5 green Halloween costumes that get creative with cardboard

| October 28, 2013

Do not read any further if you’re looking for tips to create an environmentally-friendly Miley Cyrus costume. You will not find that here. What you will find are some creative ways to re-purpose cardboard into clever green Halloween costumes. Cardboard is a versatile material that allows you to show off your own versatility on this festive holiday!

1. If you’re into politics: Red equality sign

Remember back in March when a bunch of your Facebook friends changed their profile picture to a red equal sign in support of marriage equality? This costume may be controversial but at least it will be a conversation starter!

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • String or rope
  • Red spray paint


  • Cut two long strips of cardboard, that when parallel, look like an equal sign.
  • Spray-paint the cardboard red.
  • Allow the painted cardboard to dry. Punch four holes through each piece.
  • String rope through the holes from front to back. Position the equal sign on your body like a sandwich board.
green Halloween costumes

via Jacob Fischler/

2. If you’re into tech: iPhone 5C or 5S

With the recent release of the new iPhones, this is a trendy costume that can be created almost entirely out of cardboard! For an even funnier, more realistic version of this costume, add some cracks to your “screen.”

What you’ll need:

  • Large cardboard box
  • Black, silver, or gold (excuse me, champagne) spray paint or whatever 5C color you prefer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors or a box cutter
  • Tape or glue
  • Paper
  • Printer


  • Cut cardboard box lengthwise. Cut a neck hole from the top and cut out the bottom for your legs. Then cut out big sections of the sides for armholes. Lastly, cut a small hole from the top so you can fit your Apple headphones through it.
  • Spray paint the box black or whatever another color you’ve chosen.
  • To add apps, either print images off the web or paint them onto the cardboard yourself. If you’ve printed them, cut them out and glue/tape to the box.
  • Glue strips of aluminum foil around the edges. Create the Apple logo in foil and glue it to the back of the box.

3. If you’re a TV Land fan: Alice and the Brady Bunch

This retro costume may evoke nostalgia in other partygoers and cause them to repeatedly sing “The Brady Bunch” theme song to you. You’ve been warned.

You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Headshots of the Brady Bunch family
  • Black and blue paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Blue dress
  • White apron


  • Paint a large, square piece of cardboard royal blue. Once the blue paint dries, create 3-by-3 boxes using black paint.
  • Once all paint has dried, glue cutout headshots of Brady family members. Unfortunately you can’t fit them all, so you’ll have to pick your favorites. The finished product should resemble the opening credits of the show.
  • Throw on your Alice costume! Put your hair in a bun or wear a wig and prepare yourself for sore arms from carrying the Bradys all night.

4. If you’re a narcissist (or spend a lot of time on social media): Selfie

No matter what your opinion on selfies is, they cannot be avoided and this costume is funny.

You will need:

  • Large cardboard box
  • Spray paint or construction paper
  • Box cutter
  • Scissors
  • White poster board
  • Spray adhesive
  • Markers or paint
  • Duct tape
  • Silver Sharpie or spray paint


1. Spray paint the whole box the color of your choice, or cover it in construction paper.

2. Cut out the head and armholes. This is easier if you have someone to help you.

3. Use a sheet of white poster board to create the phone screen. Trim it so that it’s framed by the black or whatever another color you chose, then cut out the holes in the poster board to match the holes in the box.

4. Use spray adhesive to stick the poster board to the box.

5. Draw or paint a neck and torso on the poster board.

6. Add details like power, volume, and home buttons using a Silver Sharpie or spray paint.

5. If you’re lazy (or in a rush, in your defense): Silent film star

Wear solely black and white. Hold a spray-painted black cardboard sign with subtitles written in white. Done.

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Category: Paper, Recycling programs

About the Author ()

Katelyn is an intern at SmartSign. She recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in professional writing and specializations in public relations and nonprofits. As a recent transplant from Mason, Michigan, she is currently staying on her cousin's couch in the East Village. Katelyn looks forward to getting to know Brooklyn and eating her way across the five boroughs.

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