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Friday, October 22, 2010

Milk Jug Storm Trooper Helmet


Well, you know how we go with phases of obsession here. It was fairies a while back and now it's Star Wars. I thought it was worth putting this post up right away because with it being Halloween soon, there must be a few of you that are looking for budget Storm Trooper costume solutions (especially if you have more than one kid that wants to dress up as a storm trooper!). All you need for this are a couple of gallon size milk jugs (with their lids/caps), some hot glue and something you can cut them up with (I used an exacto knife, but it would probably be doable with a good pair of scissors because the plastic is quite thin).

I thought of this while I was making the Fimo storm trouper helmet for our Star Wars peg doll set. As I was modelling the helmet I started thinking it could be approximated with strategically cut portions of milk jugs. I had to wait a couple of days until we finished our second gallon of milk and also had to be fairly confident of what shapes I wanted to cut, because I only had the two containers to work with and I knew I needed both. Here are the containers I used (still with a bit of dish soap water in them!)

These are the shapes I cut out of them to use. Pieces A and B are cut from the first milk jug and then piece C is cut from the second milk jug. This really was a prototype, so next time I think I'd go for a taller piece as section C. I guess it depends on the size of the head you're making it for though. My kids are four and just turned six, so petit was the aim of the game with this helmet.

I used hot hotglue, rather than the low temp stuff, in order to try and secure the pieces together more firmly. As you can see from these photos, piece A was the lower front and sides of the helmet and piece C is the front of the helmet from the nose up. The pouring top part of the milk jug had to be cut off to make piece C, so to cover up that and make the helmet a bit more aesthetically pleasing I cut out the circular indent from the side bit that was left over from first milk jug. This fitted in nicely to fill that hole.

I hole punched the back of the two protruding side panels so that I could put in elastic to hold it on. It's not a "full helmet", but it is significantly more than a mask. I then glued the two lids of the milk jugs on either side of the mouth part.

Once the structure was all glued together I popped it on my daughter to figure out where the eye holes needed to go. It wasn't going to work to have the eye holes cut where the storm trooper's eyes actually are, but with the milk jug being partially see through, it was easy to see where to put them and it worked out that I could hide them pretty well in the decorations afterwards.

I had a can of white spray paint, so I used that on it. You could paint it with acrylic craft paint though, or if you are smart then you could deliberately get the totally opaque white milk jugs to start with!

Here it is painted up with black, white and grey craft paint. I had the paint out already from making the peg dolls, but a grey and black sharpie marker would do the job. I decided at the last minute to put the ear cover things on (they are made from the bottom plastic sections from the containers you get from the 50cent toy dispensers around here). The horizontal black line around the forehead is just a strip of black electrical tape.

As far as clothing went, I just used a back long sleeved top with a white vest over it. I didn't have a poloneck/turtleneck so I just gave them a black dollar store ear warmer band to put on around their neck. I didn't get as far as doing anything for the lower half of this outfit, because the kids are happy to just run around in it as it is (they want to be Darth Vader and Princess Leia for halloween anyway). I hope this is useful for a few of you that have wannabe storm troopers. It's not totally accurate and if I did it again then I'd change a couple of things, like removing the front nossle to make a better version of the mouth area, but it's good enough that most young kids will be happy with it.

If you have the milk jugs, but no one wants to be a storm trooper then you could always use them to make trick or treat pumpkin pots like we did a couple of years ago, here. :)

Oooh, or there are the milk jug batman masks too, here. I'd forgotten how much we mess about with milk jugs!

Another Star Wars related thing that might come in handy for trick or treating is the torch and balloon light saber hack that I posted at the beginning of this year.

Most kids have a torch for trick or treating anyway, so if you have young Jedi then this might be exactly what you need to both light the way and avoid the injuries that the combination of candy high kids and expensive and solid plastic light sabers can result in ;)