Max’s vintage race car driver Halloween costume
I love making halloween costumes for my kids. Its something my mom did for my sister and I every year. She was a skilled seamstress and I have vivid memories of trips fabric store to dig through the Mccalls Halloween Costume Patterns til we found one we loved. Sadly, my sewing (and time management) skills aren’t nearly as excellent but what I lack in talent I’m usually able to make up for in Pinterest skills, so each year I do my best to make the kid’s Halloween vision’s a reality in a unique and fun way.
This year, without question, Max wanted to be a race car driver. The kid lives and breaths cars. He regularly wanders over to me clutching a fistful of matchbox cars and politely asks, “Can we Vrooom?”. Yes, Max, we can.
I started with the drivers suit and hat. There are a number of store-bought race car driver costumes available but most of them are akin to modern day NASCAR or Formula One suits. Not our speed. We wanted something closer to Steve McQueen’s white racing suit. Clean and classic and distinctive.
To emulate this look, I found a pair of toddler sized white footed pajamas (perfect for a late October day in Chicago). I added the distinctive racing stripes and patches using Duct Tape and a Sharpie. The racing goggles and helmet were a bit trickier. Its nearly impossible to find a true vintage hard-hat helmet in a child-size. However, back in the earilest years of automotive racing, drivers wore leather helmets and goggles much like the ones aviator pilots wore. And that type of style is readily available in child size on Amazon. So we went with it.
Now I turned my attention to the car itself. Max and his Daddy love the wonderful book The Little Red Racing Car. The book is about a father and son who discover a vintage Maserati in their barn and spend months restoring it to glory. This is the type of car they dream of and it was the basis for his costume. We wanted it to be sleek, so I spent a great deal of time gently bending the cardboard to achieve a curved shape for the hood. The sides are simply cut from cardboard to match one another and glued to another box in the middle to make a wearable base. I held everything together with blue painter’s tape until it dried, then pulled the tape off before spray painting.
Max chose the color and he chose blue. If you make something similar plan to start with a base coat of primer before adding your color even if you purchase an “all-in-one” paint (believe me I tried). The tires are paper plates covered in black Duct tape. The racing tripes and numbers (2 was Max’s choice since he is two) were both done with more Duct tape. And of course the straps for him to carry it…more Duct tape.
Obviously, I’m not great about step-by-step tutorials for these things, since I’m mostly a trial-and-error lady, but if you’re looking to make something similar I HIGHLY recommend my friend Cassie’s Thomas The Train costume tutorial on her blog, Little Red Window. Its hugely helpful for any cardboard outfit costume.
He seemed to find the car surprisingly lightweight and comfortable — he wore it for an 8 block walk around the neighborhood without complaint. Overall, he is thrilled with his costume. And I am thrilled to give him a chance to really Vroooooommmmm.
Stay tuned…next time I’ll share Lilly’s costume. Completely different but also with a vintage spin.
And for a look at their past Halloween costumes and other DIY costume inspiration, follow my Pinterest Board.
Are you making costumes this year or do you prefer to buy?
More Spooktacular Fun and Costume Inspiration: