I order a lot of the things I need in my day-to-day life online, which means I collect plenty of boxes. So this year it only made sense to recycle some of those boxes and make a “Boxtume!” We decided to go with a doll in a box costume using materials we already had lying around the house. Didn’t this kids’ costume turn out adorable?
My daughter is the kind of girl that wears a princess costume nearly every day, so Halloween needs to be stepped up a notch to be truly special.
I’ve been working hard on instilling a DIY mentality in my daughter. I’ll encourage her to make a homemade tiara instead of buying one or customizing plain costumes to make them ultra-unique. That’s why encouraging her to DIY her Halloween costume was exciting to her!
Why this costume works
Her idea was to be a “Doll in a Box” for Halloween. At first, I envisioned a box with cutouts for arms and legs, but after playing around with the concept a bit we created a cute costume – or “Boxtume” if you will – that is practical for parties, trick or treating, or wearing to school. This would even be fun as a photo prop!
While we used spray paint for a quicker project, kids can use acrylic or poster paint for the same effect. You may even choose to cover your box in pink wrapping paper! A grown-up should be the one to handle the box cutter, but kids can help outline where the box should be cut and can trim off the rough edges with scissors afterward.
All of these materials can be purchased on Amazon – and you can use the box that they’re shipped in to make your boxtume!
How to make a doll in a box costume
These step by step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make this project. Please scroll down to simply print out the instructions!
Disassemble and lay your box flat on a surface that can be spray painted.
Spray an even coat of the pink spray paint over the box and let dry at least 2 hours. (Mine dried outside for 2 hours, then I placed it in my shed to off-gas overnight.)
Using a pencil, draw the doll box window and then cut out using the box cutter.
Trim any rough edges.
Spray adhesive on the inside uncut box sides and press the wrapping paper from one edge to the other, smoothing it down carefully as it will stick immediately.
Use your glittery duct tape to re-assemble the box.
Use a medium-sized brush to apply the pink acrylic paint to outline the box cut out.
Once the pink paint is dry, write out the name of your doll in pencil and then go over with the white acrylic paint.
Let dry before wearing.
You can optionally attach handles using your duct tape or cut handles in the box but we didn’t find that necessary. Another option is to create two holes in the back, insert a belt through the holes and around your child’s waist to help hold the box up. We’ve even seen a doll in a box costume that uses this method but with a backpack so that your shoulders carry the boxtume!
My daughter was pleased as punch with her unique Halloween costume and is super excited to show her friends and classmates at their Halloween party next week.
What boxtume will you be making?
More DIY Halloween Costumes
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Doll in a Box Costume
- 1 large box or multiple small boxes taped together
- Pink spray paint
- Light pink acrylic paint
- White acrylic paint
- 1 paintbrushed one thin, one medium sized
- Glitter duct tape or pink duct tape
- Spray adhesive
- Pretty wrapping paper
- Box cutter
- Disassemble and lay your box flat on a surface that can be spray painted
- Let dry before wearing.
Expert Tips & FAQs
This post originally appeared here on Oct 17, 2017.
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Great idea for girl or boy or even adult.
Carol Beevers says
It looks lovely, a great idea! For something a bit more ghoulish, also recycling a box, I remember many years ago my daughter (now 42!) and myself used a box to cover her head and shoulders, made holes in the front of the box so she could see where she was going, and we had an old shoulder cape which covered her head and shoulders, and underneath she wore a long dress. I believe we used crumpled red crepe paper in the neckline, and she carried a Styrofoam head with a wig on. It was very effective, certainly made my dad jump when this ‘headless lady’ walked past his front window!
SANDRA WEIDNER says
How neat. My daughter’s name is Babbett. She is 49, and I am just now seeing Babbett with many different spellings around.
Amanda Formaro says
Jyl Pattee says
This is sooooo cute! And her little face. Love that smile.
This is a really cute idea and the little girl is adorable! I’m just wondering how they carry their bag or pumpkin to hold the candy if they have to hold onto the box?
Amanda Formaro says
Hi Sharon! :) There’s a couple of suggestions in the post about attaching the box with a belt or a backpack. Hope that helps! :)