DIY J a c k-in-the-Box Costume


DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

Soon after Jack was born, we started realizing how many stories or characters has his name in them. Fairy tales, television shows, phrases. It’s as if Jack is the most popular name!

After I made Jack’s “J a c k J a c k” costume last year, I thought it would be fun to continue this year by making another Jack-themed costume. Somewhere down the line, I got a Jack-in-the-Box stuck in my mind, and I started planning it months ago. It seemed like it would be a simple enough project, and it would be super cute.

As I thought about it, I couldn’t decide how I wanted to decorate the box. I searched around the web, and while there weren’t a ton of ideas, kept seeing two options — cutting out colored paper, or using paint. To me, it seemed like it would be tedious to cut out tons of colored circles, and I didn’t want to deal with the mess that paint always entails.

So when I saw Neon Sharpies at Target, the wheels in my brain started turning. If we spray painted the box, I could decorate it in fun shapes and bright colors, without the fuss of paper or paint. The Neon Sharpies are bright and colorful during the day, and under black light, can still be seen. They are water, smear, and fade-resistant, which is a must on Halloween, which always seems to bring bad weather. The tip of the Sharpie is also perfect for drawing thin lines, or for shading in shapes. And, best of all, they can be used on all sorts of different surfaces – paper, plastic, wood, leather…and, of course, cardboard.


  • Medium-sized packing box
  • Large can of white spray paint
  • Tissue Paper
  • Trim
  • Neon Sharpies or other tools for decorating
  • Matching ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Tape


DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

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Step One:

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

For Toddler Costume: Cut off all the flaps of the cardboard box, except for one on the top of the box.

For Baby Costume: Keep all of the flaps on the bottom of the box intact. Cut off all but one of the top flaps.

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed



Step Two: 
DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed


Using one of the flaps you cut off, duck tape it to the remaining flap on the box. This helps create a lid for the box (the tape will be covered up later.

Step Three: 
DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

Spray paint box, let it dry, and spray paint a second code. Let dry completely.

Step Four (if making for child who can walk)

Cut two pieces of ribbon that are long enough to rest easily on child’s shoulders. Hot glue to the box.

If making for a child who can’t walk, make sure the bottom of the box is sturdy, reinforcing with duck tape on the inside of the box.

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed


Step Five:

Cover the lid of the box (both the top and bottom) with tissue paper.

Step Six: 

For the tissue paper on the inside, you will need three sheets of the same color of tissue paper. Taking one sheet, fold it in half. Tape the short edge of the tissue paper to the back, left corner, and then tape the other side to the front left corner. Crinkle up as much as you want, and tape where needed to make sure it doesn’t fall off. Repeat with the front side, and the right side.

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

Step Seven:

Decorate the sides of the box with your neon sharpies (or with colored paper/paint). Write on the front “Jack-in-the-Box.”

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed


Step Eight:

Take your decorative trim, and hot glue it to the top edges of the box.

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

Final Step:

Have fun! You can put clown face paint on your child, put a cute clown/jester hat on them, and have fun with pictures (if they’ll let you.) If your child can’t walk, you’ll have to carry them around in it, as they sit in the bottom. If your child can walk, make sure the straps fit correctly.

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed



So, even though I thought this turned out SUPER cute… Jack was not a fan. When we first got the box, he was SO excited, and kept playing in it forever. However, the moment I wanted him to put it on, he started freaking out. The only reason I got some pictures of him not screaming is because we bribed him with treats:

DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

This is what he looked like the majority of the time:
DIY Jack-in-the-Box Costume by Clarks Condensed

 In an effort to not totally traumatize him, we probably won’t end up using this costume. We’ll definitely be saving it for future use though (hopefully next year!)


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