Not A Box

Every Halloween, I get a longing (and a cold sweat) to make a homemade costume out of an old box from the garage.

When I was a kid, we didn’t buy expensive costumes. We rummaged through closets and junk drawers and toy bins and made costumes. But alas, my 21st century, shopaholic kids aren’t interested in such out-of-the-box, made-from-a-box pursuits. Instead, they wait eagerly for the pop-up Halloween store to open its doors, and they spend gobs of money on overpriced, over-muscled, and over-commercialized costumes, like Superman, Obi-Wan-Kenobe, Optimus Prime, and Max Steel. (I have no idea who Max Steel is either, but his costume is collecting dust in one of my many messy closets.)

It’s not that I’ve never tried to make one of the kids a Halloween costume from a box. It’s that I’ve never ever succeeded. This year, Dylan and Riley are dressing up as Captain America (shield sold separately!) and a Hot Wheels racecar driver (the yellow one!), respectively.

I’ve accepted my fate. I’m the Mama of two boys who don’t want to wear a costume made out of a box.  Or am I?

A funny thing happened recently.


Do you know who’s inside that box?

Riley! Riley who drags boxes from the garage into the house when I’m not looking! Riley who uses tape, paper towel rolls, pipe cleaners, birthday candles, and glue (so much glue!) to turn boxes into space ships, grocery stores, and monster crushers! Riley who dreams up the wildest, strangest, and most out-of-the-box ideas into which to turn a box!

I blame the fact that I didn’t connect these dots sooner on Minecraft. (To be clear, I blame everything on Minecraft.)

Riley has to dress up as a storybook character for the costume parade at school, and he can’t wear his Hot Wheels racecar driver costume because we don’t have a Hot Wheels book (thank God), but he can be a racecar because of this


Not a Box is a book about a rabbit that insists his box is not a box. Rather, it’s a racecar or a robot or a pirate ship or a hot air balloon or a tugboat or a space ship…or anything he imagines!

The way I see it, this is my last chance to make a homemade costume before Riley’s old enough to figure out that costumes made by mom aren’t cool.

“Riley,” I asked tentatively one night (while hand-feeding him marshmallows), “how about Not A Box for the costume parade? We could take a box from the garage and turn it into a ‘not a box’ racecar. What do you think?”

Silence. (Not Minecraft silence, but thoughtful silence.)

“What do you think?” I asked again.

“Okay,” he said.

“Okay?” I asked.

“Okay,” he said.


Holy crap! One of my kids said I could make a costume out of a box!


Be patient, Mamas. Dreams do come true.




Filed under boys, craft project, Crafty Mama, Halloween

2 responses to “Not A Box

  1. Awesome, I love it. I had so much fun with boxes as a kid. I colored the inside of a big refrigerator box so that it became my own little house (I cut out the windows and colored curtains on either side), and I was a 100% homemade Rubik’s Cube for Halloween one year.


  2. loveh3

    That is super cute box idea!


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