This Halloween my son Peter went as a Threepeater
from the game Plants vs. Zombies
with a costume I made with my wife Terri. His pea shooters shot little green balls and he collected candy in a plantern
we made, with integrated light to see in the dark. I accompanied him as Crazy Dave.
(for completeness, our other son Alex was Thomas the Tank engine and our daughter was a pumpkin, though not of the Plants vs. Zombies variety).
Step 1: Pea Shooter Head Components
The the pea shooter heads each consist of a 6" diameter foam ball and a cut-down plastic bucket for the cone. The bucket was a little over 5" at its top diameter and we cut it to a height of about 4". The ball was carved out with a utility knive to make a space for a foam ball shooter, and a dowel rod was inserted into the foam ball as a handle. The foam ball, ball shooter, and dowel rod were spray-painted lime green (an unpainted shooter is also shown).
The outer covering of the pea shooter heads was a lime green fleece fabric we found at a fabric store. We had to experiment a bit to find the right shape to sew the head coverings, but hopefully these photos give a good idea. The fleece was very elastic, so the exact shape isn't that important. We just tried to make it on the tight side, so it would stretch around the forms, giving definition to the head and holding everything together.
The dimension of one side of the head covering is roughly 8"x16". With the main part of the head being 8"x8" and the cone protrusion also being 8". We left a fair bit of fabric for the "neck" and only cut it down once all the pieces were assembled. We didn't sew the "neck" seams all the way down because we needed to be sure we could fit the foam ball.
Step 2: Assembling the Pea Shooter Heads
Assembling the heads was an exercise in topology. Once the head covering was sewn into a single piece, we threaded it through the cone backwards and taped it with duct tape to the lower rim of the cut-off bucket. Next, we turned the whole assembly inside out, and shoved the foam ball inside along with the shooter, hand-stitching the seams around the base of the ball to keep them inside. Finally, we stuck the dowel rod in at the base of the head.
Step 3: Finishing the Pea Shooter Heads
Finishing the pea shooter heads was simple. We bought some artificial plant leaves and stick them to the back of the heads with a pin and hand-stiched them in place. We used some big shiny black buttons for the eyes, and wrapped a thread around the base of the cone to provide some definition. We also ran an invisible thread through the foam balls and tied it around the pea shooter so the balls wouldn't get lost.
A note about the foam pea shooters: The foam pea shooters really didn't work all that well, because the paint stiffened the foam and it was difficult to squeeze the handle quickly enough when it was embedded in the head. Still, he was able to get off a few shots while dressed in the costume.
Step 4: Pea Shooter Mask
Sewing the pea shooter mask was basically the same as the pea shooter heads, but larger. We used a 9" diameter bucket cut to a height of 6". The basic head shape was 10" wide by 15" tall, with an 8" cone section. Wrapping the cloth around the bucket was done in a similar way, except instead of sewing a thread around the outside, we stitched a line of elastic on the inside to help define the cone shape. We used slightly bigger buttons but the same leaves. We didn't stick a pin in Peter's head.
Step 5: Flower Pot and Stem
The flower pot and stem were very easy to make. We bought a forest green hoodie for Peter to wear and a 17" diameter plastic flower pot from Home Depot. We cut the bottom out of the flower pot and used hot glue to affix cardboard tubes as "holsters" for the pea shooters.
In order to allow him to walk with the pot, we got some plastic jewelery cord to use as suspenders. We ran the cord through some rings we glued to the inside of the pot, though if we had more time I think it would have been a lot more stable and reliable to drill some holes on the inside top of the pot and run the cord under the lip of the rim.
Step 6: Plantern
At this point we were pretty much done with the costume, but were not sure what he would put his candy in. We happened to have this metal hanging tea light container lying around. A little construction paper, hot glued leaves, and a flat flashlight turned it into an instantPlantern
. Great for collecting candy and lighting the way when trick-or-treating after dark.
Step 7: Crazy Dave
Dressing up as Crazy_Dave
is super easy. White polo shirt, $5 costume beard, and a saucepan for your head (some people may also need a pillow for padding but I didn't). The only difficult part is keeping the pan on your head. After this photo was taken, I figured out that you can clip a binder clip on the pan opposite the handle and then thread the elastic from the beard through the binder clip and over the handle.