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How to Make a Cardboard Car Costume

Updated November 21, 2016

So many costumes are mass-manufactured these days that even the most interesting characters can be boring when 20 of them are running around on Halloween night. If you want to make yourself stand out at costume parties or when trick-or-treating, the best option is a home-made costume. If you are worried about your lack of sewing skills, try a car costume made from a cardboard box. You can save a lot of money by using scrap materials from around the house, and show up in something that sets you apart from the crowd.

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  1. Look for a rectangular box that will properly fit the person wearing the costume. The height of the box should allow it to span from about mid-thigh to slightly above the waist, and it should be wide enough so it fits around the hips and stomach with a few inches to spare.

  2. Cut a square in the top and bottom of the box so that the person dressing in the car costume can fit comfortably inside. Leave a little more of the length of the box protruding in front of the person than in back.

  3. Punch holes in the front and back of the box and thread wide ribbon or straps through it to make suspenders. The suspenders should go over the person's shoulders and hold the top of the box at slightly above waist height. Tie the suspenders to the appropriate length and cut away excess.

  4. Paint the box the colour you want your car to be using acrylic or tempera craft paints. Allow the first coat to dry and give it a second coat if necessary.

  5. Draw or paint on details, such as the outline of doors and handles on the sides of the box or a race car number.

  6. Glue on details. Old vinyl records or black plastic plates make excellent wheels. Miniature aluminium foil pie plates or old CDs make great headlights. Cut out a strip of cardboard for a bumper and wrap it in aluminium foil before gluing it on. Paint some numbers on a styrofoam meat tray and affix it as a number plate.

  7. Tip

    Some good options are boxes for electronic equipment like computers or VCRs, or grocery store boxes for canned goods. You don't have to wait till Halloween to make this craft. A cardboard car costume is a fun toy for young children any time of year.

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Things You'll Need

  • Box
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Wide ribbon or straps
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Details (optional)
  • Hot glue or tack glue

About the Author

Mackenzie Wright
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