Homemade Jawa Halloween Costume with Glowing Eyes and Ionization Blaster

Finding Your Inner Jawa

My middle one asked for a challenging costume this year, to be a Jawa from the Star Wars films.  There are lots of reasons this was challenging, but it may be that we made it more of one than was necessary.  In the end, we (especially I) had fun pulling together the pieces for it.   I should acknowledge TK409‘s suggestions on the costume, which were pretty much what I started from although I made some minor modifications.  Also, BadMojo‘s design for a Jawa Ionization Blaster started me off for this much-simplified version for our costume.

Homemade Jawa Halloween Costume with Glowing Eyes and Ionization Blaster
Homemade Jawa Halloween Costume with Glowing Eyes and Ionization Blaster


Robe.  The robe is linen and was pretty heavy, almost like upholstery.  The initial tips I found suggested monk’s cloth but we didn’t see any on the remnant aisle at the local fabric store!  He is 10 and floor to shoulder about 45 inches.  A meter and a half of fabric was plenty for this costume (C$8.50 on sale).  Following TK409’s design, I cut a single piece that was 46″ long and 38″ wide.  I folded it in half and sewed up one side and across the top for the body.  This created a bit of a tube look and I may have been a bit stingy with the fabric.  It is comfortable but not a real robe feel.

I ended up unstitching about 12 inches from the floor because the bottom of the tube was too tight.  If you know anything about sewing, you will probably have a good way to work around this. For someone who knows how to sew on a button, the tube works just fine.  I slit the folded side abotu 12″ from the bottom as well, and then I sewed a few extra stitches on both sides to make sure the slit would not get any bigger than it was.  The linen ravels nicely, just like the monk’s cloth.

The hood was also based on TK409’s design.  This time I cut pretty much to those plans, folding the piece of fabric in half and sewing up one side.  On the other side, I folded over about .25″ to make a hem and inserted picture hanging wire to stiffen the edge.  You fold the fabric over the wire, pin it into place along the entire length of the hood edge, then sew it into place.  It will be completely covered by fabric and will not poke the wee Jawa.

On the one hand, the hood was far too big. On the other, it needs to be for the overall effect.  I ended up trimming the hood back a bit to about 15″ deep before adding the wire.  It hangs down nicely, allowing the glowing eyes to be seen but mostly covering up his real eyes, which are uncovered.

Face and Eyes.  This was tricky.  Masks for kids are a challenge, often because they aren’t allowed to wear them.  We wanted his eyes to be uncovered and followed the tips – again from TK409 – for attaching the eyes to the cheeks.  I used an adult balaclava to create the black face; you can usually find one at a dollar or thrift store.

While many of the costumers use LEDs, this was more complicated than we wanted.  In the end, I found this 2 pack of Nite Ize Ziplit LED zipper lights that have LEDs and turn on with a switch.  They have a fabric cord to attach to a zipper, so I sewed those to the balaclava, then painted them yellow with a highlighter to turn them from white light to yellow.  These lights came with spare batteries so we are set for this Halloween at least.

Bandolier. The bandolier is a black acrylic scarf, wound and then both ends attached and sewn together.  Nothing fancy.  We found two old clip on pouches (I think these were for Swiss Army knives) to make it look like a bandolier.

Ionization Blaster.  BadMoJo did an amazing job with his blaster.   I downloaded his initial photo showing the PVC he used and took it to a Home Depot.  I was looking at the shelves for comparable pieces when a clerk walked up and asked if he could help.  So I showed him the photo on my phone and said I was trying to make a Jawa blaster.  “That wasn’t my first guess,” he said!  He quickly pulled down a couple of pieces and then found me a scrap piece of long tube (about 6″) and I was all set.

I ended up with 5 pieces.  A small piece that fits in to the threaded piece (opposite side from the threads).  The threaded piece screws into the next piece, but you leave some of the threads showing.  Then the 6″ piece of tube goes into the non-threaded side.  At the other end of the 6″ tube, another unthreaded piece that flares on the opposite side.  Each of these pieces was about C$1.50 and the 6″ was free.

The end was the slightly tricky bit.  It obviously flares out even further.  I ended up going to a dollar store and purchasing a 2 pack of clear plastic drinking cups that were ridged.  Another dollar well spent.  After spray painting it, I used (Cincinnati’s own!) Gorilla Glue to pull all of these pieces into the barrel.

The stock was a piece of 2″x6″ treated wood that I had scrap from an outdoor project.  I cut a rough approximation of the stock from a picture in a visual encyclopedia.  After drilling two holes in the PVC to match the two bump outs on the top of the stock, I drilled through the stock and attached the barrel to the stock.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.