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Grocery Getups: Space Invader

Source: Halloween 2004, Special Issue 2004


Going to the supermarket takes on a whole new meaning when the goal is to look for ingredients for costumes. Who knew you could use ordinary household supplies to create Halloween haute couture? Add some craft supplies, and construct the costumes in most cases with just staples, packing tape, and glue. They're easy to make, and you and your child can work on them together. But the first thing you'll need to do is go grocery shopping. Take your trick-or-treater on a trip down the aisles, and let your imaginations run free.

This space invader is ready to explore galaxies, thanks to his high-tech night-vision goggles, egg-carton space suit, and foam-cup helmet. His weapon -- a cookie press with a plastic-cup-and- cone insert -- protects him from alien encounters.

Craft a variation on this space costume.

Try our other Grocery Getup Costumes:


Knight and Dragon




Hula Dancer


  • 55 Styrofoam cups

  • 6 egg cartons

  • 1 roll duct tape

  • 1 cookie press

  • 1 pack plastic cups


  1. You'll need six bottom and two top halves of cardboard egg cartons (with "windows" on the top). With a utility knife, cut 5 diamond centers from each bottom piece, and reserve for buttons. Cut 1 bottom piece in half crosswise (for two 2-by-3-cup pieces); 3 others in half lengthwise (for six 6-by-1-cup pieces; discard one); and from another, cut 2 cups from one end and discard (for one 5-by-2-cup piece). Leave last bottom piece intact.

  2. Cut the sides off the 2 top halves; discard. Curve two 6-by-1-cup pieces into semicircles by cinching together adjacent cups with duct tape.

  3. On a flat surface, lay out the 2 semicircles, open side up, for neck. Attach 1 end with duct tape, leaving the other end open. For remainder of body, lay out pieces as shown, using the 6-by-2-cup piece for the back, the 5-by-2-cup piece for the front, and one top-carton piece for each arm. Use duct tape to attach these to the neck piece.

  4. For the chest strap, cut a length of duct tape to go around the child's midsection; fold in half lengthwise, then tape it to the end of the front piece.

  5. For arm straps, cut four 9-inch lengths of duct tape to go around the arms; fold in half lengthwise, then tape 2 to each arm piece. Place the entire contraption on child, securing neck piece with tape. Use tape to secure chest strap to back piece and to secure straps around arms. Tape reserved buttons to chest strap and arm bands.

  6. For belt, tape the remaining three 6-by-1-cup pieces together end to end; secure ends around waist with tape. Use 2-by-3-cup pieces for knee pads. Fold four 8-inch lengths of duct tape in half lengthwise, tape to knee pads for straps. Put on child; secure ends with tape.

  7. Use a hot-glue gun set on low to glue the bottom of a plastic cup inside the opening of a cookie press. Make a cone of red construction paper. Apply hot glue to cone's bottom edge; affix to cup.

  8. You'll need about 55 Styrofoam cups; label bottoms as you work to keep track of the rows. Start with 1 cup (row 1), open side down, and space 6 cups (row 2) evenly around it, hot-gluing them where they touch row 1.

  9. Glue 6 more cups (row 3) in the spaces of previous row. Continue through row 8. Glue more partial rows for back of helmet (to row 9 or 10, depending on size).

  10. For strap, fold two 7-inch pieces of duct tape in half lengthwise; secure with tape.

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