If your family is trick-or-treating this year, here's how to create a candy tote made to look like a witch's black cat, Dorothy's rainbow, a posh lady's puppy, or an angler's surprise.

By Lisa Butterworth
September 23, 2020
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Seth Smoot

Every kid knows that treats are the heroes of Halloween. These sturdy carriers are extra-worthy of that precious cargo, and turn standard costumes into the stuff of legend. Here, each treat carrier is ingeniously paired with a corresponding costume—a black cat for a witch, a rainbow for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, a posh lady's pup, and an angler's surprise (a shark, that is). And since they're constructed from common cardboard boxes (we see you, oatmeal canister), the only trick is remembering to save a few from the recycling.

Witch's Familiar

A little craft magic turns a round hatbox into a kitty sidekick with paper-plate ears, a paper-bowl snout, and wire whiskers, as seen above. Everything in this project is made from recyclable materials: Just use a craft knife to carve a hatbox, cereal box or poster board, paper plates and bowls into a feline shape. Paint the assembled carrier black with FolkArt Home Décor Chalk Paint ($10, michaels.com). Then, add whiskers: You will need three pieces of lightweight white wire, such as eBoot Stem Wire ($8 for 100, amazon.com). Dress your sorceress in a black fit-and-flare party dress ($13, amazon.com), plus a hat ($6, amazon.com) and broom ($16, amazon.com), and she's ready to fly.

Seth Smoot

Dorothy's Rainbow

No wizardry is required when making this treat carrier—just a large cardboard box, a piece of poster board, and Roy G. Biv paints. Draw a rainbow shape on a cardboard box (as big as you want the carrier to be), measure and cut the arches from poster board, assemble them together with glue and paint exteriors of arches, bases, and handle in a rainbow of colors like Martha Stewart Family Friendly Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint ($2.50 each, michaels.com) accordingly. Add a gingham dress (starting from $55, costumesbyjune.etsy.com), sparkly shoes ($25, amazon.com), and pigtails, and watch your costume troubles melt like lemon drops.

Seth Smoot

Posh Lady's Pup

For this girl's BFF, book-end an oatmeal canister with paper bowls ($14 for 100, amazon.com), and add a papier-mâché egg ($9.50 for two, amazon.com) for the head, and poster board for the ears, tail, legs, and collar. Cut a rubber ball or pom-pom in half—painting black if necessary—and glue it to the tapered end of the egg as the nose. Use a marker to draw eyes and mouth on the pup's head. A chic shift dress ($188, hucklebones.co.uk) and shoes complete the ensemble.

Seth Smoot

Angler's Surprise

An oatmeal canister, a papier-mâché egg for the nose, a cone for the tail ($10, amazon.com), and poster board for the teeth and fins make this shark the catch of day or night. Use our template to cut out eyes, teeth, side fins, tail fin, and dorsal fin, and trace them onto poster board; hot-glue teeth strips. The vest ($35, amazon.com), hat ($12, amazon.com), and rod will reel in candy givers hook, line, and sinker.

Styling by Kendra Smoot.

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