Holidays,  Motherhood

DIY Fire Truck Halloween Costume

Halloween is just a little over three weeks away and we are in full Halloween mode over at the Kemper house. The boys want only shows and movies that involve pumpkin patches, costumes, and not-so-scary (😉) ghosts. They’re at such a great age to really “get” the holidays and fully embrace them. For a person that loves all things Holidays and thinks the best days of the year are Holiday Eves, I’m going to keep the momentum going and get the Halloween costumes ready for the big day!

This year, Jackson wants to be a costume that had to be purchased online, so when Colton asked to be a fireman, I decided it was his turn to go all out on a full outfit AND fire truck to go along with it.

Last year, I took a diaper box and created a Thomas the Train for Jackson and I took almost the same approach to Colton’s fire truck this year.

I’ll add details on Thomas the Train at the bottom of this post, but know that I went about the same method when making that costume as I did for this fire truck.

Materials Needed:


  1. Cut all tabs off the top and bottom of the diaper box, leaving just one end flap.

2. Tape flap securely to the box to create the front of the fire engine.

3. Cover all sides of your diaper box with red posterboard. You can see that I didn’t measure exactly and simply folded down and glued the excess to the inside of the truck. I learned last year that you really can’t see inside the box when your child is wearing this.

4. Measure and cut your white posterboard to cover the front flap and about half of the front of the engine. I did this by measuring from one halfway point on the side, up over the top, and down to the halfway point on the opposite side for one piece. Then cut a piece for the front that matched. Secure each with spray spray adhesive.

**Since I used mostly spray adhesive for this project, there were areas that didn’t adhere flush. This is when I went in with hot glue later and secured them.**

5. Adding some of the fire truck’s “parts.” I made each side of the fire truck identical so everything on the sides will be done in twos.

Using black posterboard, add two front windows and two side windows to opposite sides of your fire truck. I used a strip of yellow posterboard to make a stripe on the front of the truck, then attached a small white square to the front where I will place the engine number. Using white posterboard, I created two ladders, one for each side of the truck.

6. To create the headlights, I used a Bath and Body Works candle to trace a circle on white posterboard. I cut out and attached to the front of the truck.

7. Using these number stickers, I placed a red 2 on the front of the fire engine. I placed two black 2’s on the sides of the engine right in the center of the truck.

I then attached two red solo cups to the top of the engine to mimic sirens.

8. To make the wheels, I used a watering can I had at the house to make large circles with black posterboard. These measure to about 5 1/2″ in diameter. Cut out and attach two to each side of the fire truck.

9. The final step is to attach the straps. I snagged this safety reflective tape from Amazon for a steal to make these and give the look of the fireman’s suspenders.

To measure how much, I had Colton stand inside the truck and hold it to about the place that it would hang. I then just loosely measured the length of a strap needed. For a two year old boy, this ended up measuring 24″ long for each strap (including the extra inches needed to secure these to the truck).

I used hot glue to attach these to the underside of the front hood and to the back of the engine.

**There is a tad bit more weight to the front of the engine than the back so it tends to lean forward when Colton wears this. I plan to safety pin this to his shirt to hold it correctly in place. My husband also thought adding just a bit more weight to the back (like an extra piece of cardboard on the inside) would also help to solve this**

Colt ADORES his fire truck already and I can’t wait to see it all come together with the rest of his fireman’s costume! Halloween, we’re ready for you!

Thomas the Train Used Last Year

I followed an awesome tutorial last year by Megan at TheMany Little Joys. She walks you through how to make an awesome Percy costume out of a diaper box that can be manipulated into a Thomas the Train.

  • I did have to manipulate the box quite a bit to create the shape of Thomas. I cut all tabs off but one as I did with the fire truck, but I had to attach some pieces back on later to create a higher back and the wheels and bumper around the base.
  • Materials Used: Blue posterboard, Black foam, Red foam, Red duct tape, Black ribbon for straps.
  • Thomas the Train face
  • Wheels for sides of train – attached to cardboard


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