Spider costume made with cardboard and brown paper

My 3 year old requested to be a "girl peacock spider" for his class dress up party. He was inspired by the BBC Earth documentary https://youtu.be/PQbScg3r1oQ.

Luckily the female spiders are brown / beige and perfect for making with cardboard and brown paper.

DIY spider costume made of cardboard and brown paper

I first started with the body. I cut and scored a flat piece of cardboard from a delivery box, folded and glued together on the folds. I have made one for the back and one for the front and I made the front belly smaller so it won't get in the way of my child so much when he plays.

Then I moved onto the legs. I scrunched a piece of brown paper (it was a wrapping paper I bought from IKEA) diagonally so that it's thicker in the middle and thinner towards the end of the legs. I've inserted "skeletons" made of thick card in the first half of the legs where they meet the body so the legs retain a bit of shape like joints rather than being floppy all the way through. I taped the brown paper together with a skin coloured 3M medical tape as they blended in with the brown paper. I taped them in several sections to mimic the segments of spider legs.

Once all the body parts were done, I assembled them together with some glue and cloth tape (the photo shown below in the middle has masking tape for mocking up). I used the cloth tape to join the two body parts (chest / belly and back / bottom joints) so they are flexible and able to accommodate the movements.

I've also made a head piece made of paper-mache.

I inflated the balloon to fit my son's hat, fixed it on a bowl and applied some paper with watered down PVA glue. I started out using some calligraphy paper as it was thin and strong, but I didn't like the look as the colour was too white. It didn't look cohesive with the cardboard body.

I then used some unbleached coffee filter on top so the colour matched better with the body.

When I tried it on my son, it looked too shiny and didn't look like a spider head so I decided to make it hairy - I shredded some brown paper and applied them on the head piece with more glue. My son helped with planting the hair as well.

I painted the lids from dessert cups from inside for make the large eyes, and used the painted furniture shock absorbing bumpers for the smaller eyes.

Here is the end result.

My son seemed happy with the costume and he was getting into the character of a spider - like catching and eating flies!