My house has caught the Halloween fever, and yesterday I found my kids pulling out all the Halloween decorations, eager to put them up. The costume catalogs are taking over my daily mail (I don’t mind), and pumpkin porch decorations are popping up all over the neighborhood. If you’ve read my blog, Darling Darleen, you’d know I like to put a personal twist on my kids’ Halloween with homemade costumes. With four kids, I do my best to get creative and make their costumes thrifty and adorably “home” made. But being honest too, they are getting older and do have an opinion in their costumes, what it is and how it looks (boo-hoo, no more family-themed homemade Halloween costumes).
One of my favorite costumes that is so easy to make and is a no-sew project is an Owl costume I made my daughter. It’s just so cute, and I love that you can tailor it to a boy or girl. And if you cut the eyes and beak different from the tutorial, you can make it into a raven or eagle. It does take time to cut the felt fabric feathers and then to glue it on, but nothing more than an evening in front of the tube. You can click here to see the step-by-step process:
Another darling toddler/little child costume is this Parrot costume my girlfriend did for her little girl. And of course, like the parrot costume, you can tailor it to a different kind of bird like a chick or duck.
Instructions: Buy a red onesie or red shirt and hot glue red feather boas all over it. You will need about 3-4 red boas and most dollar stores have them. Then buy a rainbow feather boa at a party store or possibly a dollar store and cut it up to get the colors bunched together then hot glue to the back of the onesie or shirt. Add yellow tights or leggings to the costume. For the hat, you can follow the owl costume step-by-step guide, or use a kid-size beanie as a guide to sew a hat together. Then add ribbon to tie under the chin. Use felt for the eyes and beak and hot glue down. And then add feathers to the back of the head.
Another favorite costume that was SO easy to make and very cheap, and really makes the adults go “so cute” is this Woodland Fairy that I put together for my daughter. For the skirt project you need about three different tulle earthy-tone fabrics and elastic. You can find all the step-by-step process here. The wings I got at the dollar store. For the headpiece, it is just a headband with bunched-up tulle folded like a fan then hot glued. I found wire butterflies at the craft store and wired it around the headband. And for the insect net, I used tulle again and sewed a pouch with one side closed and the other side open. I put the open side in a wooden embroidery hoop. For the stick of the insect net, I drilled a hole in a dowel and placed it in between the screw of the embroidery hoop and then tighten. It worked perfectly! And then I hot glued craft butterflies in the hoop.
Basic Boy Costumes: Boy costumes can get a little tricky when you want to keep it “home” made, especially when your son wants to be a super hero or star wars character. That’s when those store-bought costumes start to look pretty good, but the price tag looks pretty bad and the quality looks pretty ugly. So, here’s my basic formula for boy costumes: buy a matching sweatshirt and sweatpants. Then we add to it to make the costume. Make sense? I like to buy my boys a basic black sweatshirt, sometimes one with a hoodie depending on the costume and then the sweat pants. They can use those two items the rest of year, not just on Halloween.
So then after you have the two basic clothing items, you can make a sheath from fabric or felt. To make a sheath, cut a rectangle that will cover the body then cut a circle or triangle in the middle of the rectangle for the head. Then place the sheath over their head. Add a belt and the superhero emblem out of felt, mask and you are done—without spending a fortune and using clothing they will use again. This is what we did with the Luke Skywalker costume. I made two sheath–one cream and then one brown. The cream sheath was longer than the brown. You can see in the picture I sewed arms for the cream sheath, but that’s not necessary. We had the belt and the light saber. For superheros, you can add the emblem to the front of the sheath and use a black rope or fabric scraps that matches the superhero colors for the belt.
Older Girls: We had so much fun putting together my older daughter’s costume last year. She was Medusa and found the idea in a Martha Stewart magazine. It was so easy and cheap! We found tiny snakes at the dollar store and green hair spray. She worn a long sleeve black shirt, and she tested out her first sewing project on a tube skirt with faux snake skin fabric. You can see more of it here.
Gotta love a good Cruella Deville costume. It’s all about the makeup, folks. And of course a cute black dress, pearls, Mary Janes and a polka dot shawl. This costume is so cute, yet so easy to throw together and a good last-minute costume. If you don’t have time to run to the fabric store to pick up black and white spotted fabric, then grab a black sharpie and an white towel or white cloth and draw black irregular circles on it until it covers the towel.
Hope these homemade costume ideas help fuel your brain with creativity and ideas for your children this Halloween. Don’t forget to hit up the dollar store and thrift stores. You can find a lot of props at dollar stores and clothing at thrift stores. Fabric stores are also a great resource for felt and Halloween fabrics.
Happy Costume Creating!