DIY Robot Fancy-Dress

Given that I have posted a few space-themed art and craft ideas and for home-made fancy-dress, I thought I’d also share this idea for robot outfits made from cardboard boxes.  I did them a few years ago when my guys were asked to dress up in a space-theme for a sponsored walk at their nursery.

As they were going to the park for a play date afterwards, I just had them in their normal clothes underneath.

As you can see from the picture, my youngest was less impressed… I can’t remember whether the grumpiness was about the outfit, or having to pose for a photo. Whilst I have some other photos where he seems happy enough, the sheer look on his face in this pic makes it a keeper ;). Especially when, a few years on he only seems to wear fancy dress and finds this picture as funny as I do. He still hates having his photo taken though…

Robot 2

For each outfit I used two pieces of thick card (from a cardboard box) to make a tabard (with brown parcel tape to give a bit of flexibility at the shoulders), then covered it with tin foil.  I also added string to the sides for my eldest as I know he’d want to run around in his.

After covering the tabards in silver foil, I stuck some coloured paper and stickers on the front to look like buttons and just put a small note on the back saying ‘BOT 1’ / ‘BOT 2’, and each of their ‘production dates’ (date of births).

I had an old panettone box which I used for their heads.  I cut a neck space into each, then tied it closed around their necks with string.  The deely-boppers were foil food picks that I had kicking around.

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Make your own jet pack

These jet packs were easy and quick to make.  They were also easy enough for the boys to do without too much help (whilst they don’t mind putting me to work, the initial plan is to do stuff together… although doesn’t always end up that way, as my blog on space helmets describes!).

You can make them as follows:

  • Cover 2 litre bottles of water in tissue paper or tin foil
  • Cut a rectangular piece of thick card which is no wider than your child’s shoulders (this will form the base of the jet pack)
  • Put two holes in each side of the card
  • Thread string / elastic through the holes on each side, making sure it is the right size for your child to be able to take it on and off
  • Stick the bottles to the card (we did this with double-sided sticky tape)
  • Add decorations (flames, lightning bolts etc.)
  • Cover the neck of the bottle in tin foil / card (to give a tidier finish)
  • Stick red/orange/yellow tissue paper in the necks of the bottles (for the fire)

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Make your own Superhero Outfits

A couple of years ago my kids were asked to ‘dress their teddy’ up for a charity fundraiser at school.  Superheroes seemed like the natural choice for my guys, especially as I remembered a simple, but cool home-made outfit that my nephew once had.  I decided that if I was buying material anyway, I may as well buy a bit more and make them matching outfits too.

I bought over-sized vests for the guys so that they could fit their outfits on top of their clothes, attached some silver material to the back for a cape (chopped with pinking shears to minimise the need for sewing).  Then I did the smaller outfits (with old baby vests) for their bears for the fundraiser:


The home-made outfit gets a surprising amount of use, given that it competes with shop-bought superhero outfits on the dressing-up rail.  Only my eldest’s one fits now, but it’s commandeered it to create home-concocted crazy characters – and I’ve since made silver cuffs for around each wrist to give it a bit more pzazz.


More recently we gave my youngest son a Seedling Make you Own Superhero Cape ( for his birthday.  It was quite expensive and difficult for him to do by himself – but it was a lovely kit, containing everything you need to create something special (glitter glue, material and a good quality cape to decorate).  Once he had commandeered us as his ‘doers’, he was chuffed to design his cape to wear for his Superhero-themed party.

superhero cape 3.jpg