Weeks ago, Oliver told me he wanted to be a washing machine for Halloween. I love a challenge! Joanna was nominated to be the dryer.
I knew I'd make the costumes out of boxes, but I went online for more ideas. There were a few photos of people dressed as washers & dryers, but no info on how to make them. From the photos, I took away the idea of covering the kids in clothes. In the end, I needed two boxes, a roll of wrapping paper (any kind, as long as the back is plain white), tape, modelling clay, a Sharpie, some plastic pie or round cake covers, glue, blue food coloring, miscellaneous small boxes/bottles, dryer sheets, ribbon, and clothes.
Andrew brought home two boxes from work. They were Starbucks boxes from the coffee they provide in the break room. They were the perfect size for our kids. The smaller the person, the smaller the box! I pulled open one flap on top to serve as the panel for the appliances. I completely cut off the bottom of the box, and then I cut a hole out of the top of each. I took random leftover wrapping paper and wrapped the appliances inside-out. Double-sided tape helped keep things looking nice.
I couldn't find any extra knobs at hardware stores and craft stores, so I finally made my own out of modelling clay. It took about 5 minutes to make the knobs at 15 minutes to bake them, so it really wasn't that hard nor time consuming. I used a Sharpie to write in details for the dials, like "hot, warm, cold." Other than the modelling clay and ribbon, the only thing I had to go out and buy were the plastic pie covers. The kind I got had a plastic bottom and top that locked together. I stuck clothes in one and hot-glued it to the front of the "dryer." For the washer, I mixed Elmer's glue and a drop of blue food coloring. I poured it into one of the pie covers about halfway up. I poured some glue on top of that to look like foam, but it dried mostly clear.
I purchased ribbon from the discount section of Michael's. I got some for $1! I poked 4 holes in the top of each costume around the opening, kind of like the corners of a square. I took the end of a ribbon and poked it through the top of one hole and knotted it a couple of times on the bottom. I strung the ribbon across diagonally to another corner hole, cut the ribbon to size (Oliver had to stand in his so I could measure it to fit), and then I stuck it in the hole and knotted it. I repeated it again the other way, so each costume had two pieces of ribbon that formed an X. Their body went into the front of the X, and each arm went through a side of the X.
If the costumes had been for adults, I could have gotten away with using a regular dryer-sheet box. Our costumes were small, so one wouldn't fit. I dug around for a random box that I could use (I ended up using a Tobasco box cut down to size). I printed out a Bounce logo on printer paper and wrapped it around the box. I stuck a dryer sheet coming out of it. Oliver had a random bottle for some toy, and I put a Tide logo on it. I hot-glued the items to the washer & dryer and called it good!
The weather forecast was cold, so the kids needed hats. I decided to loosely sew on some undies and socks to their hats. I also sewed a dryer sheet onto Jo's hat. It looked so funny and cute! I decided that Oliver needed something extra on his hat, too, so I sewed on some cotton balls to look like soap bubbles. My mom tinted some blue (using just a little blue food dye in a ziploc bag).
Here are the kids in their finished costumes, ready to trick-or-treat!
I thought Jo would hate wearing her costume, but she loved it! She toddled off from house to house, gathering candy. She probably walked a full quarter mile by herself!
They are so funny.
Oliver had the time of his life. He loved his costume, and he also loved everything about trick-or-treating. He enjoyed ringing the doorbells and saying trick-or-treat and, of course, getting candy. He couldn't stop smiling!
The best part is that Oliver could use them as toys when we got home! I cut the ribbon off and let him go to town.