We came across an airplane as we were thinking and browsing for Halloween Costumes. Of course the 5 year old thought it was ‘cool’ and I thought, ‘I can make that’… famous last words.
It actually was not nearly as difficult as I thought it might be. I found one big box for the body of the plane, one smaller box for the back of the plane, one big box for the top wing of the plane, and I stumbled over the idea for the wings to be made out of the bottom of soda can boxes that you get at the big warehouse stores. Paper towel tubes to attach the top wing. A big cookie container (painted silver) for the front, a piece of foam board for the propeller, and two pieces of cardboard pieces for the backflaps.
I read that covering the cardboard with duct tape might be a good idea because of water and warping issues. So I got to work covering everything cardboard (except form board, because I got black foam board). It took 2-3 rolls of tape. Next, everything was painted.
I simply taped the front box to the back box. Not super strong, but it got us through the 4-5 times we used the plane. The back flaps were two rectangles that I cut to fit together and taped to the back box. The smaller back box — I left the flaps open 1/2 way and taped it at an angle. superglue and more tape for the paper towel tubes. I did use strong double sided tape to hold the top wing in place. The top wing had a bend in it, so I used another straight card board piece to keep it as straight as possible and taped it all together before placing it on the double sided tape. The cookie container and prop were held on by a giant screw/nut that went through the entire front of the plane. The wings were taken apart at one end, then a slit with an razor in the body of the plane. The wings were inserted and I actually did not tape it inside (because it was nice to take them off and kinda fit through doors). It stayed just fine. I did make straps out of extra material that I had. Two strips long enough to accomodate the height I wanted. I made two holes in the big box flaps (that were folded up) and, after putting an end through the hold, tied a knot to hold it in place. Measured the height, made two holes in the back flaps (that were also folded up) and tied it off at the appropriate length.
My boy helped ‘decorate’ the plane with colored duct tape. We just did stripes and, of course, a number on both sides (straight line numbers only).
We did win a couple costume contests, best home-made costume, and my son was extremely proud to ‘fly’ it around. It was a little heavy for him, so the straps were almost a must. The smile on his face the first time trying it on, as you can see, was priceless!