Oct 3, 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 ;)

Update: A while after this we made some cheap and easy x-wing pilot's helmets for the kids to lark around in. You can see those here.

There is also a post here with a printable x-wing flight suit iron on thingy that I made for the kids to go on some orange hoodies.

Last of all, if you like the Star Wars toys out of stuff from the recycling bin, then you might like the R2-D2 secret storage boxes that we made, here.
Oh, no, wait, one more... There's a bunch of Star Wars peg dolls that I made my daughter for her birthday, and the Millennium Falcon doll house that her dad made to go with them. You can see those here and here.

85 comments:

  1. This is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for sharing the instructions. Our milk comes in bags, but I am going to fix that.

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  2. How flipping awesome are you?! So very, very cool!

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  3. Excellent idea. I going to share this link with my fiends of Facebook ;)

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  4. You guys really are engineers of awesome. Tinkerbell would be proud.

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  5. I'm impressed (astounded?) by how you can look at a milk jug and see the *parts* needed to make the helmet.
    Hmm, I shall have a look at our (smaller) milk jugs, but I don't think my boys will recognize the end result :D

    Thanks for sharing!

    Sam x

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  6. Totally awesome. I'm going to make it for my kids and my husband.

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  7. That is amazingly cool! The milk jugs we have here are taller and thinner, I wonder if I can make it work somehow? One of my kids has a LARGE head lol

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  8. HAha! I can't belive it, it's so great!!!

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  9. May I print out the pictures to hang in the sculpture center in my art room? I have several students that will go insane for this project.

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  10. The milk jug storm trooper is serious incredible!! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

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  11. Great idea, thanks for sharing for those of us moms who are not "martha stewart" creative types. I was thinking of painting it black and they would think it was darth vader.

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  12. Thanks guys, I was wondering about how easy it would be to do with the taller narrower UK milk jugs. Do let me know if you try it!

    Jeninthehills: If it's just to go in your classroom then I'd be fine with you putting up some of the pictures :)

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  13. Great, shame that Spain did not use those gallons of milk.
    Continues to create, Lindsey, you're a true artist.

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  14. This is amazing! The final product looks great! I agree with a previous comment about how well you were able to visualize the parts to create the storm trooper helmet. Wow!

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  15. Oh my - you are a genius! I am so glad I found your site as I have two small ones at home - one of whom is just getting into Star Wars.
    Thank you for sharing and you should really do a book!!!
    Best wishes, Ruth

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  16. My 5 year old son is very much into Star Wars and I THANK YOU so much for this post.

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  17. You are hilarious! Crazy good and amazing-brilliant. Hats off my friend!

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  18. You are absolutely amazing, as always! This is brilliant!

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  19. This is super, duper, awesome. Thank you so much for sharing it. I just discovered your blog, thanks to Laughing Squid, and I love it! Bravo!

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  20. Aren't they a lil' short for storm troopers? ;)

    Just doing a StarWars craft does not EPIC make... however, doing multiple StarWars crafts, and doing them fanfreakintastic!? Well that's a whole new level of EPICICITY (tm).

    Well done and thank you sooo much for sharing!!

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  21. Absolutely brilliant and so scarily like the real thing to, cringe and hide!
    San

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  22. This is so stinkin' clever! Love it!

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  23. THANKS! I won't need it, but know of people who would love the info. Very creative!

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  24. This is great and creative!
    Now teach me how to make Perry the Platypus and were set!

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  25. This would be a great idea for someone that is trying to make a Fallout 3 Brotherhood of Steel power-armor helmet.

    Awesome work!

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  26. My 4yr old saw this from across the room and came running "Star Wars!". All 3 of my kids will be wearing homemade Star Wars costumes this year. I've been asked, but couldn't figure out how to do a storm trooper. Awesome:)

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  27. Any young ones who build their own Stormtrooper costume (no matter the quality) may want to consider joining The Galactic Academy! http://www.galactic-academy.com

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  28. Génial ! Je teste avec les briques Petit Vendéen !

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  29. I saw this post on the Star Wars blog and had to let you know how fantastic it is! You did an amazing job.

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  30. That is Brilliant! Thank you for sharing your ideas.

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  31. oh yes, you made this grown kid very excited

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  32. that is absolutely brilliant, such creativity! I'm totally going to make one of these for/with my nephew!

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  33. my hubs is a star wars fan and I just showed this post to him... he read the whole thing and then said "That's cool, nice job". LOL! Love it! You are BRILLIANT!

    ~Inky Smiles

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  34. If only I didn't buy my mild from Costco...

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  35. Congrats on the Gizmodo link! :) xoxo

    This is brilliant, as always.

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  36. Totally awesome! Your posting of these creative work is truly amazing.

    Thank you for sharing these amazing projects with all of us!

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  37. Thanks Heather! Judging from the Gizmodo post, you should also be congratulating me on my successful sex change ;)

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  38. My husband sent me the link to this post. I showed my son he is so excited to finish up our milk so we can get started on this project. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower now!

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  39. I couldn't find a way of contacting you, I have posted some of your images (linking to you blog) on my blog.
    Please contact me if you want me to take them down.
    You work is fantastic!

    http://peoplecanbegood.blogspot.com/

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  40. Amazing idea and execution!

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  41. Brilliant!! I absolutely love it!

    I am linking back to this from my blog right now!

    http://yourfamilygeek.wordpress.com

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  42. Just brilliant!
    my husband will love this!
    Thank you.

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  43. Win and win some more!

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  44. Just found your blog. Awesome stuff. I'm certain I will be a frequent visitor!

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  45. How cool is that! But where were you and you big crafty brain when I was 6?

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  46. So clever. We aren't into Star wars yet but those look so real!
    Great job.

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  47. not the best though it is very smart for people who arnt avalable to much money... but a fallout 3 brotherhood of steel mask made like that would be better

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  48. WOW!!! Using just a milk bottle you can get that awesome mask?? Thanks for sharing!

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  49. http://fr-fr.facebook.com/pages/Patricia-Dumay/159794834034803January 19, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    C'est génial, une très bonne idée!
    Bravo.

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  50. Wow, that's amazing! Nice job :) Thanks for sharing.

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  51. What did you use to cut the milk carton? Your cuts are so clean. I'd imagine for me the cuts would be jagged! :)

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  52. What a brilliant idea. Just genius. Thank you for showing it to all of us.

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  53. This is genius! I have a little guy who will be over the moon for this!! :)

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  54. Genius - I posted it to our Star Wars fan page!

    http://www.facebook.com/SydneyStarWars

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  55. I made it, not as good as yours, but kids were happy with it, I gave you a well deserved credit in my post. My blog is all in spanish and here is the link to my helmet wannabe, hahahaha. Love your blog.

    http://www.conlatropa.com/2011/04/casco-stormtrooper-star-wars.html

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  56. the force is with you...........

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  57. THAT is way awesome! My son was a storm trooper for halloween last year, this would have been so cool!

    I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you'd stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don't post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like! http://funfamilycrafts.com/

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  58. How incredible! You are so creative. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  59. Thank you again. I'll be making one of these over the coming weeks for my six year old! Amazing innovation.

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  60. Fantastic tutorial - my boys will love it!

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  61. Love it so much!!

    I must say my favorite part was the girl wearing it!!!
    We were going to do a Star Wars theme'd room for our daughter but thought maybe it was to masculine. Now I regret not doing it!

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  62. umm i'm a little confuse on where on the jug i'm supposed to cut. Please help!!!

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  63. Just added this to my pinterest contest. "Things to do with Milk Jugs"
    http://pinterest.com/kidschaos/pin-it-online-scavenger-hunt/
    Hope you'll hop over and check us out.
    http://www.kidscreativechaos.com
    LOVE THIS MASK!!!!

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  64. WOW! The force is strong with you! Can't wait to try making this for my boys.

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  65. Love this!!! Thx for posting!

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  66. Hi Lindsey! Just saw this project over on DIY.org. What a great project! It would be perfect for the Masks contest I'm currently running, and other Halloween contests on Instructables.com. Check it out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Scoochmaroo-Challenge-Masks/

    Thanks!

    -Sarah

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  67. In Canada milk comes in bags :(
    Too bad. I would've loved to make this.

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  68. I totally agree with how amazing your brain is. I would never look at a milk jug and think "Storm Trooper" I have a grown-up kid who is going to LOVE this...must drink more milk!

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  69. Still brilliant! Facebooking this and happy Halloween 2013

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  70. What a cool Mom you are!!

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  71. I made this for my son. He couldn't have been happier with his costume. I did learn a few things, like there are some milk jugs that are better to use than others. I'm now saving several different brands with plans to make some for me 3 and 1 year old.

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  72. Welp figured out my next cosplay for AWA. Storm Trooper made out of milk jugs, it'll be tuff but worth it.

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  73. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I made this for my son and he loved it. I posted a link to your tutorial and a few pictures of my try at it on my blog (panish only), if you'd like to see.
    http://antie.com.ar/2014/04/26/mascara-de-stormtrooper-reciclada/

    Thanks again! :D

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  74. This is such a cool idea! I'm trying to get a head start looking at ideas for our annual Halloween party make your own mask competition and I'm really considering giving this a try! I'll be sure to share my photos and give a link back if I follow through :-) Thanks for sharing the tutorial. Really impressive!

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  75. OMG!! This is AWESOME!! Thank you for the quick concise instructions. My husband and I are doing this year!! Thank You!

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Thank you for your comments.