I brainstormed a Star Wars BB-8 costume ideas for months. He was a brand new Star Wars character in 2015 when I created this costume and there was very little information and details to go on.
The Force Awakens didn’t open in theaters until later that year but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make a BB-8 Costume immediately. It was clear that BB8 would be adorable and a new fan favorite droid.
Make Your Own BB-8 Costume
BB-8 is a droid that rolls, so the biggest challenge was creating his sphere shaped body. Our Baymax paper lantern inspired me and I decided a round paper lantern might be perfect for a BB-8 Costume. Even though I had moments of doubt while making it, I think BB-8 turned out much better than I anticipated.
Ideally a Chinese lantern made from fabric would be sturdier but they are harder to find and much pricier. I settled on a 24″ paper lantern from Amazon for under $8.
We have a 12″ paper lantern in the boys bedroom so I used it to help estimated how big of a lantern I needed. For reference, this costume is for my 5 1/2-year-old who is 43″ tall. I think this design is more of a kids costume but maybe if you find a paper lantern big enough you can make it into an adult size costume.
How to Make A BB8 Costume
I started by cutting the top and bottom openings slightly larger so that my son could slide his body into the lantern. I used wire snippers to cut the wire frame and scissors to cut out one or two rings of paper from around the openings.
To the keep it top and bottom from ripping, I reinforced the openings with white duct tape.
Paper lanterns are usually held open with a metal or plastic frame but for costume purposes you need to remove the frame.
My solution was to coat the inside of the paper lantern with white duct tape. The duct tape actually serves two purposes, it helps hold the paper lantern open and also makes the overall costume more durable. I used 2 rolls of white duct tape for this project.
Once the sphere was prepped, it was time to cut out my BB-8 designs. Finding nice clean pictures to use was actually pretty hard. Hopefully better images will be released as we get closer to release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I found using images from the Sphero BB-8 Droid to be the best bet since it’s a very popular toy right now.
I enlarged 4 images as consistently as possible (i.e. making them similarly sized). Then I cut out each piece of the design and traced it onto parchment paper. Using the appropriate duct tape color, I covered each design completely before cutting the shape out. Always use the duck tape trick when cutting duct tape.
I created straps using a long piece of white duct tape folded in half length wise. After Elliot tried it on a few times, I attached the straps to the BB-8 sphere using safety pins. Then I covered the pins with white duct tape.
BB-8 Costume Materials
- 24 ” white paper lantern
- white duct tape
- silver duct tape
- orange duct tape
- 4 safety pins
- parchment paper
The base of the BB-8 hat is a white colander from the 99 Cents Only store. I wrapped the entire thing in white duct tape to create a more solid and consistent base. I painted on the BB-8 designs using gray, orange, and black paint.
If I did it again I might try duct tape instead, but the paint worked well. I created the droids two “eyes” by cutting 2 craft foam balls in 1/2 (one large and one small) and covering both with black duct tape before using a glue gun to attach them to the hat.
BB-8 Head Materials
- Dollar store colander
- wood dowels
- white duct tape
- black duct tape
- white duct tape
- grey, orange and black paint
- foam or bubble wrap
- foam balls
Or skip this step and buy a Star Wars BB-8 Bike Helmet. It’s super cute and would work great too.
Complete the BB-8 Costume with a BB-8 Head (aka hat)
I used wood dowels to create the BB-8 antennas, covering them first in duct tape. Using the colander as the hat base made it easy to attach the dowels. I used a pair of scissors to drill/widen two holes in the top, then I was able to push the dowels snuggly into the top.
I added bubble wrap to line the inside of the helmet to help it fit more snuggly to Elliot’s head, similar to foam in a bike helmet. Long sleeves on his white shirt help complete the look.
I love this costume, it turned out so much better than I thought possible. I might doubt myself sometimes. 😉
It’s light weight because of the paper lantern base but durable because it’s lined with white duct tape. To me it totally screams homemade Halloween costume in a really fun way.
More BB-8 Halloween Costumes
And if you want to just go crazy with an elaborate inflatable costume, check out this inflatable bb-8 costume. It seems to be sized as an inflatable child costume and comes with a battery-operated fan.
More BB-8 Ideas
- Free BB8 Shirt Design
- BB- 8 Star Wars Lantern
- No Carve BB8 Pumpkin
- BB8 My Valentine Cards
- BB8 Star Wars Christmas Wreath
- Super Easy BB8 Cupcakes
More Star Wars Costume Ideas
This post was originally published October 8, 2015.