It was French Day on Friday for LBG. I had two days’ notice to whip up a costume from stuff lying around the house. A pair of navy leggings, a stripey blue and white top- with red rosette, and her velvet jacket and some of my fake pearls was the simplest way of fulfilling the brief.
But I had a delivery that day which came in a large cardboard box. And the large cardboard box spoke to me. It said: I want to be the Eiffel Tower. So armed with box, craft knife, glue, a box of foil and a packet of mini-Terry’s Chocolate Orange slices, I got to work to make the Eiffel Tower from a cardboard box.
Most people know what the Eiffel Tower looks like. I had our copy of Madeline to hand to give me a visual guide. In essence, I made the tower in the same way I made my chicken from a cereal box: I cut down the four sides of the box (I taped all the lose flats down well to provide strength). Onto each I sketched the tower silhouette, which I then cut out.
Because of the dimensions of the box, the base of my tower was actually a side, rather than end, so there was no seam, which helped greatly in the construction.
Once I cut out the four sides, I pressed them together and taped all around to hold in place. Had I more time, I might have added layers of papier mache for longevity but in this instance I smeared the entire structure in glue then smothered int in foil. I wasn’t too stressed about smoothing it down, so there are plenty of uneven surfaces.
I left it overnight to dry whilst I thought about the best way to proceed to enable my daughter to ‘wear’ the tower. Then I found the perfect image on Pinterest of a similar Eiffel Tower costume, which I used as a guide. I cut a hole in the base, large enough to fit a 5-year-old-head in, and used the craft knife to make the cut-out sections of the tower which were well-placed to be eye-holes. I only did this on one side, but you could do it on all four if you wanted. You could also do this earlier in proceedings, before you smear the entire thing in foil.Which I’d recommend.
Finally I used a permanent marker to add detail to the tower.
LBG, of course, refused to wear it on the grounds that it was ‘absurd’, which I think may be 5-year-old-speak for ‘Maman you are soooo embarrassing’. But apparently the children all begged to try it at school so by the time I came to collect my chou-fleur, she wouldn’t be parted from it. Maman ROCKS, apparently.
With apologies to the entire French Nation.