I love Halloween. (Well, to be truthful, I love Halloween costumes.) I also love Doctor Who. Therefore, I was really excited when Boy#2 decided he wanted to dress up as the TARDIS this year. This is the same kid whose dedication to the cardboard box costume resulted in the 4 year ever-evolving epic Vampire Zombie Robot Dragon costume, after all!
What You Need:
- a tall cardboard box
- blue spray paint
- blue duct tape
- black, white, silver acrylic paint
- camping headlamp
- clear 500ml pop bottle
- fine paint brush
- black marker
Measure the height of the box against the height of the child who will be wearing it. Fold the top flaps inside the box and measure from the folded edge. The bottom of the box should fall between knee and hip. Cut the box off at this point.
Spray paint the box blue. Depending on the type of cardboard, you may need up to three coats for an even finish. Be sure to paint the flaps, as they will be somewhat visible in the final construction.
Using the black Sharpie, outline the doors and police box sign on all four sides of the box. Slit the corners of the box halfway up from the bottom. These will allow for a greater range of movement when walking.
Fold the top flaps inside the box and fasten them in place with duct tape. Get your child to stand inside the box and hold it up to armpit height in order to establish the armholes. Mark the armholes and cut them out.
Reinforce the armholes, bottom flaps and the bottom edge of the costume with duct tape. Use long strips of tape to create shoulder straps. For extra strength, I recommend anchoring them at the bottom edges of the costume. Run a second strip across the shoulder portion to cover any exposed adhesive and prevent the tape from stretching.
Now its time to do the detail work!
Start by outlining the door panels in black and painting the police box sign in black. Once it is dry, paint the windows, door notice, and police sign lettering in white. The door handles and lock can be painted silver with a touch of black.
Mix a bit of silver and black to make scuff marks on the door panels — the TARDIS has seen a lot of action, so don’t be afraid to mark her up a bit!
Using the Sharpie or a black pen, write the text on the door notice. Paint over it with black paint, using a fine-tipped paint brush.
To construct the light, cut the top off of the 500ml pop bottle. Paint the inside white or line it with white paper. Paint black wires on it to give the illusion of the safety cage. make two holes on each side of the base and fasten the headlamp in place, either with string or with tie wraps. Make sure that the button is accessible. The 9yr old wanted our light to blink, so we had it on that setting while Trick-or-Treating.
Cut a circle out of cardboard, remove a wedge-shaped portion and form into a conical hat. Cover it with the blue duct tape and glue it to the opposite end of the pop bottle. Make sure the headlamp strap is snug enough to keep it on your child’s head, but not so snug that it is uncomfortable.
Bonus points if you can convince a 2nd child to dress up as the Doctor or a companion, or (better) as the Doctor in the TARDIS.