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Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas

October 11th, 2016 - 1:19 PM

Do-it-yourself Halloween costumes

Halloween is a time for candy, scary movies and haunted houses.  It’s also a great chance to come up with creative costumes for you and your kids. Buying the same outfit as everyone else can be boring, and it’s way more fun (and cheaper) to make your own. For our list of homemade Halloween costumes, we gathered an assortment of moving boxes, paint and some easy-to-find craft items to create a few clever concepts. Perfect for all ages, these costume ideas are cheap and easy to make — they’re sure to be a big hit!

homemade Halloween costumes

Before you can start on a homemade Halloween costume, you’ll need to find a box. For boys and girls, small or medium boxes will work. For an adult, a medium or large box should do the trick.

Step 1. Prep your boxes

Prepping the box is easy: just use a box cutter to cut off the bottom box flaps, and then cut out two arm holes and one head opening. We used a CD storage spindle for measuring the arm holes and a large mixing bowl for the head, but you can use any round object to help you determine the right size. Take your time to be precise — you don’t want any of the holes to be in the wrong place. We measured the middle of the box for the head hole and made sure the arm holes were even on both sides as well.

Prep your boxes to make a Halloween costume.

Step 2: Start painting

Once the box fits just right, you can move on to the next step — painting! We suggest using two coats to help hide any lettering on the box, especially if you’re using white paint. We used a roll-on flat acrylic paint that provided great coverage, but you could also use spray paint.

You can use whatever color you want for your Halloween costume, but we chose red paint for the Lego costume, silver for the robot, white for the dice, and black paint for both the Rubik’s Cube and aquarium.

Paint your homemade Halloween costume.

Step 3: Add detail

Once your box is thoroughly covered, you’re ready to customize your box. Here’s how we put the finishing touches on our simple homemade Halloween costumes:

Deocrate your homemade Halloween costume.

Lego costume

Any boys or girls who like building with Legos will love trick-or-treating while dressed as their favorite toy! To make the studs on your Lego, we recommend using plastic or foam bowls. While we’ve seen versions using plastic cups or other items, we found the bowls to be best. They are the right size, and the flat surface allows for easy gluing to the box. Simply paint the bowls the same color as the box, and let them dry. Use hot glue to attach them to the box, and you’re done. We went with the classic 2 x 3 set up for the studs, but you could also go with 2 x 2 or 2 x 4 depending on the size of your box.

Aquarium costume

Fans of “Finding Dory” and “The Little Mermaid” will love this underwater adventure costume inspired by National Geographic Kids. Gather your supplies: some fishing line, a hot glue gun and plenty of aquarium decorations — plastic fish tank greenery, blue cellophane and some small decorative fish (we found ours online, but you can also get the aquarium supplies from a pet store and the rest at a party or craft store). Here’s what we did:

  • Cut out the opening at the front of the box (like you’re making an open frame).
  • Use some of the leftover cardboard to create the tank. You’ll want to cover it with blue cellophane to simulate water, then hot glue the greenery in place.
  • Make the fish look like they’re swimming by hanging the fish from the top of the box with a little fishing line (we just poked holes near the front of the box and threaded the line through, then used black electrical tape to adhere the line to the box).
  • To finish the look, insert the blue background panel behind the fish (we found that duct tape worked well to attach it on the top and sides), and you’re ready to go!

Robot costume ideas

This homemade Halloween costume gives you room to be resourceful and creative. The robot costume can even be customized to look like Wall-E or C3PO depending on how you accessorize your box. You can use lots of different gadgets or items found around the house — wire whisks for ears, screws or nuts/bolts for detail, bottle caps or lids as buttons. Our version uses sink strainers for the robot eyes, flexible dryer vent ducts for arms, and disposable stovetop liners to display the ‘gauges’ (we printed these out from an image search, but you can draw your own, too!). Brass brads are great for attaching the gauges and are easily found in the office supply section of most stores. Just glue your items onto your box for your desired look. Your kids will love creating their robot costume exactly how they want.

Rubik’s Cube® costume

We like this costume idea by Design Mom for one really BIG reason — it’s simple to make! All you need is a box, black paint and some colored construction paper. After you paint the box black, measure it. You have to do just a little bit of math. Take the total width and height, subtract a couple of inches for trim, and divide by three. That’s how big your squares need to be. Cut nine squares of each Rubik’s cube color — red, yellow, green, white and orange — and place them on the cube. You can mix up the colors to make it look like the game is being played, or assign each side a color to make the cube “solved."

Pair of dice — a great couple’s costume!

To make this fun costume, paint each box white then cut out black dots from construction paper (hint: use a round object to trace perfect circles) and glue them to the box. We suggest using the numbers 5 or 6 on the front of the box since they take up the most white space. You can also attach dots to the sides and back if you want. Now you're "ready to roll". Remember that some games, like Yahtzee, use up to 5 dice, so this would also work for a group costume.

Other homemade costume ideas

There are plenty of other great ideas out there using boxes. With a little creativity and some moving boxes, you can make just about any Halloween costume affordably. Here are some other ideas:

  • Some adult homemade Halloween costumes ideas include a throwback — the classic iPod! Paint the old-fashioned click wheel onto a box and you’re ready to go! You could even carry around a speaker and play music all night.
  • Halloween is all about the candy, right? What if you could actually BE the candy for Halloween? With a little paint, you can easily transform a simple box into your favorite box of candy for a creative costume. We found this idea (and photo) here, at Modern Kiddo.
    DIY nerds candy halloween costume
  • For a last minute couple’s costume, the “Barbie® and Ken in the Box”costume is perfect. You can use wardrobe boxes for the perfect size. We found this example at costume-works.com — check out the instructions here.
    DIY Barbie and Ken costume

Happy Halloween!

Do you have an idea for another way to use a box for a Halloween costume? Let us know in the comments section below. For even more Halloween and holiday inspiration, check out our Pinterest boards!