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Kids Homemade Halloween Costumes: Quick and Cheap Ghosts, Scarecrows, and Others

Updated on September 17, 2012

What was your favorite homemade costume growing up?

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You can buy a Halloween costume anywhere, but I maintain that homemade halloween costumes for kids is best. Quick and cheap is even better. It's not difficult to come up with really cute and clever costumes with junk you've got laying around the house. You can even hit the garage sales and pick up full costumes or just random items! The best part: These costumes can be accomplished at the last minute.

The Classics

Ghost: White sheet. Scissors. ‘Nuf said. But think about snazzing up your ghost. Do you have dress up clothes? How about a princess ghost with a tiara? Maybe a pirate ghost with an eyepatch? Think outside the ghost box!

Witch: Get a thrift store black cape or tunic, which you can cut down the middle to transform into witch's garb. Adorn an inexpensive witch hat with tulle and ribbons for a little personality.

Vampire: See witch cape above. Then add dimestore teeth and lots of gel for slicking hair back.

Mummy: Wrap kids up in gauze. Green paint makes great mold.

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PJs and Sweat Suits

Footie jammies and sweat suits are the perfect base for all kinds of easy costumes, especially for the littlest tricksters. You can go all out with the accessories or just add the basics. There are inexpensive ear and tail kits everywhere, or you can easily make your own with headbands, construction paper, and scraps of fabric. A hot glue gun comes in handy! Cotton balls or pillow stuffing also make nice tails and ears. No extra fabric on hand? What about those clothes bound for (or bought from) the thrift store? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Bunny, Cat, Dog, Skunk: Add ears, tails and eyeliner noses and whiskers.

Flower: Attach ribbons to a colored cap for petals. One green ribbon down the center of a sleeper makes a stem.

Bunch of Grapes: Purple suit with purple balloons pinned on.

Ladybug: Black sweats, oval poster board or cardboard painted red with black dots. Staple black elastic onto the board to make arm holes.

Snowman: White sweats, cheap black hat, fake snow, scarf and black pom-poms or cut construction paper for the coal down the front. You can even paint little faces white if you want. Don't forget the corncob pipe!

Be Creative

Older kids sometimes want to dress up like television characters, but half the fun of the holiday is coming up with something more unique. Encourage kids to use their imaginations and they'll end up having a lot more fun.

Beauty Queen/Princess: This is a great re-purpose for an occasion dress (as long as you don't mind it's possible ruin!) Add a pair of gloves, tiara, and oversized jewelry. For the banner, write Miss *Whatever* on a piece of wide ribbon. Mix it up - cut out and attach words all over the dress to be the Queen of Talk. Or match up with a buddy all in green to be the Princess and the Pea!

Dice: This is a great costume for siblings or friends! Paint two cardboard boxes white, then cut out several black circles from construction paper and glue them on. in the appropriate places to make you and your friend a pair of dice! Suspend from shoulders with scraps of fabric, ribbon, or wide elastic.

Basket of laundry: Cut a hole in the bottom of aninexpensive plastic laundry basket. Make it small enough so that the basket sits on the child's hips. Then fill with laundry and pin a few dryer sheets to the kid's shirt!

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  • profile image

    Costume City 7 years ago

    Making your own costumes is a great way to go in order to save time and money. However, there are a ton of costume available online now so that people can avoid lines at popular costume stores. I've found that a great way to make an original costume is to buy a cheap one from the store and then modify it with your own additions.

  • matryx profile image

    Ron Cripps 9 years ago from Australia

    Great hub on Hallowenn thanks for the info my daughter loved your stuff.

  • gamergirl profile image

    Kiz 10 years ago from Antioch, TN

    Momhence: Good joke!

    Great article, really easy ideas. Thanks for writing it!

  • momhence profile image

    momhence 10 years ago

    What's right spelling? Halloween or Helloween? :)

  • Lela Davidson profile image

    Lela Davidson 10 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

    We're working on Laura Ingalls Wilder here and I think I found some pillow cases at the Salvation Army I can work with! Really awful blue checked with fat ruffles! How cool is that?

  • Maddie Ruud profile image

    Maddie Ruud 10 years ago from Oakland, CA

    Ahh, the memories! My mother was extremely resourceful. She once modified a sewing pattern for a dinosaur costume to make me an otter! I won a prize for that costume... but the credit really should have gone to Mom ;)

  • Robin profile image

    Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

    Great ideas, Lela! Thanks! ;)