Unique Halloween costume ideas

The most creative, unique and inexpensive Halloween costume ideas can be found in the most unlikely places, such as the recycle bin, anyone's makeup kit, or the party supply store. You don't even have to be a 'crafty' person to grasp the simple and fun techniques you can share with your children to make a one-of-a-kind costume.

The recycle bin is a wonderland of possibilities when considered through the eyes of a child. With a little bit of decoration, cardboard boxes can be robot casings, empty televisions, treasure chests, or any variety of other accessories. Painted empty plastic bottles can be rocket packs, potion bottles, or prized vegetables. Old magazines can be bound together or re-covered to make pretend books, or pictures can be cut out of them to decorate costumes and props. Empty cardboard tubes, cans and canisters can be decorated as lanterns, holsters, or drums. Discarded lids make great wheels, buttons, and knobs. The possibilities for creating unique props from recycled objects are limited only by the imagination.

Simple craft supplies like poster board, construction paper, and pipe cleaners are often underestimated. These items are colorful and can be used several different ways. For example, poster board and/or construction paper glued to a plastic headband or inserted into a cloth headband can become animal ears. With some string and a bit of ingenuity, poster board itself can become a costume knight armor, for example. Pipe cleaners come in a variety of sizes and make wonderful antennae, halos, crowns, or tails. A star shape cut from construction paper and taped to the end of a pencil is an instant fairy wand. Poster board, construction paper, and pipe cleaners are also familiar and easy to use.

Elaborate face paint is not always necessary since simple is sometimes the most adorable maybe even rewarding a child with an extra treat or the prize at a costume party. Powder or cream eye shadow is more subtle than face paint and often contains shimmers that can add that trace of magic kids enjoy so much on Halloween. Red shades of lip liner and lipstick can paint a touch of gore or roughness for the scariest disguises. Eyeliners can be used to enhance the shape of eyes, draw stitches or whiskers, or add shapes and drawings to skin. Everyday makeup is often manufactured to stay in place for hours in comparison to greasy face paint that often smears. (Just be prepared to remove the makeup safely with soap and water or the appropriate makeup remover. Makeup remover for the eyes is recommended to keep the eye area safe.) Using everyday makeup rather than face paint or masks also makes the wearer more recognizable to those handing out prizes.

Party and craft supply stores are stocked with items that can enhance a costume. Strings of beads can accessorize a princess or a pirate. Silk flowers can aid clowns, fairies, brides and gardeners. A basket can hold food, flowers, or puppies, depending on what fictional character the costume is depicting. For fire or smoke, look no further than crumpled tissue paper, while shimmering silver or gold wrapping paper can cover cardboard for a metallic effect. Styrofoam balls, often used for household craft projects or holiday ornaments, can also be decorated to accessorize a Halloween costume. If you are having trouble putting together something simple in the Halloween aisle, party supply stores often carry grass skirts, coconut bras and flowered leis year round. Halloween decorations and party favors such as plastic goblets, bouncy glow-in-the-dark eyeballs, toy skeletons, spiders, snakes, and bats might also come in handy for gothic or spooky costumes. The addition of feathers, boas, fringe or scarves can also enhance certain styles. If you're feeling uninspired before Halloween, a walk through a party supply store might spark the brainstorm you need for a perfectly unique costume.

No matter what you or your child comes up with for Halloween, rest assured that it could be as inexpensive as it is distinct. There really is no need to spend a lot of money on a pre-made costume that others might be wearing as well. A few supplies and a bit of imagination is all it takes to have a whimsical, one-of-a-kind look that will marvel others.

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