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Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids

Updated on August 31, 2014

In today's economy, everyone is trying to cut corners where they can. However just because you may not be running out for the latest costume trend at the store, doesn't mean your child can't have a great costume. You can even take this opportunity to ignite your child's creativity and imagination as you involve your child in the construction of an inexpensive costume.


Do you plan to make your own costume this year?

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Pile of Laundry

This is a unique idea that is simple to assemble. You will need a stack of clothing items and safety pins. First, you carefully pin the items of clothing to the child's outfit. Space these items out so they won't be too heavy and the child can have more mobility. You can then add accessories if you like. This could be an old laundry detergent box or bottle to use as a hat. You could also pin dryer sheets with the clothes. If you have an old laundry basket that you have wanted to recycle, cut out a circle in the bottom and the child could wear it around his or her waist. The point is to have some fun with this and be creative.

Stop Light

Take a cardboard box and cut out a place for your head and arms. The bottom of the box should be cutout so that you can walk around freely. Next, take red, yellow, and green paint to make the lights. Some people have even made a 3D effect like on actual stop light by using scrap cardboard glued above each paint circle.


This is always a fun project. You can use items you would normally throw away. You can use a box for the body much like the Stop Light costume. You could paint it gray or silver or even cover it in aluminum foil. You can use dryer vent duct around the arms. Just be creative. You can use aluminum foil antennas, glow sticks, or paint buttons and panels on the cardboard box. Each costume is unique to the individual and is a great way to spark your child's imagination.

Gumball Machine

This is a cute costume that is sure to be a favorite at your child's next Halloween party. Take a package of multicolored balloon. Blow up each balloon but not too big. Take a clear garbage bag and cut two holes for the legs at the bottom and holes for the arms on the side. Have your child step into the bag and begin filling it with the balloons. Tie the garbage bag with ribbon or pin it to their collar. Have your child wear red pants and a red ball cap. He or she now looks like a gumball machine.

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This is a Halloween favorite. There are many variations but one favorite is to take an old white sheet and tear into strips. Take a large pot and brew some strong tea by adding about ten tea bags. You could always use the sink with hot water too. Let this sit overnight so that it will give the strips an aged look. The next morning, let the strips dry completely. When it is time to get ready, you tie the strips together and wrap the child like a mummy. You can also use white makeup, gray eye shadow, and other facial make up to make them appear like a corpse beneath the mummified strips.

Silly Monster

This another creative costume for your child to express themselves. They can adorn the inexpensive Halloween make-up and dress in their own clothes. Maybe button a shirt to make it lop-sided. Have the child wear tattered jeans. Another idea is take strips of material and layer them on the child's sweat suit. Be creative. Be silly. Above all, have fun with this idea.


This idea takes no time at all. In fact, the longest time put into this costume is getting your child in to a black sweat suit. Then all you have to do is add a lampshade atop the child's head. This is simple and easy.


Togas are also quite simple and easy. Simple wrap a sheet around the child and have them wear sandals. A toga can be tied in a variety of different ways so feel free to be creative.

Pajama Theme

Have trouble getting your child ready for bed? Consider having them wear their pajamas out trick-or-treating. They can wear cute slippers, adorn a robe, and carry a teddy bear. Using a pillowcase to collect the treats would fit in with the pajama theme.


If you have more than one child, they could go as a pair of dice. Even one child could go as one die. Again, this takes a box. Cut out a spot for their head and arms. Make sure the bottom is cutout completely. Paint the box whatever color they would like and add the appropriate number of dots to make a number on each side. They can also wear a cap to match the color of the dots so that the top could represent the number one.

There are hundreds of ideas out there for Halloween costumes that cost little to no money. It is just a matter of creativity and using what is on hand. The memories from dressing up in a costume that they could add their creative touch will be more memorable than store bought costumes.

Other Ideas

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© 2014 Linda Sarhan


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