Inspiration for this Costume:
The pleading eyes of my child who had just asked to be a real “transforming transformer” for Halloween. After I stopped laughing, I started crying...sigh.


Motivation for creating this Instructable:
You. Because if you’re reading this right now it means you’ve recently heard this outrageous plea yourself. You’ve found what I didn’t find: step-by-step instructions for a transforming auto-bot. Here’s to your adventure! May you experience the magical gleam in your child’s eyes this Halloween and feel like an invincible super hero when you hear others telling your child that he has “The Coolest Mom Ever!” 


So what does it take?


1 giant mess (Let’s be honest, could it be so incredible without one??)


3 boxes of similar widths and varying heights

1 average size roll of each:

  blue duct tape

  red duct tape

  gray duct tape

1 can chrome colored spray paint
1 can of black spray paint (ask around the neighborhood for these)
4 wide mouth mason jar canning lids (no rings)

1 black sheet of card stock

8 dessert size paper plates

1 sheet of nonstick parchment paper

1 yard of ribbon

1 yard of elastic

2 under cabinet LED lights

2 red LED bicycle lights or bicycles reflectors

Other various and random cardboard components lying around your house


I exploited the garbage and used what was on hand already, so the total cost for my Optimus Prime was about $20.

Step 1: Step One: Foundation

Measure the chest width of the future auto-robot.

Add an inch or so to this measurement for ease purposes.

Take this number and search for three boxes with the same width* and differing heights*.


*Keep in mind that it can’t be so wide that person is unable to lower their arms. It needs to be comfortable sitting on the chest and under the arms.


*As long as the widths of the boxes are similar, it is possible to adjust the height and or length of a box by piercing through one side of the cardboard while leaving the other side in tact and folding it down as detailed.

*When choosing cardboard, be aware that any existing holes may create weakness later on; especially, along the vertical weight bearing sides.   
Thank you for posting this; you are a genius (and a very dedicated mom)!<br><br>I have a couple tips which may help anyone else looking to make this, following your instructions. I love that you can adapt the design easily, based on your available materials/recyclables :)<br>-the part I had the most difficulty with was the cab. I feel I made it a bit too big (8&quot; wide on the side, 6.5&quot; deep on the top) and could easily have reduced the panel widths by 2 to 3&quot; to reduce extra bulk. <br>-I used silver duct tape (mostly) and spray painted to colour. Doing this, I ran into trouble attaching the cab to the hood as directed. The duct tape didn't stick well (kept pulling off) and became the weakest part of the design. Needed a much sturdier way of attaching, such as a cardboard &quot;hinge&quot; and hot glue or perhaps a grommet. <br>-I used silver packing twist ties (recycled from some terrible toy packaging) to attach the silver tubes and the tuna can headlights. We used a drill for the cans to place the holes first and to punch cleanly through the hood (wish I had started using the drill way earlier in the project for punching holes!)<br>-I modified the bumper for a more sturdy attachment to the hood by cutting out the top/sides of the hood outline on the bumper box (made to size, using your wonderful methods), so the hood fits into the bumper, leaving the bottom panel available to glue directly to the bottom of the hood box.<br>-I adapted the grill based on materials, using girl guide cookie trays (my favorite part of the project) and added a &quot;nose cap&quot; to the hood to cover the gap. <br>-Sleeper cab has plastic egg carton for cab lights, attached with pipe cleaners in the centre (this allows me to lift them up to insert the lights), and adding dollar store LED candle lights (spray painted silver). The lights ended up fitting nice and snug underneath without needing to secure them further.<br>-I made the tire panels out of one piece of sturdy cardboard each, using folds to create the fender (give yourself at least 1.5&quot; above the basic panel shape to do this; we did these ones up fairly quickly as they were the last items to finish).<br>-Made a mask by printing an image off the net (adjust printing size as needed), then added it to cardstock and glued this to cardboard to make it sturdy; attached it with leftover elastic.<br>-For future designs, you might want to consider making a bigger opening in the bottom of the hood and making the grill in such a way as to create visibility (ie. &quot;windows&quot;), so your child can see out when in truck mode.<br>-I didn't do the leg attachments as I ran out of time; I recommend giving yourself at least 2 weeks (minimum) to work on this project (after collecting your giant mess). Thanks to our neighbors who donated materials too :) <br>-It was a team effort for our family and we had a lot of fun putting it together (though mommy did get a little obsessive trying to complete it the last couple days). Now to take out the recycling...help. <br><br>Thank you so much for posting your project! Please post more - I have a lot of recyclables to use up ;)
Thank you so much !!!
<p>Way to GO!!! It looks great and thanks for posting a picture, that made my day! I am so excited for you, you are going to have a blast this weekend!</p>
<p>i am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy i found this you have no idea how long ive been looking!! thank you thank you thank you!!!!</p>
My son wanted to be Optimus Prime this year. And he added a bonus: an actual TRANSFORMING Optimus Prime. So glad I found this! You rock! Thanks for sharing. ^_^
\_('_')_/ cool
Awesome! <br>
This is seriously super-cool. My son is only 9.5 months old, so he hasn't asked for one of these yet, but when he does...I'll be ready!
You ARE the coolest Mum EVER!!! ....apart from mine, of course...then again, she never made me an Optimus Prime costume! <br>
That is awesome. I love the transformation!
Thanks! I love Halloween for one reason: &quot;creation!&quot;
Totally awesome! Great job! Gotta love that gleam, thats what its all about :)
Awe how super cool is this!

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