If you think making your own Halloween costumes is tricky, think again. This recycled box costume is less hassle than fighting your way through the crowd at the local Halloween store, and your little techie will love getting to dress up like the old school version of her favorite piece of electronic equipment. If you like the idea of an easy, do-it-yourself costume but are not too fond of the computer idea, you can use the same steps to make a robot costume, a birthday present costume or even a box of macaroni and cheese costume! This activity is not only practical and cost-effective, but it's also a great way for you and your child to spend some time together doing a fun craft project.
A medium-sized cardboard box (intact)—big enough to fit around your child’s torso
Spray paint (silver)
Craft knife or sturdy scissors
Glue, tape, or another adhesive
A large piece of white or black poster board
Black permanent marker
What You Do:
Start by spray-painting the outside of your box, including the top and bottom. (Be sure to do this outside or in a well-ventilated area.) White or silver are the traditional computer colors, but now that computers come in rainbow shades, you can paint it in your child’s favorite color if he likes.
Once the box is dry, use your craft knife or scissors to cut out holes for your child’s arms to come out through. The best way to do this is to position the box on your child so that it fits over her torso, just covering her shoulders, and mark the spot where her arms hit the box. Then you can take the box off and cut the holes where you’ve marked them.
Seal the top of the box. Cut out a comfortably-sized hole for your child’s head to fit through. Make sure that the box sits on your child's shoulders so that it won't fall down.
Cut a large, square hole out of the center of the box on the front face where your child's stomach would be. This will be the computer screen.
Glue or tape the plain sheet of poster board inside the frame, covering the screen opening you've just created, so that the overlapping sides are inside the box. If you want, you can help your child write something creative on the computer screen.
Cut the bottom flaps off the box, keeping one of the longer flaps intact. If you haven't done so already, spray the flap that will become the keyboard with the same color spray paint as the rest of the box and set it aside to dry.
Once the flap is dry, help your child draw squares or a grid with the letters of the alphabet inside with the black permanent marker to make a keyboard.
Fit the flap to the bottom of the front face of the box (where the computer screen is) so that it sticks out like a computer keyboard.
All your child needs to complete the costume is a sweatpants and a shirt in a matching color, though jeans and a T-shirt will work just as well, too. You can add any other details to the costume you might like. The sky's the limit!