Monday, October 27, 2008


Need a quick, last minute Halloween costume? Dig through your recycling bin and gear up for this easy robot project. You'll be thinking inside the box in true recycled style!

>Utility Knife
>Silver spray or acrylic paint
>2 two liter soda bottles (for the arms)
>2 small water bottles (for the antennas)
>Large cardboard box (about your shoulder width)
>Small cardboard box (large enough to fit over your head)
>Assorted recyclables for gears and gauges (we used a yogurt lid, a CD, and junk mail)
>Dry, empty paint can for a trick or treat pail

1. To make a spot for the head to poke through, cut an 8.5" circle in the top, center of the box.

2. Cut an arm hole about 5" in diameter on each side of the box centered at the top. Then, try it on to make sure it fits.

3. For the head - cut a 7" square on the front of the box that's about 1" up from the bottom.

4. Unscrew the water bottles and place them upside-down on the top of the box where you want your antennas. Trace around the opening. Cut. Then stick the water bottle through and secure on the other side by screwing the lid back on.

5. To make the cylinders for the arms, cut off the top and the bottom of 2 liter bottles - keeping the smooth, center portion intact.

6. Paint the boxes and bottles silver in a well ventilated area. Let dry.

7. Add gears and gauges to the front of the robot. We used a CD and poked a hole through a plastic spoon. It's all attached with a brad for a fully functioning "candy meter". We added an old envelope and cut a yogurt lid cut in half for more bells and whistles. Take a look in your recycling bin and use what's there to give your robot personality.

8. Name your robot! You can have any kind of theme. Ours is lovingly known as Recyclobot. But you could use old CDs and cassette tapes for Dance Party Robot. Paper plates and plastic spoons and forks could make up Picnic Robot. Paint cans, brushes and lids could become Art Bot. The sky's the limit on this one! For your trick or treat pail, grab a empty paint can, make sure it's dry, and line the inside of it with paper.

And if you're in on the east coast and have access to Comcast, tune in to the CN8 morning show this Wednesday at 7:30 AM. You can see this costume live along with some other last minute crafty costumes from Craft Magazine.

Thanks, Anna, for sporting the costume in the photo above!
Yay Craft! Yay Halloween!


Anonymous said...

Hi guys, Love your site!

Just wanted to let you know that we felt very green this Halloween because we went completely DIY.

You know how when you're talking about a celeb and can't remember the name: "Oh you know, he's that guy on TV!" Well, my 9 year old son went as That Guy on TV.

We took a cardboard box, painted it black and silver, and cut out a "screen" on the front. I gave him an old remote that no longer worked so he could "change the channel" if he so wished.

Here's a link to the finished product:

Unknown said...

Hey Deb - "that guy on TV" is a great costume!

I dressed up as Rainbow Brite - all from items I found at the thrift store. The $2.50 bright red shoes were the best find ever!

PuppyLovePrincess said...

ohmygosh... this is such a fun idea. if it's ok with you, i'll be linking from my blog.

Unknown said...

hey PuppyLovePrincess - feel free to post away. It makes me happy when others want to help spread the recycling goodness.

Peter said...

This Recyclobot is such a clever costume - congrats on pulling it together.

In case you (or your readers) are interested, there is a Clever Costume Contest over at and the grand prize is $250. Just passing this info along in case you'd like to enter.

Thanks again for sharing such a neat and clever costume idea!