Entertaining & Celebrating

DIY Baby Roman Soldier Chariot

authentically amber diy halloween family costumes baby parent roman gladiator greek goddess

This is, by far, still one of my all-time favorite costumes!

When I first started working at JCPenney in 2014, I got the opportunity to witness the corporate Halloween parade for kids called the “Pumpkin Parade.” There was a daycare in the basement of our building where many employees sent their children. While I did not have any kids at the time, I was in awe at all of the costumes and “floats” parents erected for their kids. It was simply remarkable. The crowd for the parade was immense. Imagine an entire corporate workforce of around 3,000 people or more lining up in the atrium to see kids from 0-5 walk about in costumes.

Most were so young they couldn’t even walk, so many were pulled by wagons or wagons that had been transformed into some other costume complementing vehicle.

I told myself on that day in October 2014 that if God blessed me to have kids, they would be in that parade, and this mama would have to bring it!

Fast forward to 2017. Our sweet Deuce-man was almost one, and it was nearing time for the annual pumpkin parade at my job.

Let me rephrase this – it was July of 2017, and I was already thinking about what Deuce would be for Halloween and how I could make sure his “float” would be worthy of our employee parade!

I came across a cool concept on Pinterest of a horse and chariot. It was adorable, but the child looked to be about five years old and could stand on the chariot. I knew that sort of design would not work for a 10-month-old who wasn’t walking. 

The idea continued to stick with me in the back of my mind; I just wasn’t sure if this first Halloween was the year to do it. Then one night, while I was up nursing at 2 am, it hit me! We needed to create a chariot in which Deuce could be seated.

This was our son’s very first Halloween and our first Halloween as parents. As my promise to be truthfully authentic with yall, I’m not going to lie, many fights went into this chariot, and for a minute, I was afraid my husband was going to leave me he was so frustrated! Lol. Anywho, we made it through, and like always, we used teamwork to build not only this incredible little chariot but also unforgettable memories for our boy and even for us.

If you would like to replicate this chariot, here is what you’ll need:

Chariot Instructions:

  1. Measure the distance of your tricycle front and back wheels and where they fall with the sheet metal. (to correctly measure, you can bend the sheet metal into a U shape in front of the trike, have one person hold it turned across the trike, while the other marks the placement of the wheels.) 
  2. Use a marker to mark this section, then cut a U-shaped clearance with your sheet metal cutters so that your wheels can freely move and aren’t obstructed by the sheet metal.
  3. Take your drill and drill a hole next to the sheet metal’s backsides above the U-shaped spacing you created directly above the wheels.
  4. In the front, drill two holes that line up with your horse’s wheels in front of the chariot.
  5. Use the red spray paint to paint the sheet metal. Be sure to paint it evenly on both sides.
  6. Take your zip ties, run them through the back holes, and tightly attach them to the wheelbase.
  7. Please do the same for the front section but connect them to the bar on your horse wheels. 
  8. Once successfully attached, take your red felt and create 3 inch thick sections that can run across the sheet metal’s sharp edges. Use your hot glue gun to glue the felt down, covering all rough edges so that your little one has no risk of getting cut.  
  9. Take the gold tassel and hot glue it around the top of the chariot. 
  10. Paint your wooden appliques.
  11. Once completely dry, take wood glue or super glue, and glue the appliques onto the chariot. (You can see the layout I used in the above image, but you can lay them any way that will work best with your chariot.)
  12. Set your mood music. (We used the battle song from 300. We had a Beatz Pill and played the song and stuck the speaker in the back of the trike in its cubby.) 

Costume Details

From who I get all of my creative juices from, my mom was the mastermind behind the costumes. She lives in Hawaii, but that didn’t stop her from creating something unique for her grandson and me! With our measurements, she made both of our costumes from patterns she picked up at the local fabric store. She also found Deuce a Trojan helmet, knife, and belt that he wore proudly. 

If you are like me and aren’t blessed with the ability to sew, here are some costume recommendations:

3 Helpful & Important Tips

  • Start Early! This is one of those types of projects that can take some trial and error. It’s all based on the exact materials you are personally using, so give yourself plenty of time to work on this!
  • Pack snacks for your little one. Since we were technically in a “parade,” I packed snacks for Deuce to keep him occupied, mostly since he wasn’t at the candy eating age yet. This kept him from getting too fussy or squirmy as he was being pulled down the parade route.  
  • Do a dry run. We had Deuce put on his costume and rolled him around our house in the chariot a few times a couple of days before. This not only showed us whether there was anything we needed to tweak, but it also got him comfortable in both the outfit and the chariot. It would’ve been a considerable shock to put the costume on him and then sit him on a chariot the day that he had never seen before and could’ve resulted in a not so happy toddler. I highly recommend a dry run!

If you decide to tackle this one, I would love to hear about it! Tag me in your post on Instagram @Authenticallyamberblog or send me a message on my Contact page if you have any questions about recreating this!

Lastly, I’ll share one of my favorite photos of Deuce from this day. He was so exhausted by the end of the Parade route (it collided with nap time) and dropped his head, and went to sleep! He was a trooper all the way through. I couldn’t have asked for a better first Halloween experience for him, ? 

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  • Reply
    October 8, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Excellent idea!

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