How to Make a Bug Halloween Costume Using Leftover Cardboard Boxes

This two-step creepy, crawly Halloween costume is perfect for a night of sweets and scares.

Got empty cardboard boxes? Make use of your recycling stash for this larger-than-life beetle. Use the patterns to cut the body, wings, legs, and antennae, then use black and gold paint to give the beetle a realistic creepy-crawly look. To finish the easy handmade Halloween costume, you'll just need a black shirt, sweatpants, and a knit hat. Nothing is attached to the sweatsuit, so you'll be able to use it long after the holiday is over. Customize your little bug with your child's favorite colors and let them help splatter paint the design.

young boy black gold beetle costume back
Nicole Gerulat

How to Make a Kid's Beetle Costume for Halloween

Supplies Needed

  • Printable bug pattern
  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Acrylic paint: black and gold
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot-glue and glue sticks
  • Black 1-inch-wide elastic
  • Two black chenille pipe cleaners
  • Black knit hat
  • Black shirt and pants

Step-by-Step Directions

Create your own little bug with a few crafty tools and materials you might already have on hand. Your little one will be ready to crawl into the Halloween festivities.

DIY beetle bug costume labels illustration
Illustration by Merrilee Liddiard

Step 1: Make the Bug

Enlarge and trace the bug body, wings, legs, and antennae patterns onto cardboard; cut out. Paint the body, legs, and antennae black on both sides; let dry. Paint the wings gold; let dry. Paint the edges of the wings black and add black spots and speckles. Hot-glue the wings to the bug body. Hot-glue front leg parts together. Arrange the six legs evenly along the sides of the wings. Hot-glue the legs to the underside of assembled bug body. For arm loops, determine strap length and placement on the bug body to fit the child. Hot-glue ends of black elastic strips to the assembled bug body, making two arm loops.

young boy black gold beetle costume front
Nicole Gerulat

Step 2: Make the Antennae

Wrap one end of each pipe cleaner around a pencil three or four times. Hot-glue the opposite end of pipe cleaners to the knit hat ($5, Target). Insert the cardboard antennae into the brim fold of the hat and you're ready to go trick-or-treating!

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