Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids
Homemade children's Halloween costumes can be fun to make if your children help, but you have to consider the cost and time you put into it if the children are not participating and learning how to do it with you. Sometimes it can be more economical to save your time and buy a ready made costume at the prices now available in the shops.
One way to ensure you do not spend excessive time on making a costume from the raw material on up, is to start with old clothes from the family closet or a thrift shop. That way, most of your effort goes into the fun part your children enjoy being part of - making the accessories and getting made up for the part.
Take for example a scarecrow outfit. Somewhere in your family closets there is likely to be a well worn, torn and frayed pair of jeans, and an old shirt. You may even be able to find an old straw hat. From that foundation costume, glue some straw under the hat and around the cuffs of the shirt and pants. You might find a bird you can sit on the hat from your Christmas tree decorations. From there most of your effort will go into face painting and finishing off the overall look.
A basic pirate costume could be made from little more than an old shirt and cut down old jeans, with a bandana around the head. Your main effort would go into setting up the accessories such as a broad belt and sword, an eye patch, face painting and artificial tattoos.
A basic low cost outfit of stretch pants and a long sleeved turtle top is another way to get the starting foundation for a costume. A black outfit like this needs only a black cape and a witch's hat and you have the beginnings of a witch's costume.
Other colors could become animal costumes with the addition of a tail, ears, mittens and some face paint. Some costume shops have partial costumes such as faces, noses, tails and ears available to add these features to your basic costume. For a tiger, for example, some black fabric paint on a yellow outfit could be used to create stripes. A little stuffing under a yellow outfit and you have the beginnings of a plump Winnie The Pooh.
Use luminous paint on a black outfit like this to draw a skeleton front and back and you have a very scary Zombie costume. Just add some white fabric around the head and some face paint for a skull.
The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz could be represented by spray painting this basic outfit with a metallic paint. Gloves, old shoes and a hat could also be painted to complete the costume.
Ghosts don't always have to be pure white. You could use marker pens or sewn on patches to add some color or dots, or a short cloak tied around the neck in a contrasting color. Black and orange are traditional Halloween colors, for example. If you have some old colored sheets or other material instead of white they may work just as well, and be a little different from the crowd - although you may have to choose carefully, as your children will likely tell you delicate pastel shades are not quite right for scary underworld creatures.
Witches costumes can be easily made from a simple circle of black fabric with a hole for the head, and arm holes. The secret to a successful witch costume is the accessories, especially the hat. You can buy hats for witches at a low cost, but it is not hard to make a cone and cut out a round brim from black cardboard, and spend some time making sure they are well glued together to last the distance around the streets. You may need to buy one of those witch face masks with a large, hooked and warty nose, or try making one with paper mache, paint and elastic. A broom made with a stick and a bundle of brushwood wired on at one end is a task to be assigned to the man of the house. Don't forget the vital treat bag.
Ghouls and Zombies can be represented by skeletons. An easy skeleton costume can be made by starting with simple black overalls or an old pair of stretch pants with a long sleeve turtle top. You then use fabric paint to paint on white bones, front and back. Luminous paint adds a lot to the impact. The fun part comes in the painting, and the more realistic the bones look the more successful the costume will be. A white hood with cutouts for the eyes and mouth and some black marker pen work to make it look like a skull, and a treat bag, complete the outfit.
An old bath robe, especially one with a hood, can be a good start for making a wizard costume. White, grey or black are the preferred colors. A pointed hood, a beard, a cord for a belt, a matching treat bag and a large stick make up the main accessories.
By using this approach, instead of spending a lot of time cutting out and sewing fabric, most of your effort in making the costume will go into the fun part that your children will be more likely to enjoy helping you with. Much of your costume's success will come from putting a little extra imagination and effort into the accessories to make it stand out from the crowd.
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