Creative Ideas for Homemade Halloween Costumes


With summer nearly over and the kids going back to school, the next major holiday to plan for is Halloween. It is no doubt that prices of some costumes can fall way out of budget, especially when you have more than one child. Plus, there is always the added pressure on parents to find the costume that no one else will have. The perfect solution to consider is to hand make Halloween costumes for your child. With just a few tips and a hint of imagination, you can make a costume that will be unique from all the rest and leave some extra cash for candy.

When you go back to the beginning of hand made Halloween costumes, no doubt the first was probably the ghost. All it took was a simple white sheet, some holes cut out for the eyes, and bam, instant ghost. Today that tradition can still continue, but why not add some flair? Some simple additions such as lipstick around the mouth, a belt, even a wig or beard can make all the difference. The possibilities are really limitless with this and can be altered for both a boy or a girl.

For the girls, what could be cuter than having your little one dress up as an old lady? Any sort of dress would do, but add an oversized handbag, some stockings not quite rolled all the way up and a large hat and you have turned your child into a grandmother. For girls with darker hair, a sprinkle of baby powder would add the charm of the appearance of gray hair.

When considering materials to use for homemade costumes, practically anything can be used - even a cardboard box. This was commonly used during the popularity of the Rubics Cube where you basically took an oversized box and cut out squares of colored construction paper and glued them to the box. Now a box can become a computer, a refrigerator, a locomotive, a robot, even Legos by adding additional smaller boxes. This costume idea is very simple and would not take long to make. Many times children will change their minds at the last minute on what they want to dress up as, and the box can be altered in a flash with a repaint.

As with most children today, the majority of them always request to dress up as their favorite movie or television character. Most of the costumes you find in stores of popular characters are usually not made very well, either having a material that easily tears and plastic mask (that will break before Halloween even arrives) or something far too heavy and hot for a child to wear. Putting some thought into your child's favorite character can be reproduced into a homemade costume. Princesses are fairly easy to do, with some tights, dress or nightgown, and some makeup. Crowns can be bought both during Halloween as an add-on item, or anytime at most party supply stores. Tin foil can also work wonders if making a crown, or for the use of a magic wand.

For boys, one of the more popular themes this year is certain to be a pirate. With the popularity of the film, Pirates of the Caribbean, the pirate costume is really easy to reproduce. Striped shirts, or the standard white shirt with black vest are things that most may already have in their closet. Eye patches can also usually be found easily during Halloween on their own without having to buy a costume, or at a party supply store. Like Johnny Depp, add some black eyeliner around the eyes, or paint on a fake beard, anything to look a bit rough around the edges. If going for the more traditional pirate, a plush bird can be sewn onto the shoulder of the shirt, and a wooden leg can be made using brown felt wrapped around the leg. Have your child say Matey at the end of every sentence and what could be more realistic than that?

As easy as it is to turn your child into their favorite character, you can turn them into insects. Butterflies can be a breeze with some tights, a leotard and some wings, which you can find even in the toy section of your local department store. Actually tights and leotards can be used for almost any insect and if you can get your boys to wear them, all the better. While the girls would probably opt for the more feminine bugs, boys can choose from spiders or bats. Spiders may take more of an effort, what with adding legs, using some additional black material and string, but legs can be stuffed, or made from pipe insulation. A creepy effect would also be to take some spider web, the kind used for Halloween decoration, and trail it around the additional legs.

These are just some of the possibilities you and your child can come up with for homemade Halloween costumes. The possibilities are endless with a little imagination and you have the freedom of adding whatever you want to make each costume uniquely yours. Certainly this year there will be no end to boys walking around in store bought Superman costumes, or girls as Disney princesses, but you can take pride in seeing your little one dressed in something you created, most importantly made out of love.

author: Jennifer Zahorchak

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