When they packed up our food in a bunch of these green boxes at Costco, I just knew they would be perfect for a project. After thinking it over for a little while, I decided that the green was the perfect color for a dragon. I’ve got a tutorial for you today to make your own cardboard box dragon costume. Whether you’re looking for a costume for Halloween or just something fun for your kids to dress up in, I think you’re going to love this!
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- Paint – If your box isn’t already green like mine was, you’ll want to get some paint. I’d recommend this brand of acrylic green paint (or whichever color you want your dragon to be!) or grab some spray paint from a local store
- Packing tape (or green duct tape)
- Utility knife or strong scissors
- Permanent marker
- 1 inch-1.5 inch elastic band
If you can find boxes or cardboard that is already green, that would be perfect for this project. If not, you can just leave it plain or paint the dragon yourself with some green paint like this.
Take one box, and cut out a portion of the front. I emphasized the line a bit here so you can see where I planned to cut. I traced it out with a pencil first.
Cut it carefully out with a box cutter, leaving a shape like this:
Now take the piece you just took out. Slice down the front corners.
Assemble it as shown below:
Tape the pieces securely on. This is going to be the head of the dragon, so try to tape as cleanly as possible. If you’re using green duct tape, it will likely look a lot better than just packing tape like I used.
And tape on the rest.
I have two versions of the dragon here. Version #1 One is where the kiddo looks like they are riding the dragon, in which case you need to create a neck. Use some of the cardboard to create a tube shape.
Tape this securely onto the front of the dragon.
Cut out the wings. Leave a tab on the edge to tape to the body.
Cut out a hole in your main box. Fit your wings so they can be securely fastened.
Now it’s time to add some straps. I used some thick elastic. The length of the elastic will vary depending on how tall the child is who will be using the costume. When you cut your straps, just be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra, because it’s easy to adjust the size once the costume is on.
Make two slits near the neck of the dragon. Stick one end of the elastic band in and tie a knot once it’s through.
Cut out a tail and attach it to the back of the dragon.
Now if you are making the costume this way, you’re nearly done. Just make two more slots near the back, fit the straps to your kiddo, and tie them off. Add eyes, nostrils, and a mouth. Then add the head to the neck (and tape it if you don’t want it to move around), and you’re all set.
Another version of the costume is to have the child actually wear the dragon head. Instead of attaching the neck, cut out a bigger slot for the kiddo to fit in. Attach the straps to the front and back of the dragon.
Then cut out part of the front of the head for the child to see through.
Add a few details, like eyes, nostrils, and a teeth-filled mouth, and the dragon is done.
The boys had so much fun taking this costume outside and playing dragon with it. They had adventures in the yard all morning.
If you don’t want to make the dragon head itself, you can also grab printable dragon masks from my Etsy shop here. The PDF comes with masks in green, blue, and red (plus one you can color yourself!).