I have found, in the past few years, that I have a ridiculous amount of fun crafting with duct tape. I couldn’t give you any logical reason but, judging by the fact that there is an entire aisle of the stuff in my local supermarket, I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Last year, Sweet Hippie Daughter came up with a wonderful idea for a robot costume made out of duct tape and odds and ends from around the house. It came out beautifully and held up brilliantly through a night of trick-or-treating in some of the most miserable Halloween weather we’ve had in quite a while.
This year, when we started to look at $65 Disney Store costumes, I remembered how much Toddler-saurus Rex loved the hat from that costume and an idea was born. The hat would be recycled and the boy would be the cutest little water-proof alien on the block! Also, $5 worth of tape sounded significantly more reasonable.
I started with a roll of silver tape and some old footie jammies that had holes in the toes. I kept telling myself I was going to mend them but, since he’s got half a dozen other pair of PJs, the reality was he probably would have completely outgrown them before I got around to it.
I cut the feet off just below the elastic at the ankles and began taping over the entire thing from the bottom up, keeping the legs stretched open as roomy as possible. I like to do the back side first because it creates a little bit smoother look in the front but it really doesn’t make a huge difference either way.
When I was done with the back I flipped it over and did the same thing to the front. I taped across the whole thing. Unless you start with something that is 2-3 sizes too big your duct tape suit isn’t going to have enough stretch for your little one to put it on with the zipper anyway. More on that in a minute.
I do suggest leaving an inch or so of uncovered fabric at the shoulders. It will make it much easier for your little one to move his arms.
I left a little patch of the PJs showing, only because I thought the little “space mission” insignia on this pair of PJs was perfect for the outfit. Normally I would have just made it solid silver and maybe drawn a “patch” on the breast with a colorful Sharpie or something.
When it was all done I added a few embellishments made from bright green tape, including a ray-gun holster made out of an old cell phone case I found stashed in a junk drawer. They do sell reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape which might be a good idea if you have trick or treating after dark in your area.
For the gun I covered a cheap plastic toy gun with silver tape.
Once the whole thing looks just like you want it, flip it face down and cut it open. If it’s roomy enough you will be able to get away with cutting it only from the neck to the seat. This one was too snug for that so I cut straight down both arms and legs as well, leaving the cuffs around the wrists.
Have your child put it on like a backwards coat and then use a few strips of tape (or a several strips if you want to make it look seamlessly perfect from the back but Lord have mercy on you if the child has to use the bathroom and they’re fully duct taped into their costume!) to fasten it shut. In the photo I did a pretty minimal job because I knew he’d only be wearing it for a few minutes, but you get the idea.
And there you have it! One sweet little alien!
If you’re wondering about the hat, like I said, it was recycled from last year’s costume but it’s just a stocking cap. The antenna are made from pencils covered in tape with little balls of foil stuck on the ends.
When I was finished, I did have the thought that a pair of silver space boots just may be in order. It would be simple to make them from old rain boots, but I’m not sure if I’ll get that ambitious between now and Friday. We’ll see how it goes.
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