A frequent question we receive is “What is Boxplay?” – Put simply, Boxplay is the act of crafting costumes from cardboard boxes. Here in Boxplay 101 we’ll bring you up to speed on the art and culture and madness that is Boxplay.
Despite the pat answer at the beginning of this article, Boxplay isn’t that simple. Sure, kids have loved wearing cardboard boxes since cardboard was first invented, but how did we get to Boxplay Culture?
What is Cardboard?
The first lesson is that cardboard should more properly be referred to as “corrugated fiberboard”.
Corrugated fiberboard is a material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. It is made on “flute lamination machines” or “corrugators” and is used for making cardboard boxes. The corrugated medium sheet and the linerboard(s) are made of kraft containerboard, a paperboard material usually over 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) thick. Corrugated fiberboard is sometimes called corrugated cardboard, although cardboard might be any heavy paper-pulp based board.
– Wikipedia article on Corrugated Fiberboard
When it comes to actively crafting and wearing cardboard costumes, there’s a lot to learn and it starts in the early-1600s when the Dutch moved into the neighborhood of the people living on the island of Manhattan.
By the mid-1800s a Scotsman named Robert Gair
the man who (accidentally) invented cardboard while producing ——-.
Arm holes: holes cut into the sides of a boxtume’s torso to allow the wearer to use their arms.
Bracer: (alternately, “Forearm”) cardboard armor pieces that cover the wearer’s forearms.
Boxplay: the practice of dressing up in cardboard to portray a character from a book, video game, television show, movie, or janitorial supply catalog.
Box Sex: having sex while wearing a boxtume.
Boxtume: a costume made from cardboard boxes.
Bucket: see ‘Head’.
Cardboobs: simulated boobs made from cardboard.
Earhole: (alternately “Ear Hole”), a hole cut into a bucket to allow the person inside to better hear things outside of their boxtume.
Eyehole: (alternately “Eye Hole”), a hole cut into a cardboard costume to allow the person inside to see inside so as to avoid tumbling down an escalator. These typically come in pairs.
Flap: part of the mechanism used for sealing a cardboard box. May also refer to access points built into costumes.
Forearm: see ‘Bracer’.
Gap: spaces between cardboard through which you can see in/out of a boxtume or a bucket. Often used when eye holes are ineffective.
Head: a box that you wear on your head as part of your boxtume.
Neck hole: a hole cut into the top of a torso to allow the wearer’s head to stick out.
Tape: paper or fabric ribbon imbibed with a sticky substance, used to connect pieces of cardboard together to create a boxtume.
Torso: the part of a boxtume that covers the wearer from the neck down to the waist (or the crotch). These generally include arm holes and a neck hole.