How to Make an R2-D2 Costume

Updated April 17, 2017

Many children become mesmerised by the Star Wars epic two-part trilogy for which one of the most beloved characters is a short, loyal and always important helper: an R2 unit named R2-D2. Indeed, the character of R2-D2 figures prominently in the original 1977 Stars Wars and in every subsequent edition of the Star Wars story. Making an R2-D2 costume, be it for Halloween or for show and tell, is a fairly simple project that doesn't require seamstress skills, as other types of costumes often do.

Take measurements of the child that will be wearing the R2-D2 costume you will be making. Your aim is to create a body that is cylindrical in shape with a domed head and boxed feet. Use a photograph (or several photos from different angles) or realistic drawing of R2-D2 to guide you as you create your R2-D2 costume.

Purchase the materials you will need to make your R2-D2 costume. While there are a couple of different approaches that you could take to create an R2-D2 costume, the most straightforward and easiest to complete is one that is made out of craft supplies including boxes, poster board, shoe boxes (for the feet) and magic markers to colour in the design. You can find the materials you will need in craft stores or craft sections of departments stores. Many department stores also sell cardboard boxes, usually in their school supply department, that you can use to create an R2-D2 costume.

Cut your cardboard boxes, based on your measurements, and tape them together to form the body of R2-D2. One approach for the arms (which R2-D2 didn't have but your child does) is to simply allow them to to stick out of the costume. Alternately, you can create holes or slits that allow for your child to keep his arms within the box when he wants and outside the box when he is, for example, collecting Halloween candy.

Glue poster boards on the box, paint or colour the box itself, or use a white sheet and use black fabric paint or a black magic maker to add necessary details. Creating the base of your R2 unit presents a bit of a conundrum, but one approach is to use a pair of painted shoe boxes to represent R2's track.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.