Homemade Recycled Kids Costumes

Updated March 21, 2017

Making recycled kids costumes can not only be a lot of fun, but is great for the planet. According to, using recycled materials helps the planet by saving the much needed energy it takes for the factory to create a child's costume. Get creative and think outside the box as you make kids' costumes from recycled materials. There are a variety of costumes that can be made from material around the house, like robot made out of boxes, or a bat made from old umbrellas. One exceptionally fun and easy costume you can create yourself is a crocodile.

Procure a rectangular box (around eight to twelve inches long) for the head (you can go to grocery stores or clothing stores to take or purchase or use packaging you already own) and recycled butcher paper.

Tape the openings of the box to make sure it stays closed. Measure the widest part of your child's head and make a square the same size on the bottom left corner of the box. Draw a crocodile mouth and teeth with pencil on the opposite side of the box from the head hole. You will be cutting the space between the teeth so the child can see through the mouth.

Draw eyes on either side at the top of the box, directly above the head. Colour the teeth and eyes with paint or markers.

Using a box cutter or small precision knife (such as an X-acto knife), cut the head hole and the space between the teeth. Make sure that you do not completely detach the bottom of the box for the head hole. You will let the bottom hang from the back of the mask and tape it to your child's back for stability.

Cut out a butcher paper tail that is about eight to twelve inches long and eight inches wide. Roll up the tail lengthwise and tape it at the top and bottom. Tuck the tail into the back of your child's trousers. You can also make the tail by putting the tail together length wise so that the ends touch. You will then staple it at the top and down the bottom, leaving space in the middle. Fill the space with crumpled up recycled paper and then staple the bottom.

Things You'll Need

  • Butcher paper (8 to 12 inches long)
  • Rectangular box (8 to 12 inches long)
  • Pencil
  • Paint or markers
  • Box cutter or precision knife
  • Scissors
  • Tape or stapler
  • Crumpled up paper (optional)
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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.