3 Easy DIY Cardboard Box Kids' Costume Ideas

When Halloween rolls around, our favorite motto regarding costumes is: Why buy when you can DIY? Most of us have empty boxes laying around, especially parents with kids still in diapers. With just a few simple supplies and minimal effort, we've got all the deets you need to transform your cardboard containers into amazing costumes for your little ones. From a charming train conductor to an adorable ice cream seller or a sweet little robot, we're pretty sure you'll have the cutest trick-or-treater on the block.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)
(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Train Conductor

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

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Things You'll Need

Step 1

Use a box cutter or utility knife to cut a large square hole in the top and bottom of the empty diaper box. Make sure the holes are large enough to fit your child. Leave enough space uncut in front of and behind the hole to fit the small box and cup.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 2

Place the small box and cup on top of the diaper box, and hot glue them in place.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 3

Spray paint the train with a black glossy spray paint. It'll take at least two or three coats to cover the print on the boxes. Be sure to paint in a well-ventilated area and put a tarp or newspaper down to protect your surface.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 4

Spray paint a paper bowl with gold spray paint. Once the train and bowl are both dry, hot glue the bowl in the front of the diaper box, just below the cup.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 5

Use gold washi tape to create decorative stripes on the sides of the train, and around the smoke stack.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 6

Cut out circles from scrap cardboard to create six wheels. Paint them with gold spray paint. Once dry, hot glue three wheels on each side of the train.

Then pull a cotton ball apart to loosen it and hot glue it on top of the smoke stack to look like a puff of steam. Lastly, hot glue two long strips of ribbon on each side of the train to act as straps, so your child can "wear" the train.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Ice Cream Seller

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Things You'll Need

Step 1

Wrap an empty cereal box with white wrapping paper as if you were wrapping present.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 2

Use a utility knife to cut six X-shaped holes in the top of the box. Space them about 2 inches apart on each side.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 3

Print out text that says "ICE CREAM" and "25¢" on white printer paper, and cut them out. Tape or glue them to the front of the box.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 4

Draw an arc shape on each corner of brown cardstock or construction paper, and cut them out.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 5

Roll the arc shapes into cones, and hot glue the ends together to secure the cones. Then scrunch up tissue paper into a ball to look like ice cream, and hot glue it inside each cone. We used mint green, pink, brown and white tissue paper to create various "flavors."

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 6

To create sprinkles, cut out little pieces of colored paper or felt. To create chocolate chunks, cut out small squares from brown paper or felt. Use a small red pom pom to create a cherry on top. Hot glue the decorations on top of the ice cream cones, and then insert the cones inside the holes of the box.

To create a carrying strap for your child to wear the box around his or her neck, cut a long strip of ribbon, and hot glue each end on the sides of the box.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Robot

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Things You'll Need

Step 1

Use scissors to cut off the four flaps from the top of the box.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 2

Turn the box upside down and use a box cutter to cut a large round hole in the bottom of the box. Be sure to center the hole and make it large enough for your child's head to fit through.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 3

Cut a round hole on each side of the box large enough for your child's arms to fit through.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 4

Spray paint the box silver. It'll take about two or three coats. Be sure to paint in a well-ventilated area, and put a tarp or newspaper down to protect your surface.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 5

Paint six water bottle caps with various colors of craft paint. Once dry, hot glue two rows with three caps each on the front of the box. Hot glue a plastic lid (we used an empty oatmeal container lid) on the front of the box next to the smaller caps.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)

Step 6

Cut out a circle from white printer paper, and draw a gauge on top. Hot glue it above the smaller caps.

(Image: Trisha Sprouse)