How to Make Danbo Suits

Use old cardboard boxes to creat a Danbo suit.
Use old cardboard boxes to creat a Danbo suit. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

In Japanese, Danbo means cardboard, which is a fitting name for the little cardboard box robot. Danbo, also sometimes called Danboard, first appeared in the Japanese comic series “Yotsuba&!” In the series, the character of Miura dresses up in a suit and pretends to be a robot, moving once coins are dropped through a coin slot in the front of the suit. If you are a fan of the Japanese comic or are just looking for a unique, inexpensive costume for Halloween, making a Danbo suit requires little time and effort to complete.

Things You'll Need

  • 24-inch-by-18-inch-by-18-inch cardboard box
  • Clear packing tape
  • Utility knife
  • Black pantyhose
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 30-inch-by-24-inch-by-24-inch cardboard box
  • Hole punch
  • 8 pieces brown string, 12 inches long
  • 8 pieces brown string, 24 inches long
  • 4 cardboard boxes, 35 inches by 8 inches by 8 inches

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Place a 24-inch-by-18-inch-by-18-inch cardboard box on a flat work surface. Choose a box that has the openings on the 18-inch sides. Seal the top of the box using clear packing tape to create the head.

Turn the head box upside down so the untapped side is up. Using a utility knife, cut a 12-inch hole in the center of the box’s bottom to create a hole for your head and neck. Adjust the size of the hole, as needed, depending on your head and neck size. Seal the bottom of the box with more packing tape, avoiding the hole, which allows you to insert your head while the box rests on your shoulders.

Position the box in front of you with the cut 18-inch side down and one of the 24-inch sides facing you. Cut two 3-inch circles out of the 24-inch side to create the eyes. Place the circles 6 inches apart, 7 inches down from the top edge of the box. Discard the cut out pieces. Cut two 4-inch square pieces out of black pantyhose. Attach the squares on the inside of the box to cover the two holes using tape. These are the eyes.

Cut a 4-inch triangle into the same side of the box as the eyes. Position the triangle 6-inches up from the bottom edge of the box, centered between the two eyes. Cut a 6-inch square piece from the pantyhose. Attach it to the inside of the box with tape to cover the triangle. The pantyhose material allows you to see out of the hole and permits air circulation inside the box.

Place a 30-inch-by-24-inch-by-24-inch cardboard box on the work surface. Choose a box with the openings on the 24-inch sides. Position the box so the open ends are up and down. Cut a 12-inch hole in the flaps of the box to create a hole for your neck and head. Adjust the hole size depending on your neck and head size. Seal the flaps on this side of the box using packing tape to create the body. Do not tape over top of the cutout hole; instead, use one piece of tape on either side of the hole to seal the box.

Cut two 8-inch-diameter holes on either side of the box to create armholes. Position the holes 2 inches down from the end that you sealed in the prior step. Punch four holes into the box, evenly spaced every 2 inches, around the 8-inch circle, positioning them 1 inch from the edge of the hole. Add four more holes in the same manner around the other 8-inch-diameter hole.

Seal one flap end on a 35-inch-by-8-inch-by-8-inch box using packing tape. Choose a box with the flaps on the 8-inch ends. Cut off the flaps on the other end of the box and discard them. Punch a hole in the center of all four sides of the box, 1 inch down from the open end where you cut the flaps off. Use four pieces of 12-inch-long brown string to attach the 35-inch box to the side of the body box with the arm holes. Insert the strings through the punched holes and tie them, leaving 1 inch of slack in the string to allow the arms to move. Repeat this step with a second 35-inch box and more string.

Cut both flap ends off a second pair of 35-inch-by-8-inch-by-8-inch boxes. Discard the cutout pieces. Punch a hole in each side of both boxes. Position the holes in the center of the box’s side, 1-inch below the top edge. Tie a piece of 24-inch string to each of the holes. Insert your legs into the boxes. Tie the other ends of the strings to your belt or belt loops on your pants.

Wear the body with the arm pieces over the leg pieces, keeping the open flaps at the bottom of the body hanging down. Wear the head piece on your head.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust the measurements of the boxes as needed for your body size.
  • To create a coin slot on the front of the box, cut a 1-inch slit in the top-left corner of the body of the box. Paint a 2-inch circle around the slit using silver paint.
  • Movement in the Danbo suit will be restricted. Use caution when walking and moving to avoid injury.

References

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