DIY Halloween Costumes

Updated on October 11, 2011
M.J. asks from Oakland, CA
14 answers

Do you have any words of wisdom on making Halloween costumes? Have you ever made your child's costume, or are you an "off the rack" type of person? What was your greatest triumph...and something that just failed miserably?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Richmond on

I love making my own ANYTHING!!

My favorite DIY, super easy Halloween costume... 2 Halloweens ago, when I was SUPER pregnant with my 3rd, I took black stretch pants and a tight black, long sleeved shirt, and with white fabric paint, painted on my skeleton... and the baby's skeleton on my belly :)

It was all anatomically correct and AWESOME!!

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I was static cling one year. I wore all black and safety pinned socks, underwear, dryer sheet, etc to myself:)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I like making costumes when I can. I can't sew but I put stuff together. I did a small version of this for my son last year when he was 3.5. It was so cool and people loved it cause it wasn't another off the rack iron man or whatever.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I want to dress my son as a bag of jelly beans using small balloons and a clear bag tied around the shoulders, but he is two and too young for this coustume yet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Roanoke on

Last year, I saw a little kid with a homemade R2D2 costume, and he was SO adorable. It was cut out from cardboard and painted head to toe, with a dome lid that had a slit cut out for him to look out of, and it went all the way down to his feet, so he had to "scooch" around like R2D2. I think he had some kind of noises coming out of it too, but I only saw him scooching through the mall for a few minutes. It was awesome!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

While I'm not an "off the rack" type, sad to say I've never "made/sewn" one.
I have always "put together" my costumes as a kid & my kids' costumes.
While no triumps, no failures.
Just cute, warm and inexpensive.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I've made a few. I did a gloworm - light green fabric sack dress filled with yellow balloons. Very cute
I sewed a Hersheys Kiss costume from a pattern once. It was a huge success but a huge pain in the arse
The worst halloween was the year my toddlers wanted to wear every bit of dress up they had all at once. My son was a pirate-cowboy-ninja and my daughter was a fairy-angel-princess. Silly kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I love making costumes or putting together a costume

This year I made a Christmas tree costume for my 5 year old. I sew an Aline type dress except it has 3 layers. I hot glued different sized poms for ornaments and added blinking Christmas lights (battery operated). I made a matching cone hat and it will have a golden bow on top and the poms too. I also made her a long sleeved top to go with it as we live in MI. I'm using a green fleece for material. She will be wearing brown tights and brown boots and will be using her Christmas stocking for her bucket. Materials cost me around $15

My 7 yo wants to be a nerd. We got the taped glasses, a button down shirt, pedal pushers, argyle socks and loafers. Her hair will be in pigtails and I made her a bowtie. I only have to buy the glasses and the shirt cost less than $15. Could have been cheaper if I went to goodwill for the shirt and bought reading glasses at the dollar store...pop the lenses and add the tape.

Some costumes we have made or put together
1. UrbanThumbelina /Urban lady bug
3. Rapunzel/Red Hat Lady (my fav)

I have also had costumes made for my girls but I had one very sad Halloween. It was the year before last when they wanted the Disney princess ones.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I made my kids costumes their entire childhoods. My greatest triumph? a Bugs Bunny costume (made from a commercial pattern) for my son when he was in Kindergarten. Even though I could only find brown velour, every kid in the class recognized him as Bugs and chased him around all day (triumph for me, but he wasn't thrilled by the time he got home). Biggest failure? Also a bit of triumph involved: dressing my son as an EverReady battery, using poster board with holes cut for his arms. Totally worked for trick-or-treaing, but we didn't think about school when he needed to sit and couldn't because the costume didn't bend. (Those were the days when kids still wore costumes to school.)


answers from Los Angeles on

We usually put together my daughter's costumes for little money, and I have purchased off the rack, not in stores at regular price, but at children's re-sale stores. Costumes get so little use I can't justify paying top dollar.
For my little guy I found a giraffe costume for $6 for his first Halloween when he was 6.5 months, and Chewbacca for $6-$8, (can't remember,) for last year.

He's 2.5 this year and I am thinking of making this (I dreamed about it last night, lol!) A sandwich!
I can hopefully get everything I need at JoAnn's, subbing dark and light green netting bunched together for the lettuce, he has brown sweats and shoes, so i would have him wear those, not sure yet about the shirt or hoodie underneath, thinking something red. I can pretty much guarantee there won't be another sandwich walking around the neighborhood ; )



answers from Redding on

I have to respond as a mom who has done both... off the rack and home-made....I LOVE doing home-made, they are unique, fun and I can be creative : - ) HOWEVER, cost wise I would say its a wash. The cost of fabric and materials is so high and with Costco selling costumes for 14 bucks...?? Plus your time in making it, it costs more to home-make usually.
I made my 2 yr old a "candy corn fairy" last year, and it was SOOO cute! I have also made bunny costumes, lady bugs, etc.

I just wanted to add...either way you choose to go, dont feel guilty. There are SOO many times to "home-make" things other times of the year : - ) Have fun either way!



answers from San Francisco on

My words of wisdom on making your own costumes for kids is "Start with sweatshirts and sweatpants" :-). We have a black zip front hooded sweatshirt that has been used for a cat costume three times (sewed black felt triangles with smaller pink triangles hot-glued inside to the hood for the cat's ears, sewed a bit of black feather boa trim on the back for the tail, use ribbon and a bell for the collar, and then DD wears black leggings or sweatpants to go with it.) and used as a honeybee costume once (used masking tape loops to attach yellow felt "stripes" to the body, made pipe cleaner "antennae" attached to a headband, and DD wore some dress up toy wings and black leggings).
My favorite and super-easy DIY costume though was when my twin DD's were almost 2YO - they wore red sweatpants and red sweatshirts and I cut white circles out of one of DH's old t-shirts and wrote "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" on them with sharpie marker (in hindsight, I would have used felt circles instead of the t-shirt scraps).

Things I haven't done but could easily see doing with sweatshirts and sweatpants: bunny rabbit (make felt ears and attach to hood of sweatshirt like I did with the kittycat ears, use white bath pouf for the tail), skunk (like cat but masking-tape a white stripe to the back of the sweatshirt), bear, squirrel, etc.



answers from Sacramento on

I made an ice cream cone costume for my daughter, the idea and intructions were from the family fun magazine, It turned out great and I was so happy as there was no sewing involved, all hot glue guns.
This year she wants to be a slice of pizza, hope this works out !!



answers from San Francisco on

Let me greatest homemade costume achievements were

1) A Knight In Shining Armor-my son wore grey sweatpants and sweatshirt and we made the armor out of spray painted poster board. He had the chest plate, gauntlets and shield and a cape. He wouldn't wear a helmet-he didn't like things on his head at the time.
2) Captain Hook- made from a commercial pattern but it turned out so awesome! Unfortunately that is the one year we didn't have a camera so I never got a picture of it :-(
3) The Mad Hatter- last year my husband and I participated in a trunk or treat event and our theme was Alice In Wonderland. He was the Mad Hatter, I was Alice. I made both of the costumes. The pattern did not include the hat though so I went and spent just as much on the hat as I paid for the fabric for the rest of his costume. We set up our trunk (actually the area around it) as the Tea Party. Had a table with teapots and cups and we served mulled cider (sorta looked like tea). One of the teapots even had the dormouse in it :-)
We won the contest and were by far the most popular "trunk" at the event. It made my day cuz I at the very last minute (two days before Halloween) bought a sewing machine and made the costumes. Oh and DH altered one of our plastic patio chairs into the Mad Hatter's "throne". Definitely the most I have ever done in such a short time!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions