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CHAMPAIGN — No need to head to the store to buy expensive costumes for your children this Halloween. Going the do-it-yourself route can awaken your inner arts-and-crafts side and produce more memories.

Rene Shunk, franchisee for Two Men and a Truck, Champaign, said making a costume is easy. And one vital ingredient is a box.

The box character possibilities are endless.

Back in the day when William “The Refrigerator” Perry roamed the gridiron for the Chicago Bears, there no doubt would have been any number of Fridge costumes. Or how about a Barbie doll box? Two boys could go dressed as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier — famous “boxers.” And there’s always country music singer Boxcar Willie.

One of Shunk’s favorites is a Lego costume.

“It’s a very iconic shape, and it’s very easy to make a Lego brick costume of any size,” she said. “You could make one for less than $10 and mostly use things around your house. They’re easy to put together and don’t take long to make.”

Shunk went through the steps.

A box the size of the person is needed. The bottom of the box needs to be open. Tape shut the top of the box, and use a plate or a bowl to trace a circle and cut out a hole to stick your head through. Now you’re thinking outside the box.

“Usually, I use a sharp box cutter for that,” said Shunk, noting that’s not something a child should be using.

Slip on the box and decide where you want the arm holes to be, then cut them in the box.

When taping the box, packing tape works best.

“It will hold the cardboard and won’t come loose,” Shunk said. “If you use duct tape or masking tape, sometimes it doesn’t stick as well,” she said.

Now it’s time to make the knobs. Paper or plastic cups or little paper or plastic bowls can be used by gluing them on the front of the box using “regular school glue.” If you’re in a hurry, a hot glue gun will work.

Then head outdoors and paint the exterior of the box with a bright color using spray paint, which is faster, or regular craft paint, which Shunk said is “a little more kid-friendly.”

Two Men and a Truck stores have a wide variety of boxes.

“They’re always in stock, and they’re very inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes, whether you have a small child or an adult,” Shunk said. “You could do an entire family.”

Now it’s time to load up on candy. And if you don’t want to bring a bag to carry it in, bring a box.

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at dhinton@news-gazette.com.

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