lots of cardboard. When I was feeling like we wouldn’t have any, I found a couple of big boxes on the side of the road. They were put out to be recycled…and I was certainly going to do that!
I used the template from this awesome blog however I wasn’t going to join the pieces in the same way, and I adjusted the size to fit over the umbrella that a friend very kindly lent me. So I used the same shape, but made the top (short) edge 30cm, and the bottom edge 45cm. I was also using corrugated cardboard so decided early on not to fold the sides down, as Alicia had done on her design linked above.
We tried taping the pieces together, but that didn’t work at all. So I glued on some supports and this worked very well!
Of course our son wanted it to be silver, but I didn’t fancy painting it. Cue the big roll of kitchen foil! Because the structure is so big, and not very stable, I was worried that the foil would tear easily when it was moved. So we covered a couple of panels to check, and that seemed to be ok so we went ahead. As you can see in the photo above, we first taped all the edges so they were smooth and wouldn’t tear the foil.
We carefully folded and glued the foil to the back (inside) of the structure
This is when I decided to combine this design with another, and have lights beaming down to earth.
I taped a set of battery operated lights that we already had to the umbrella, under the watchful eyes of my supervisor!
Then I cut some green and blue cellophane into strips (when did packets of cellophane become so small ??), and glued them to the UFO
I know you won’t believe it, but our cat thought this was total heaven! I had to throw a sheet over it to keep him off…but he knew it was there, and played with the scrunchy cellophane through the sheet! Luckily no damage was caused.
And that is the UFO done! It slips neatly over the umbrella, without having to be attached.
Surprisingly, our boy wasn’t keen on having his face painted green…but he said he would wear an alien headpiece. I hot glued green pipe cleaners to a headband, and he bent them into shape.
I was pleasantly surprised that the foil didn’t tear; mind you, we were very careful when we moved it. And I would have liked to have more cello, but I wasn’t about to make another trip to the shops. There was just enough to go round, and it does give the effect we were after, so I can deal with that.
Actually, the packets of cellophane were the only things I had to buy to make this UFO costume. Oh, and the headband. Everything else we had at home (foil, tape, glue, battery lights, pipe cleaners), borrowed (umbrella), or found (cardboard). Nice!
You can see some of my past costumes here, or type ‘Book Week’ into the search field.
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