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How to Make a Dumpster Fire Costume

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been trash in some kind of way. When my friend suggested I make a Dumpster Fire costume for the first day of Bus Stop Costumes in 2020, I had to laugh. Now that we’re in better times, it’s still a funny costume if there’s something you just want to throw in the trash. 

Dumpster Fire Costume

Dumpster Fire Costume Instructions

When doing a quick Google search, I found this picture as inspiration. It looked like a fairly straightforward concept.

Dumpster fire costume inspiration

Luckily we had a big wardrobe box from our move, so we just cut it and spray painted it with Hunter Green spray paint. We let it dry overnight, but if you’re in a pinch, it usually dries pretty quickly. I would wait at least an hour.

Then my husband got a circle hole in the bottom of the box so that there was a little ledge in case we need things to sit there, like the trash bags.

Also choose a box with handles on the side or cut slits for it. This helped me to just hold up the box rather than having to make straps to walk around with it.

Dumpster Fire Costume Instructions


I wanted a little more fire action in front of my Dumpster Fire costume, so I used this fire clip art, downloaded it, and had it printed off at Walgreens as a poster size, because honestly I was too lazy to draw it. (Don’t forget to use a Walgreens coupon if you print it off there).


Fire Clipart

Then I cut it out and used a piece of small cardboard to tape at the bottom to make the fire stand up a little bit. Next, I used Duck Tape to tape it all to the front of the box. You can play around with the cardboard/tape ratio depending on the size of your box.

DIY Dumpster Fire Costume

We didn’t have a color printer handy, so we printed off the W and M from Waste Management and colored it in and glued it on the box with a glue stick.

The Accessories

Here’s where you can decide how much extra you want to be. We used two black trash bags and just blew air into it and tied it tight. That way it was light and could be taped inside the box. But they stayed pretty easily between me and the box. Then we threw in crumpled red and orange tissue paper to make the fire look more intense. 

DIY Costumes 2020

I added the banana peel on my head just for fun and put black eye shadow on my face to make myself look dirty. You can have as much fun as you want. Add other trash or props as you desire! It’s the little things that make a costume pop even more. The costume itself is pretty easy and got a lot of laughs, so here’s to making the most out of 2020!

Happy October!

Best 2020 Costumes

If you need more costume ideas, check out more easy costumes for moms and kids.

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