Cool DIY Costume for a Boy: A Tiki Man Spotted in Upstate New York?



I have two boys and we try to make the most out of every day together. I try to focus on spending quality time together; doing things is a must as well as establishing traditions and memories for years to come. Lives are so busy with sports and school and growing up it seems that everyday there is something or somewhere we have to go. A friend once made a statement that made a lot of sense and has really stuck with me. We were sitting around talking about the kids and sports they were playing and the bonds that get formed throughout childhood. The kids had just had a rough game and they were down. His take was not to focus too much on the game, or the skill level as long as they were trying their hardest and he said, “it’s not about the score, it’s about the story they will tell win or lose.” His take was to focus on making sure regardless, that they had a good time and have a story to remember.

We all know later in life we don’t remember the exact details, which often change slightly over time, but the story, that remains. It’s not the end result that matters, but how we get there. So, with each holiday, if we just buy it at the store and put it up, there is no story. My boys and I, we are all about the story and Halloween is no exception.

Every year the boys come to me with their ideas for a costume and we try to bring it to life. We’ve done cowboys on horses, pirates, a sniper in a gully suit, and even one year Santa riding on Rudolph (I should have submitted that one.)

This year my eight year old, who for 4 years running was a pirate, came to me and said, “I want to be a Tiki man.”

I said, “A what???”

I had no idea what that was. I’m not even sure he knew. So we got on Google Images (thank goodness) and started looking. After about half an hour we eventually picked out a picture he liked and he said, that one! (In my head I said, “Oh boy….”). Not being one to back down from a challenge, and always encouraging creativity, I said okay.

Here is how we turned my 8 year old into the only Tiki man I have ever seen in Upstate NY.

The Face of a Tiki:

First we took a the biggest cardboard box I could find at work and free handed the face as an outline. We first tried markers but the colors just were not going to stand out enough so we went and bought the right colored paints.

Painting Process
Painting Process

Internet Tiki Man
Internet Tiki Man

Cutting out the face:

Here you can see we finished all the painting before cutting it out.

Pre cutout
Pre cutout

Tiki Hair:

Then, we bought a few hula skirts and two leis. I found the best way to ensure they would stay on was actually staples. Once on you couldn’t see them at all.

I did the same with the lei around the top.

Hairy Tiki
Hairy Tiki

Making it wearable:

The next piece was to try to figure out how he would wear it on his head. For that, we took an old baseball hat he didn’t want any more and put the clasp through the eye hole. We then painted it to match the eyes at the bridge of the nose. He just wore the hat backwards on his head. I also made sure to hang the hula skirt off the back of the had and staple it there as well so the strands would not be in front of his face. They hung down hiding him in the back nicely.

Hat Clasp
Hat Clasp

Final Step:

I then cut one of the colored hula skirts in half to put around his legs.

NY Tiki Man
NY Tiki Man







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