9-Year-Old Boy Creates Incredible Handmade Costumes Based on Famous Characters

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Meet Parker Watson: talented costume designer, master pretender, and all-around incredible 9-year-old, who sparks imagination one Instagram post at a time.

The adorable 3rd-grader regularly dresses up in homemade costumes — channeling everyone from Harry Potter to the Grinch — and poses for photos that his mom uploads under her Instagram handle, @fourplusanangel.

There’s no question Parker’s something special; magic found a home in him from the very beginning.

Born at 28 weeks gestation and weighing only 1 lb., 14 oz., Parker’s tenacious spirit was known throughout his three-month NICU stay. In the years that followed, his light continued to shine bright.

Ever since he was a toddler, Parker’s been a performer. According to his mom, writer Jessica Watson of Four Plus an Angel and author of the upcoming children’s book, Soon, Parker used to stage his very own Wiggles concerts in the family basement. As his passion for performing grew, so did his interest in costumes. Speaking with Babble, Parker shared how his creative process began:

“When I started seeing images of people in movies and plays when I was little, I started liking the costumes more and more until I liked the costumes so much that I figured I would try to make the costume myself. I would just look for pieces of anything in our house to make my costumes and POOF! I would make a costume.”

When asked how much help Parker receives with his costumes, his mom assures Babble that she’s “only here to take the pictures and make sure he doesn’t burn himself with the hot glue gun.”

While pretend is seriously fun, for Parker, it’s also serious business. At age 7 he auditioned for his first play, and now, two years later, he’s heading into his fifth and sixth plays (at the same time)! And he doesn’t just love acting, he’s also tried ballet and even auditioned for The Nutcracker.

As for dreams, Parker’s got a few. Dressed as Willy Wonka, he tells us:

“When I grow up I want to be an actor in plays or in movies. I want to get a fancy sewing machine and learn to make more and more costumes for the whole cast of every show I am in. Performing makes me feel happy and energetic. I have made a lot of friends from theater and I never like to have a week without being in a play.”

Parker’s happy and energetic feelings might just be contagious. When asked what it feels like to watch her son perform, Watson cheered:

“[I feel] like my heart is going to burst. He’s always been on the quieter side but when he gets on stage all his shyness falls away and he just shines. He’s also pretty small for his age so seeing my little guy up there holding his own with the big kids is pretty special.”

And his confidence really shines through on social media. Watson went on to explain:

#Parkerpretends has been a way for me to show him that his passion is important to me and to others. When he turned 8 I felt like he was at a critical age where he would either decide making and wearing costumes wasn’t cool or he would have enough confidence to keep on going. The older he gets and the more he continues the more I exhale in knowing he’s staying true to himself … I hope it shows others that boys can have just as much fun in creative fields as they can in the athletic world and if you encourage them there’s no limit to what their minds can come up with.”

And to think this is only Parker’s opening act!

In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month, we asked Watson what Parker thought about Soon, her upcoming children’s book that tells the story of a premature baby’s journey from birth to NICU and into childhood:

“He loves it. We’ve always told him he was a preemie but Soon gives him a concrete story to understand his journey. He is one of 28-week triplets and has a little brother who was a preemie too so I purposely designed the book so the main character could be a boy or a girl but my kids are always debating over which one of them I REALLY wrote the book about. Every time he reads it he gives me a little smile and says, ‘It’s about me, isn’t it?’ I love that my shy guy thinks he’s the star of the show.”

He has our standing ovation!

Follow Parker’s rising star @fourplusanangel #parkerpretends.

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