Here’s how to make a fun, simple crocodile costume out of a cardboard box and some butcher paper.
Okay, it was originally supposed to be a caiman costume, as we tend toward the esoteric, but alligator and crocodile are probably just as accurate.
We used a long narrow cardboard box (38x6x6 from McMaster-Carr – it had welding and brazing rods in it), butcher paper, strapping tape, masking tape and tissue paper.
Necessary tools include a hobby knife (not pictured), hot glue gun, stapler, sharpie, and pinking shears.
The tail section is quite easy. Start with a piece of butcher paper (or packing material from your brazing rod package) about waist-high folded in half. Draw diagonal line across it. Don’t worry about accuracy. Curvy is fine.
Cut somewhere near the line with pinking shears.
Staple an inch or so from the edge all the way along what will be the ridge on the top of the tail.
Stuff with your scrap packing paper.
Fold over the waist part and make a belt with strapping tape. Fold the strapping tape back on itself to make the belt and use a smaller piece of tape as a “buckle.”
Step one for the head is to draw and cut out the area between the teeth. We used a hobby knife (with a nice fresh blade) for this.
Next, cut away the excess behind the head of the crocodile and fold down the back of the neck. After this, cut the flaps on the side of the head so that you can hot glue them to the neck support.
Cut away enough of the bottom flaps so that your head will fit through. Hot glue the flaps back together under the crocodile’s chin.
Lastly, scrunch up some tissue paper and wrap it in whatever color you want the eyes to be. You can use hot glue or double-sided tape to attach this to the corner of the box. Cut a leaf-shaped piece of cardboard for an eyebrow ridge and tape or hot-glue it on as well. Draw on a pupil slit with your sharpie.
The neck support will need a strap under the armpits made of strapping tape as well.
Cover the teeth with masking tape to give them a nice yellowed look.
Put on your brown clothes and you are ready to trick-or-treat. Trust us, this one will bring home the candy. Watch out, as folks may try to feed the crocodile. It’s ok, since the side of the box (lower jaw) will hold it until you can tilt your head and slide it straight into your mouth.
You can find more costume projects in our Halloween Project Archive.