Monday, November 4, 2013

Thomas & Friends Costumes

I actually wanted the boys to be dinosaurs for Halloween this year but the boys aren't interested in dinosaurs yet, I don't even think they know what they are yet. So I looked to see if there any Thomas the train costumes. There were & there were actually 3 different trains but I wasn't crazy about the look of them. Also since the boys weren't crazy about wearing costumes last year I wasn't crazy about spending $100 on them. So I decided that I would attempt to make their costumes & since several of our friends & family have asked how I made them, I've decided to post a tutorial of sorts.

I didn't plan on writing a tutorial so I don't have many pictures of the costumes in process but its pretty straight forward & I think easily understood without photos of every step.
This is the photo I used as inspiration for the faces

Supplies needed:
  • 3 boxes - I used diaper boxes just slightly wider than he boys but not so wide that they couldn't put their arms down. 
  • Felt - I bought 1/3 yard of red, blue & green & 1/4 yard of black
  • Glue - lots & lots of glue! Hot glue (& gun), mod podge, fabric glue & optional spray adhesive.
  • Paper and/or printer
  • 3 paper plates
  • Black, white & peach or flesh colored paint - I used acrylic
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  1. Fold all flaps of the cardboard boxes in, this just made the box more sturdy. I hot glued some of my flaps down, some stayed put on their own so I didn't bother with them.
  2. Spread mod podge or spray adhesive on the box. I used mod podge to attach the felt, so I spread it on one side at a time & wrapped the felt around the box as I went. If you use spray adhesive I think you'd have to spray the while thing at once.
  3. Attach your felt. I wrapped one continuous piece all the way around.
  4. Fold the edge of the felt into the box & hot glue down.
  5. Cut the pieces you need for the stripes of each train (*note - I started with making Thomas first, then Percy, then James. This was so that I could cut the stripes from the red felt before using the remainder of the red to make James) I'm not very precise or patient so I just cut a piece, sized it up against the box & then cut duplicates for each side of the train. I don't measure but I did mark the felt with chalk to cut a straight-ish line :)
  6. Use fabric glue to adhere the stripes to the trains.
  7. For the numbers I just printed them out from for the computer. The numbers were all yellow but that & Percy's were outlined in red & James' was outlined in black. Try to print them on card stock so they stay rigid when you apply the mod podge. I coated tha back of the numbers first & applied them o the trains. I them coated the top of the numbers with mod podge.
  8. Now for the hard part... Sketch the faces of each character onto the back of a paper plate. When you are happy with your sketch use a black marker to outline the face. I painted the trim of the plate black first & then painted the face & lastly the white areas of the eyes & mouth. I think I would recommend doing all that in reverse. After I painted everything & it dried I went around the black outline again touching up any areas that may have gotten paint on them.
  9. Hot glue the face/plate onto the front of the box.
  10. Last thing to do is cut out & attach shoulder straps so the trains can be worn :) Again I don't measure, I needed 6 straps so I just divided the felt into even pieces (by folding) & cut it into strips. I hot glued the straps right in the center of the inside of the front & back of the boxes. I did a trial fitting at this point to see if the straps were long enough or too long & then took up the straps to the right length for each of my boys.
The finished product
In action :)

Feel free to let me know if I missed any details or if you have any questions.

I was nervous about making these at first but I loved the process. I kind of felt like I was back in college working late at night to finish a project. I am very pleased with how they turned out & of all the lovely compliments I received on them, the best compliment was when the boys saw them for the first time & called them each by name :)


  1. These are awesome! I'm very impressed with your creative skills ;) I was about to post pictures of the girls in their Halloween costumes, but this puts me to shame!

    1. Thank you for the compliment but don't say that about yours :( I cant wait to see what T & Q were!!! :)

  2. I didn't know you made these! You did such an awesome job. I love all the detail and the little train faces.



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