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Fly into the Danger Zone and Turn Your Toddler into a Top Gun for Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for my little family because it’s when my husband and I are really able to let our creative sides show by making a super fun costume for our son. We’re totally soaking up these younger Halloween years with John because we don’t know if he’ll want us making costumes for him when he gets bigger.

For his first Halloween, John was a “baby Beethoven.” My husband and I found a creepy wig, a white oxford shirt, a black jacket, and some fabric to use as an ascot. Then, we draped John’s stroller with a black sheet. We attached a keyboard to the stroller and hid a wireless speaker in the bottom. As we walked around, John pounded on the keyboard (which wasn’t turned on) while Beethoven’s 5th Symphony played.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

For John’s second Halloween, my husband and I transformed him into Carl Fredricksen, the old man from the movie, “Up.” To create this costume, we found a woman’s grey wig and bought a walker from a local thrift store. We sawed the legs down on the walker to make it John’s height and put tennis balls on the bottom. Then, we dressed John, plopped the wig on his head, tossed on a pair of glasses, and then we bought some balloons and tied them to John’s belt loop on the back of pants.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

For his third Halloween, John will be channeling Maverick, the character that Tom Cruise portrayed in the movie, “Top Gun,” which believe it or not, my husband hadn’t seen until a few weeks ago when he watched it to get an idea of what John’s jet should look like. My husband didn’t use a template to make the jet- he eyeballed it, changing things as he went along so that it would fit over the top of John’s handled trike.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

The jet was made using 24″x36″ plastic sheeting and zip ties. Wooden dowels are being used to keep the wings elevated and also to mimic red flames. The thrusters are made out of the ends dryer hoses, and the window to the cockpit is an ordinary plastic bowl cut in half. The lights are orange battery operated Halloween lights which are zip tied into the thrusters. Everything was spray painted in metallic silver. After the jet was spray painted, Jay used letter stickers to spell out the words “Maverick,” and “Goose.” And yes, there is a spot for Goose- he’ll be zip tied behind John’s seat. The Navy stickers came via Amazon as did the black knight chess piece sticker. The shield was spray painted on the wing by hand and not by my hand, by my husband’s. Click on the arrows to scroll through the photos!

John’s outfit is a white undershirt, a pair of jeans, a bomber jacket, brown boots, aviator glasses that we found at a thrift store, and dog tags.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

The only tools used to make the jet were a drill, and a hand saw. Of course, Jay also used a pencil, ruler, and scissors, but most people have those supplies in their home. In all, we spent well under $40 making the jet and putting together the costume. If you don’t have random spray paint, Halloween lights, zip ties, and plastic sheeting laying around like we did, it might cost you a bit more.

And now, our boy in his full costume. Don’t forget to click on the arrows to see all the photos!

This is one of those times that my craft project supply hoarding came in handy! Oh, and one more thing- when we take John out in his full getup, we’re going to tuck a wireless speaker in the bottom of his trike and play “Danger Zone” on repeat. We know it’s not the official theme song for Top Gun, but it’s the one most people associate with the movie, at least the people we surveyed.

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