Workshop Wednesday: Make A Cardboard Box Costume

Workshop Wednesday Make A Cardboard Box CostumeThis week's project is brought to you entirely by my six year old son. He came up with the idea, and did it all himself. I was rather impressed with the end result from a kid who isn't particularly artistic.

His half term maths homework was to create a model using the 3D shapes they'd been studying at school, like cubes and cylinders. The suggestion was to make a house out of a cardboard box.

I got out an old cardboard box, and said "let's make a house". My son looked at the box and saw a Wall-E costume.

For this project you will need:

  • - a square cardboard box
  • - paints
  • - wool or string or elastic for straps
  • - black marker pen
  • - packing or scotch tape

Workshop Wednesday Make A Cardboard Box Costume 1

Open both the top and the bottom of the box, but don't cut off any flaps. Push those inside the box to give it some added stability, and to attach the straps without piercing the box.

Use a ruler to draw a line about two thirds of the way up the front of the box. This will help your little one do a straight-ish line. The part above this line will be painted grey. He mixed white paint with a little black to get the right Wall-E type shade.

I got these small tubes of acrylic paints from the 99p shop. They're not fabulous. The paint mixture is rather dry and quite thick, and doesn't thin particularly well. But for most purposes a six year old or younger will need it for, it'll do the job.

He used yellow acrylic paint for the rest of the box. I got a big pot of this in a sale at The Works earlier in the year. Worth stocking up on any colour you find, if it is massively reduced. I find I'll use it eventually. This was the one part I helped him with, as it took three coats and he got a little bit bored.

Workshop Wednesday Make A Cardboard Box Costume 2Once the paints were dry, he drew on the details using the black marker pen. Anything in colour he used the acrylic paints, like the white E on the red circle. Getting the orangey stripes on the front required mixing colours again to achieve the right shade, so this was a good project for teaching him about that.

The only thing mummy had to do was create the straps to hold up the box and I did this wrong! I put them in on the sides of the box. Which son then showed me I should have put them in on the front and back, as sides are too far apart for them to sit on his shoulders. Nothing quite like having your mistakes corrected by a six year old!


  • angela
    That's great! What a creative kid, and that could be a super Halloween costume for lots of kids that they can happily make themselves.
  • Cumulus
    Super - you must be very proud! That takes some initiative and imagination from son, and patience and perseverance from Mum!
  • Lynley O.
    Cheers! No need for patience and perserverance from me. It is amazing how well they'll focus when they're doing something that is entirely their own idea.
  • Donnie
    That's excellent. I agree with Cumulus - it takes imagination and creativity. We have those very same paints from the 99p shop - they serve a purpose! Well done to your little boy!
  • Lynley O.
    I have been amazed at what bargains you can pick up in the 99p store when it comes to crafts. I have found that The Works is also an excellent source of bargains when they have stuff on sale.
  • madonnaearth
    He did great! Is that a pirate costume he's wearing underneath?
  • Lynley O.
    Yes it is a pirate costume. We've had a particularly pirate-y week. I've had to wash it every night as he has wanted to wear it every day. Especially today as we're off to an exhibition about pirates! It is on at the Museum of London in Docklands, and I particularly recommend this museum. It's really child friendly, and for pre schoolers there's a fabulous soft play area, along with lots of activities for older children like the water and sand area where they can go 'mudlarking'.

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