Getting a Halloween costume can be as easy as popping down to your local Walmart and buying one. Of course, that is easier said than done when you have more than one child or have to work within a tight budget. Coming up with DIY Halloween costumes doesn’t have to mean your Halloween look will be less wonderful than a store-bought costume and it can save you a lot of money in the process! If you enjoy being crafty or have kids that like spending time on art projects then it can be a great way to spend time together too!
Our children have had both store-bought and homemade costumes throughout the years and I have to say I think they enjoy the homemade ones more! In their eyes, they get a completely unique costume, have more options available AND get the fun of helping me put it all together.
DIY Halloween Costumes – Tips and Tricks!
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Picking a Costume
I have to say that picking a costume is probably one of the hardest parts of this whole process! This can be tricky even if you’re not going to be making it yourself but is certainly compounded when you have to keep budgets and skills in mind!
Take Stock of What You Already Have
If you have craft supplies stockpiled away in your house already then this is a great time to go through and look for some inspiration. Scrap fabric, ribbons, florals, crafting foam, beads, and various paints are all very useful.
Don’t forget to look through your household supplies too! Headbands are great for attaching ears or other decorations, elastic banding is perfect for tails, armbands, and wings! Even tin foil can be used to craft horns and any other form that needs a bit of extra support. Make-up can sometimes be used in the place of facepaint.
Look Through Your Old Clothes
Solid colored T-shirts, pants or sweaters can be a great starting point for a fun costume. Bonus points if it’s an old item that can be cut, painted or glued on without worry! This is especially useful for popular animal costumes like black cats or wolves/werewolves!
If You’re Still Stuck…
If you have gathered together everything you can think of but still can’t come up with a costume then its time to work from the other direction. Come up with an idea you like and THEN figure out how to use your gathered supplies to help you out. Everything you can make from supplies you already have is something less you have to buy.
Don’t Drive Yourself Crazy!
Sometimes we tend to overthink things! Halloween is meant to be fun and creating our costumes should be a part of that! If you have an idea but can’t figure out how to make a small part of it (wings, horns, swords etc) then it’s perfectly fine to look around for a pre-made version.
Dollar Stores can have a pretty great selection of Halloween accessories. You might even check the children’s aisle for make-believe items that will be useful. If you can’t find anything suitable then check the crafting aisle for inspiration.
If the Dollar store’s let you down then look online for the best deal you can find or consider coming up with an alternate plan. Can you use face paint instead of a mask? Do up your hair to mimic ears?
DIY Halloween Costumes – Things I’ve Learned Throughout The Years
By far and away animal costumes are the easiest to pull off when it comes to DIY! This is for several reasons.
- Even if you can’t make ears & tails they are typically easy to find and cheap to buy.
- A cheap set of solid colored shirts and sweatpants/leggings is often easy to find and budget-friendly. Keep in mind that since this is for a costume you don’t need anything fancy!
- Bits of material or fabric paint can be used to create stripes, spots or other patterns.
- Facepainting might seem difficult but doesn’t have to be and is often cheaper than a mask. If your nervous about face painting then check out our tutorial from last year!
Super Hero Costumes
These are another great option for DIY Costumes. While superheroes might seem complicated in reality they tend to be pretty simple!
- Again, consider face paint rather than masks, but if a mask is necessary then look through the toy aisles and local dollar stores for knock off versions that you can modify with a bit of paint.
- Weapons can often be crafted with some crafting foam, paper mache or tin foil cover forms.
- Uniforms and armor can often be made using leggings and long-sleeved shirts. If you need to add armor or extra pieces you can use fabric glue and crafting foam or just paint it on with fabric paint.
Many classic costumes are also a good choice for DIY Halloween costumes. Werewolves and black cats can fall under the animal costume tips above but Frankenstein, witches, and mummies are also pretty easy to handle!
- Witch hats are easy to find in most Dollar stores, but can also be crafted out of black crafting foam! Likewise with brooms and perhaps a stuffed black cat prop for fun! A black dress or black shirt/pants along a skirt that can be crafted out of fabric scraps can make for an easy costume.
- Mummies can be created using white clothing with white ribbon, fabric strips or even painted on shadows to create the look you require. Consider face paint rather than a mask.
- Frankenstein can be created with almost any old pieces of clothing, add exaggerated patches or stitching for details and facepaint for the scars/neck bolts!