DIY Halloween Costumes

When I was a kid we didn’t go to the store to find Halloween costumes. We dug through old trunks in the attic, my mother’s closet and the scrap fabric bag. My mother made wigs out of yarn and used burnt wine corks and lipstick to paint our faces.

Today there are huge Halloween displays everywhere, massive Halloween megastores, even the grocery store sells costumes. I admit that we used store-bought or hand-me-down costumes for a long time but the last few years we’ve encouraged our children to either use what we already have or call upon their creativeness to make a costume.

Here are some of the things they’ve come up with:

Smear some paint on an old button-down shirt (and your face!) to make an artist costume. We also made a palette out of cardboard and paint, and glued an old paintbrush to it.

BAT – A piece of faux fur super glued onto a black turtleneck, with some scrap black fabric sewn onto the back (quick stitches at shoulders and a few inches from bottom of fabric) create an easy, instant bat. For bonus points glue felt ears onto a headband and put some black make-up on the nose.

GRANDMA – My daughter needed a homemade costume based on a book character, she decided to be Mrs. A from the book Fudgeamania. We paired a sundress with a turtle neck, a scarf around her head and a disposable plate with cardboard chocolate chip cookies on it.

PIRATE – My daughter found a Jack Sparrow shirt in with some dress up stuff. She paired it with an old gold belt and brown pants. We made the hat out of construction paper.

ZOMBIE – A $1 face make-up kit can transform your child into a zombie. Paint face white and dark hollows around the eyes. Cut an old shirt into strips and holes and you’re good to go!

PIRATE 2 – My mom made this costume for my 2nd kid several years ago. The hat and hook were purchased, they can be found at the dollar store. The boots were made from old men’s dress socks, the cuffs on the boots were actually cuffs from the shirt that were cut off and sewn on the socks. The skirt and shirt were from a thrift store and cut to look all piratey. A red scarf was tied around her waist. The beads were scavenged from our dress-up box. Neat, isn’t it?

ANNIE – My daughter combined one of her dresses with a red wig and was Annie

MISS UNIVERSE – We saw this costume in Family Fun magazine back in 2005. This no-sew costume is made from a blue fabric that had stars on it. The headband is star garland (you can find this at the dollar store), another piece is used to gather the fabric around the waist. The sash is just a piece of fabric with “Miss Universe” written in fabric paint.

My kids are the ones in the purchased costumes *facepalm*, but look at what my niece and nephews did a few years ago. My older nephew wore camo clothing and a hat he already owned, paired with face paint to be a solider. My niece borrowed a shirt and capri pants from my mother-in-law (My MIL is the one in overalls, LOL), wore ankle socks and put her hair in pig tails to be a “50s girl”. My younger nephew pulled together a convincing cowboy costume using stuff he already owned, he borrowed a hat and bought a badge from the dollar store.


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