BB-8 and R2-D2 - Star Wars Toddler Halloween Costumes




Introduction: BB-8 and R2-D2 - Star Wars Toddler Halloween Costumes

Perhaps these are the droids your looking for? We just finished making these for our children (Ages 5 and 3). My daughter is a true princess. I married a tom boy so it is definitely a nature over nurture situation. Everything she owns is pink and sparkly. When we asked her what she wanted to be this year she said that she wanted to be BB-8. We had been so surprised she didn't want to be something frilly and Pink our jaws hit the floor. At that moment we decided we would make her the best damn Star Wars costume she could imagine knowing that we will likely spend the rest of her Halloweens making Disney princess costumes or something else involving copious amounts of glitter. Thankfully her Brother will do anything his sister tells him so he was just as excited to be R-2-D2 or Harbee-Devo as he would say it.

A few weeks ago in a garage not that far away, this is how we made them................................

Step 1: The Frames

For our Driod bodies we used a yoga ball we had lying around to create the frame for BB-8. it took about a week and a half to fully make it happen with paper mache. The cool thing is the Yoga ball already has perfect lines on it so it was easy to leave an opening for the head and feet.

For R2-D2 we used a big box from Amazon that we had in the garage. I cut 2 circles of equal size out of Ply wood and wrapped the cardboard around them. Then I used some 5 minute epoxy and a few clamps to hold it together. (Side note: Measure you kid before doing this. We did not get this right on the first try). Once that was done we added 1 layer of paper mache to the cardboard to give it some strength and removed the plywood.

Step 2: The Helmets

For the Droid helmets we grabbed the 2 largest salad bowls we had on hand. Thankfully my wife collect bowls like some women collects shoes so we had just the right sizes. Most bowls have a flat bottom so for R2-D2's helmet I cut some cardboard out and hot glued it to the bottom of the bowl to give it shape. I put duct tape over it to make sure I had a rounded top.

Then back to paper mache time! After the paper mache is set and you remove it from the bowl we needed to find away to attach them to our kids heads. We bought 2 used skateboard helmets from a second hand store and used Velcro to secure them inside the helmet. Once in place we sprayed in some "spray foam" from the local hardware store.

Step 3: The Body, BB-8 Step 2

Now that we had paper mache for the helmets and both bodies we hit a road block. The card board gave the R2-D2 body a lot of support but the BB-8 body was only paper mache so we needed more support. For that we used paper mache clay to put around both the body and the helmet. When dry it added all of the support we needed. (Tip: It shrinks when it dries so plan accordingly)

Step 4: The Body, R2-D2 Step 2

Ok, with the body mostly done we cut in arm holes and moved on to the legs and accessories. We used got glue and an old shoe box to help make the frame for the legs and then a few parts from the plumbing department of the local hardware store for the vents in the front of the body. I had a broken extension cord laying around so we used that (and a few extra nuts and bolts) to complete the look . We also put some very small pvc pipe in the center of the legs.

Step 5: Making Sure Everything Fits!

While waiting for all of that glue to dry its time to try these things on the kids and make sure they fit.

Step 6: Now We Paint...

We used a few coats of primer as a base and then covered everything in Gesso paint. It is great for painting over paper mache! After that, it was time to sketch our designs and start painting.

Step 7: The Helmets Part 2

For the lenses we went to the craft store and found really inexpensive plastic balls that I think are meant for DIY Christmas ornaments. We used those and a little bit of foam and/or cardboard to complete the look. For the second lens I had a couple of mini camera lenses around the house that I used to use on an old Blackberry phone I had back in the day. We turned them around and glued them to the helmets. I think they turned out pretty well.

R2-D2 has a spay painted PVC end cap that we turned upside down

BB-8 has 2 antennae. For one, we cut a felt tip marker in half and painted it. For the other, I went to Radio Shack. The manager had a broken remote control for an RC car that he let me have. I cut the antenna off and used that. I had 2 rubber earbuds around that we stuck them both through to use as the base

(Pro-Tip: Radio Shack has a garbage bin in the back and if you ask nice they will let you use it for props)

Step 8: The Helmets - Special Effects

Ok, helmets done now is the fun part. I am crafty but not handy. We knew we wanted lights but there was no way I was gong to be able to wire something up (without an emergency room visit). Instead we found very cheap battery powered LED lights on Amazon. I think they are meant to go inside balloons or flower arrangements for weddings and parties. The downside is they only last 4 or 5 hours but that is longer than my toddlers can trick or treat so I think we are good. Also, we now have a million of these little things in case any burn out (or we host a rave in our backyard someday)

Step 9: The Body, BB-8 Part 3

Using the same lights we figured we could add make the BB-8 body light up too. It was a little harder to pull off because we couldn't hide the lights behind the lenses. To make it work we cut up a plastic milk jug and some orange gator-aid tops to glue on top of the ball.

Step 10: All Done

So, we are all set. The kids love them. We still have a week or so to go until Halloween but they will get to try them out at a school carnival this weekend. I am not sure who is more excited about it, the kids or us!

Step 11: And One More Thing..................

After we put this up and had her go to a few early trick or treating events around town we realized we had a problem. With no hands she was going to have a hard time getting any candy. Nothing that hot glue, Velcro, a little foam and an old pillow case can't fix. This was our last minute fix on Halloween day.

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44 Discussions


10 months ago

Amazing Instructable! Well done!

Hi Rick, these are absolutely phenomenal. I am considering making R2D2 for a school project but before doing so, may I ask how you made the legs 3D? (Did you use a template?)

2 replies

Also, don't listen to the haters I thought you did great on Game of Throwns. (-;

Hi there, I didn't use a template but I am pretty sure you wont need one. I made mine with a hot glue gun and most of the cardboard from a converse shoe box. I used a small blown to trace out the round part at the top and a ruler for the straight lines. Ones I liked the shape I cut it out and used the first cut out as my outline for the other leg. I made them three dimensional by cutting the rest of the shoe box in to a straight-line (I just traced both sides of my ruler). Then I used my hot glue gun to ad the 1inch piece of cardboard around the leg to give it its dimension. It takes a little patience as you have to wait for the glue to set up before moving on to the next piece. That said, I promise that anyone can do it (as evidenced by the fact that I was able to do it). For the pole in the middle I just spray painted a small piece of pvc pipe and then pushed it into tow slits on either side of the leg. The wires are some cut up extension cord. Best of luck with your build!!!!!

Way to commit!!!!! The whole family looks great and I bet that photo will be a favorite for years to come. You guys did and amazing job with it and the suspenders are a completely new take on it. Love it! Thank you for sharing it!

I couldn't have done it without you! I tried to upload a video too, but failed! Thanks again!


2 replies

OMG, it turned out so great. I am so glad it worked out and am very impressed!!!!

Thank you! Now I can relax until he figures out next years! Haha!

Thanks for the ideas Rick. My son loves it! I'm just unhappy it doesn't fit me!

1 reply

Working on BB-8 now, and have one question.

How did you get the orange circles to actually be circular? Did you trace a circle from something else? Are you just that good at freehand? Did you use dark magic? I must know!

1 reply

There are a few good ways to do the circles but here is what
we did:We tied a string to a pen and
then tied the other end to a thumb-tack.We put the thumbtack in the center of the circle we wanted and dragged it
around taking care to keep the string taught.In theory you should get perfect and uniformed circles.

Good luck with your build and Happy Halloween.

I am so excited to see that people are using this as a reference point in building their costumes this year. If you all don't mind I would love to see pictures of how they turn out. Post them here if you can. My kids don't believe me that there are going to be more BB-8's and R-D's out there and I would love to show the. Happy building!!!

1 reply

working on my sons now! The paper mache is done and doing the clay today. Thank you for sharing how to make this awesome costume!

Hi Rick

How many layers of paper mache did you put on? I have done 3 up to now. I've also forgot to oil the yoga ball. Do you think it will come out without damaging the paper mache?


1 reply

So sorry for the delay on this. I had an illness in the family that kept me away from the computer for a bit. And I so hope this has worked out for you. I did 3 or 4 layers and it seemed to work fine. It will seem a bit flimsy but after adding the clay paint and sealer it will be "almost" kid proof. (-;

I am not sure about getting the yoga ball out but would think if you are ok popping the yoga ball you could cut around any parts that stick. Just an idea.

Hi Rick it showed you did a paper mache first with newspaper and then added the layer of clay paper mache. Could you share exactly what you used for both the recipes? I have made all my kids costumes normally by way of sewing but when my son wanted to be Bb8 I was unsure how to make him round. Luckily I found you!!! It is so close to Halloween I do not want to have to experiment with recipes and risk failure!!!???any help is much appreciated!!

1 reply

The paper mache was two parts water to one part flour and a teaspoon of coking/olive oil. I think if you google recipes you should find many that are all similar in nature. I used a store bought paper mache clay so i am not sure what a good recipe would be. That said, there are some out there for sure. I think they should all work well. The only diferences might be in the amount of time it takes to dry.

Happy building!

Cooking Oil/Crisco seemed to work pretty well for that