Halloween is just around the corner and now comes the difficult time where you go back and forth on what you will dress up as this year. The earlier you start planning, the better your costume will be. But what should you be? A pirate? No, thanks, the Johnny Depp costume has been done thousands of times. Thinking about being a super-hero? Well you won’t be the only one to respond to that emergency beacon and spending an evening in tights isn’t exactly a good time. If you are passionate about sports you could dress up like your favorite player, but is that really original? These were the types of questions that went through my head last year and then I came up with a truly original Halloween costume.
Don’t spend your Halloween wearing some tired, unoriginal costume this year. Spread your love for the hobby by dressing up as your favorite Upper Deck trading card! It’s easy, inexpensive, original and will make you the hit of the party. When I created my card costume last year people loved it and as a bonus I found out there were some other collectors in my neighborhood that I never knew about. Upper Deck loved the idea and invited me to share how to make the costume here on the blog, so here is what you’ll need:
1) Large cardboard box
2) Access to a large color plotting printer (you can work through a Fed Ex Office or other office chain)
3) Strong glue that will not bleed through paper (glue sticks or spray adhesives work well)
4) A high-resolution scan of your favorite Upper Deck card
5) Box cutters – IF YOU ARE YOUNGER, PLEASE ASK AN ADULT FOR HELP WITH THE BOX CUTTERS BEFORE STARTING
Most of these things should be readily available around the house or easy to acquire with the exception of that printer capable of printing a three foot by four foot color poster. Try a large office supply chain or a local printer in town. They don’t normally do jobs like this, but they certainly can and it is not that expensive. First check with your friends to see if they may have printing functionality like this at their work. Either way, you’ll just need a flash drive with a high resolution scan of your card once you find the printer you’ll be using..
Find a good card to use that will work for your costume. My choice last year was my favorite NHL player’s Upper Deck Young Guns rookie card; Joe Pavelski. The card should have a large head shot of the player so you can fit your head through it. If it is a shot showing the player from far away, your head may look strange coming out of the card. Also, you’ll want to make sure the player is facing forward and that the head of the player isn’t too close to the border. I went with a full body shot of the player because I wanted people to know I was a hockey card. Additionally, you don’t want a design that is too elaborate because too many colors can make the image blurry when you blow it up. Remember, you are taking a card that is very small and blowing it up, so a more simple design will work best for you. I used Microsoft Power Point to format and print out the scan of the card. If you have Adobe Photoshop, you can definitely play with the card to see how increasing the size of it will affect the overall image. When you’ve got the right image sized right, save the file and print it out.
Now that you have the poster, you need to prepare the board you will be mounting it on. Finding a cardboard box with a big flat portion may be a little tough. I took a medium sized box and opened it up by cutting one side of it laying the cardboard all the way out flat to get the sizing I needed. To stabilize the board more, I reinforced the areas with creases by duct taping additional cardboard on them. Every crease on your flattened cardboard box should be reinforced at least once. Also, make sure you do not reinforce an area where the head will be.
Now we will need to trim excess away from the flattened cardboard so we can prepare to mount the poster on it. First, make sure your poster has been trimmed right. Sometimes there will be excess area on these posters from the printing process. If that’s the case, carefully cut that off. Then match up one corner of the poster with the corner of the cardboard backing. Using box cutters, CAREFULLY cut the excess cardboard backing off, trimming the backing to the exact size of the poster. IF YOU ARE YOUNGER, PLEASE ASK AN ADULT FOR HELP WITH THE BOX CUTTERS BEFORE STARTING.
Now it is time to mount the poster to the board. Make sure you work with a glue or adhesive that will not bleed through the paper and ruin your print. When in doubt, ask because you do not want to start over at this point. Try using the adhesive in areas that are darker and not in areas that are lighter to help reduce issues with bleeding. Take your time and go slowly by smoothing out the paper to reduce the likelihood of ripples. If you make an error here, you may have to start back at step one so please be careful and patient with this portion of the costume creation. To keep the edges from curling, you’ll want to add a bit of clear packaging tape that just barely reaches on to the poster from the back side.
Now you are ready to cut out the hole for your head. Using the box cutters, carefully cut around the player’s head. AGAIN, IF YOU ARE YOUNGER, PLEASE AS AN ADULT FOR HELP WITH THE BOX CUTTERS BEFORE STARTING. Upon completion, check to see if your head will comfortably fit through the hole. The hole should at lease be big enough that you don’t see any of the player’s head. If necessary, make the hole bigger so your head can fit and most importantly so you are comfortable. Last tip is to have the card slightly angled throughout the night so you don’t have to crane your neck straight out. And now you are ready to join the party or go door-to-door to score some candy.
Another great tip this Halloween is to pass on giving out candy this year and share the hobby by giving out packs of Upper Deck trading cards. A product like Upper Deck’s retail World of Sports set is a great one to give fans a little something from every sport. There are quite a few lower-end products like Victory, First Edition, First Pitch, O-Pee-Chee, MVP and others that make for great gifts for kids Trick or Treating in your neighborhood. Give them Upper Deck trading cards and you may see some coming back later for seconds.
Lastly, make sure you share your experience with Upper Deck. They got a real kick out of my costume last year so if you do dress up like a trading card or give out packs this holiday, post images to their Facebook wall. They love to see that stuff. Trick or treat everyone and have a great Halloween!