Making hoverboards, Back To The Future style

Last year our local entertainment expo brought the cast of Back To The Future to town. I was bouncing around the house in excitement when I first heard the news since that’s my favorite trilogy of all time. Seriously just so good. I re-watched the trilogy, introduced it to my kids, and then got down to business.

2 months and an 80’s punk makeover later, I was Spike, a member of Griff’s gang from 2015:

The Hoverboards

Planning the hoverboards was one of my favorite parts of making this costume. It gave me a chance to geek out in Illustrator with an attention to detail that warmed the cockles of my heart. I started out with just creating the 2 hoverboards my husband, daughter and I needed for our costumes:

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A Quidditch costume reference

The Cosplay community has embraced Harry Potter with exuberance and enthusiasm. When I started looking into Harry Potter costumes I came across almost everything, from Luna Lovegood in her lion’s head (priceless) to a golden snitch and Moaning Myrtle (with toilet seat!).

Of course, there was always a huge variety of Quidditch costumes, from the storebought to the painstakingly handcrafted. There seem to be several Quidditch camps – those who prefer the original first-year robes to Krum’s from the World Cup or practice robes from year 6.

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Where to find Quidditch in the Harry Potter Movies

For those of you looking to make a Quidditch costume, I have a tip for you: not every Harry Potter movie features Quidditch. Once I got over my shock at this fact, I tracked down which films could supply some reference.

Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone

Year 1. The first encounter we have of Quidditch isn’t the game – it’s running across the Nimbus 2000 in Diagon Alley (21:30). Isn’t she a beaut? Then we see Oliver introducing Harry to Quidditch after his almost disastrous spotting by Professor McGonnogal (1:04:26). And, who can forget Harry’s first-ever Quidditch match (1:15:28)?

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Becoming Spike – a Back To The Future 2 costume

It was late February when Kim mentioned that the cast of Back To The Future would be at the Calgary Expo. I spent the evening poring over the Expo website, checking ticket prices and schedules (there might also have been a bit of squealing). Not only would the cast be there, but Doc Brown (the inestimable Christopher Lloyd) was going to posing for fan photographs with a DeLorean. I was hooked.

Herein began a 2-month race to the finish for my first con/cosplay. I’d always been a bit envious of Kim and her costumed shenanigans each spring, and now it was my turn – featuring my favorite trilogy of all time.

The next day I kicked off costume planning. After my husband Jer volunteered to dress up with me (he doesn’t even like dressing up, best husband ever) and we got the kids in on it, I knew we had a big job ahead.

The first question was who to dress up as? Marty and Jennifer from the 80s? George and Lorraine at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance? Marty’s kids from the future? Or our final choice – Griff’s gang from 2015. Jer and I have always had a thing for hoverboards and the cheesy futuristic tech in the second movie, so it was an easy sell.

What’s wrong, McFly? Chicken?

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Where’s Waldo on Canada Day?

What happens when you bring a red and white striped t-shirt home? I suppose it depends on who you are. But if you’re anything like me, you immediately jump to visions of the whole family kitted out in Where’s Waldo costumes amidst a sea of red and white.

Where's Waldo (face)

From there the daydream turns into a DIY fantasy – finding matching t-shirts would be hard, right? Maybe I should just sew all 4. After that, I’ll need to find us 4 pairs of round glasses and compile stacks of books. Should the books all be copies from Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo series? Maybe I should knit Waldo hats for us all to match as well. Could I find us matching boots?

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