Halloween is coming up! I’m so excited—it’s one of my favorite holidays. For one, it’s my absolute favorite time of year—the season that’s full of blustery air, leaves crunching underfoot, cozy sweaters, and the smell of bonfires, apple cider, and pumpkins wafting through the neighborhood. Add a few horror-inducing, severed, bloody body part yard decorations, and you’ve got one beautiful walk around the block with the kids, am I right??
Aside from the scary, macabre aspect of Halloween, what’s not to love? Little kids all dressed up as their alter-egos and prancing through the neighborhood is just the best. One of the most fun traditions I started with my kids back when my son was a baby is making their Halloween costumes. (No, wait! Don’t click off! I didn’t mean to scare you! I promise I’m not going to get all Pinterest-y on you!) At the beginning of October, I ask both my kids what they want to be for Halloween, and then we all have a month to work on the costumes. In the past five years, we’ve done Harry Potter, Bob the Builder (inside a dump truck), a penguin, a firefighter, Cosette from Les Mis, a mountain rescue paramedic, and Daniel Tiger—and I swear not once did I papier mache. In fact, I’m pretty sure I never even turned on the sewing machine!
I know ordering a Spiderman costume sounds a lot easier than making one, but it really isn’t! If you have just a little bit of free time the week of Halloween, you can make one for a whole lot cheaper (maybe even for free!) than you can buy it, and it will be so special to spend that time creating with your little Trick-or-Treater.
Check out what we’ve done to make memorable (cheap!) and easy Halloweens!
For this Harry Potter baby, I printed a color photo of the Gryffindor House crest and hot-glued it onto his little cape. The cape was a piece of black fabric I cut to size and safety-pinned together at the neck. The baby tie I found at Goodwill. He had a stick for a wand and some eyeliner on his forehead for the scar. Accio, costume!
For Cosette (or pre-ball Cinderella if that’s more your kid’s thing), I cut up a skirt to make it look ragged and layered it over a dress. I put a kerchief in her hair and gave her the broom. Voila!
(Of course, we had to explain who she was, so we printed out a picture of a castle on a cloud and glued it to a poster board thought bubble. Made us laugh!) (Bonus life points to you if you get it!)
The firefighter costume was the easiest thing ever since we already had rain boots, a hat, and a rain jacket (not pictured). To make the costume complete, I got some plain black pants at Goodwill and put some shiny silver duct tape around the bottom. We also made an axe out of duct tape. I swear—you just never know what you can make out of that stuff…
My daughter decided to be Daniel Tiger last year, so I found a Tigger costume at Goodwill (a GREAT place to begin your costume hunt around Halloween; if you haven’t checked it out, definitely do this year!) and gave her a red pullover, some Converse sneakers, and a backpack—all of which we already had. (If we hadn’t had the shoes or a red sweater, I would have definitely asked to borrow from a friend.) The ears were kind of a pain. I could probably have found some tiger ears on Amazon, but I decided to make yarn puffballs (super easy) and put them on a headband.
The mountain climbing costume was tricky because it wasn’t that recognizable. We looked up a ton of pictures on Google and finally decided that a rope and some kind of harness were the most important accessories. We used the seatbelt harness from an old car seat and, to complete the ensemble, made a little tag out of poster board and markers that said “paramedic.” I think more people “got” his costume than did hers, actually, so it was a success!
This is from the year my son wanted to be driving a dump truck for Halloween:
It seemed like an overwhelming task at first, but we just used an old Amazon box and stapled some shoulder straps to it. Instead of paint, I decided to wrap the whole thing in paper like a present, and we made the wheels and the lights out of circles of construction paper. The whole thing took me a single afternoon! (In hindsight, I might’ve considered using some reflective tape to make the lights.)
You can’t see the license plate, but it says DUMP’N (my husband’s idea). The funniest thing is that after he said “trick or treat,” he turned around so people could drop candy into the back of the dump truck. He was super disappointed when we told him it was time to go home (“But Mom, the dumper’s not full of candy yet!” HA, you wish, kid.).
This year, my kids have already been talking about their Halloween costumes! They change their minds almost daily, but I think we’re looking at a Spiderman and a witch. I’m looking forward to making their costumes this year, and I love that they’ll really be able to help me pull their outfits together.
Have fun this Halloween, mamas! If you decide to make costumes with your kiddos, just remember my personal simple-costume-making best friends: lots of layers, scissors, duct tape, a printer, scraps of fabric (or clothes you don’t mind destroying), Goodwill, and Google. Good luck!