How to Make an Airplane Costume

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Halloween is all about fun and kids (even for adults who like to act like kids.) Airplanes are always popular for costumes, but even more so now with the current animated movie in theaters. You can create an airplane costume with little more than cardboard, tape, and some time.

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Make the Body of the Plane

Tape together one of the 12x12x18-inch boxes. Cut out the top and bottom of the box leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. Cut arm hole flaps 3 inches wide and 4 inches tall on the 12-inch sides. Leave the flaps attached at the top to help secure the wings later.

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Make the Cockpit

Lay one of the 12x12x18-inch boxes out flat and cut 8 inches off the end all the way through both thicknesses. Draw a line 1.5 inches from the cut edge. Score this line. Cut out a 9x5.5-inch rectangle on a 12-inch side of the box between the line you drew and the fold flap of the flat box. Use this piece as a guide to cut the same shape out of the 18-inch side of the box starting at 1.5 inches from the side. Reverse the pattern on the opposite 18-inch side. Cut down the middle of the remaining 12-inch side. Assemble the box, overlapping the pieces of the 12-inch side to create a taper to the cockpit. Set this piece aside for later installation.

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Cut Out the Tail Section

Print the templates full size at a local office supply store. Lay one of the flat boxes on a cutting surface and tape the template to it. Cut out following the red lines and score at the green dotted lines.

Related: Airplane costume template

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Assemble the Tail Section

Fold at each of the scored lines and bend to meet the tab of the previous section. Tape in place. Work your way around until all four corners are taped into a cone shape. Tape the final section from the inside.

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Complete Tail Section

Follow the template and cut out the tail fin pieces from extra pieces of cardboard. Cut a slot in the center of the upper side of the tail piece and insert the tail fin. Tape in place from the inside. Add the side fins and tape securely in place. Set this assembly aside for later installation.

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Make the Nose Section

Follow the same instructions in the "Make the Cockpit" slide to assemble the nose section. Overlap and tape the end flaps to the main section. Trim pieces where needed to fit the open framed areas and arm holes. Add the cockpit by taping scrap cardboard pieces to the scored sides and taping these pieces down to the top of the main body section, leaving the center open for access to the cockpit.

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Make the Propeller

Cut out three pieces from scrap cardboard following the template. Cover the pieces with black duct tape. Spray paint a plastic cottage cheese or similar-sized container with silver paint. Cut a hole in the center of the container. Cut a small hole in the point of each propeller. Thread all three propeller pieces onto a bolt and place it through the hole in the plastic container. Add a large washer and nut. Tape this propeller piece onto the front of the nose section with multiple pieces of duct tape.

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Assemble the Plane

Attach the tail section in the same manner as the nose, overlapping the flaps to the side of the main body and taping in place. Maintain arm holes. Add overlapping strips of colored tape to decorate the plane.

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Make the Wings

Cut out the wings from extra cardboard following the template. Cut strips of scrap cardboard the length of the wing by 5 inches wide and notch it to curve around the wing shape. Fold these strips around the edge of the wing and tape in place. Decorate with colored tape before installation.

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Install the Wings

Hold the wings in place and mark the arm holes from the inside. Cut these as flaps, leaving them attached. Keep the wings level with the top of the main body and tape in place all the way down the side.

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Finish Wing Installation

Lay the plane on its side and tape the arm flaps to the bottom of the wing.

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Add the Plane Markings

Lay strips of black duct tape sticky side down on a piece of parchment paper. Draw a circle around a roll of tape and cut out. Cut out a number 7. Make a patch of white duct tape on parchment paper, remove the backing parchment paper on the black cutouts and stick them down to the white patch of duct tape. Trim out the circle, remove the backing parchment paper and attach to the plane. Make all plane markings with this method and attach.

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Add the Finishing Touches

Paint a fabric softener cap with silver spray paint. Attach it as a nose cone to the front of the propeller section with a clear adhesive.