Bob the Builder and Lofty

Our 2-year-old son, Triantafyllos is our decision maker and performer for Halloween – his dad is the idea generator and mom is the artist. We made a great team.

Last year Trian was the lion in the circus tent. This year dad has the idea for Trian to pick a main character from one of his favorite cartoons, Bob the Builder or Paw Patrol. He picked Lofty. With some talking, coaxing and a little bribery dad said – be Bob the Builder and Lofty can come with you. Trian agreed. Then dad said mom figure out a way to make a Lofty, it shouldn’t be that hard with a smile.

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Step 1: Bob the Builder

Bob the builder outfit is the easiest part since he already has a flannel shirt and overalls passed to us from a friend. Mom cut dad's old suspenders and sewed on a belt so that Trian's toy tools can fit in between and still be removable. The tool box was red duct taped on a 6-pack root beer package. The yellow hat was found in Dollar Tree for $1. Mom simply removed the firefighter sticker from the hat.

Step 2: Lofty, a Tow Truck With Expandable Arm for Heavy Lifting

Materials for Lofty:

We recycled boxes as body parts and container bowls as wheels, old rope, the inside of paper towel rolls, and used a pumpkin shaped treat bucket as Lofty’s lifter (a reuse and a tie in with Halloween).


1. Find a box big enough to cover the step 2 wagon. Cut another smaller box open and reshape it as Lofty's head. Cut the windows on Lofty's head. Attach two paper plates as eyes. Use light blue paper for Lofty's mouth.

2. Cut a tall box open into pieces and reshape them into three different sized rectangular boxes. These boxes will be the expandable crane arm.

3. Build the take-up wheels, cable, and hook with crane arm on the body of Lofty. Materials were collected from the inside of paper towel rolls, cat tree string, and cookie box. This arm is made detachable for easy transportation on truck.

4. Spray paint Lofty. Color print Bob the Builder logo for side decor. Last we happen to have a blue chair to put between two wagon seats since they were covered by Lofty head and butt. Attach six wheels. Done!

Step 3: Overall Cost and Time

For the whole project, we only spent $8 on two cans of blue spray paint and $1 on yellow hat. All materials were collected from our recycle bin. It took about 5 hours to complete the costume.

Step 4: Go to a Halloween Parade

We went to a local Halloween parade and won the first prize in the preschool group. Everyone was so impressed. One commented we should have won a grand prize for the whole parade. Another even asked if mom is an engineer. For some reasons dad took credit.

Papercraft Contest 2015

Participated in the
Papercraft Contest 2015

Halloween Costume Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest 2015

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I have a toddler here that would be so jealous if he had seen this outfit. Great work!


    3 years ago

    Haha! I love how it worked out, and how mom has a sense of humor about it! Great to upcycle cardboard.