I was going through old Halloween pictures today, and I stumbled on my favorite costume in the history of ever.
It was the year my three-year old was obsessed with “Cars,” and especially Mater, so naturally I had to make a Mater costume that year. I’m terrible at sewing, and woodwork, and drawing, and painting…but this? This costume was my thing. Because I can duct tape and spray paint stuff like a boss, and that’s basically all this is.
Please bear in mind that I took all these pictures before I was a blogger, and before I had a semi-nice camera, and before I thought about things like lighting and composition and fancy photography words like that. I just love this project too much not to share it. And because Mater is such an awesome, lovable guy, hopefully someone will find this useful.
(also, because I put this together before I was a blogger, I’m afraid I have no pictures of the actual construction of it…but I think you can see how it was put together)
How to make a Mater costume
- reddish-brown spray paint (2-3 cans)
- blue spray paint (1 can)
- duct tape (at least 2 rolls)
- black tempera or acrylic paint (1 small bottle)
- white tempera or acrylic paint (1 small bottle)
- green tempera or acrylic paint (1 small bottle)
- 2 diaper boxes, or boxes of similar size
- 1 small moving box
- 1 empty oatmeal canister
- 1 empty wrapping paper roll
- 1 plant hanger
- paper plates or cardboard
- aluminum foil
- rope or other material for wearing costume (we used old overall straps)
The body is three cardboard boxes — a diaper box in the front and back, and a slightly larger Home Depot moving box in the middle (size small). I took all three boxes and spray painted them reddish brown — they took 3 coats each because of all the bright colors on the diaper boxes…if you were using plain brown cardboard boxes, you could probably get away with two. I duct-taped them all together — I just duct-taped the heck out of them so they wouldn’t move. Top, bottom, sides. Slap it all over the place until your three boxes don’t wobble. Another coat or two of reddish-brown spray paint to hide the tape.
I used an upside-down oatmeal box for his snout (engine? What is that?). And on the back, a wrapping paper tube with a hanging planter hook for his towing equipment.
Once everything’s been added on and painted reddish-brown, I hit the sides here and there with blue paint (Mater was originally blue, before he got all rusty…so you want just a little peeking out around the edges.) I used paper plates painted black for the wheels, but if I had to do it again, I’d use cardboard. The plates were a little flimsy. I cut two circles out of a cereal box for headlights — one I covered in aluminum foil (that’s the working light), and one was just black, because it’s busted of course.
And once everything was in place, I freehand drew Mater’s face on. If you’re a questionable draw-er like me, definitely do this lightly in pencil first. No need to erase your mistakes, once you have the face painted on the way you want it, no one will notice.
I had a pair of outgrown, holey overalls, so I cut the straps off and attached them (more duct tape! Always more duct tape!) to the inside of the body for her to carry the costume. You could use rope, though.
Let everything dry, and you’re off. Just allow a nice turning radius — Mater’s no sports car.
For more Halloween ideas, try one of these:
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