Introduction: Man in a Box Halloween Costume

Picture of Man in a Box Halloween Costume

I know what you're thinking, he must have spinal injuries after wearing that.

This year I had a Halloween party and I thought I would keep up with tradition and make my own costume. I have also added a few pictures of my party including my Flaming Graveyard Bar that I created.

So here goes:

It’s expected of me now. Making cool Halloween costume’s that is. Every year I try and make something for Halloween, don’t get me wrong I do love the costumes in the shop but man are they pricey, plus I also love a good bit of do it yourself (DIY).

So I set out to make another outfit, last year I created one of my favourite Halloween costumes living Facebook profile, it was a huge hit. This year I did my best to beat it! With you being the judge of course.

I would like to introduce……..erm…. Damn I have no idea what to call it. I think I will go with: man in a box illusion? Rubbish I know. Ok like most of my Instructables I am far too forgetful (Lazy) to take enough pictures to do a step by step build, but I will do my best to explain how I made this beauty.

Step 1: Making the Torso

Picture of Making the Torso

Like I said I do not have an in depth step by step so I will try and explain what I did here.

The idea:

  1. Make a torso out of junk I had lying around the house
  2. Get a big enough box for me to fit into (I am a big guy)
  3. Clothe my torso to give the illusion that he is carrying me.
  4. Create something not too heavy (It ended up being rather light)
Torso - So as you can see from the picture the basic torso I had made was not too heavy. A majority of the torso was made from polystyrene which is a lot stronger than you would think when think. I had some old polystyrene from new LCD monitors I bout for my pc, I basically just duct taped them together to give them strength.

Shoulders - The shoulders are important in this build and as you will see in the nest step the clothes that you put on the torso help with the illusion. To make the shoulders I just cut some thick cardboard off of a box and shaped it as realistic as possible. (A bit like an air plane wing)

Head - I thought the head was going to be easy, Chuck a balloon on there throw on a mask done. I was wrong, Getting a nice shape to fill the mask was hard. If you look in the picture you will see some wooden sticks, they are basically kebab squers pushed into the polystyrene at different depths.

I then raided my cupboards for as many carrier bags as possible, I stuck carrier bags all around the head and tried the mask that I had from a previous costume on the head. It fit but his face was leaning in wards as if he had been through ten rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson. I had an ingenious idea, I wrapped sticky tape sticky side up around the head until the whole thing was sticky, I then began folding plastic bags into shapes and sticking them to the head and once I had a good shape I stuck it down the right way. (If that makes sense)

I had the basis of a torso

Step 2: Adding the Mask and Hair

Picture of Adding the Mask and Hair

Pretty terrifying right? You wouldn't want to wake up in the night with that at the end of your bed.

This part of the build did put the willies up me a bit, it's just so spooky.

Simple part here, I got a mask that I already had that I bought a wig from a fancy dress shop in central London. The mask fit really snug due to the carrier bags inside and the wig made the head look great (A little bit like a Bon Jovi the rockstar). To finish off the look I added a pair of Raybans that I already had, this really helped as he had no eye balls :0

The jacket in the picture was not what I used but it did a really good job of making the torso look more realistic, you cannot really see it in the picture.

Step 3: The Box

Picture of The Box

The box

Like a lot of what I do, I go on pure luck and basic skills. As you can see from the box in the picture I didn't do a great job but it seemed to work. I used a dremal to make some holes and sawed a big hole out of the box. The box is a standard storage box you can buy from most stores. The plastic was not completely flimsy but it did have a bit of a bend which helped me squeeze in.

I do not have photo's for this bit.

Now imagine me simply adding some holes to the box with a dremel and passing some rope through the holes and tying the torso to the box, It was as simple as that. It was handy because I could just untie the rope and remove the torso to do any additional work to it.

As you can see from the picture I had a pretty sound prototype but I was not happy with the result, the illusion was not there it just looked like a guy standing up with half a body hanging off him. What I realized was that the hole in the box was not big enough at the back so I looked too far away from the torso to give the effect. I made the whole bigger and this did seem to help, the only problem was that the plastic was becoming very flimsy.

Step 4: I Had Created a Monster

Picture of I Had Created a Monster

I didn't take enough photos!!! Boooo Booo!!! So I will have to let you guys use your brilliant imaginations.


One of the main things that makes this costume work is the clothing, I needed something that was baggy and big enough to cover part of the box, part of me, and the whole torso. I went to my nearest superstore and bought an XXL t-shirt and zip up hoodie.

The reason the cloths are so important is that for the illusion to work you need a jacket to hide some of your body otherwise it just won't work. As you can see from the photo I used the hoodie to cover some of my body. I used some double sided foam to stick the sides of the hoodie to the box behind the arms.


One thing I noticed while making the outfit is that if you just put a t-shirt over the torso it ruins the illusion, so I had an idea and what I did was cut a slit in the front of the t-shirt high enough to be out of view but low enough for me to slip into the bottom part of the t-shirt. If you look at the picture you will notice that I have a black t-shirt on but my lower half (Below the box) + My torso costume have the same green t-shirt on giving the effect that my lower half is actually my costumes. Another good piece of clothing for an outfit like this is a jumpsuit (Boiler suit) because the same principle applies.


The arms were very simple, I basically used party balloons (The long type a bit like clown balloons) to fill the arms. I sticky tapped them to the torso to keep them in place. I the got a pair of gloves and slipped them over some old Pringle crisp can tubes to give them a frame. I then slipped the balloons into the other end of the Pringle can to complete the arm. The arm looked very good but it needed fixing in place (To the box) to give it the effect that he is holding me up. I cut two holes either side and slipped from cable ties through and used the clothing to hide the straps.

Step 5: It's Alive, a LIVE!!!!

Picture of It's Alive, a LIVE!!!!
A finished article

I was very happy with the outcome, like I said before I don't like buying outfits from the shop they are just too pricey! I hope that my instructions were clear and that this outfit helps inspire your outfit next year. Really it's very simple and you would probably have most of the materials laying around the house anyway: an old mask, Wig, some sunglasses and boxes ect.

Please do add this to your favourites and subscribe to my page, I do not update my page as much as I would like to but when I do it's great :) (Ego at 10,000). Please let me know what you thought of my outfit or if you have any questions fire away I will endeavour to answer them.

Thank you and happy creating!


Go to the next step for some bonus images!!!!!

Step 6: Monster Bar!!!

Picture of Monster Bar!!!

This was the main attraction of my Halloween party, It was my Monster bar.

I will be uploading a video of it in due time, Basically I wanted to add something special to my party and that was the alcohol : P only playing stay in school kids! I have always loved them fake flames that you find at amusment parks and with only a few hours to spare until my party I wanted to try and create one my self.

  1. I used sugar paper for the flames,
  2. I hooked up some pc fans to start with but found that these were far too weak to blow the paper flames.
  3. I was laying in bed with my air conditioner when it hit me, Not the air conditioner but the idea that it would be strong enough to move the flames so I dragged it out of my bedroom.
  4. I got some sugar paper of various colours and began cutting them layer by layer in to the shape of flames.
  5. I used red, yellow and orange to try and get a realistic fire colour.
  6. I used an old lamp I had and put some red sugar paper over the lamp shade.
  7. I positioned the lamp behind the air conditioner so it would shine up the wall and partly on the flames.
  8. A good tip is to cut the sugar paper but not in to thin strips the wider they are and shorter at the tip the better
  9. I think the air gets around it thus giving it a better flame effect.
  10. I wrapped the air conditioner in some black plastic to make it a little more authentic.
  11. I bought a grave stone from the 99p store and fixed it to the front of the air conditioner which was incredibly hard.
  12. The air conditioner on its own was not enough to push the flames upwards so I fabricated a type of ramp up the front of the air-conditioner so that it would push the air upwards and funnel the air
  13. I then stuck the sugar paper flames to a kebab stick and attached it to the funnel I made.
  14. I then wrapped some boxes in black plastic and put a black glass chopping board over the top to create the bar area for the spirits and drinks (This was later replaced witha bowl of punch).
  15. I wrapped the whole thing in cobwebs and placed some random LED lights that I had all facing the drinks to give it a spooky feel.
That was incredibly rushed I apologise but if you have any questions do ask! It was tricky to make but well worth it!

Thank you once again for reading my page.



Boxygurl (author)2017-01-15

This is excellent!

skipgrace (author)2016-10-15

Thinking of doing this but having the monster on the back be a baby and my husband in the front dressed as a gramma!

solidfunk (author)skipgrace2016-10-15

That's awesome to hear! I made this costume in under one day so if you plan it now I bet it will be amazing! Make sure you send me a pic :)!

iboersma (author)2015-10-16

Fantastic costume. You've inspired me to try my hand at my own version (though I'll have to make it so I can get my hands out for libations and breaking falls!)

solidfunk (author)iboersma2015-10-26

Brilliant! that is nice to hear :), most people don't know this but my hands are actually in the box, I can literally raise my arms over the sides like I am in a little boat :p. Don't forget to post your picture here! good luck

KoltonR (author)2015-09-19

How does the body stay up

solidfunk (author)KoltonR2015-10-06

Hi!, Very sorry for the late reply.

The body is held up by mostly polystyrene, it was then tied to the back of the box with string through holes I drilled. It was a very DIY'ish build, I think using a strong box is a good idea.

Good luck with your costume this year!!

KoltonR (author)solidfunk2015-10-06

well my body isnt really heavy but its not the lightest any ideas on how to hold it up?

solidfunk (author)KoltonR2015-10-07


If you are using a box, I would say make holes in the box and tie it as tight as possible, remember that clothes hide a lot. You can basically use anything you can as it will be hidden, you could try attaching lots of cable tie's together (one continuous cable tie) then feed it through the holes in the box and tighten. Cable ties can give a real tight grip, especially when tightened using pliers, your hand can only do so much. You could also try strapping the body around your shoulders and under your arms like a back pack.

Feel free to ask more questions

jlang2 (author)2014-10-26

I like it but it violates 2 of the 3 rules of costuming:
1) must be easy to drink in (fail - no hands)
2) must be able to go to the bathroom - see rule 1 (fail - no hands)
3) must be comfortable to pass out in - see rules 1 and 2 (fail - standing or sitting costume)

solidfunk (author)jlang22014-10-27

This made me laugh so much, I need to print this for my workspace so I consult it while crafting. Awesome lol. Thanks for the comment!

jlang2 (author)solidfunk2014-10-28

I probably should do an Instructable on the 3 Rules of Costuming.

agis68 (author)2014-10-27


valerie.briggs.543 (author)2014-10-27

great costume.

throbscottle (author)2014-10-26

Fuuuuunnnyyyyyyy :D

solidfunk (author)throbscottle2014-10-27

Much appreciated!!! Thanks for the comment!

Hit that vote button help get me recognised? :0

rpatel25 (author)2014-10-26

Very imaginative!! :)

solidfunk (author)rpatel252014-10-27

Well thank you! :)

Hit that vote button help me out ? Thanks for the comment!!!!

mikeasaurus (author)2014-10-26

These are my favourite type of costumes.

solidfunk (author)mikeasaurus2014-10-27

I just love the way you know its an illusion, but your mind questions what it see's ha! Thanks for the comment!

susankg (author)2014-10-26


solidfunk (author)susankg2014-10-26

Thank you :D

cburg (author)2014-10-26

This is Great! when I first saw the photo, I thought You were going to have a cover for the box and have the guy carrying you open the lid to reveal your head. But I was was not disappointed you did a great job of showing me how to do this.

Thank You. I wonder if someone could mode this so you would be sitting on a chair outside passing out candy. Kids would come to you thinking the candy is in the box ..... Trick or Treat!!!

Great Job

solidfunk (author)cburg2014-10-26

hey thanks for that great comment! You could sit down with this, itwas surprisingly comfortable! The idea you had reminds me of what some people use to do on my street. They would dress up as monsters but doing there best to look like manakins, they would leave a cauldron full of sweets which looked very tempting. They would wait for a kid to think hey unguarded treats, they would scream and chase the kids before they got the sweets. Very spooky!

Do vote for my costume on the top right if you can, be a great help :)

Azzaka (author)2014-10-24

Love them both. This will have to be done this year :)

solidfunk (author)Azzaka2014-10-26

GO FOR IT!! Such much fun, this kind of outfit is a right head turner!

Could you vote for it in the Halloween competition using the button on the top right of the page :)

Thank you so much. Ivan!

Azzaka (author)solidfunk2014-10-26

Already Voted :) and working on the base at home.

solidfunk (author)Azzaka2014-10-26

big thanks! Good luck and make sure you share gonna subscribe so I can see it first : p

cristoph (author)2014-10-23

I think I'm gonna use this this year thanks

solidfunk (author)cristoph2014-10-26

Go for it! You will have a ton of fun! And that's just the making part! Wait till yo have it on.

Hey would you mind voting this for the Halloween competition?

Top right hand corner vote button. Thank you so much!

Mielameri (author)2014-10-24

This is really cool! And I could see upping the creepiness by adding makeup to look like a blood-drained severed head or something. Which makes me think this costume deserves a French Revolution reboot lol :9

solidfunk (author)Mielameri2014-10-26

haha! Love the idea, like bioshock infinity? Them creeper patriotic robots! Got me thinking that would be awesome!

Would you vote for me in the Halloween completion? Top right button on this page.

Thanks for being awesome!

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-24

Thank you for your nice instructable.


solidfunk (author)SparkySolar2014-10-26

Rima thanks for that kind comment! Would you kindly vote using the button on the top right of the page? I entered this outfit into the Halloween competition.

Thank you so much, Ivan!

paintrich (author)2014-10-26

Thanks for sharing - I also like crafting these kinds of costumes. One question, though: what do you do with your arms? I skimmed through and couldn't figure that part out...maybe I relied on the pictures too much? Either way, great job and thanks!

solidfunk (author)paintrich2014-10-26

hey there! Thanks for the comment!

I had to chop my arms off to get into this out fit : p no really my actual arms are inside the box folded by my stomach. What was great is there was plenty of space inside to stash my beer and phone ect! Glad you like to craft too ;)

Would you vote for my costume using the button on the top right? Thanks Ivan!

ArtRuth44 (author)2014-10-24

Here is an additional idea, make a tiny body costume to wear like a bib under your head so it looks like there is a tiny body with a big head in the bin. That looks like a lot of fun. thanks for sharing. Love the beverage friendly comment.

lakej (author)2014-10-05

Lol! this is great haha. I'm still unsure about my Halloween costume this year, maybe I'll do something similar to this.

solidfunk (author)lakej2014-10-23

Thank you!! Go for it! I think I made it harder than it should have been but next time I do it ill just have a (fake) person holding me up.

cteece (author)2014-10-22

That's really cool because you could wear two costumes really, one as the fake dude and the other as a discarded kitty or as a rubbish pile! It really is a great design!

solidfunk (author)cteece2014-10-23

Haha! good idea! I should pretend to be asleep and scare people :)

patatarium (author)2014-10-22

You just want to add legs !

solidfunk (author)patatarium2014-10-23

I really wanted to, But I had limited space in my flat and would most probably knock everything over. :)

abhishek7xavier (author)2014-10-22


Thank you!

Dominic Bender (author)2013-12-20

Love the costume, gerat spon on the concept and it does look creepy, thanks for sharing!

But I have one question - where do your arms go? The arms we see are the ones of the "monster", so where are yours?

solidfunk (author)Dominic Bender2014-01-09

Thank you! My arms are actually folded, I had free use of my hand to do important things like hold my beer :) there was also lots of room in the box I was able to also stand my beer up in side, so it was very beverage friendly. Ivan

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a huge fan of Do it Yourself and I love to get my hands dirty. Three of my Instructables have been featured so ... More »
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