Halloween is almost here!! 😮
Here is the Star Wars StormTrooper costume that was a real winner for Halloween trick-or-treating for several years. Whether you spell it Storm Trooper or Stormtrooper or StormTrooper (I’ve seen them all in my Internet search so I’m putting them all out there), it’s actually a pretty easy costume to make.
Please forgive me if I stumble with these instructions. It’s been about 8-10 years since I made this costume and I’m trying to remember all the bits and pieces. Here we go! 😀
You need the following:
- a pair of black pants, jeans or sweats
- a long-sleeved black shirt
- white sneakers (we were lucky, our son’s were already white.)
- a bicycle helmet (we were lucky again, our son’s helmet was already white.)
- 2 empty toilet paper rolls or an empty paper towel roll cut in half
- foam sheets (can be bought at any craft store in various widths/sizes)
- a glue gun with glue sticks
- craft glue
- some Velcro (hook-and-loop fasteners)
- some double-sided tape
- a black marker
Where did I get the idea?
My son came home from his weekly trip to the library with a huge book on Star Wars entitled: Star Wars : The Visual Dictionary written by David West Reynolds; special fabrications by Don Bies & Nelson Hall; new photography by Alexander Ivanov.
This is a fantastic book for you to get an up-close look at all the costumes, gadgets, ships, creatures and more that were created in Star Wars! There actually are several of these books to cover later episodes of Star Wars as well, but the above book is the one he brought home that day.
We found a great photograph of a StormTrooper and I went to work brainstorming on what sorts of materials I could use. As someone who used to be the Operations Manager at a fabric and craft store, I mentally went through the store I used to work at to see all of my options. Shopping list in hand, I bought numerous white foam sheets of various widths and some double-sided tape. The rest I had on hand at home.
Construction made easy
I used one of the thinnest sheets of foam to form the visor or front part of the helmet. I cut out the pieces for his eyes, and using a second sheet of foam, cut out a wide “W” to glue under both eyes for added depth. (Sorry, you can’t really see that in this photo but you’ll understand when you get the book.) I then cut out a “frown”, colored it with a black marker and glued it on with craft glue. Don’t worry about over-spill; the glue dries clear! I then drew on the hashes and the air-thinga-ma-bobber on the chin of this visor with black marker. See it?
Remember: The trick to the eyes is to make sure they’re the right shape but also large enough for your child to see through completely.
Now, if you notice the photo in the book, you’ll see the bottom of the front of the StormTrooper helmet is rounded. That’s where the toilet paper rolls come into play. For this, I simply rolled the sheet around the two rolls using craft glue. I had my son hold onto them while they dried. Once dried, I used a strip of double-sided tape to attach this visor to the front of his bicycle helmet.
For the back of the helmet, I trimmed another thin piece of foam sheet to the shape of the helmet in the book and attached it using double-sided tape. 🙂
I wish you could see the back of this costume too, but I didn’t think to take a picture of it years ago. Using a thicker foam sheet (probably about 1/4-inch), I created the StormTrooper’s backpack, cutting out pieces from a thinner foam sheet and gluing them onto the thicker base to add depth and create the pack-look in the book. It came out beautifully. Again, I used craft glue here.
I used a medium thickness foam sheet to cut out the front chest piece and the belt as well as the lower torso pieces (front/back). I believe I used a thinner foam sheet for the ‘wings’ on the shoulders. I also used the thinner foam sheet to cut out the arm and leg pieces as they needed more flexibility. Play with it yourself and see what works best for you! These foam sheets are very inexpensive (especially when they’re on sale, so don’t be afraid to play). 🙂
I believe I glued the shoulder ‘wings’ onto a long piece of 1/2 or 3/4-inch wide white piece of ribbon then glued them onto the chest piece (front and back). My son could then slip this piece on over his head quite easily. As you can see, I used black hook-and-loop fastener to attach the front & back chest pieces together, and did the same for the lower torso but with white hook-and-loop fasteners. I believe I used a couple of dots of hook-and-look fastener for the belt. What did I use to attach the hook-and-loop fasteners to the foam sheets? 🙂 Hot glue from the glue gun. Read on to discover why.
I originally hole-punched and tied the above-referenced pieces AND the arm and leg pieces in the back using white ribbon (10 ft. for $1) because when I was talking to a friend and expressed my choice of using a glue gun, she exclaimed, “No! You can’t do that! It’ll melt the foam sheet!”.
However, after the first Halloween, we discovered that the leg pieces (especially the thigh pieces) kept sliding down. I just couldn’t tie them tight enough and the ribbons kept loosening and untying themselves.
So, with that in mind the next year, I used the glue gun!!! And??? It worked like a charm! No, it didn’t melt the foam sheets. I glue-gunned the pieces of hook-and-loop fasteners to upper and lower torso pieces as well as the leg and arm pieces. Easy on-and-off. The thigh pieces stayed in place for the most part although, in the above photo, they had slid down so it looks like his leg pieces are all…well, one piece. They aren’t. If he had pulled up his thigh pieces, you would be able to see the separate calf pieces with black knees showing in-between them.
If I made this StormTrooper costume again, I would somehow attach the thigh pieces to the lower torso pieces, just so you don’t have to keep pulling them up. But…other than that, it was surprisingly simple to make and lasted a long time. Just make sure to take it one step at a time and be creative!
Oh, and because the helmet is almost completely enclosed, it does get a little warm in there. Make sure you have your child take off the helmet throughout the night to get some fresh, cool air. Here in Florida, the weather in October can be pretty warm sometimes.
I hope you have fun with this Star Wars StormTrooper costume or any other costume you feel inspired to create from that Star Wars book or any other book!
**Looking at the picture once more** Wow, we really did luck out with his white sneakers and his white bicycle helmet, didn’t we?
Have a Happy Halloween!!! Stay safe! 😀
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