My Best Halloween Costume EVER: Box of Wine. Seriously.


Halloween in February?  Yes.  Because I have to come up with 29 posts this month, I'm going to be reaching for topics, folks.  And this is one I had planned on writing about anyways..maybe closer to Halloween but I can always repost it then.

Anyhoo...I used to really dig Halloween.  When the kids started elementary school, I'd dress up and go to their little classroom parties (much to their dismay after like, 2nd grade).  One year I was Medusa, one year a witch (that was the year I actually made Charlie cry out of embarrassment. Luckily he was in third grade, the last grade with class parties).  One year I was a clown, complete with full face makeup.

I think I'm finally realizing why the kids don't like Halloween as much as I do....

But the kids got older, and my opportunities for dressing up diminished.  I resorted to the lame "Halloween theme shirts" or "look I'm wearing a devil horns headband! I'm a devil!  Haha get it?".  I missed dressing up, figuring out a costume, embarrassing my kids.

So, I was completely thrilled to be invited to a couple of parties this past Halloween.  One with an actual costume contest!  I felt the old costume-adrenaline start coursing through my veins as ideas flew through my head. 

I had settled on being "Megan" from Bridesmaids.  I was going to get back to my thrift store roots and find one of those men's Nat Nast bowling type shirts, a pair of navy Dockers capris, and of course a little pearl necklace.  Oh, and a wrist brace, and one of those neck pillow thingies.  It was going to be epic, I tell ya!  Except...when I told people about my costume idea, they'd say, "Oh, funny!" but not much else.  Not "That's a great idea!" or "Why didn't I think of that?!".  Also, not one person said, "But Jenny!  She's a big girl.  How can you pull that off?".  Sigh.  So I shelved that idea and glumly accepted the fact that once again, I'd be "Devil Horn Headband Lady".


One night my friend Danielle and I were texting back and forth (I know, I'm 14.  And I'm ok with that.) about costume ideas.  She is one of the the most creative people I know, and has a trillion friends who are equally as creative and fun, so I figured she have some good ideas.  Then I got this text from her:

"How about you go as a BOX OF WINE?"

I wrote back something like, "HAHA.." and then I googled "Box of Wine Costume".

She was on to something.  There were a few out there, all homemade.  Most were *gag* Franzia boxes.  I decided to go for it, so we began plotting the details.

I would be going as a Bota Box, of course, since I practically own stock in that company (not really, but I should).  Not only is their wine yummy, but the box is aesthetically pleasing with muted colors and cool fonts.

If you want to make one, I suggest starting it a week or so in advance.  Danielle and I made this one in ONE HOUR.  I can't remember what happened, but we were both stuck doing other stuff up until just a little bit before I had to leave for the parties.  But dammit, we did it and it turned out great.

Here are the things you're going to need:

A big box that fits over your body comfortably (mine was a box that originally housed a toilet)
A roll of brown kraft paper (I'm the antithesis of 'crafty' so I don't know what kind, what weight, etc. Just get a roll of it at Michaels)
Clear packing tape (lots of it)
Duct tape (doesn't matter what color, it's for inside the box)
Markers...lots and lots of markers.  Get those big, fat Sharpies if you can.  There's a lot of black on the box, and I think we went through at least 3 of those huge black Sharpies.  The different varietals of Bota Box wines have different colors on the boxes, so you'll need to check the box.  Very closely.  And it helps if the box is open and tapped, because believe me when I say that making this costume will be more fun if you have a little buzz.
Heavy Duty scissors
A Box of Wine Yes, a real box of wine, with wine in it.  You'll need the box to copy the design, and you'll need to wine to put inside your costume.

First thing you have to do is cut holes in the box for your head and arms.  Easy peasy.  But, this was actually kind of a time suck, so that's why I want you to start yours way more than an hour before the party starts.

When the holes are cut, you put that box on and you see if you can move everything comfortably.  You most likely won't be able to sit down while wearing the box, so make sure you're not wearing eff me shoes or anything too fancy.  Also make sure you can move your arms easily.  I couldn't get a glass or food up to my gaping mouth while wearing the box, so I had to rely on the kindness of my friends, and straws.

OH JEEZE...I forgot the most important hole of all:  You need to cut a small hole for the spout.  BECAUSE YOU WILL BE SERVING WINE OUT OF IT.  Yes, this wine box is fully functional.  I'll get to the mechanics of it later, but when cutting the hole for the spigot you just have to kind of eyeball it.  On the actual Bota Box, the spigot is on the side, but for convenience, we moved it to the front.  So I could reach it.  (and also because my fat ass and hips took up most of the wiggle room on the sides of the box)

Ok, so now you wrap that box in the kraft paper.  Just like wrapping a present. Tape it up good, because believe me, your box will get handled (oh yeah, get ready for box jokes ALL NIGHT LONG).  But make sure you leave the front, sides and back tape free...the marker will not work over tape. 

And then the artistry begins.  We copied the designs on the box, pretty much exactly.  The front was the most detailed and took the longest.  Danielle is a MASTER and if there was a job out there that called for expert wine box copying, she'd be the Employee of the Year.

I'm sure there are computery ways to do this, but that would require knowledge that extends beyond mine (which is right click, print, ok).  Plus, I think the hand drawn/lettered finished product looked more "real".  But I'm biased.

When the decorating is done, it's time to install the wine.  Take the pouch of wine out of the little box.  I had to empty mine a bit, because it was heavy and I didn't have any duct tape.  So if you have to empty it a little, take one for the team and do it.

Now, you go up inside the costume box, and stick the spigot out of the little hole you cut prior to decorating.  Make sure that the spigot is going the right way, so the wine will pour DOWN.  When that's done, you have to tape the pouch to the inner wall of the costume box.  Tape it up WELL because it will get jostled inside there.

When that's done, put the box on and test it out.  Make sure it works...and heads up, it may drip a little (and here come the "dripping box" jokes.  I told you to get ready for them, didn't I?).  I had to put some tape on mine before I got to the parties.

You will not be able to sit in the car with it on, so make sure you have space to carry it.  Also, I am kind of a freak when it comes to the drinking and driving thing, along with the "open bottle" laws.  I actually panicked a little, because I thought if we got pulled over the open wine thing could be a problem.  So you may want to inquire about your local laws.  And if you've been sampling the wine while making this, like I've suggested?  Make sure you aren't the driver.

Another awesome thing about this costume is that you can wear comfy clothes underneath (it gets hot in there!).  I'm so sick of all the costume options for women being the whore version of things (Slutty Nurse!  Slutty Vampire!  Slutty Julia Childs!) so this one is great if you don't have the body or the desire to dress like a skank.

And now, for the pictures of the final product:

As you can see from this last picture, you will be the life of the party.  And guess what?


Have fun with this one, and if you do decide to be a box of wine for Halloween, please send me a picture!


  1. I had been at work pre-costume making. I came over after work in my uniform with a week's worth of pizza stank on me. Anyway, the next week at work, my boss says "Um, what's that white stuff on your sleeve?" and I realized I had white paint pen all over my arm that didn't come out in the wash. I showed her a picture of the costume. "Awesome. Just roll up your sleeves." And she didn't make me go home and change shirts that day, as would have been normal procedure.
    That costume rocked.

    1. But remember...it's very age/generation sensitive. The 20-somethings at trivia didn't give it a second glance, but the 40-somethings went apeshit over it! Maybe if I had been a big can of Surly...

  2. Holy shit, this is awesome! You rock Jenny & of course you won first place. How could you not?! haha

  3. Wow! I know that there are plenty of truly unique Halloween costumes out there but this one takes the cake. Even I didn't think of being a box of wine at any party. Good one Jen!

    1. Thank you! It's still in my garage, I laugh every time I see it. May use it again this year!


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