The ability to travel through all of time and space is something we’ve watched The Doctor do since 1963. But none of that would’ve been possible without The Doctor’s trusty time machine, the TARDIS. TARDIS stands for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space” which in layman’s terms is a time machine. But just as the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, she is so much more than just a time machine. She, yes she, knows what The Doctor needs just as much as what he wants and does what she can to help him achieve his goals.

Except his goals are soon changing. Doctor Who fans were rocked by the big reveal of the latest regeneration following Peter Capaldi’s exit. The 13th regeneration has opened the door to a whole new world because, for the first time, the Doctor is female. While most Whovians are torn on if this is a good or bad thing for the series, we’re excited to see what Jodie Whittaker will bring to the table.

The Time Lords from the planet Gallifrey used complex technology including a “chameleon circuit” as well as a certain degree of sapience, to create this time and space traversing machine. However, unfortunately for this TARDIS, the chameleon circuit is broken causing her to be stuck as a Police Box since a visit to London in 1963. The TARDIS is just as iconic a look as the many regenerations of The Doctor himself. It’s no surprise that Whovians refer to that signature blue as TARDIS blue or describe things that are bigger on the inside as TARDIS-like.

As one of the resident Whovians here at Wholesale Halloween Costumes, I teamed up with Emily to create my very own TARDIS costume for Halloween this year! Take a look at how we brought this character to life.

While I wish it was bigger on the inside like the real TARDIS, this costume turned out to be just how we imagined it. Now if only we could actually get it to travel through space and time, we’d be set. Our first order of business would be to travel into the future to get a sneak peek at what Series 11 will be about. We’ve been promised a premiere by October so the wait is almost over!

Steps to Make your Own TARDIS Costume

TARDIS Measurements by MaydayParker

If you want to get technical, here are some very close measurements by MaydayParker (which have been updated all over the internet since it was originally posted but we like the graphic!). Having said that, we did not stick to these dimensions.

Supplies Needed:

  • Large Cardboard Box (you must be able to fit inside) + Extra cardboard
  • Blue Spray Paint
  • Xacto Knife
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Marker
  • Black Cardstock- 4 sheets
  • Blue Cardstock- 1 sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Printed Window Notice Image
  • Printed Police Box Type
  • Small White Capital Letter Stickers (craft store)
  • Plastic Water Bottle 16.9oz size
  • 2-4 Blue Glow Sticks
  • Ribbon

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

First, find a few good reference photos to help guide you on the details.

Use a ruler to measure out where the windows will be and cut them out with an Xacto knife. Print the window notice to fit- this may take some trial and error.

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

You’ll also need to cut out two arm holes and hole for your head to fit through the top. Make sure the top is securely taped before you cut through, non glossy tape works best.

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

Tape extra cardboard behind the windows. TIP: You’ll need to un-tape this later so you can slide the paper windows in under the cardboard, so don’t go crazy with the tape as we did.

Take the box outside and liberally spray paint on her signature blue color. This took us a couple of cans- buy three to be safe and ensure full coverage. Leave it outside to set for a few hours or overnight.

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

Print out the words Police Box– you may need to mess with the size settings to fit your box.

Cut strips out of black cardstock that works with the scale of your box. We had to tape two pieces together to make them long enough for our box.

Once you’ve cut out every letter you can glue them onto the black strips. Leave space between the words to add the smaller letters for “Public Call.” We used craft store stickers for this part.

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

Trim the black cardstock strips to fit and tape them in place onto your TARDIS.

Trim the strips that go over the arm holes.

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

Use eight sheets of blank printer paper to draw window panes all eight uppermost windows, with six panes in each. Measure the panes to fit the size of your windows- dividing the width by three and the height by two- then using the marker and rule to lay down the lines.

This is where you might need to remove and replace some tape. Trim the paper windows to leave a hefty margin around the cut-out hole. Slide the sheets of windows between the two layers of cardboard and tape in place.

Tape the pre-printed “Police Telephone” notice into the lower left the window on one side of TARDIS.

Making Light on top of TARDIS

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

Cut your empty bottle (with lid) in the middle and put up to 4 glow sticks inside.

Now you should be able to put the top of the bottle back on the bottom, overlapping the two pieces.

With the Xacto knife carefully cut two holes near the base of the bottle opposite each other at 180° so you can run the ribbon through the bottle to make a headband.

Close the bottle tight as you can and tape the bottle closed. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottle from the base to the top of the cap. Wrap it around the bottle, poke through the parchment paper so you can string the ribbon through and tape the parchment closed.

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

Use a large mixing bowl to trace a big circle onto the blue cardstock about eight inches in diameter.

Cut from one edge to the center of the circle (along the radius, duh).

Overlap the two cut edges to make a cone and tape it when the shape looks right.

Fill the inside tip of the cone with a big glob from a hot glue gun and flip it over onto the bottle cap. Press and hold it until it sets.

Cut thin strips out of the black cardstock and tape them to the lantern to add the small panes. That’s it! Just slide into that box and tie on the lantern.


DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Costume

If you create this TARDIS costume or are cosplaying as any of the Doctors this Halloween, we want to see it. Share your costume pics with us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram! Connect with us on Pinterest too!

DIY TARDIS Costume from a Cardboard Box Pinterest Guide