After a couple years of soft, cuddly, fabric-based costumes for Owen, this year we’re entering what will no doubt be the extended era of cardboard-box Halloweens. When I asked him what he wants to be this year, his first of properly understanding dressing up, he said he wants to be a bus. What kind of bus? A diesel city bus that says “Sorry, not in service” on the front. Kid’s a public-transit nerd.

So we’ve started the cardboard-box work, and I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole looking at box-based costumes. Since my round-up of last-minute Halloween costume ideas from a  few years ago remains one of the most popular posts on the blog, I figured why not just start a thread here, this time focused on the unlimited potential of the humble box.

First up, some ideas people shared from their own past Halloweens:

@jencloss’s son was a tractor last year:


@MMAAC suggested going Inception on Halloween:

Last year, paper artist Rachael Ashe made a couple of amazing costumes (yeah, not cardboard, but whatever). And here’s @crochetcompulsiv’s son’s Wall-E. About it, she says, “Big box, liberal use of foil/duck tape. treads are flattened inserts from beer boxes wrapped around the boxes.”

And here are some rad cardboard costumes I found around the internet. If you’ve made one, let me know in the comments and I’ll add your links and/or pics to this post!

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The Franzia costume…well, I can one-up you on that example ;-) One year when I was a kid (pre-printout logos, etc.), my dad went as a wine box (they did all of their own art and it looked AWESOME) and my mom went as a bunch of grapes — wine-colored tights and blown-up balloons attached to her turtleneck , etc. somehow! I’m sure I could dig up and scan a photo sometime, but that time is not now since I’m procrastinating and have 3 assignments due online in 3 hours :-)

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