As my boys get older, I’ve had to evolve my “Family Costume” planning so that they are just as excited, if not more than me. At 2.5 last year, Deuce wasn’t entirely old enough to decide what he wanted to be, but I knew that he was absolutely in love with fire trucks. I decided to base our costume on this theme in a fun way where the whole family could participate!
I knew that Deuce would want to be a fireman, but I wanted to tell a full story and one that would make sense for RG and Demetrius, and I. I thought RG would make the perfect “Fire Dog,” and it was also a way to ensure he stayed warm since he was about 11 months old.
For Demetrius and I, I didn’t want us to be firemen, which I thought could be a bit cliché, so I came up with the idea of us being the “Fire” that the kids had to put out!
It’s funny as I look back at this costume because metaphorically speaking, I did sort of feel on fire during this time in my life. It was my first year of staying home full time, we had begun the process of opening our second clinic, and I couldn’t seem to get organized. I felt like my mind was everywhere, and I had a lot on my plate. Reflecting now, not much has changed with my circumstances, but my attitude has come along way. I realize how blessed we are, and I’ve learned to abide in Christ when things get hectic and know He is ultimately in control. In general, my mind isn’t as weighed down, so I hope to embrace and enjoy this season with my boys and give them memories and pictures that they can look back on as they grow.
Since I was so busy, I didn’t look at making the costumes this particular year. Plus, with so many firefighters and dalmatian options, I didn’t think it was necessary. Here are the details of our costumes:
- Firefighter Suit – being honest, this particular fireman costume was not cheap. However, it is the real deal. Since Deuce was obsessed with Firemen, I knew it would be more of a “play costume” that he could also use to dress up. It is almost a year later, and he still puts this thing on. I mean, it’s “the real deal” because the quality of the costume is legit. It’s comprised of a heavy-duty material that replicates actual Firemen coveralls and jackets. It also came with his last name on the back, and we were also able to give them our town name for the back. This costume was such a hit! We’ve taken Deuce to our local fire station wearing it before, and I’ve been surprised at how impressed the firefighters were!
- Accessories – His hat, mini extinguisher, and temperature gauge were also online finds.
- Boots – Thinking ahead, I knew he would need rain boots for the rainy season, so I got him these firefighter themed ones so that he could wear them all season.
I found this adorable Dalmatian costume for RG online as well. Since it gets pretty cold on Halloween night, I put him in a full winter suit underneath. You could also put your baby’s wool pajamas on underneath so that you have to take the Dalmation portion off for bed since they are usually ready to crash from staying up late on Halloween!
I went back and forth on how my costume would look. I saw so many unique options on Pinterest that inspired me. In the end, I found a great deal on wish.com with this dress. Since it was Wish and their merchandise is gone once sold out, here is a similar option:
- Flame Dress
- Orange Tights
- Red Stilettos (I wore red stilettos I already owned. If you don’t have a pair, here is a reasonably priced option)
My husband, like most men, likes to keep things simple. I searched for the perfect fire shirt for him; I was so excited when I found it! It matched my dress and required minimal dress-up for him. He paired it with black pants and black shoes. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate this same shirt I purchased from Amazon, but here are some alternatives:
The Fire Truck
I’m proud to say that after two Halloweens of my husband doing the bulk of the work, I stepped it up for our fire truck! He was just as busy as I was during this time, so I decided to take on the task. He helped with the drilling and assembly required, but I did most of the upfront work.
What you’ll need:
(I purchased a second hand Radio Flyer wagon I found on Marketplace for $30)
(We used blue because we had this one from our Ghostbusters costume from the year prior. If you are purchasing one, I recommend red to match a traditional fire truck.)
- Red Spray Paint
- White Spray Paint
- Yellow Spray Paint
- Red Duct Tape
- Painters Tape
- Measuring Tape
- Box Cutter
- Red Felt
(we used leftovers from our Chariot costume from two years prior, but you can get it at any craft store)
- ¾’’ sized screws (46)
- Corner Brace/L Brackets (8)
- White Card Stock (3 sheets) for your fire emblems
- 1/8’’ 2’ x 4’ Tempered Hardboard (I used 2 boards. See notes below before buying)
- Large plastic corrugated sheets (2-3 depending on your wagon size)
- 24’’ flat wooden stick (2 ) (I found them at Hobby Lobby in the wood craft section)
- Jumbo Popsicle Sticks (7-8)
- Small Spray Hose
- Wall Hook
Get your Measurements
Pre-Measure before you begin and before purchasing materials:
- First, you will need to measure your wagon. All wagons are pretty standard in size, but the wagon’s width ratio to the wheels is what matters. Thus, I don’t include measurements here since it’s particular to the wagon you will be using.
Measurements needed for tempered hardboard and corrugated sheets:
- Height on both sides: Measure two inches above the top of your wagon, to right before your wheels begin.
- Width on both sides: Measure across your wagon on both sides.
- Height on front and back: Measure two inches above the top of your wagon, down to right before your wheels begin.
- Width on front and back: Measure two inches above the top down to right before your wheels begin.
Additional Measurements needed for the corrugated sheets:
- Please have your child sit in the front of their wagon (where you want the truck windows). Measure length from two inches above where your wagon starts, up to 4 inches past the top of their head. This will confirm how much space from top to bottom is needed for their head to fit through the side and front windows.
- Next, please measure the width of them sitting forward (how they will sit while trick or treating), so you can determine how wide you want the window to be.
Purchasing Tempered Hardboard
Go to a hardware store and look for tempered hardboard (you need to be able to drill holes through it). Ask them to cut the tempered hardboard down to the dimensions you measured above for your wagon. (Be sure to ask for the tempered hardboard scraps from your cuttings – you will need these!)
Purchasing Corrugated Sheets
While at the Hardware store, pick up three pieces of the big corrugated sheets. Make sure at least two of the sheets surpass the length and width of your wagon, and also the top four inches you measured of your child’s head while sitting in the wagon.
- Take your corrugated sheets and your measuring tape. Use the wagon measurements that you took above to draw out outlines on the corrugated sheets that look like this:
- Take your box cutter and cut out the outlines. The corrugated sheets are a bit thick, so I found it helpful to take the scraps from the tempered hardboard and lay them under the corrugated sheet where I was about to cut and then press firmly down with the box cutter.
- Cover white stripes. Take painters tape and cover a 4-inch strip across your cut-outs’ right and left sides.
- Spray paint all panels. Use red spray paint to paint all corrugated pieces front and back.
- Once completely dry, remove the painters’ tape. You should have a solid white line on both long panel cut outs.
- Spray ladder pieces. Spray your popsicle sticks and long sticks with white spray paint. Allow it to dry.
- Assemble your ladder. Lay both 24’’ wooden sticks parallel to each other (make sure they are even) and then take super glue and glue the popsicle sticks horizontally. I would recommend that you lay them out before gluing to ensure you like the placement. The round curves of the popsicle sticks should be on the long wood’s outer edges but should not show through.
- Assemble tempered hardboard onto the wagon. First, take the tempered hardboard and connect them to the truck using the L brackets and screws. The long pieces go on either side and then the short pieces connect on the front and back.
- Assemble corrugated sheets onto the wagon. Take your screws and drill three on each side of the panels right into the corrugated board through the wood panels.
- Cover screw ends. Cover any protruding screws inside the wagon with red felt to keep the kiddos safe from getting scratched.
- Cover external corners. Take red duct tape and run it along with the corners on all four sides.
- Adhere the roof. Place the roof on top and add red duct tape to all three sides to connect with the doors and front panel.
- Add embellishments. Take Velcro and attach it to your beacon light and the roof of your truck. Glue your ladder to one side of the firetruck.
- Add fire emblems. Google any fire emblems/logos you want to use (I went to my local fire department’s site to get theirs) and print them using a color printer and your card stock. Cut them out, and then use double-sided tape to tape them to both side panels and the front of your truck. I did my local fire department emblem on the sides and a generic fire logo on the front to give it a different look.
- Add your hose to the opposite side of the truck. Paint your clear plastic hose with yellow spray paint. We used an antique-looking large hook from Hobby Lobby and drilled the hook onto one of the sides, and then rolled the hose up and placed it into the hook. We had to glue the hose together with super glue and tie it with zip ties to get it to stay properly.
*Safety Note: Since my younger son RG was only 11 months, I strapped a booster seat with a belt inside the wagon so that he could be secure while we were pulling the wagon.
Have questions? Be sure to leave me a comment below or reach out to me on my contact page. If you decide to recreate this costume or truck, I would love to see it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @AuthenticallyAmberBlog