DIY costumes for kids that won’t break the bank

Look through your craft closet, your fabric and crafts box, your child's dress-up trunk, for bits and pieces you can use to create your child's dream costume.
DIY costumes for kids that won’t break the bank

If you’ve ever taken your child to the store during the fall and Halloween season, you’ve probably endured begging and pleading when you pass the costume aisle. If you feel sticker shock when you look at the available costumes, you’re not alone.

Happy Halloween!

It can be hard to part with that much cash for something your child is only going to wear once or twice. Instead of shelling out for a store-bought costume, consider DIY costumes that save money and stand out for being interesting and unique.

Use a sweat suit

Halloween weather is generally pretty cold, so using a pair of your child’s sweats serves a double purpose. A sweatshirt and pants make a great base for DIY costumes and keep your little one warm while he goes trick-or-treating.

  • Cat costume: Dress your daughter in a black sweat suit, pin a plush tail to the waistband of the pants, add a headband with black cardboard ears glued on, and use an eyeliner pencil to create whiskers.
  • Mariachi costume: Pin small jingle bells down the outside edges of a pair of black sweatpants. Make a vest using black felt embellished with silver rickrack. Add a sombrero and you’re all set. Another idea is to use green sweats to make a frog or turtle costume by adding a mask and spots made from brown or white felt.

Cardboard box costumes

Before you throw out all those boxes in your garage, consider their potential for DIY costumes. It won’t cost you anything, but you can create a memorable disguise your little one will love.

  • Robot costume: Spray paint a large box with silver paint and cut holes for your child’s arms and legs. Add buttons, switches, and gadgets with colored construction paper, bottle caps, ribbon, sequins, and fabric scraps.
  • Sandwich costume: Glue large cardboard fillings to the edges of a box and paint them with bright colors. Cut arm and leg holes, and let your child climb into the costume.

Thrift store finds

Many thrift stores sell ready made costumes during the Halloween season. If you can’t find one your child likes, browse the rest of the store shelves and mix and match the items for DIY costumes.

  • Clown costume: Look for a brightly colored polka dot shirts or dresses and a large pair of men’s shoes. Paint a ping pong ball red and cut a large hole in it for the clown nose. A brightly colored wig is a great way to top this costume off.

If your child can dream it up, chances are you can put it together. Look through your craft closet, your fabric and crafts box, your child’s dress-up trunk, and even your recycling bin for bits and pieces you can use to create your child’s dream costume.