Crocodile Costume

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.

Happy Halloween!

You can find more costume projects in our Halloween Project Archive.

14 thoughts on “Crocodile Costume

  1. And here I was expecting hydraulics. And stress-strain tests identifying optimal alloys/ceramics for the teeth. <sighs>

    No, it’s not like I’ve got time to do that either.

  2. For added realism (and an homage to the fallen), add a papier-mache Steve Irwin with his arms wrapped around your neck to simulate croc-wrasslin’! That might make a lovely follow-up article to this’un!

  3. I made my one pledged post on the other article, but personaly I was hoping for a real story. That is why I came here.

    Id be worried about quick turns with the mask on, with the peripherals limited it would be easy to knock someone over 3 stooges stlye.

    1. You are absolutely right and it was totally hilarious watching him trick-or-
      treat – he had to aim his head down to see stairs and pathways, and then aim
      just right to find the doorbell. He preferred the drop-candy-in-bucket
      houses to the let-the-kid-choose-from-the bowl houses. Best of all were
      the put-candy-in-the-crocodile’s-mouth houses.

  4. A little color could go a long way. (Or colour, depending.) A good paint job could take this costume from "That’s neat" to "Run away!!!!"

    1. Well, crocodiles (and caimans) are usually brown, so that is one point in
      favor of leaving it as is. Also, with a last minute costume, there isn’t usually
      time for the paint to dry.

  5. Thanks for the costume idea. I made it, painted it green with white teeth, and sewed a tuxedo type costume with a tail for the crocodile in our school play, Peter Pan. The child wore her own green pants and long sleeve shirt. She was a big hit!

  6. will deal with this stupid thing would be more successful whether you concentrate on school. These empty things, like the alligator.

  7. I think this is very inventive. I can’t believe some people can be so sour and negative. Best wishes for continued creativity and fun! :)

  8. This is an awsome costume!! Right up my alley. Love the fun and playful idea. You’ve got me creative again….. :)))))

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