The cool crispness in the air is a reminder that Halloween is on its way. Any mom who has purchased a kid’s Halloween costume within the last decade can attest to the fact that brand-new costumes can get ridiculously expensive, especially if you’re buying for multiple kids. Not only are costumes overpriced, most of them are extremely flimsy and cheaply made. I would usually end up hiding my daughter’s costume in my closet until Halloween to prevent her from destroying it. If you know how to sew, or know your way around a hot glue gun, you can make your kids’ Halloween costumes and most likely save money in the process. The first idea came from a collaboration between myself and my mother and the rest are my favorite online picks from other creative moms.
When I was in sixth grade, I really wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween. This was long before Ariel made it cool to be half fish. So my mother found this great green fabric that was stretchy. She drew the scales on with a black permanent marker. She made my fish body by using the fabric to make a form fitting “skirt” that tapered all the way down to my feet. It was so tight at the bottom that I had to take tiny little steps. I wore green booties on my feet. The top was essentially just a green terrycloth bandana type thing that tied in the back. I threw a brown fish net over one shoulder, wore a seashell necklace and carried a starfish in my hand.Unfortunately, I could not find a photo of this costume. However, I did find one of my daughter dressed as Ariel that was taken in my living room. See what happens when you drop a photo into your Paint program; bye bye living room, hello ocean!
A super easy bushel of grapes costume can be made with some brown and green felt, a green or purple hoodie and a bag of purple balloons. First, cut some grape leaves and a stem out of the felt. Sew or use a glue gun to attach these pieces to the top of the hood on the hoodie. Recruit your kids or find a partner to help you blow up the balloons. Have your child put the hoodie on. Then begin to attach the balloons with duct tape. Place the balloons as close together as possible, until your child is totally covered with balloons from the waist to the neck, leaving the arms free. (See photo)
Turn your little one into a festive piñata. This costume requires a commitment of a little more time and materials than some of the others. Make strips of fringe from sheets of colored felt. Find a pair of inexpensive pajamas and use a hot glue gun to attach the strips of felt fringe. Start at the bottom and work your way up, layering each color with two or three rows. Use a Styrofoam or paper bowl as a base for a hat. Make cones out of construction paper and glue long ribbons to the pointed ends or make ears, nose and eyes for an animal if desired. Glue the accessories onto the bowl and cover everything with felt strips. You can also use tissue paper to save money. (See photo)
Pretty Paper Doll
This is a really easy costume for a girl. Go through your daughter’s closet and choose or ask her to choose one of her favorite dresses for a pattern. Trace the outline of the dress onto a piece of poster board or foam board. Cut paper tabs out of the same material, like you would see on paper doll clothing. Draw dotted lines around the edge and attach the tabs to the back of the dress cut out with duct tape or glue. You will also need to attach yarn around the neck area and the waist so you can tie the dress to your child. Use magic markers, Sharpies or paint to decorate the front of the dress. You can also glue on embellishments such as bows, buttons and ribbon. Add some doll-like make-up and a wig or curly pig tails. (See photo)
Use your creativity and supplies you already have on hand to customize these ideas to your liking.