Quick, Easy and (Mostly) Free Costume Ideas

Crafty mom bloggers share their 13 favorite Halloween costumes for kids

baby in sushi costume

Halloween can be a parenting highlight, filled with fun and excitement-your kid's in an adorable (or at least witty) costume, you've got candy galore to hand out to trick-or-treaters, and perhaps even some form of costume on your own body or faux spider web on your walls.

Or, it can taunt you with all the preparation you haven't done.

We surveyed a few of our favorite Mom bloggers - some crafty, some not - to find out their best ideas for having a festive Halloween with a minimum of fuss. May they inspire you to embrace the playfulness and forego some of the scariness of this beloved holiday.

  1. The Perfect Appetizer. "A pig in a blanket is definitely my favorite for a little girl who happens to have tons of pink clothing. Pink leggings, pink shirt, a headband with easy-to-make pink ears and a snout made of a toilet-paper roll cut in half, covered with tape, and painted pink. All wrapped up in a soft, cuddly blanky. Doesn't get cuter than that!" -- Amy at Chandelier Events

  2. A Favorite Past-time. "Just have the kids wear their soccer uniform or ballet outfits." -- Jen Singer, Momma Said

  3. In the News. "Last year my 12-year old put on a raincoat, jeans, boots, plastic construction hat and headlamp and went as a Chilean miner." -- Jen Singer, Momma Said

  4. Museum Quality. "All it takes is a couple yards of unbleached muslin, torn into rough strips, and some safety pins. Just wrap their arms, legs, torso and head and pin them to hold in place." -- Deborah Moebes, Whipstitch Fabrics

  5. Kitchen Scraps. "My favorite is to make a robot out of a cardboard box covered in aluminum foil. Then create straps out of cereal boxes -- and apply with staples, lots of staples." (See full instructions) -- Khali Whatley, Little Lovely

  6. Roar Worthy. "Last year, my son wanted to be a tiger, with a costume made from scratch. Not wanting to disappoint, we picked up a yellow t-shirt and an animal-print spray stencil kit from Michael's. I found extra large pipe-cleaners there -- so I twisted the black and yellow ones into a tight spiral (so as to create a stripe effect) for both the tail, and a headpiece with ears he wore with pride. Topped it off with black gloves and black rocker jeans -- and he was the coolest cat on the block." -- Amy at Chandelier Events

  7. Wings of Love. "For girls, you can't go wrong with a butterfly: Craft store wings with jewels glued on, tights and a leotard, and of course a headband with antenna." -- Catherine at Weelicious

  8. Hard Labor. "For boys, it's a construction worker: An orange reflective vest, heavy-duty pants and boots, and a hammer through a belt loop." -- Catherine at Weelicious

  9. Scare the Neighbors. "The easiest and most authentic way to do a zombie costume is to take some clothing from your kids closet and just tear it, rip it, roll it in dirt, and pour fake blood on it.' If you're crafty, you can also sew a zombie dress from scratch, with these instructions." -- Jaime and Jacinda at Prudent Baby

  10. Just Add Makeup. "I'm not too terribly crafty. We have a huge box full of pieces -- think: armor, masks, capes -- that the kids pick through a few weeks before Halloween to get ideas for what they might want to be. Usually they assemble a basic costume from what we already have and I do the makeup." -- Meagan Francis at The Happiest Mom

  11. If I Only Had a.. Scarecrow. "One year I made my son Jacob a scarecrow costume that was just adorable. I got a plaid shirt from Goodwill, and ran half a broken broomstick through the arms to hold them out, then stuffed the arms with straw. I cut slits through the sides of the shirt for my son's arms to poke out of, and put patches on his jeans. He also wore a hat with straw poking out the sides. It was totally cute, took about 15 minutes to make, and required no sewing ability." -- Meagan Francis at The Happiest Mom

  12. Nothing Fishy Here. "Last year I made a sushi costume for Mazzy (see image above). I dressed her in a white onesie with white tights, attached a little red pillow to her back, and then secured it with a wide black felt belt around her waist. I figured if I could sew anything, it would be a stuffed square! She had a lime green hat that I used to represent the wasabi. The idea came from the fact that Mazzy was crawling. If an adult tried the costume, it wouldn't work nearly as well. But put Mazzy on the floor and let that little ball of rice with fish attached to her back crawl around? BIG HIT." -- Ilana Wiles, Mommy Shorts

  13. Rock-Tober Fest. "Last year my oldest was a punk rocker, but she looked fabulous. She had a fake lip ring, great make up, and my husband even put a Danzig decal on a denim jacket. We had tons of people come up to us and tell us they had no idea who she was and what a great costume it was. -- Angie Lee, Seven Clown Circus
Image used with permission from Ilana Wiles, MommyShorts blogger.  
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Comments (1)
Photo of Amanda B.
Amanda B.
When my sister and I were younger, my mom used to make all of our costumes.
Dalmations: White sweat suit and painted black dots on it. Painted our faces white and black. And for the ears she just made a head band and attatched two ear shapes to it.
Watermelon: Read and green sweat suit. Painted our face green. Got a green beanie. Then painted black seeds on the suit.
Bunny: White sweat outfit and she hot glued a round pink carpet to the tummy of the suit. Then got a pink fuz ball and put it on the tail end. Painted our faces white with bunny features(nose, wiskers ect). Then made/bought bunny ears.
Posted: October 06, 2011 at 2:34 PM
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