This homemade Halloween costume is ready for takeoff! Skip the big sewing project this Halloween and use our free patterns to embellish a cardboard box with wings, a tail, and even a working propeller. We'll show you how to put it all together.
To build the plane, download our printable pattern—it's free! Trace the wing pattern four times onto cardboard and cut them out. Fold the wings as indicated by the dashed lines on the pattern. Then, trace vertical and horizontal tail pieces onto cardboard and cut out. Cut a slit as indicated on the vertical tail piece, then cut eight 2 1/2 x 9-inch rectangles from cardboard for struts.
Use a large shipping box to form the body of the airplane. You'll cover the box with paint, so don't worry about finding a pristine or logo-free box. To build the body of the plane, cut the top flaps off the box. In the center of the box bottom, cut an oval hole that is large enough for your child's torso. You may need to secure what's left of the flaps with duct tape; we recommend using tape on the inside of the box, so it's not visible. When you're done, paint the box and all the cut cardboard shapes white and let them dry completely. Once the paint has dried, hot-glue the top wings to the box sides so they are even with the top of the box. Hot-glue bottom wings to the box sides, then hot-glue four struts between each set of wings.
Cut out a 4-inch-diameter circle and a 2x12 1/2 inch rectangle from cardboard. Gently bend the rectangle to fit around the circle and hot glue them together to create the propeller center. Paint them red and let dry. While you have the red paint out, paint red stripes on the tail and wings of the airplane and let them dry too.
To add the propeller, trace the propeller piece onto cardboard and cut it out. Cut a hole in the front of the box large enough to accommodate a dowel that is 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut a hole in the center of the propeller and push the dowel through the propeller and through the hole in the front of the box. Hot-glue the red propeller center once the paint is dry to the front end of the dowel. The propeller should be able to rotate freely around the dowel. We recommend trimming the dowel's length before you attach the propeller; the length of the dowel will depend on the size of your box.
Slide the horizontal and vertical tail pieces together. Cut a slit in the back of the box for inserting the tail, then push the tail through the slit. We recommend securing the pieces with hot glue to add a little extra stability.
Cut four 1-inch-long slits in the top of the box about 1 inch from the opening. Knot one end of a long piece of elastic (we used 2/3 yard of 5/8-inch-wide elastic) and push the other end up through one slit. Thread the elastic through the rest of the slits in a crisscross fashion; knot that end on the underside of the box top. When you're done knotting and tying, the costume is ready to wear! The elastic straps will allow the plane to balance on the child's shoulders, leaving their hands and arms free to collect goodies while trick-or-treating.
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