Friday, August 24, 2012

Homemade Halloween Costumes

(For those of us who are not so crafty!)

Almost all the blogs I have been reading lately are about how to save money in one way or another. It seems as though it is a common theme these days. In the spirit of this theme I am offering up some very cool homemade Halloween costume ideas that will work for even those of us who are not so crafty. And for those of you who are I offer these ideas as a basis for you to upgrade at will! More than half of these ideas come from my own stab at creativity with my children and others come from people all over the country. As I was searching for homemade costumes I was amazed at how many imaginative, creative people there are in this world. But then necessity is the mother of invention and when it comes to our children we often find ourselves creating new ways to do things.

  1. Superman
When my daughter was two she was enamored with Superman. I was showing her some of the older Superman movies and cartoons and that is all she could talk about. When Halloween came up that year I knew what the request would be! I found an old comic book and looked at his costume. I wasn’t a big sewer but I could stitch a little here and there. We found a set of blue tights and long sleeve leotards in her size. I went to the fabric store and looked through the discount bin and found some yellow material and a larger piece of red. I cut out the yellow background and the S for his chest and tacked it on the leotards. We “borrowed” a pair of whitey tighty underwear from one of her boy cousins about her age which I dyed red and pulled up over her tights. I cut a cape out of the red material, covered a belt with the yellow material (or cover a thick piece of elastic), and for the boots I found a red pair of adult socks and pulled them on over her rain boots (because they were black). If you have a red pair of rain boots then you are set! She was absolutely thrilled. She flew all over the neighborhood. She was Superman for a couple years after that too!


  1. Mouse
A few years later we were into the An American Tail movies with Fivel. She wanted to be a mouse. We found the tights and long sleeve leotards in brown. At the craft store they had the thin wire; I think it’s for soldering. We bought a little brown and pink felt for the ears. We already had some of the plastic head bands for her hair at home. We made the shape of ears out of the wire and covered it with the brown felt; you can use glue or staples if you don’t want to sew. We then cut a circle of pink for inside the ear and glued it on. I attached the ears to the brown headband. Then I made a brown tail out of some left over brown material; I cut it in a sort of long cone shape, sewed it down the side and then turned it right side out. Then I tacked it to her bottom. We painted whiskers on her face and a pink circle on the end of her nose. This would be an adorable mouse in itself but I had to go on…. I get that way sometimes. I wanted to add a piece of Swiss cheese… get a remnant of yellow felt-like material that will not be as saggy. Cut out holes in the material randomly (like Swiss cheese), big enough to fit whoever you’re making the costume for. Sew the ends together and put it over their heads with their arms sticking throughout the cheese holes. The little mouse is eating the cheese!


  1. Geisha Girl or Japanese Doll
Easy peezie as can be. Paint the face white with round red cheeks and red lips. They also make their eyebrows more pronounced with eyebrow pencils if you check out a picture online. Put the hair in buns on each side. Put on a kimono and some thong type shoes. You can add more to it if you want to. A Japanese umbrella, Japanese fan, or Japanese type hair accessories (the kind that looks like chopsticks through the buns) and Japanese hair combs.


  1. Black Bat
As my daughter got older she was very into bats, the real ones and Batman. The black tights and leotard were simple enough. We created the bat ears like we did in the above mentioned mouse costume with the wire and black material or felt on a headband. The wings were a bit trickier, which I made with black material and had to use all the creativity I could muster on the sewing machine. I laid out her leotard and with the arms straight out I cut the material in a fan shape, I wanted excess material so that I could make some gathers in the material to make it look more like a bats wings. I sewed in some elastic pieces to make it look more like the divisions in the wings. I cut the bottom of the wings with in a scallopedpattern to make the pointy wing look. Then I sewed it to the arms and sides of leotards. We put a brown dot on the end of her nose. She loved it. However, as I was looking for more homemade costumes I saw another bat idea where the person cut an umbrella in half and attached that in between for wings. In hindsight that sounds a lot easier. We had fun creating this together however, so it was worth it!


  1. Mummy
This is one that is right up my son’s alley! Wrap them all up in gauze, make it look old or molding with dirt or paint on green mold. Wrap their legs so they have the walk, but not enough to cut off circulation (wouldn’t that be awful?). Paint the face white and put age lines to “age” the mummy.


  1. Raggedy Ann or Andy Doll
I actually did this for myself one year for a Halloween party. I had some old pajamas, a long sleep top and long pant type. I bought some lacey trim and sewed to the wrists and ankles to make it look ruffley and the pants look like pantaloons. I found an old apron type dress, made it shorter, and sewed ruffles on the sleeve edges and made it a lot shorter. I wore red and white striped socks and added some baby doll shoes… or like ballet type slippers would work. Then I took some panty hose and cut the legs off and used the crotch part to put on my head. I bought some orange yarn and pulled it through all over the panty hose knotting it underneath to stay. I then cut it for bangs and shaped it with scissors. I put red circles of rouge on my cheeks, a red triangle on my nose, and fake long eyelashes which you can buy or paint on with eyeliner. You could make an Andy Doll with a cute pair of overalls that have been shortened and sew on some large buttons. Use a red and blue checkered shirt with a blue bow tied at the neck. Add red and white knee socks and shoes, along with a sailor type hat with the orange hair. For this one you could attach the orange or red yarn inside the hat. Add the triangle nose, red circle cheeks and eyelashes.


  1. Cluster of Grapes
I’ve never done this one but it sounded so cute I thought I’d share. A purple leotard and tights and some purple balloons attached in a three, two, one pattern. Three on top then two and one at bottom attached on front and back of leotard to become a cluster of grapes! You can do the same with green if you prefer green grapes… or the color goes better with your eyes. You can add a green felt hat for the stem and you’re the hit of the party!

You may wonder why I didn’t mention more costumes for my son. It’s not that I did not have any ideas for boy costumes; it’s just that he refused to be anything but a skeleton for all but two Halloweens that I can remember. I just wanted to share this fact with you so you don’t get the impression that I left my son out! 

These are just a few of the great homemade costume ideas out there. What is great is that we can share them with each other. I am hopeful that there are a couple costumes here that someone can create this Halloween. Enjoy making costumes with your children; they will think you are a creative genius!  

Author Byline:

Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  He is a regular contributor of “”.  You can get in touch with him at

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