Traffic Light Halloween Costume

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For a good 4 years my son was obsessed with all things transportation. I mean this went beyond the usual pre-school Thomas and Friends to a love of all things movement. At age 4 he knew three-letter abbreviations for many airports. He was like a pint-sized Google maps—with a starting point and destination, he could tell you the fastest subway routes to get around. Even after living in the suburbs for quite some time, this is still his favorite book.


So a few years ago, the annual question of “what do you want to be for Halloween?” was answered quickly with, “a traffic light.”


Where does this kid think up this stuff?

Now I’m not the most crafty or DIY person, but inspired from this post, I actually was able to make my son a working, traffic light Halloween costume. It was very easy and required few supplies – my kind of homemade costume!

DIY Traffic Light Costume Instructions, Stoplight Costume for Halloween #Halloween #Costume

Here are the instructions to replicate this awesome traffic light costume for your little transportation lover- and did I mention it actually lights up? My guess is you could make this costume even simpler by just painting the colored lights, but again, all the supplies needed are cheap & easy to find. The fact that it actually lights up definitely adds to the coolness factor.



Some of the few materials needed to make your own Traffic Light Costume
Some of the few materials needed to make your own Traffic Light Costume

An old cardboard box (I am pretty sure I used an old Amazon box)

Black Paint

Red/Yellow/Green paint (you will need paintbrushes as well)

Packing Tape

One Piece of Black Foam Board – I literally had some left over from making his Railroad Crossing Costume.

Three Tap Lights (these require 4 AA batteries – I always have a large Costco size box of these around, and I just removed the batteries when we were done with the costume)

A box cutter

Hot Glue Gun (<– I love this Martha Stewart Hot Glue Gun & its very inexpensive!)

… and that’s it!



  1. First I prepped the cardboard box. I taped the box together so it was closed. I taped it on the inside so I would not have to paint over the tape. I cut out the bottom completely (where the legs go) and then cut out two circles on each side for the arms. Lastly I cut out a circle on top for the head.


  1. Next I painted the entire box black. If you stand it up so that the open side is on the ground, you can paint the whole box in one sitting (I did this in my garage with another cardboard box laid down). You will have to leave the paint to dry overnight so give yourself a day or two lead time, especially if you need to paint two coats.


  1. Next I took three tap lights, added batteries and painted the white light part red, yellow or green. I let that dry overnight.


  1. Since I had time, I waited for the color paint to dry, and then the next night painted the outside of the tap light (the beige part) black to blend in with the traffic light.


  1. After all of the paint was dry, I cut out three semi-ovals from the black foam. I basically measured from about 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock on the tap light and cut a diameter on the semi-oval that large.

DIY Traffic Light Costume. Easy to make for Halloween.

  1. I then used my hot glue gun to assemble the pieces. First I glued the semi-ovals to the tops of the tap lights to create that awning you see above the actual light. Next I glued each light to the box – don’t forget red is on top (for some reason that confused me and I had to Google it)
  2. My son wore black sweat pants and a black long sleeve T (this would be a great costume in weather where you have to wear a jacket underneath, because it won’t interfere with the costume!) and viola…. Traffic Light Halloween Costume… it was that easy!




DIY Traffic Light Costume. Easy to make for Halloween!

1. Especially if your child is short, make sure the box is cut so it is not too long. You can see in the picture, the box was too long and my son had trouble walking. Luckily he was only four that Halloween and we only went trick or treating to a few houses on our block.


  1. I used hot glue because that is what I had, but if I make this again (which I am thinking I am going to re-create for myself this year) I would investigate some stronger glue options.


  1. If you have time do two coats of the red, yellow and green (one each night for two nights). You can see in my picture the green paint is coming off a little.


This was such a fun and easy costume to make. My son loved it! And for an older kid, this stop light costume is actually functional as it provides light while trick or treating at night!


What does your little one want to be for Halloween? Are you making a costume this year? Please leave a comment and let me know!


Happy Halloween!




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DIY Traffic Light Halloween Costume #DIY #halloween



Looking for other great DIY Costumes?

DIY Railroad Crossing Halloween Costume



Best Fall Activities Your Family Will Love

Apple Picking at Lewin’s Farm

Fall Round Up

A Weekend in Dutchess County


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12 Comments to “Traffic Light Halloween Costume”

  1. Kids come up with the most interesting ideas. My kid wants to be a bat. Anyway, this traffic light costume is adorable! It’s great that you provided a step-by-step guide on how to make it!

  2. Jen

    Great idea – we made it for our son who just had to be a stoplight (he’s very into traffic signs, cars, etc)! We chose to use the foam board to make a “Custom sized” box – and made it shorter to allow for movement ease (based on your experience!). Thanks for your wonderful tutorial – our son loved his costume and received so many compliments. Truly a hit! 🙂


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