The Chrysler Building (Famous U.S. Buildings Kids’ Halloween Costume Series)
I love making costumes out of cardboard. You can pretty much make anything with a simple sandwich board design. Last year for Halloween, we made Under the Sea Creature costumes, this year I thought it would be fun to create famous buildings from around the United States. I started out with NYC’s Chrysler Building, my personal favorite.
For this design I traced the outline of the Chrysler Building from some designs I found online. I cut the top part of the building design into a headpiece (with long pieces on the sides that I taped together to fit around a child’s head) and the bottom part of the building into the body of the costume. The body consists of two pieces (a front and back– like a sandwich board). I created straps out of duct tape and attached the two sides at the shoulders. The inside of the tape I lined with another piece of duct tape so that it didn’t stick or accidentally grab pieces of long hair.
Then I cut out the windows. Full disclosure: I’m a graphic artist and I sent the vector file that I created in Illustrator on my computer to my local large format printer and they cut it for me in half the time it would take me to cut it out with my tools. But if you’re the patient type you could cut this yourself with an exacto knife and a metal ruler. I’ve even created a diagram that you can use as a guide to make yourself.
Here is what you will need if you would like to create this costume from scratch:
- three large pieces of cardboard (roughly 2 feet by 3 feet will do for a child’s costume) cut to look like buildings (then use an exacto knife and follow our diagram which is available in the link above)
- gray or silver spray paint*
- silver sparkly paint
- battery-operated decorative lights (found in the floral or wedding supply aisle of your local craft store)
- duct tape
- tissue paper
- glow sticks (2 packs of 10 or more)
- double-sided tape
- hot glue** or adhesive putty (not pictured)
- paint brushes
After I got the cut pieces of cardboard back from my printer I spray painted* (adults, always spray paint outdoors or in a very well-ventilated room) them silver. Then I taped little pieces of colored tissue paper on the back side of the windows with double stick tape. For special night time trick-or-treating fun I also taped glow sticks on the onto the tissue paper on the back side of the windows.
I also added decorative lights to the head piece by stringing them on wire and then poking the wire through the cardboard and twisting it tight on the backside. The lights wanted to dangle downwards so I secured them in an upwards position with hot glue. You have to be careful to glue the center rubber piece and not the bottom since you want to be able to twist the bottom to turn them on and off. I found this out the hard way and had to unglue one of my lights. However, as a quick fix, that blue adhesive putty worked well to position the light back in place without having to break out the glue gun again.
Then we waited for it to get dark and I have to admit the glowing windows was a pretty neat effect!
This is part one in a four-part series of famous U.S. Buildings as Halloween costumes for kids. Be sure to check out the others:
- The Empire State Building Halloween Costume
- The Space Needle Halloween Costume
- The Transamerica Pyramid Halloween Costume
Add some friends and you have a walking skyline that’s sure to get smiles (and extra candy!) when they show up trick-or-treating.
*Always spray paint outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.
**use hot glue with caution