Giant Cardboard Ghost Trap

My house normally likes to go big for Halloween – making costumes and decorations from scratch is right down the Maker alley. However the current COVID situation had put a damper on our usual festivities, so we decided to reuse our Ghostbuster costumes from a previous year. It has been my hope to someday build screen-replica worthy Proton Packs, Ghost Traps, and PK meters, but this year there was definitely not enough time to follow through with that once our costumes were decided. With our toddler dressed as the Stay-Puft marshmallow man and some cardboard and colored duct tape left over from a move, I figured we did have enough time to make a ghost trap large enough for her to get in.

Cardboard box with extended walls with duct tape.

We made the basic frame by finding a cardboard box large enough for a toddler to sit in comfortably, and extended the walls up about a foot. Our toddler could easily sit inside with the top closed, though she does need some help getting in and out. Gorilla Tape really did all the work in this build, and held the whole thing together wonderfully. As I write this a week and a half after building, even with heavy use by a toddler, it has held up incredibly well and shows little signs of strain.

We built the lid completely separately from the main box as one piece, covered it in diagonal duct tape stripes, cut it into two pieces, then attached it to the main box with some more Gorilla Tape.

Ghost trap lid, cardboard covered with diagonal stripes of yellow and black duct tape.
Cardboard box with assembled lid.

Next for the details: we taped another box to the end, where the handle will be attached, covered it with black duct tape and the sides with silver.

Cardboard box ghost trap missing detail pieces.
Cardboard box ghost trap, missing detail pieces.

We wanted it to be as close what was on screen in the original Ghostbusters as possible, so we then taped up a handle out of a large cardboard tube and a vacuum extension. The rest of the details were made by either cutting out pieces of duct tape into the shape of the flat details or, in the case of the protruding details, wrapping cardboard tubes in duct tape. Only downside to securing everything in this way is that after a few days the duct tape holding the dials on has started to droop and several of the dials keep falling off. For an afternoon of cardboard taping fun (which keeps the toddler entertained), I really love the end result. And even after a week and a half, our little ghost still loves playing in it!

Completed cardboard and duct tape Ghostbusters ghost trap.
Completed cardboard and duct tape Ghostbusters ghost trap.
Completed cardboard and duct tape Ghostbusters ghost trap.
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