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The Red Balloon Costume

Working on this Halloween costume made me nostalgic for Paris. We based this costume off Albert Lamorisse’s beautiful French film The Red Balloon. It is a short and sad (but really sweet) movie about a boy and a balloon in Paris who become best friends. Our kids actually love this film (you can stream it on Netflix) and we thought it would make a really great costume. You can throw this one together without a lot of planning. See all the details below.

Materials Needed: Grey Sweatsuit, Leather Satchel, A Large 36″ Red Balloon (you can get these from any Party City.)

This is the kind of costume that people who have seen the movie will love and everyone else will wonder why that little boy’s parents sent him out in a sweatsuit. But really, any little kid would be thrilled to keep a big red balloon company for the night.

Credits and our Talented Contributors:
All photography by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Photography for Oh Happy Day
Art Directed by Jordan Ferney
Produced by Ashley Rose Kirschling
Styling by Milan Shimono Lee
“Homemade Halloween” Type by Angela Hardison

  1. rachael

    October 11, 2012

    hah he is the cutest. a future actor in the works, perhaps?


  2. becca

    October 11, 2012

    I love The Red Balloon. :) I actually just threw my nephew a Red Balloon-themed birthday party, complete with Paris skyline too. How uncanny!

  3. Amy P

    October 11, 2012

    He looks more and more like Paul all the time!

  4. elizabeth

    October 11, 2012

    I love your blog and all these ideas, but had not felt compelled to comment until this – I LOVED that movie as a child! It brings up such emotions for some reason – almost made me cry seeing your sweet son with that red balloon! Great costume idea – too bad so many people will not recognize it…
    xoxo -e (

  5. Julia's Bookbag

    October 11, 2012

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!! Still laughing at your comment about sending the kid out in a sweatsuit…

    Now I need to introduce this movie to my daughter!! She’s 6 and hasn’t seen it. :)

  6. MartaG

    October 11, 2012

    What a great idea! We love this movie, we have the book, too. A red balloon birthday party would be fantastic too :)

  7. Robyn

    October 11, 2012

    LOVE THAT MOVIE!!! I introduced this movie to the chaplain at my children’s school and she is incorporating it into a series on Bullying!!! No words, BIG message!!!

  8. magalerie

    October 11, 2012

    This is really amazing Jordan. I love it. So simple yet so beautiful and poetic.
    I don’t know if you can say that in English but you’re really surpassed yourself here.

  9. Kacie

    October 11, 2012

    This is amazing! I’m thinking about doing something similar but doing it with the girl with the balloon from the Bansky graffiti! So great. I love Halloween!


  10. Michelle

    October 11, 2012

    That was the first movie my son ever saw and it’s still one of his favorites! I’m sure he’d be thrilled to have a balloon follow him around all night.

  11. Patricia | unfounddoor

    October 11, 2012

    Genius! I love this film too and had the terrible idea of wanting to dress the kiddo up in grey tracksuit complete with balloon next time we are in Paris once he’s big enough…lucky for him he’s not yet a year, but I think youve inspired me for his costume this year. So sweet.

    (my fail safe, super minimal Halloween go-to is the drawn on moustache – so versatile)

  12. Leslie

    October 11, 2012

    So cute! Love his boots, where did you find them?

  13. jocelyn lum

    October 12, 2012

    amazing, this post makes me realize that there are infinity knowledge, talent in this world. thank you!

  14. Lashley

    October 12, 2012

    Just a warning though for folks looking for big round balloons: you might not be able to find these at your local party store. The Party City here in Denver looked at me like I was a loon when I asked about them recently. I went there at the last minute for a project and was so bummed. Don’t make my mistake! Check ahead of time in case you need to order online!

  15. Amanda

    October 12, 2012

    So cute!! I’m wondering where you got those great little leather boots for your guy – I’ve been looking for just that kind. Inside scoop?? Thanks!

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • October 12, 2012

      they were from Zara. We got them about a year ago.

  16. chandra ~ oh lovely day

    October 12, 2012

    this is fantastic, and your little guy is adorable! And I just learned how to do an animated gif at blogshop a few weeks ago, so now I want to make one with my son. But he’s not quite two, so probably won’t cooperate quite as well :)

  17. Carly

    October 25, 2012


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