Seasonal Happenings

DIY Costume: Hot Air Balloon

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Make this hot air balloon costume

Why be a pilot for Halloween when you can pilot your own hot air balloon? This awesome DIY costume is sure to turn some heads at the neighborhood Halloween party. But be careful. You just might get carried away.

30” red latex balloon
Helium tank
36” Balloon netting
Gold spray paint
10” Foam floral hoop
Red parachute cord
Red woven cotton straps
Red duct tape
Brown lunch bags
Rubber bands
(1/2 yard) 1/2” foam sheet
Basket large enough to fit around your child
Red felt
Utility knife
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Pilot cap
Pilot’s jacket

Step 1: Use a utility knife to cut out the bottom of the basket. Line the inside edge with duct tape so there are no sharp edges.

Step 2: Crumple a lunch bag into a ball and stuff it inside another lunch bag; tie with rubber band. Repeat to make 3 more “sandbags.”

Step 3: Spray paint the sandbags, floral hoop, and balloon netting gold. Let dry 30 mins.

Step 4: Cut the red felt into small triangles. Thread the red parachute cord through the spokes of the basket, leaving an arc on each side, and knot at the ends on the inside of the basket. Glue the triangles to the cord to make pennant flags.

Step 5: Thread the red straps through both sides of the basket, as far apart as your child’s shoulders. Glue the ends to the strap on one side, then place the basket on your child to measure where to cut the ends on the other side. Glue those ends in place.

Step 6: Tie red parachute cord from the basket corners to the floral hoop. Hold the hoop level and at a height tall enough to leave room for your child. Tie the sandbags onto each corner of the basket with red parachute cord.

Step 7: Cut the foam into 2” strips as long as the sides of the basket. Hot glue to the top of each basket side. Cover each piece of foam completely in red duct tape to form a cushioned rim to the basket.

Step 8: Cut 4” strips of red felt and glue end-to-end to form a scarf. Cut the ends into strips with scissors to make fringe.

Step 9: Inflate the red balloon and place in the gold netting. Have another person hold the balloon while you tie the netting to the floral hoop, keeping the length even on all sides.

Step 10: Dress your little one in the hat, jacket and scarf. Place the basket over his head and help him pull his arms through the straps. Ready to fly!

Don't inflate the balloon more than a few hours before you're ready to trick or treat to maximize its fullness. The rest of the costume can be made well in advance.
Pick a basket that is shorter than your child's torso, so he or she can sit down in the costume without it pushing into their armpits.

Costume design by Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty Living, Photo courtesy of Rustic White Photography.

Published: October 2014