Trick or Treat! A Kind-of-Easy DIY Thomas Costume

Guess what? It’s costume tutorial time! Obviously this won’t do you any good this year, but I don’t think trains are going out of style any time soon, so maybe you can get a head start for next Halloween! The internet went CRAZY over my Woody costume tutorial (it’s *by far* my most read/pinned post), so Mommy thought maybe fellow craft-o-phobes might like my simple Thomas costume.

Those of you who “like” me on Facebook might have seen a video of my costume in action (if not, you should go check it out, it’s pretty cute. Plus I post pictures on there all the time!).

What You Need:



  • 2 boxes – Mommy used diaper boxes; we always have plenty of those!
  • blue paint and black paint
  • paint brushes – Mommy uses the cheapo foam type
  • Glue – hot glue, white glue, AND a glue stick (Probably you could figure out how to do this with fewer types of adhesive, but this is what Mommy did.)
  •  several large pieces of white poster board
  • 2 10″ styrofoam wreath forms
  • 4 white paper plates (about 9″?)
  • paper towel tube
  • brads

First Mommy dug through our available boxes and found two that were approximately the same size, and that were big enough for me to stand in.  She glued them together as shown below, and cut an arc for where I would be standing.  People on Facebook thought I was going to be a potty for Halloween at this point.

Mommy was worried that the glue alone wouldn’t hold the boxes completely together, so rather than painting the boxes themselves, she glued posterboard over the whole thing and painted that blue.  She also cut the styrofoam wreath form and glued it on to form the curved funnel area. (Tip: Dip your knife into nail polish remover to make cutting the styrofoam easier.)

She cut posterboard to cover the styrofoam, glued it on, and painted it blue.  She also printed out a #1 to use as a template, and then cut yellow cardstock and glued it on each side. In hindsight, the 1 is a little out of scale – Mommy would print it a little smaller if she was doing this project again.

She attached a circle of posterboard to the other strofoam wreath, and painted the whole thing black.  She painted the towel tube black and then attached it in between the wreath and the train body. (This involved a complicated combination of 3 kinds of glue, staples, and prayer. Very Scientific.)  She also cut strips of red cardstock and glued it to make the stripes on the curved part.

She cut out a few more pieces of red cardstock and added them on as details. Almost done!

There are no pictures of this next step because it was getting last minute, and so we kicked it into high gear, but she had Thomas’s face printed on cardstock at Office Depot, and painted 4 paper plates blue. We drilled holes (I helped!) in the plates and the train body and attached the wheels (plates) with brads – they spin!  She also cut slits in the cardboard and attached some ribbon to use as suspenders so I could wear my train.  We added a hat and a red bandana and were all set!

A few thoughts that might have made this even cooler:

    • This tutorial has directions for using a cheap sound recording keychain to make a train whistle sound effect when you put candy down the funnel – how cool would that be?


  • Mommy briefly went insane and was REALLY trying to make a steam effect; she even went to buy dry ice! Dry ice only steams when you add hot water to it, so it totally would not work with my paper towel tube funnel, but maybe with some other material – a piece of pipe or something?


And, for those, of you who were wondering, Baby Lulu wasn’t *completely* left out – she went as Percy this year!

Happy Halloween!
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  1. What a lucky boy to have a Mommy who worked so hard and did such a great job. Give Mommy a big Hug and Kiss


  2. I love that lulu got in on the train action!

  3. Pingback: Big Daddy Wizard and Baby Witch, Halloween 2013 » Love the Ludwigs

  4. I made this Thomas this year for my 3 year old. He loved it and it was a very big hit. Thank you so much!

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