How to Make a Car Costume

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Design your costume after your favorite race car.
Design your costume after your favorite race car. (Image: historic racecar image by Christopher Dodge from Fotolia.com)

Most costumes are readily available at stores, but lack the kind of creativity and individual design you may crave. A car costume can be the perfect addition to your child's Halloween wardrobe, school play, a business advertiser or for an adult who wants to wear a different style of costume than his contemporaries. Most of the supplies you need come from recyclable materials or items you have on hand. Your car costume will be creative and environmentally friendly.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 cardboard boxes
  • Fabric tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Box cutters (optional)
  • Stapler
  • Spray paint
  • Aluminum foil
  • Construction paper
  • Glue gun
  • Glue stick

Measure the circumference of your child's head. Add a few inches for breathing room. Cut a hole of equal circumference on the top and bottom of the box. Place the box over the person who will be wearing the costume. The costume wearer must extend his arms to make a small hole through the sides of the box where his arms naturally extend. Measure the circumference of the costume wearer's lower arms. Cut out a hole a little larger than the circumference measurement in the sides of the box.

Add a box to the front and back of the first box. Staple the boxes together so the pointy side of the staple is in the front and back boxes, not the middle boxes near the costume wearer.

Mark the outline of the box to match your car shape. Cut over your outline with scissors or box cutters. Make the edges soft to avoid any injuries. You may need to cut down the front and rear boxes depending on their size and shape of the car. If this is the case, fold the flaps down, and trim the boxes as much as necessary.

Paint the boxes with spray paint. Provide an even layer of paint so the cardboard is covered completely. Let the paint dry. Add additional coats as necessary. If you are using different colors for your car, use painter's tape to tape off the sections you do not want to paint first. Let the first color dry completely, and remove the painter´s tape. Place extra cardboard over the large sections of the car´s first color and painter´s tape for any trim lines in the original color. Paint the secondary color with spray paint.

Add desired details. Cut circles out of aluminum foil, paper plates or construction paper. Apply the circles to the first and third boxes as wheels with a glue gun or double-sided tape. Make hub caps by placing the lids from milk jugs on top of the wheels. Add colored tape to create trim lines. Use black paint, tape or marker to make a grill for the front of the car. Add paper towel tubes for a muffler.

Add words. Use your computer to print out labels for advertisers if you are using a race car design. Print out a copy of a police emblem if you are making a police car costume. Glue the labels to the boxes with a glue stick.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have the costume wearer invest in sweats that are the same color as the car for a cohesive look. Add suspenders to the costume to help support the weight of the box.
  • Paint in a well-ventilated area outside to avoid inhaling any toxic fumes.

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