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How To Make Homemade Costumes

Updated on November 5, 2011

Perfect For Halloween and Beyond

With a little bit of time and effort, it's not hard to learn how to make homemade costumes.

I've always enjoyed making my own homemade costumes for Halloween. I was never happy with the fit, quality, and cost of the store-bought costumes, and besides, I love exercising my creativity!

Making your own homemade costumes isn't that hard; in fact, chances are you won't need more than a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun!

I'll admit, once you start getting into making costumes, it can be hard to stop adding little details here and there, and the cost can add up. But it's worth it for the fun factor, and for having the best costumes on the block!

Step 1: Choose The Costume You Want To Make

Choose Wisely!

There are tons of great homemade costume ideas just waiting to happen.

  1. What basic skills will you need? Will your costume idea require sewing, metalworking, or other types of construction? If so, make sure you have the time and inclination.

  2. How much time will the costume take? If it's the day before Halloween, you probably don't have time to make something entirely from scratch. Using items you already own, or purchasing items from a local thrift store, can speed up the process.

  3. How much will the materials cost? Even if you're shopping at thrift stores, costs can add up. Set a budget beforehand so you know how much you can afford to spend.

  4. Does the costume make sense? If not, are you prepared to spend the whole night telling people what you are? Some people enjoy this; others don't. Having a recognizable costume can up the wow factor. Then again, having something that only a few people "get" can be fun, too.

A quick internet search will give you all sorts of images that will help you construct your homemade costume of choice.

For example, when I made my Sarah Connor Terminator 2 costume, I found a picture from the movie, and then copied the look as closely as I could. If you're doing a costume from a movie, watching the movie can also help!

Here are some of my favorite movies for finding characters worth emulating.

Step 3: Purchase Your Homemade Costume Materials - Thrift Stores, eBay, Amazon, Oh My!

Now that you've decided on the perfect costume idea, you can purchase the materials.

A great place to start is your local thrift store or second-hand shop. Don't just look for ready-made items, such as sparkly t-shirts or fancy hats; look for materials that can be taken apart and turned into costumes. For example, when I made Viking costumes one Halloween, I bought several faux-fur jackets and cut off the sleeves to make awesome Viking vests!

If you can't find what you're looking for locally, check online at sites like eBay. I've created a handy search for "disco clothes" below as an example.

Costume Construction
Costume Construction

Step 4: Making Your Homemade Costume

Snip, Tape, Sew and Glue

With all of your costume materials at hand, now's the time to assemble!

Here's where your creativity really comes in handy. If you're making a one-time use costume, there are a lot of shortcuts that will save you time and money. For example, most times hot gluing can stand in for sewing; you can attached pieces of fabric this way, or create quick seams. Stick-on Velcro is also a great way to hold things together. And never underestimate the functional value of belts.

Just make sure that your costume can hold together as long as you're going to wear it; there's nothing worse than having a costume fall apart before you're ready to take it off! Also, make sure that it's comfortable enough to wear for the duration of your event, and that you can take it off easily enough when nature calls :)

Image by L. Marie on Flickr.

Now That You've Read About Homemade Costumes... - Share Your Opinion!

Would You Make Homemade Costumes?

What Do You Think of Making Homemade Costumes? - Share Your Thoughts Here!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice ideas

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      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Great costume ideas!