I think most people who are adults today remember Halloween before ready made costumes. We had to put together most of our costumes, and I certainly remember my mom sewing some of mine from patterns.
Today, premade costumes are pretty cheap and they don’t always work. Some kids won’t tolerate masks on their faces. Some have fabric sensitivities. Some kids just don’t want to wear a costume. Here are some DIY costume ideas that you can do with regular clothes.
Butterfly – This was a super-easy costume. The fabric butterfly wings were inexpensive and they are much more durable than the ones that stay sticking up all the time, which are basically just painted pantyhose material. I bought cheap plastic headbands at the grocery store and twisted some black pipe cleaner around each one for antennae.
Prince/princess – Head to the party store for a crown or tiara, and pair it with a fancy outfit. Add costume jewelry as desired.
Costume hoodies – These are great options for a simple but recognizable costume. One year we put our toddler in a hoodie with bear ears and drew a tiny nose on her with eyeliner. Instant bear. Add some whiskers, and you’ve got a cat. Add dark circles afround eyes, nose and mouth and you could have a skeleton. Gymboree has options for a bear, bat or dino this year for toddler boys, and toddler girls can choose from cat or bear, both in pink. In the past, Old Navy has had several options, too, but I haven’t seen them out this year.
Race-car driver – This is such a cute idea from Real Simple. Take a tracksuit and put checkered flag duct tape down the sides. Instant race-car driver outfit! Make a checkered flag to match or carry your trophy for bonus points.
Olympic medalist – Does your child play any sports or take any lessons? Have them wear their gear, be it a baseball uniform, karate uniform, leotard or soccer jersey, and throw a medal around their neck. You can buy award medals at any party store, or ask a friend who runs. They will have a ton! Even better, you can hop online and learn about an Olympian who shares your child’s interests.
Clown/Hobo – My dad and I did this one year when I was little. Just take a normal outfit, preferably a shirt and jeans, and make it as lopsided as possible. One sock up, one sock down, mismatched, one side tucked in, the other out, etc. Throw on some suspenders if you have them. You can even get a clown makeup effect using just normal make up items. Use some red lipstick to make clown dots on your cheeks, and draw on some eyebrows. Done!
Waldo – Who doesn’t love Waldo? Get some hipster glasses from the dollar store, a striped shirt and a beanie.
Disney Characters – I found this board on Pinterest that has great ideas for making Disney Character costumes for just about anyone using regular clothes and accessories. Even if you don’t have all the items needed, you may only need to purchase a few accessories to get the idea across.
Jungle animals – Never underestimate the potential of a plain jogging suit or t-shirt and fabric paint! This tutorial will get you pointed in the right direction for tiger, leopard, zebra and more.
Mary Had a Little Lamb – I have always wanted to do this idea, but never have, so here, you can have it. But you have to have a dog to pull it off. Your child can put on any fussy Sunday dress, but it’s the dog’s costume that takes the cake, as the lamb! You could also do this as a Little Miss Muffet combo with this fuzzy tarantula costume for dogs. If your dog doesn’t do costumes, find a red cape for your daughter and she can be Little Red Riding Hood!