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Fort Lauderdale resident Alexa Lanier has an alternative to buying an expensive Halloween costume — grab a box and you’re good to go.
Well, maybe not just a box. But with a few crafts and some creativity, you’ll have the most original costume on the block while trick-or-treating.
Lanier, Two Men and a Truck of Greater Fort Lauderdale and South Palm Beach County multi-unit marketing director, and her daughter have created an array of costumes, ranging from a firetruck, French fries, dinosaur and a flower pot to a mermaid costume for their dog.
Lanier, who’s been making “boxtumes” since 2017, recently gave her tips on how to successfully construct them.
How did the idea of a “boxtume” get started in your household?
October is the beginning of my busy season for work. As much as I’d love to be prepared for it in advanced, it always comes down to the last minute, and what can you throw together when you don’t have a lot of time and you don’t want to throw a lot of money into something they’re going to outgrow in 30 seconds? So, we started doing ‘boxtumes.’ Basically, it’s how can you turn a box into a costume.
Is it a challenge to make a “boxtume?”
I should start by saying I am not crafty. I can follow directions, but I am not ‘crafty mom.’ I wish I were ‘crafty mom.’ I aspire to be ‘crafty mom.’ But if I can do these things, believe me, anyone can do them. … You can’t let yourself get intimidated, it’s a box.
What are some costumes you’ve made in the past with boxes?
We have done Legos. We made a unicorn. I once turned a wagon into the Batmobile. My daughter wanted to be Batgirl for Halloween that year and we turned the wagon into the Batmobile. … This year my daughter seems to be obsessed with food, so it’s the direction I’ve gone with. This year, she’s either going to be popcorn or a Frappuccino, or peanut butter and jelly.”
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What are some of the items you need to successfully make a “boxtume”?
The list of things you need to have: Basically, a box that will fit your child. A medium box will do for a smaller child. My daughter is now 9 and she fits in a large box. You want clear packing tape, paintbrushes and acrylic paint because whatever is on the box you need to be able to cover up — spray paint will not cover up logos. You want acrylic paint to be able to cover it up. You can use spray paint to decorate it afterward.
What went into your design for this year’s costume?
In the case of the Frappuccino, essentially what I’ve done is I’ve taken a larger box, rolled it to make it into a cylinder, painted it white so I have a clean background to work with and spray painted in blue and pink because I’m going for the unicorn Frappuccino look. Then, you print out an oversized Starbucks logo, slap that on there. I cut a circle of cardboard and painted that white as well and took tissue paper and kind of bunched it and glued that onto the top then attached it to a headband. That becomes the whipped cream on top and then a piece of green construction paper becomes the straw.
What tips would you give to someone making a “boxtume” for the first time?
Be careful on what boxes you use. In this particular case, you are putting your child in it. You don’t want something that you get out of the dumpster behind Publix. In this particular case, I’m going to say spring for the $1.50 and buy the box. … Protect your surface when using the box cutter. You want to put something below the box before you attack it with the box cutter. Spray paint outside. Learn from my mistakes.