It was this time last year that I had the brilliant idea to create a family of lego costumes for Halloween. I’m great with coming up with grand ideas – the follow through on this one was pretty intense and I altered my plans a million times to simplify them. However, they will probably go down in history as my favorite Halloween costumes…ever. Fair warning – this project is not for the faint of heart – but perfect for the lego enthusiast!
Like I said before – it started with an idea when I was talking to my friend. I sent her this picture shortly later from Home Depot to let her know my plan for Lego costumes was in motion.
The costumes have two parts: Lego head and body. Today I’m talking about creating lego heads and they were time intensive.
The heads were created from cylinder concrete forms. I bought three different sizes for different sized heads. Cannon and Bennett used the 8in forms. Hallie and Hunter used 10in forms and Steve and I used 12in forms.
I used a jig saw to cut them to height – customized for each kid. To create the round edges I used 2in foam insulation (it comes with shine paper and the outside, I peeled it off) that I attached to the bottom with Gorilla tape and shaved and sanded the edges to make them rounded.
Each person chose which lego character they wanted to be and as such I had to create hair to match their character. Hindsight is 20/20 and doing it again, I would skip the hair and make everyone have the generic knob on top like typical lego heads have. But my vision by this point was way too big and I felt the need to create hair.
I layered the 2in foam and glued several pieces together. And then the carving began. Carve, shave, sand…repeat. My patio was a disaster for weeks. Every time someone came over, I had to explain the horrific mess.
I spray painted the heads yellow and sprayed the hair as well – the easiest of all the steps. Hallie even pitched in and helped paint.
I drew faces on with pencil and hand painted each of them and cut out the eye holes so we could see. (Hunter’s is missing is big pirate hat on top of his head)
Finishing the heads was a breath of fresh air. The kids loved trying them on and I loved how they turned out. Seeing them complete gave me the motivation I needed to move on to the bodies because at this point – with all the time they had already taken – I was ready to just be lego heads for Halloween! One costume would’ve been completely manageable – a family of costumes was a bit much!
Hallie came home from school pretty disappointed the other day and announced that she didn’t need a Valentine’s box because they would be making one as a class.
Hunter came home with a note that he needed a box which instantly resulted in a “No fair, when I was in kindergarten they didn’t let us come up with our own.”
She sulked for a few minutes and then eagerly jumped on the chance to help Hunter with his box.
We browsed Pinterest and every few seconds he chimed in with, “Wait, scroll up, scroll up. I like that one.” Two minutes later I would get the same reaction, different valentine’s box. He liked the dragon, the football field, the ninja turtle, the minion and I can’t forget the toilet. Seriously – boys! I finally threw out the idea of making a box out of legos. He suddenly made up his mind and he ran upstairs with Hallie and they started sorting all the legos to find all the right pieces. He even came up with the idea for his initials on top.
As a graphic designer, Christmas cards are something I look forward to and plan far in advance.
This year’s card idea hit me in September when we were contemplating Halloween costumes. We were the Incredibles on our card one year, why not be Lego people this year?! But if I was going to go to all the effort in creating the time-consuming costumes, the card deserved a little extra punch.
Here’s the front and back. “Everything (at Christmas time) is Awesome”
And the inside – a pop-up lego family. “When you are part of a team. Merry Christmas from our team to yours.”
The whole idea driving this card was the pop-up, its what I was most excited about designing. And as I started pricing dies out I saw my vision being slowly squashed due to price. But the printer I usually use tipped me off on a search to finding a laser die cut service and I found a great one. If anyone is looking for affordable die cuts – smartpress.com was awesome – so much cheaper than traditional dies.
And because these questions were asked time and time again after we sent out our card: Yes, those lego people are really us. No they are not photoshopped on. Yes, they were slightly uncomfortable and somewhat hard to see out of. No, I will never make one of these costumes again! Yes, I am keeping them. They’re currently wrapped in plastic in the attic for who knows how long before we pull them down and revive the Lego family. Yes, we were a hit at the neighborhood Halloween party and basically ended up posing with every family for a photo op. And most predicted the Lego family would make the Christmas card.
I’ve said this before but it’s my favorite card to date!
You know what I love about Halloween – its the gateway to the holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
According to the news, we experienced “an unseasonably warm” Halloween, and there was debate whether it might have been the warmest on record at 95 degrees. I had to laugh as I scrolled through my instagram feed seeing my friends across the country, many dressed up in winter jackets with costumes barely fitting over the top. Rosy red cheeks and winter hats. It was a different story in our part of the country. It was hot. We our friends the Heatons (my college roommate and her family) visiting and we tried telling them it’s usually not this hot this time of year. But we made do and we had ourselves a grand time.
Bennett’s preschool had a party and he dressed up as a pirate…a feisty pirate! You know what they say, “Pirate by day, superhero by night.” Perhaps I’m the only that says that but it’s fitting in this situation.
His best friend was also a pirate.
We gathered the kids – including our visitors and went to Hunter’s school Halloween parade. This is where a month of preparation for his costume (as well as the others costumes) finally gave me some satisfaction as I saw him strut through that parade with pride. He was the only lego guy and it was awesome. He told us later he felt so famous because everyone was shouting at him and trying to give him high fives. To a six year old – that is everything!
Because we had company, the kids attended their Halloween parties and then we pulled them from school to enjoy the day. We did Halloween bingo, an afternoon at the park and because of the unseasonably warm weather, our guests wanted to jump in the pool. It is freezing. And we warned them. But the novelty of a pool is never lost on visitors and minds were made up that it was a swimming day. How many people can say they swam in an outdoor (not heated) pool on Halloween? I thought it would be a quick jump in and jump out. But no, although it was cold, they jumped in and out and in and out for a good amount of time. There were water wars and diving contests and all sorts of fun.
We took pictures before heading out to the neighborhood/ward party. Quick note about the costumes. We (when I say we, I really mean me because Steve just rolled his eyes when I told him my idea!) decided to make lego costumes several weeks ago. Each kid chose which lego mini figure they wanted to be and I went to work. I had no idea when starting this project the time commitment these would take. I was cautiously optimistic when I should have been realistically pessimistic! They. Took. Forever. And that is not an exaggeration. And because I can’t predict the weather, I had no idea weeks ago when I started that they would be worn in 90 degree weather. They were hot. But the kids were rockstars and wore them with pride. However, their heads had to be removed at the party so they could eat! Minor detail!
Our friends went as Peter Pan and the lost boys – much better suited for warm weather!
We spent the evening enjoying an outdoor chili feed with neighbors and friends and then gathered candy with the kids as we made our way back to our house and enjoyed the fun Halloween house.
The nice thing about young kids trick-or-treating is it doesn’t have to last very long before they’re legs are tired and they’re asking to go home. The amount in their bags is always ten times more than they could possibly enjoy and they have just as much fun sorting their candy in piles and trading as they did gathering it.
Halloween did not disappoint – so grateful we had friends to enjoy it with!
This is how a Lego party goes down at our house. Both Hallie and Hunter had helped on decor and treats the week before but when they got off the bus and saw it all put together there was a lot of excitement. Hunter exclaimed, “This is the best party ever.” I love that my six year old is as enthusiastic about parties as I am.
When friends arrived they each colored a Lego mini figure. Not surprising all but one chose to make it look like Emmet or Wild Style from the Lego Movie.
We had a photoshoot with our Emmet photo board for each kid.
We also had each kid build a rubber band lego car. This took much longer than I expected but they were the perfect ages for the activity. We raced them and tried different sized rubber bands to see what changes it had. The thinnest rubber band gave the most favorable results!
This boy was on cloud nine. We took his favorite toy and mixed that with his favorite people and he was beyond happy. His friend asked if we could keep everything so he could have it for his birthday party in a couple months. Flattery from a six year old is priceless!