When we were kids my mom made all of our costumes. Not only was it cheaper, it was (in our opinion) more fun. But sometimes it was only cheaper because my mom told us to stay inside the box… literally. Costumes made out of boxes became a go to. My brother TJ had years of costumes made out of boxes. Nowadays you may be used to seeings some pretty incredible costumes made at home. These were not that. Here’s a pic of our costumes in 1988.

1988 was a hell of a year.

Yep that’s me at age two as a creepy-ass clown.

I have no idea why my mother thought this was cute but somehow she still stands by this costume choice. My brothers were alternately a cheerleader (it was the beginning of a long standing tradition of my brother Dan loving to wear drag) and the Karate Kid which was huge at that time. My mother was somehow also a clown but didn’t do that horrifying make up to herself. Which I think says something about her knowledge of just how terrible it looked now doesn’t it?

That was later however. Earlier than that photo, when we had even less money (those costumes were borrowed from a friend who was actually a cheerleader and another friend who did Karate so still real cheap) and we used BOXES.

A box can be so many things if you are creative enough. My brother TJ was many things, usually electronics.

TJ as a computer


Oh and this amazing representation of horrifying costumes from the 80’s.

TJ as a boombox,  with his friends the cowboy and ninja plus some sweet sweet mustaches on the background dads. Hey dad’s no worries those looks will be cool again in 30 years.

These days costumes made out a box are a bit more complicated. I don’t know that many kids who even know what a boombox is much less want to be one for Halloween. Computers aren’t box shaped anymore, mine is as flat as a… notebook, huh I guess that’s why it’s called a notebook. The more ya know?

Here’s an example of the crazy costumes some people are making out of a box I’ve seen.


Oh and this incredible piece of artwork my friend Amanda Howard Phillips made her son.

And I think a lot of people have seen this guy.

They’re a bit more complex don’t you think? But there are still some genius simple ones that really bring me back to my childhood. Like these winners.

Our viking friends the Burke Family.

Or these cuties that I also found on Pinterest.

I love how they are all relatively low effort (I’m a self professed lazy mom) and really cute and fun. Now I didn’t use a box but I can tell you I don’t think we should be spending lots of money on Halloween costumes they use once and then forget about. So this year I decided to take the advice of some of the more experienced mamas I know and I headed to the Goodwill. At goodwill I found not one, not two but THREE costumes for my bug. She hates clothing much less costumes but I was able to wrestle her into this one.


Hope you have a great (aka cheap) and fun all Hallows eve! We are off to do our first time Trick Or Treating around the neighborhood and then settle in to give out candy and watch Hocus Pocus for the 1937483th time. HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEN!