It’s possible to create a two-person get-up for Halloween using the cheapest of recycled materials. The following costume ideas for parents and children, couples, or friends are all based on using recycled cardboard boxes. Why? Boxes are plentiful and free. And, for those going solo, here are 57 more ideas for almost-free cardboard box costumes.
Multicultural and Other Halloween Costumes Using Free, Recycled Cardboard Boxes
The holidays, food and animals are all fun themes. And Halloween costumes made of cardboard boxes can be made much more cheaply than buying Christmas presents, taking the family out to dinner or feeding the family dog.
Starting with the holidays, it is both politically correct and very easy to wrap a cardboard box in a recognizable holiday wrapping. One person can “be” a Christmas present, another can “be” a Kwanza present, and a third can “be” a Hanukkah present.
Food offers another rich thematic vein for almost-free Halloween costumes. Two people can dress as Domino Pizza boxes. Or, consider candy bars. One can dress as a Snickers candy bar, and another as Twix, Kit-Kat or another favorite.
Halloween-goers with a healthy attitude might dress as a candy bar (see above) and the other as a square container of dental floss (wearing a hat of spooled white rope to resemble the floss). Or, making a slightly more obscure and judgmental reference, one person can dress as a pizza box, and the other as a bathroom scale. It’s hardly a laughing matter, but one person might create a box-costume as bottle of medicine, and another as a syringe, to accompany someone in a H1N1 swine flu virus costume.
Nostalgic or literary parents and their offspring might dress up in oblong, box-based costumes painted to look like that much-beloved, rapidly-disappearing cultural staple: books. One person could dress as an ancient tome, and the other as an Amazon Kindle.
Extended families of up to 26 members can each paint cardboard boxes to look like books in an encyclopedia set, ranging from “A” to “Z.” Religiously-oriented couples might want to fashion a costume as Exodus, Deuteronomy, or two other favorite books of the Bible. Or, join the Halloween circus as a two-person, four-legged animal. (Hint: tape a few big boxes together; wear matching tights.) Think donkey, horse or zebra, but don’t try to make Clifford the large red dog unless someone happens to have a lot of furry red material at hand.
Boats and Tugs: Almost-Free Costumes for Two People (Using Cardboard Boxes)
In love? Attached to the kids? Want to make a date of Halloween? Build on that relationship. Two people can make an amusing pair of costumes that are, well, literally attached.
For instance, think high-tech. One person can be a computer and the other a computer monitor. Make both costumes cheaply with markers and free cardboard boxes. On Halloween night, stay attached–with an electrical cord.
Young kids and mom or dad might make matching cardboard box costumes of a small tug and an ocean liner, attached by a rope. (Not recommended as suggestion for teenagers and parents.) Busy two-career couples who want to be together, but sometimes go in different directions can wear cardboard box costumes of attached train cars — preferably pulling in the same direction.
As a variation on the train theme, think train and caboose. The parent can dress in a cardboard box costume as the train, and the child in a smaller cardboard box costume as a red caboose. Or, if the kids rule the roost, then the parent might be the caboose. (This concept can also be adapted to adults, assuming they agree about who’s getting the free ride in the relationship.)
Reserve That Cardboard Box (Relax, They’re Free)…and Consider Safety
Finding the boxes for a costume can be half the fun. Likely places include appliance stores and supermarkets, liquor stores and stores that sell paper goods. Call ahead to reserve a big free cardboard box, as certain online articles have popularized the idea of the almost-free, homemade box-based Halloween costume.
Wipe or spray the boxes clean with a disinfectant, and leave to dry in a well ventilated place. Make sure kids don’t use spray paint, glue guns, or Krazy Glue, and that they know about hand hygiene for Halloween night.
Cheap Materials, Recycled Stuff Make Fun Homemade Halloween Gear
Necessary materials include: four boxes (two for each person, allowing one for experimentation), a straight edge, pencil, box cutter, glue gun, decorative materials and tape, possibly paint, paintbrushes, and work clothes.
Maybe one silver lining of today’s slow economy will be the return of the cheap homemade-Halloween costume. Making costumes from recycled materials like cardboard boxes and found stuff is a silly, fun challenge for both adults and children. If the box fits, wear it.