Ta-da! I'm really please with how these turned out. I think I probably could have done better if I'd not left it so late to do, I was working on them right up until the morning of Halloween.
On to the making! Ethan's costume was quite a bit simpler than Sam's, because I already had the suit from Asda, leaving only the helmet and mjolnir (the hammer to you and me), which were very easy. The helmet started the same as Sam's, paper mache and a balloon.
Not too shabby! A tad wobbly, but alright for a kids costume. Then I glued wire to the back to help shape them. I could have used heat, if you heat fab foam a little you can re-form it and it'll stay in the new shape. I forgot that until after the hot glue though. You can see the wire in the next picture.
You can also see Mjolinr, which was really simple. I had the cardboard tube and a small cardboard box. Hole in the box, stick in the tube. Bang, done. I also put a layer of foam on the box because it was a little bashed. Then I sprayed, which was fun til I got some on the patio slabs and could smell it all day long.
A little more glue, and the helmet was done, really really easy. The handle of the hammer I just added some dark brown foam strips for the straps and handle. Ethan later asked me to take it off as he didn't like the feel, but he kept it on for photos!
On to Sam. His costume wasn't so much harder, but it had more details. This post shows how far I'd got with the helmet and jacket.
Helmet. It actually turned out easier than I thought, once I decided to make it this way. I used long thin triangles of foam for the horns to make them slightly pyramid-y as that's what they look like in most of the pictures I found, and glue gunned them in place. I looked at lots of other homemade ones, but didn't use their horn instructions as they just didn't look right. They are the place I discovered craft foam though which is absolutely brilliant.
This brilliant blog post where a guy has finished his own (MUCH more professional!) staff. It gave me a great point of reference for shapes and general ideas.
I started off with a long cardboard tube again, it had previously been a sword for a knight costume for Ethan. Sam had a blue glitter and water filled bouncy ball which I thought would do well for the stone. I wanted to stick a torch inside the tube to light it up, but couldn't find one thin enough. Then I noticed on that blog that there was a sort of metal junction-y bit under the stone, and I had a torch small and thin enough for that. So...
There it is! the blade-like parts are all sprayed foam, the 2 sections under the ball are the torch. All glue gunned into place. It wasn't the neatest glue job, but again, time. I made a small cut away it the top of the tube so I could turn the torch on and off as the switch was annoyingly on the bottom end, then covered it with a flap of foam.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the results. I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew with this, but it was all surprisingly simple once I'd got all the plans in my head. Sam didn't want to wear his helmet much, and it rained on us while 'trickle treating' as Ethan calls it, but we had a pretty good time anyway, and they got plenty of treats!
Update: This blog has now moved to www.undomesticaited.wordpress.com - Hope to see you over there!