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The World’s Most Affordable Sci-Fi/Fantasy Cardboard Costuming Convention

The 14th Annual Cardboard*Con
will be on March 4, 2023!!

Panels & Workshops

There are several divisions of cardboard costuming, all of which you can expect to be seen at this year's event. If you're new to the world of cardboard costuming you might want to attend one of the many panels that will be held at one of our convention hotels. Skip down below to find out which type of cardboard costumes suits your style!

Panel on air holes

Continuing Educations

Our panels are a perennial favorite!! (We sound so smart when we use that word "perennial"!!!)

2022 Panels

  • Chitty Chitt Bang - a grand cardboard singalong!!
  • Asimov Sidechops - a debate about what powered Isaac Asimov's face
  • Firefly is Dead - seriously, can you just get over it already??
  • Dinosaur Punk - the dinosaurs are back and they've discovered gears!
  • Echolocation - how it does not work inside cardboard

2021 Panels

  • All panels were online!

2020 Panels

  • Ancient Cardboard - an archeologist will show us photos from the dump.
  • Time Travel in Cardboard - explore the concepts of space and time and tape
  • The Board's Tale - an actual Renaissance cardboard bard will play music
  • Is Cardboard Just a Hologram? - by some high-as-a-kite physics nerd
  • Cardboard Bustiers: The Danger & The Joy - Cardboobs. Any questions?
  • Whose Smell Is It? - a fan favorite improv game!

2019 Panels

  • Flap Maintenance - your friends are beginning to talk.
  • Hipsterism is Dead - ironic, huh?
  • Earholes: The New Eyeholes - didn't see that coming, or DID you?
  • Dating Outside of Cardboard - shed the stigma, date a furry!
  • Adult Holes - adults only, Lido deck, bring bandaids and Neosporin.

2018 Panels


    2018 was a terrific con but we took a year off of doing panels to let the slide projector cool off so we could change the bulb and try to figure out how to actually work the remote. We didn't figure it out, so if you know someone who knows how to connect PowerPoint to a 1991 Kodak slide projector please contact us via Friendster.

2017 Panels

  • Are We Really Still Doing This? - an existential crisis
  • How to Clean Your Costume - why water won't work
  • Hiding Food In Your Head - when to and when ton't
  • Cardboard and Race - breaking the corrugation barrier without chafing
  • Will She Call Me Back - probably not

2016 Debate Points

  • Can My Vote Be Bought? - a drinking game
  • Sharing the Wealth - is the dumpster big enough to clothe everyone?
  • Dirty Dumpster Tricks - how to manipulate the trash compactor
  • Cleanly Cut Cardboard - how to appeal to mainstream cardboard voters
  • What is UP With That Hair??? - srsly

2015 Panels

  • Duck or Duct - the eternal debate
  • Furries - do they creep you out too?
  • Costume Prejudice - why the "clothers" hate us
  • Cup Holders - enhance the value of your box
  • Rules of Attraction - how to flirt whilst encased entirely in cardboard
  • Avoiding Janitors - have fun without getting carried away

2014 Panels

  • Sexism and Cardboard - making the most of what you've hidden under a box
  • Echolocation - learning to navigate with impaired vision
  • Gas Dispersal - effective techniques for dispersing trapped methane
  • Is Cardboard Becoming Too Popular? - a lively self-examination of cardboard culture
  • Cardboard 101 - learn to spot single wall, double wall, and Kleiner-wall cardboard (and more!)

Core Curriculum

  • Air Holes 101 - a perennial necessity at Cardboard*Con
  • Picking Cardboard - how to spot the best boxes (may include field trip)
  • Finding the Right Mate - even cardboard nerds need love (happy hour)
  • What Would Darth Do? - speculation about an all-cardboard Star Wars universe
  • Not Enough Tape - time to patch your costume and make new friends (Lido deck)
  • Cardboard Boobs in Fiction - adult discussion about the use of cardboard boobs in modern literature
  • Cardboard Wars - let fly the dogs of cardboard! (demonstration by Society for Creative Cardboard)
  • Cardboard Filking - folk music mashups devoted to the best costume material ever made!

Cardboard: A Variety of Construction Styles 

construction style : dumpster

Dumpster Style

This is the classic "box robot" style of costuming used by well-adjusted children around the world and is strongly suggested as the place to begin for first-time costumers. This style frowns upon the use of paint, relying instead upon the natural coloration of "found" cardboard. Sculptural and ephemeral, this type of cardboard costume belies the level of effort involved in fabrication. It's a tradition amongst Dumpster Stylists to reattach lost parts haphazardly with duct tape, and not to mourn lost or mangled pieces.

construction style : dumpster

Engineered Pop-Art

This style of cardboard costuming is the biggest thing to hit cardboard costuming since the invention of the eye hold and has been a breakaway success at our rival convention, Dragon*Con. Using space age equipment, these suits are engineered with CAD software and painted using a special comic book color palette known as the “Larkworthy method”. A group known as The Box Hero Corps have made a terrific splash in the world of cardboard costuming, and have made appearances at an incredible number of events and in various documentaries about the world of cosplay. They continue to add new characters every year!

construction style : dumpster

Giant Boxes

A phenomenon first documented in 2007 at Dragon*Con with the appearance of Chewboxxa and later with Boxatar at the very first Cardboard*Con, a local cardboard artist known simply as "the Boswell" has led the charge into the creation of complex costumes, some of which have exceeded 8 feet in height.

Always Be Prepared!

You're definitely going to want to bring some equipment with you in case your costume needs improving, or more likely, repairing. Unlike delicate cloth-based costumes, you won't be burdened with easily lost items like needles and thread. Your shopping list is easier! Just bring along these items:

  • Sharpie (black)
  • Duct tape (grey/silver)
  • Joe's Sticky Stuff
  • Extra cardboard (any variety)
  • Clear packing tape
  • Safety Scissors (don't bring craft knives, as security guards may not feel this is safe)
  • Camera
  • Drinking straws


† - by "panel" we mean conversation with the people wearing cardboard. There are no set times for these conversations, it's up to you to make them happen.

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