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Thanks to Halloween Alliance guest contributor Kate Baldwin for this cute and imaginative tutorial!


Looking for that perfect Halloween costume? Feeling crafty? Then have I got a tutorial for you!

The secret to the perfect child’s costume is to create an outfit that is engaging, somewhat humorous, and stands out from the usual fare.

Creating this cute popcorn costume ensures you will proudly strut your stuff on All Hallow’s Eve, earning compliments and rave reviews from just about every reveler you might meet. My daughter won a large costume contest in this getup and so can you! Here’s how to make your own.

The Popcorn Costume: Materials and Directions

The Popcorn Costume is suitable for a child or adult and can be made quite easily in a single afternoon. Allow extra time for the paint and glue to dry. No sewing is needed and the cost is minimal. What could be more perfect?

The project is also fun for parents to complete with a child, provided everyone saves enough popcorn for the costume!

In terms of materials needed, the list is short. You’ll need:

  • a large cardboard box (for example, a moving box)
  • red and white tempera paint
  • a glue gun
  • a headband or cap you don’t mind donating to the costume cause
  • lots of popcorn!

Here’s how I made my award-winning Popcorn Box costume:

  1. Cut out the bottom (or top, depending on your perspective!) of a cardboard box. This becomes the place where your legs will emerge.
  2.  On the opposite side, cut out a large-enough hole to accommodate your head. Be sure to leave room to allow for easy entry and removal.
  3. With the box on the wearer, mark the places on the box from which the arms would comfortable emerge. Cut out circular holes there. Try on the box, of course, to make sure it fits comfortably.
  4. Now comes the fun part! The box is going to be vertically striped red and white, like an old-fashioned box of popcorn. I measured it off using a ruler, allowing 2” for each stripe, and I marked the lines lightly in pencil directly on the box. Paint the stripes on, alternating red and white. Allow the paint to dry.
  5. While the box is drying, using the bottom you cut out of the box, cut out two cloud-shaped ovals. Mine were 18” x 9” but you can alter the size depending on the size of the wearer and your own taste. Paint these signs totally red.
  6. When dry, paint “Fresh POPCORN” on each oval using white paint (one is for the front of the costume and the other for the back so you look as good going as you did coming). I did the word “fresh” in cursive writing and the word “popcorn” in a fun, topsy-turvy looking print. Allow to dry. So far, so good, right? The best is yet to come…
  7. The final step is the most fun. Using a glue gun, glue the “Fresh POPCORN” signs to the front and back of the box. Next, continuing with the glue, attach real popcorn to the top of the box around the hole for the head, cascading down the box as you envision an enticing, overflowing box of popcorn would look.

Inevitably, some popcorn will break off when handling the costume, so be generous with your popcorn. I piled it on thickly, gluing popcorn on top of popcorn for a textured look. Of course, if some of the popcorn happens to “land” in your mouth, all the better!

Finally, glue popcorn all over the top of the cap or headband, and you’re all set, ready for festivities of the ghoulish kind!


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