Introduction: Light Up Washing Machine Costume!

For Hallowe’en this year, I wanted to do a big costume, even though nobody would see it. I wanted it to have buttons that lit up, and for the door of the machine to open and close. It took around 3 days to finish, but in the end it was worth it. I know that it is too late for anyone to use this for Hallowe’en this year, but hopefully this is helpful for next year, and hopefully we are out of this pandemic!


-Big cardboard box

-Spare sheet of cardboard (at least 40cmx40cm)

-16 LED lights

-Ziplock bag

-White, red and silver/gray paint

-Silver marker

-Tin foil

-Box cutter

-Hot glue gun

-Duct tape



-Empty laundry detergent container

-Circular box or lid

Step 1: Tape and Paint

First, you want to cover the floor with newspaper to keep it from getting paint on it. Tape the flaps of the box’s down with duct tape, for my box, it was open on both sides, so I had to tape both sides of the box. Next, your going to want to paint it. I started using a paintbrush, but then switched over to a roller, because with the paint I was using, it made it look a little choppy, but the roller smoother it out. So, I would suggest using a roller for the white, instead of a paintbrush. I took me 2 bottles of Craft Smart 118ml to cover the entire box.

Step 2: Cutting the Body and Laundry Holes

This step is pretty straight forward. Basically, using your box cutter, you want to cut a good sized hole in the bottom, so it can fit you body. The hole for the laundry need to be a bit more precise, as you need you ziplock to cover it, and not be too small, so that the clothes can be held in (and so that it looks good to). I cut a circle in the ziplock first, because the ziplock had a limit on size, unlike the box. So, with the ziplock having a height of 25 cm and width of 30 cm, so the hole in the box had a height of 23cm and a width of 27cm.

Step 3: Making the Door of the Machine

For this next part, it is mostly up to you. You can choose the width of the door. Mine was around 4cm wide, with an extra cm that made the door overtake the whole in the box, if that makes any sense. Next, I hot glued the ziplock to the back of the door, which, in case you haven’t clued in yet, will make it look like glass. After that, you want to paint it silver/gray, which is the traditional door colour for washing machines, right? I guess you could make it black instead, but... whatever, it’s up to you. The last part of this step is to make the part of the door where it swings open and close. It took me a while to figure it out what to do, but I finally settled on folding a piece of cardboard, cutting it so that it doesn’t show behind the ziplock. (Look at the images for a better idea of what I mean)

Step 4: Part 2 of Making the Door of the Machine

I thought it would look nice if there was a circle of gray around the laundry hole, and I was right! It looked so much better then plain white around it. After that, your gonna want to paint the “swinging mechanism” of the door, and then hot glue the door to the box, as you can see in the images.

Step 5: Keeping the Door Closed

So, once I glued the door to the box, I realized that I didn’t know how to keep it closed. So, I glued a string to the door, and then I made a little cardboard hook-thingy to run the cord through, to tie it closed. It is really hard to describe, but for a better idea of what I mean, look at the images above, because I am pretty sure you didn’t understand what I meant at all.

Step 6: The Inside of the Washer

Using a circular box, or box lid, or something you made that resembles the image. The box lid had a circumference of around 107cm, and a depth of around 3cm, just for you to get an idea of the dimensions of the inside. Anyways, you are going to want to tape around the lid and then it in through the bottom. For me, tape alone wouldn’t hold it, so I had to put hot glue around the edge of the lid.

Step 7: Basic Laundry Machine

So, you are going to want to cut the head and arm holes into the box now. Again, this part is up to you, because of your head/shoulder size. Something you could do, if you don’t like the circular lid pattern or colour, you could take a piece of paper and tape it to the back of the lid, and paint it, or leave it as is. I did that, since my box, as you can see, had a pattern of little flowers on it. For the last part of this step, you can put in some clothes in the “machine”. Now you have a basic laundry machine! If you don’t feel like making it any fancier, you can just leave it at this, and you already have a pretty good costume right there.

Step 8: Nice Little Touches

For a nice little effect, I put tinfoil around the edges of the arm holes. You might have to glue it on, in case it doesn’t stick to the box. I also but an empty bottle of detergent and a box of fabric softener sheets on the top of the box. All of these things are optional, and you can choose whether or not to add it, but I would suggest it.

Step 9: Making the Buttons

The buttons were fun to make, and it was quicker then I thought it was going to be. Basically, what I did, was look at my REAL washing machine. Since there wasn’t enough space to do all the buttons on the box, I chose 3 rows of buttons and did the big round red button with a bunch of options. You can look at the images, but basically, wrote down all the “settings” in pencil, then traced them in a silver marker, and wrote down the category in black, as you can see in the image. But, I did to the circle around the red button ( which is a small circle or cardboard painted red ) in the same silvery gray paint as the door was, as you can see in the pictures.

Step 10: Making It Light Up!

Okay, so the last and final step is putting in the lights in. First, you want to pierce the button marks in the box with a screwdriver, or something similar to one. Then put the lights in the holes. I taped the lights to the box from the inside, and with the battery switch too (look at the images for a better ides of what I mean). Then, you’re all set! I hope you enjoy this costume!

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