This year, Young M wanted to be a villain. After considering quite a few options, he and I agreed on a flying turtle from the Mario games, also known as a paratroopa koopa.
I made this costume out of craft foam. Cardboard would have worked. It would have been much heavier and held its shape better and needed paint or paper for color. I chose the easier way. I started by making one hexagon (about 8 or 9 inches across) and six half hexagons out of craft foam. I made the angles on the half hexagons (where it would connect to the big hexagon) slightly smaller so that the shell would be rounded instead of flat. (In other words, I trimmed a skinny triangle off the diagonal sides.) I cut strips of white foam for the edge of the shell and yellow foam for the straps.
For the wings, I traced the wings from the picture above gently using my computer as a light board. I transferred the tracing to white foam and cut them out, leaving a small area to staple at the bottom of each wing. I traced the design with marker (pencil was more subtle, but would smear.) I outlined the hexagons to match the wings. Then I stapled it all together.
The front of the shell is made from a large piece of foam. After adding a few lines with marker, I stapled a ribbon to the top to tie around the neck. I also stapled some yarn (ribbon would have worked better) to the sides to tie around the back.
Young M wore a yellow long sleeved shirt with tan pants to complete the costume.
With more time, I would have made green boots/spats out of foam (or fabric) to finish it off. As it was, Young M enjoyed being a paratroopa koopa (or flying turtle according to the kids at school.)