If you're looking at making your own costume out of do-it-yourself (DIY) materials, tin foil (known as aluminum foil) is one of the most useful materials you can get your hands on. It's flexible and moldable, meaning it can be formed into a number of shapes, and can be spray-painted in a range of colors and finishes to match any costume you might be considering. If you're up against a deadline and looking to make an aluminum foil costume, it's time to make a decision: what do you want to make out of it?
Tin Foil Accessories
Foil makes a great medium to craft handheld items for other costumes. Are you looking at a king, queen, traveler or wizard? Aluminum foil can be used to create a massive scepter, wand or walking stick with very little difficulty; you can use the moldability of foil to incorporate stones, jewels or other elements if needed. Foil can make drumsticks, fighting staves and a number of other handheld items; these can be further wrapped with other materials, painted or left to shine. You can shape foil into a sword or a glove if the character you're creating is a fighter.
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Foil can also easily make costume accessories. If you want to make a crown, aluminum foil is a great candidate to mold into shape. Foil can make armbands, bracelets and even gloves if you form it carefully enough. You can form a belt, a necklace or an entire hat using the material. The larger the item you create, the more you may want to consider additional decoration; you can work decorative details into your foil object, or use paint and add-ons to highlight certain points.
For example, you can mold foil into hats that look like the shakers on salt and pepper, and wear white and black respectively to make a great partners' costume. You can make a tin foil dress to be a princess or queen.
Tin Foil Shaping
Keep in mind that foil is easily shaped and warped or painted to add elements of interest to a costume that otherwise doesn't use foil. For example, aluminum foil can be attached to a headband and shaped into antennae for a moth, insect, or alien costume — especially if spray paint is purchased to match the rest of the costume.
Foil can be used to sculpt a lot of creative accessories that can fit on a number of costumes. If you shape the item with foil, and then wrap your final version with a clean layer of foil that's minimally wrinkled, you can paint that layer or wrap it with another material to make it fit into the rest of your costume.
Aluminum Foil Costumes
Since tin foil has a shiny metallic appearance, it can be used as a surface in a number of costumes. A cardboard box with a hole cut in it for a child's head can be wrapped with aluminum foil to create a robotic body; this can be further enunciated with painted accessories like rocket packs (two soda cans or water bottles wrapped in foil and attached) or a helmet (foil wrapped around a bike helmet) to bring the costume to the next level.
You can even wrap foil around your child's normal shirt and jeans to make what looks like an astronaut's suit, and a baseball cap or bike helmet wrapped in foil would work wonderfully with that foil suit setup.