Halloween is coming up fast. But it isn’t too late to have a great costume, even if you have little or no budget. And even if you aren’t the best seamstress around. I’ve been making up costumes for my kids for nearly a decade. The trick is to use a combination of homemade DIY and thrift store finds. These costumes require little effort, but are lots of fun. In fact, you may have everything you need already. A last-minute Halloween costume doesn’t mean you have to go as something boring.
Last-minute Halloween costume ideas
Fairy / Princess / Ballerina
Most (though not all) little girls at some point go through a pink and sparkly phase. Sniffles has wanted to be a fairy, a princess and a ballerina. One year, I think she even wanted to be a fairy princess ballerina. All you need are a matching skirt, shirt and leggings. We, of course, went with pink. You can usually find cheap leotards at a thrift store if you want to go that direction. Add wings from her dress up closet or pick up a pair at the dollar store. Make a crown or tiara out of paper using one of these printable princess crowns.
Zombies are cool right now. You can easily whip up a zombie costume using things you already have at home. Gather some old clothes and a pair of scissors. Cut and tear just enough to add character. Rub cocoa powder or cinnamon onto the clothes to make them look “dirty” and give them a fresh-from-the-grave look. Pat a little baby powder or flour on his face and dark eye shadow around his eyes. If you want to add a little blood, you can use red lipstick. I try to avoid face painting kits because they tend to cause allergic reactions and some stain.
If you’re trying to recreate a specific hero, it may take a bit of work. Find a solid colored shirt. Print your hero’s logo on transfer paper and iron it onto the shirt. For something simpler, cut the shapes out of duct tape and just stick them on. Print a paper mask, like these Avengers printable masks. But why not create your own hero? Lil’ Wheezy’s alternate identity is Super Bunny. Just put on pants and shirt in any color. Make an easy t-shirt cape and print an eye mask to maintain a secret identity. Add a pair of winter gloves.
It’s Raining Cats and Dogs
I haven’t seen anyone do this yet, but it is too cute to not share. Not only will your child look adorable, but this costume also serves as a little lesson on idioms! Dress your child in a rain coat and boots. Get a small umbrella and some small plush cats and dogs. (You could also print pictures from online.) Use a hot glue gun or safety pins to fasten the plush toys to the umbrella.
Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service
This is an easy costume to do for kids or adults. You need only a few signature things to pull it off: a red bow (make a quick big red crochet bow), a dark-colored dress, and red shoes. The costume comes with a bonus for kids. Kiki is usually carrying a brown/yellow mail bag, which makes a great treat bag.
Monster High Girl
Sniffles is Clawdeen, the werewolf from Monster High this year. She entered a costume contest at a festival we attended last weekend. I was surprised to see that not only were there about a dozen girls dressed as a Monster High character, but they were all wearing the licensed store-bought costumes. We picked up the basics (shirt and skirt) at a thrift store for $8. Then we just added tights from a craft store for a dollar and an animal hood she already owned.
Disclosure: Some of the info for this post was provided by Care.com.