I have an almost two-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. Plus I like to play dress up myself. This makes for one expensive Halloween at my house especially at one of those specialty Halloween stores. A pretty plain kids costume will run you upwards of $50 these days, but you can make the same thing or better at home for half the price with these easy homemade kids costumes I have found.

  • 15

    Bunch of Grapes

    Purchase either purple or green balloons and blow them up to about the size of a cantaloupe. Have your child dress in a green or purple sweat suit, and pin the balloons all over the front and back. For the finishing touch, make a little hat with a leaf and stem out of felt and bobby pin it to your child's hair.

    Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr
  • 14

    Thing One and Thing Two

    Use red outfits (pants and long sleeve shirt) or red pajama sleepers. White circles, liquid stitch, cut out black letters and glue onto the outfits.You can spray with blue washout hairspray or a blue fleece hats.

  • 13

    Bouquet of Flowers

    One yellow shirt A pair yellow pants A bunch fabric flowers from a craft store or you may have them around the house. Some fabric leaves from a craft store or you or your family may have some already. One yard of green yarn Twelve yellow felt circles, one-inch diameter (optional) One Soft headband How to put it all together: 1. Remove as much plastic from flowers and leaf stems as possible to make them lie flatter. Attach flowers to headband with stitching or hot glue until headband is covered (see photograph at bottom right). Glue yellow felt circles to center of flowers, if you think they need them. 2. Cut 18 inches of yarn and place it on the front of the shirt in a flower-stem pattern. Sew or glue it in place. Use the remaining yarn to continue the pattern down one pant leg, matching the overlap. Sew or glue in place. 3. Attach leaves along the stem.

  • 12


    Tools and Materials 2 white long-sleeved leotards One bag of loose wool batting 2 heavyweight white feather boas Safety pins Two 8-by-10-inch pieces of red wool felt White pilot's cap Hot-glue gun Yellow rubber gloves Sneakers with a heel tab Chicken How-To 1. For the bodysuit, place one leotard inside the other; stuff batting between them, and sew together at necklines and leg holes. With your child wearing the bodysuit, drape boas across and around the body; safety-pin in place. Remove costume from child, and handstitch in place every 4 inches. 2. For the hat, use the comb template to cut two pieces of felt. Stitch combs together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving the bottom open. Turn right side out; stuff peaks with batting. Stretch hat over a ball or other round object; attach comb using the hot-glue gun on a low setting. 3. For the feet, stuff fingers of gloves with batting. Slip sneaker into glove, palm side down. Pull glove taut so fingers arch up (to prevent tripping); cut slit in center of glove from tongue of shoe to heel tab. Pull end of slit beneath heel. Snip extra cuff, leaving 2 inches; cut a notch at each corner. Fold sides in; secure with hot glue. Fold bottom up and top down; glue.

  • 11


    Tools and Materials 60-inch-long piece of kraft paper 1 1/2 yards of orange wool felt 1 yard of 1/4-inch-thick polyurethane foam or one bag of wool-blanket batting 4 sets of Velcro fastener dots, 1/2 yard of pink wool felt Scraps of black and white felt White craft glue. Goldfish How-To 1. To make patterns, draw a grid of 2-inch squares on kraft paper; copy templates by hand onto it. Using fish pattern, cut one piece of orange felt and foam with front scoop neckline and one piece orange felt and foam with back neckline. Use orange part of pattern to cut one front and one back from orange felt for lining. For the front, layer foam, then whole felt, then half felt; stitch around top from notch A to notch B, with 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out so foam is between felt pieces. Quilt front from top to bottom, making rows of 4 1/2-inch scallops 2 1/2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining pieces for back. Place front and back together, right sides facing. Sew around tail from notch A to notch B, with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out. Sew Velcro fastener dots at shoulders and underarms, as shown on template. 2. Use hat pattern to cut two pieces of felt, one orange and one pink, and one piece of foam. Layer pieces: foam, pink felt, and orange felt. Sew top, bottom, and one side closed with 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out. Quilt as above. Fold in half, pink side out; sew along short edge. Turn orange side out. Cut eye from black and white felt scraps. Glue on as shown.

  • 10

    Duct Tape Tiger or Zebra

    Materials FOR BOTH: Black duct tape Parchment paper Black sweatshirt (hooded for zebra) and pants Stapler FOR THE TIGER: Orange duct tape Orange craft foam Black permanent marker Black headband FOR THE ZEBRA: White duct tape Black and white craft foam Instructions: 1.The Stripes: To make cutting easier, stick a strip of duct tape to a piece of parchment paper. Then cut out the strip, tapering the ends (our tiger stripes measure about 16 inches long, the zebra stripes about 30 inches long; all were cut to fit as needed). Repeat, arranging the stripes on the sweatshirt and pants as you work. 2.When you have sufficient stripes and an arrangement you like, peel the stripes off the parchment backing and affix them to the fabric. 3. The Ears: Cut out craft foam ear shapes as shown; you can use our template. For the zebra, affix inner ears cut from white duct tape. Pinch each ear so its bottom corners meet and staple it. 4.Attach the ears to the tiger's headband or the zebra's hood with black duct tape. 5.The Tail: Lay an 18-inch strip of duct tape sticky side up (use orange tape for the tiger, black tape for the zebra). Lay a second strip sticky side down atop the first strip, overlapping it by about half. Fold the sticky margins over as shown. 6. For the tiger's tail, cut a curve in the tip and add stripes with the black marker. For the zebra's tail, fold a 6- by 8-inch strip of foam into thirds, cut fringe, and tape the tassel to the tail's end. Hold the tail to the pant's rear waistband, trim it as needed, then tape it to the waistband. 7. The Zebra's Mane: Cut fringe into the shorter side of 2- by 3-inch pieces of black and white craft foam (we used 8 pieces of each). 8. Lay the fringed pieces down the center of the sweatshirt's back, then affix them by applying long strips of black duct tape along both sides. To curve the mane over the top of the hood, attach the fringed pieces individually, using shorter strips of tape.

  • 9

    Boxes of Candy

    What You'll Need: large cardboard boxes, craft paper, pencil, latex and acrylic paints. Tip: Cut holes for your child's arms and head out of a large cardboard box, then cover it with craft paper. Using a pencil, draw the candy box lettering and other details; then paint.

  • 8

    Bag of Jelly Beans

    What You'll Need: A large, clear plastic recycling bag, mini balloons in assorted colors, ribbon, Sharpie. Tip: Blow up the mini balloons (use a pump to make it easier -- you'll need lots of them!). With a Sharpie, write ingredients and nutritional information on the back of the bag. Then, carefully cut leg and arm holes in the plastic bag, have your child step into it and fill with balloons. Cinch the top loosely around the neck.

  • 7

    Garden Gnome

    What You'll Need: Black sweatpants and a large blue jacket or sweatshirt, wide black belt (or black felt), red felt, white fur trim, fabric glue. Tip: Use the belt or a strip of back felt to cinch the sweatshirt; roll red felt into a cone shaped hat and glue the seam shut; then glue white fur trim to the hat for the beard. (Measure the fur trim from your child's ear to ear to get the correct measurement -- and add an inch of wiggle room so he can talk!)

  • 6

    Circus Strongman

    What You'll Need: a pale link leotard, Sharpie fabric markers, striped pants or leggings (or red leggings and white felt strips), a red bandana, two styrofoam balls, a dowel, paint, makeup. Tip: Channel your inner artist and draw sailor-style tattoos all over the leotard with the Sharpie or other fabric marker. Look for striped pants or leggings, or improvise by gluing long strips of white felt or fabric onto red leggins or pants. Use eyeliner and cream blush to draw a mustache and round cheeks on your child, and get that "19th century gentleman" slicked hair look with egg whites. To make the barbell, paint the styrofoam balls and the dowel rod black, paint white numbers on the balls, and stick the balls on either end of the dowel.

  • 5

    Napoleon Dynamite

    What You’ll Need: Short-sleeved white t-shirt (you can write "Vote for Pedro" in orange markers or spell out with iron-on letters), pair of jeans, and boots or black shoes. Tip: Give your little Napoleon a wild ‘do -- just set hair in curlers, unroll, tease and set with hairspray. Heck yeah!

  • 4

    Pirate Princess

    What You'll Need: Dad’s old bandanna, long-sleeved white shirt, dad's suit vest, black tutu and red-ribbon. Tip: Pull some hair from underneath the bandanna and braid it for the perfect "sailor's life for me" touch.

  • 3

    Harry Potter

    What You'll Need: Tan pants, long-sleeved red shirt, black bathrobe, wand and black pipe cleaners. Tip: If he doesn't have the real thing, complete your kid’s Harry Potter costume with rounded glasses made from black pipe cleaners.

    Edmond Wells/Flickr
  • 2

    Mario Brothers

    What You'll Need: Red and green long-sleeved shirts, hats, overalls, white felt and white gloves. Tip: Dig out your kids' overalls from storage and layer them over red and green long-sleeved t-shirts. Then, cut two circles from a sheet of white felt and trace a "M" on one patch and a "L" on the other. Cut out the letters and place the "M" patch on the red hat and the "L" on the green hat for the homemade version of The Mario Brothers' outfits.

  • 1


    You Will Need 1 pair black pants 1 black shirt 1 black or white baby cap with ties 1 white 6-foot marabou feather boa 1 scrap (12 x 15 inches) black fake fur 2 pipe cleaners What to Do 1. Cut fur into two pieces: One, 8 x 15 inches, will make the tail. The other, 4 x 15 inches, will make the hat (Step 3). Using the 8 x 15-inch piece of fur, make the tail. Put the right (furry) sides together and sew, glue, or staple the long seam, leaving one end open. Invert the tail so the furry side is out and flatten with the seam underneath. Insert the pipe cleaners on either side of the flattened tail and glue them in place. Attach tail to shirt bottom by the open end, using staples, glue, or stitches. Use the pipe cleaners inside the tail to give it shape, such as curling upward. 2. Attach boa to the back of the black shirt, starting at the waist. Run it up to the left side of the neck, across the neck, and back down to the waist as shown in the photograph at left. Then run it to the end of the tail. This creates two strips down the back and one down the tail. 3. To make the hat, take the 4 x 15-inch piece of fur and clip the corners of a 4-inch end to make a point. (Save the corners to become ears.) Place pointed piece of fur at top center of baby cap and attach across top of cap to nape. Attach boa on either side of cap fur to make two stripes on head. Attach corner pieces of fur to the sides of the cap below the boa stripes as ears