Saturday, October 31, 2009

Domo arigato

Well, the robot costume was a hit. We finished the helmet portion today by gluing some "buttons" (actually painted bottle caps - this robot costume brought to you by Yuengling) onto it and letting them dry. Incidentally, I learned something new - perhaps if y'all are the crafty type you knew this already - rubber cement and styrofoam don't mix. The noxious chemicals in the rubber cement totally dissolve the styrofoam into a sticky puddle of goo. Lesson learned. Elmer's glue used on styrofoam helmet.

Lemme back up a minute, give you the play-by-play on the robot costume (I'm pretty proud of it, actually - I enjoyed working on it with Nolan and it was fun to see it take shape.) We started about a week ago with a trip to first Lowe's and then Ben Franklin Crafts. Nolan had some very specific things he wanted - red "fuzzballs" and two "straight wires" for the robot's antennae. We got red pom-poms and silver pipe cleaners at Ben Franklin, along with some acrylic paints and paint brushes. At Lowe's we procured silver spray paint, an eight-foot section of dryer vent, silver "metal repair" tape (I had no idea such a thing existed!) and rubber cement.

We began with the body of the robot. We had TONS of boxes of various sizes, as you might expect, but it seemed best to go with a smallish box, one just big enough to fit Nolan's body. I wanted him to still be able to see where he was going and have a relatively easy time walking, so we picked a small book box. First we taped the box shut with the metal repair tape and cut a hole for his body/legs and a hole for his head:

Then we made some armholes and attached a couple lengths of dryer vent for the arms.

(Nolan was very patient. I had to periodically call a halt to the proceedings to go find things like wire cutters for the dryer vent and a pencil to trace where the holes should go. One of the most frustrating things about moving is when you KNOW you've seen something in one of the boxes you've opened but you just can't find the frickin' thing. Nolan was very good about laying on the floor playing with Legos for 15 minutes or so while Mommy went in search of her tool bag or the contents of the junk drawer.)

Then we took the box and the styrofoam six-pack cooler we used for the helmet out into the alley and spray-painted them silver.

(Something about that picture makes me want to waggle my hands frantically by the sides of my face and shout, "It's the wrong trousers! They've gone wrong!")

They had to dry for a while, so we painted bottle caps and baby-food jar lids (saved over the past few weeks) with the acrylic paints. These were going to be our buttons and dials.
Once the buttons were dry, we rubber-cemented them onto the robot body.

Then I cut the face portion out of the helmet so Nolan could see through it.

We stuck the antennae through the top of the helmet and glued some buttons onto it, too.

You can't see it very well, but the buttons have numbers painted onto them - 11, 33, 44 and 55. Not sure why he requested those specific numbers, but that's what they say.

That was this morning. (I am a Grade A procrastinator in all things, but I think this time at least I have a semi-excuse: we just moved, dammit!)

Here's the finished costume:

We got some nice early trick-or-treating done and were home by 5:30. We started giving out candy at 5:45 and were completely cleaned out by 6:30. Oops.

Nolan got lots of compliments on his costume.

I'd write more, but I'm totally fried now. I'll leave you with Miles in his "costume."

Hope you all had a happy Halloween!

Thanks for reading.


Erica said...

You did a FANTASTIC job. I am so proud of you!!! Those boys are absolutely adorable!

Anonymous said...

Nolan's costume came out great. Good job.

Chris M.

Electric Mayhem said...

That's terrific! Nice work!

Ben said...

There's one picture there that just screams, "Danger Will Robinson".

At least, that's what I thought when I saw Nolan, arms straight out and mouth agape.

Cool blog, Carrie.

オテモヤン said...