It’s easy to make a cardboard vest to fit a man or woman. You might already have the materials at home. You can use boxes made of corrugated cardboard or poster board from the dollar store. Soft corrugated cardboard works best because its flexibility allows it to bend around the body easily. Unless you have a very large box, you might need to tape two or three pieces together with masking tape for a good fit. You can even put pockets on your vest. When you make a costume, it can be as elaborate as you wish.
1. Take a vest you presently wear to use as a pattern, preferably one with a V-neck so the cardboard doesn’t rub against your skin. Lay it open on a large piece of corrugated cardboard, or tape enough pieces together with masking tape so it’s wide enough to fit. Trace the vest on cardboard, including the outside edges, bottom angles, armholes and neck placement. Set the real vest aside.
2. Cut out the armholes. Even off the V-neck, making it round in the back until the edge is smooth enough that you can wear it comfortably against your neck. Fold the sides over the front, envisioning it as a real vest with the front open.
3. Gently try on the vest to make sure it fits, taking care not to tear it. The size should be nearly correct because you traced it. Make any adjustments now by cutting down rough or long edges with scissors.
4. Cut out four square pieces of cardboard that can serve as pockets. Put a crease in each just enough so it can open. Place two pockets low near the waist and two on the chest. Tape the pockets onto the vest on the sides and bottom of each, leaving the top of the pocket open.
5. With a thin marker, draw a line down each side of the front of the vest to look like a zipper. Draw short, horizontal lines alongside the length of the zipper to represent teeth.
6. Tuck a handkerchief into one pocket for a realistic touch.