DIY Pop-Up Shoebox Theater

DIY Pop-Up Shoebox Theater

Dressing up our house and celebrating the holidays is a tradition that my parents started when I was growing up. A giant smiling pumpkin made of paper and a bundle of corn stalks adorned our front door every Halloween. I absolutely loved when our house transformed into a mini fall festival and we love to do the same for our fabulous five!

The Recycled Pop-Up Halloween Shoebox Theater is a snap to make and looks awesome as a kitchen table centerpiece when the kids aren’t making up fantastical stories. We used a shoebox for the stage and glass Coke bottles for the main characters. The bottles are party favors on ice, of course, and moonlight as the stars of the stage.

DIY Pop-Up Shoebox Theater

Follow the easy instructions below and watch Coke bottles become thespians in a make-believe theater directed by your very own family! In our theatrical performance, the Coke bottle bat will surprise his Coke bottle ghost friends. Let the memory crafting begin!

What You Need

Coca Cola Shoebox Theater
  • An empty shoebox with lid
  • Paint & paintbrushes
  • Pencil & pen
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft knife & scissors
  • Thin washi tape
  • Foam paper
  • Coca Cola glass bottles

How To Make the Shoebox Theater
DIY Pop-Up Shoebox Theater
  1. Remove the lid to your shoebox and set aside. This will become the top piece to your theater that you’ll glue on later. With the large shoebox base facing you, take your pencil and trace a rectangle large enough that your glass bottle characters can be seen through. Using a ruler and craft knife, carefully cut through the cardboard making sure to leave enough of a buffer below to hide little hands!
  2. With a color of your choosing, paint the shoebox theater base. We chose black. Set aside the base to dry.
  3. Take your shoebox lid and trace a decorative topper for the shoebox theater. This can be freeform, if you like – we wanted a design that felt very opulent and old-fashioned! Once you achieve a design you’re satisfied with, cut out using a craft knife, leaving enough of a lip on both sides to attach to your shoebox theater base. If you prefer following a pattern, we’ve created one for you here.
  4. Hot glue your decorative topper to the shoebox base, then give it a base coat of paint. We chose white, to create a stark contrast between it and the theater base. With thin washi tape, tape off evenly spaced sections to create a fun, “big top circus” feel. Choose an accent color for your stripes and paint several coats, then let dry. Peel off your washi tape and your shoebox theater is complete!

How To Make Coke Bottle Characters
DIY Pop-Up Shoebox Theater
  1. Coat your Coke bottle evenly with several coats of white multi-surface acrylic paint. Set aside and let dry.
  2. Then, with black paint and a detail brush, give your Coke bottle characters faces. For this performance, where the bat will be surprising the ghosts, we painted 2 sets of faces on each bottle to give the characters a range of emotions.
  3. To create wings for your Coke bottle bat, trace a bat wing design on a piece of foam paper and cut out using scissors.
  4. Hot glue the wings onto your bat character and you’re ready for opening night!
Coca Cola Shoebox Theater


For more spooky inspiration, head over to Coca-Cola’s Pinterest page. Have Fun And Happpyy Halllooowwweeennn!!

This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

  • Alexa Terry Wilde

    I can’t get over how adorable this video is! I always forget how much fun shoebox theaters are, and they’re so easy to make.

  • Katie Coalson

    These are so cute! I love the video!