Monday, October 28, 2013

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas

Holidays from now through Valentines Day can be a time of fun and joy and making memories or they can be the source of incredible stress. I am trying to relax, rethink priorities and enjoy these special times for our families regardless of our economic situations. When I grew up, half a hundred years ago, all costumes were homemade. All treats came from someone's kitchen or from their harvest. I honestly believe we enjoyed life more. I know the memories are sweet and worth sharing with grandchildren.

Please search your memory for costume ideas that cost little or nothing and share them here, through your comments. Thank you.

Grown-ups and babies need not be excluded from Halloween dress-up fun. Thing 1 and Thing 2 required only wigs, long johns, red socks on hands & feet and imagination (and quite a bit of stuffing).

The prize winning baby flower began as a green hoodie and sweatpants. The petals, made of pink felt costing only pennies and were embellished with rhinestones from a discarded pageant dress.


If you have a tambourine lying around the house, some old curtain sheers and Christmas tree icicles, you have the makings of a dancer.
A plain gray skirt, white blouse, a very simply made white apron and some white paper for a collar and cap and your little Pilgrim girl is ready to go.
Some angels don't even need wings. A little gold garland for a halo and a tie around the waist and no one could refuse treats to this one.

However, if wings are requested or required, remember that wire coat hangers make perfect frames for a covering of tulle or curtain sheer fabric. Angel wings are a single piece, while fairy wings each have two parts.


And...angels are never too small. This is my first grandchild, 20+ years ago, dressed in a teenage aunt's petticoat pinned under her little white, hooded sweater. Coat hangers and aluminum foil provided the wings and halo. Cost - $0. Memories - priceless!

Sometimes we only need to work with what we have. A little girl with very long hair almost instantly, and certainly economically, becomes Pippy Longstockings. The hair was gathered into two pony tails. Then the center of a straightened, wire coat hanger was shaped across the top of the head, like a croquet wicket and each end was threaded down through the pony holders on each side. The hair was then braided around the wire; the braids secured at the ends and the wire bent up and out. A few exaggerated freckles and with a look like this, the rest of the outfit hardly matters...but it is an easy look to duplicate.


This cute, cute (and prize winning) dinosaur costume requires no pattern at all. A green hoodie and sweat pants provide the base with fabric from a second pair of pants used for footies and mittens. The gold colored chest, knee patches and identifying dinosaur "plates" are felt.

The little white cat is made of fabric from a fuzzy thrift store bathrobe. Notice the piece of monofilament line attached from the end of the tail to the back of the neck to keep the tail lifted when "kitty" is upright. The nose is a triangle of pink felt attached by fine elastic that goes around the head. It has momofiliment "whiskers" hot glued in place.

The baby chick emerging from a cracked shell is about as adorable as a toddler costume gets. In trying to locate a pattern for this little chick, I came across a different approach to the same idea that you might enjoy seeing. Click HERE for the link. The bat and spider costumes were amazingly simple to construct with a black hoodie or sweatshirt and black sweat pants as a basis. The spider legs are connected to each other at the tips with black yarn so that they move up and down with the child's arms. The additional black fabric used for the ears, bat wings and spider legs and the red and blue fabric pieces on chest and tummy were all bargain priced on a remnant table.
NOTE: Another source for incredibly inexpensive fabric is the neighborhood thrift store during a clothing "bag sale".

Combine sewing skills with imagination to delight your child and everyone else. Copy your child's favorite stuffed animal. A little inspection will let you know how many pieces are needed and what shape they should be. With the cooperation of a child willing to lie down on freezer wrap while a rough pattern was drawn, this Tigger, made completely of felt with the stripes simply painted on, became an instant Halloween favorite.

Imagination jumped into high gear with the pretty yellow dress that is so much more. If you are familiar with Beauty and the Beast, you well know Bell & Chip, the tea cup. This dress has a large hoola-hoop sewn into the hem and a small hoop sewn in the hem of a shorter under-skirt. The wearer can grab the hoop at the hem of the long skirt, lift it over her head and "taa-daa", Bell becomes Chip, the teacup.

One little girl not only wanted to be Raggedy Ann, she wanted to be sitting in a rocking chair just like the doll that had been in her room as long as she could remember. Fortunately the request was made months in advance giving the creative mother plenty of time to strategize. The chair is made of styrofoam, duct tape and black paint and is attached to a simple, long, black skirt. The wig is made of red yarn, of course, and the outfit - sewn by Mommy.

I know there are a hundred ideas out there. PLease share them through your comments.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mummy: Wrap white sweats with rolls of gauze - very inexpensive. Decorate mummy with plastic spiders & roaches, etc on the "mummy".

Jen said...

Knight in Shining Armor. You can turn a 1 gal. plastic milk jug upside down and cut away the spout & handle, etc. until it is shaped like a knight's helmet. Spray paint it silver. Cut the corners out of an old pillow case for arm holes and cut a hole for the neck. Paint the pillow case to look like shirt/topper sort of thing (like the 3 musketeers wore). Cut a shield and sword out of cardboard boxes & paint them silver or cover them with foil. Have your child wear tights or sweats under the pillowcase.

Amanda said...

You can make a SCARECROW very easy with any old plain shirt and old pair of jeans - for any age kid - girl or boy. Just glue some hay under a straw hat. Get gloves & glue hay to them too so that it sticks out from under the sleeves of the shirt. Glue some hay on socks to stick out the bottom of the pants. Even you can glue hay on the pants legs or somewhere on the shirt and cover some of it with scrap fabric "patches" like the hay is coming out the holes. Very cute.
OH - paint a face like the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz.

Sam said...

One almost free great idea I saw for a little kid was a
GREEN FROG
Green sweatshsirt with a hood & green sweat pants and a green visor with 2 ping pong balls glued on the visor for eyes with big pupils drawn on with black magic marker with a line drawn through the pupil from side to side. Too cute & so easy.

cindylbaker said...

These are awesome! The ideas just keep coming! I think homemade costumes are the ONLY way to go! Who wants to wear the same store bought stuff all the other kids are wearing this year?

sarah said...

Love these, I told the kids this year they have to come up with ideas for their own costumes and we are not buying anything other than fabric to make them, this is a great start for ideas. So cute, thanks for sharing all these ideas and photos.

cindylbaker said...

On the Raggedy Ann, the hair was actually also "sewn by mommy" by stitching loops of red yarn together until they formed strips, then sewing the strips together until they formed the wig, more like "darning". Done inside out over a ball if I recall... Either a really anal mom or just had too much time on my hands! Sorry to say probably the first! :-) But it was fun!