Handmade Simple: Halloween Costumes For The Littles
This will be my daughter’s second Halloween and it is probably the last one that I can dress her up in whatever costume I want. Next year, and every year thereafter, she will have a strong opinion about who or what she wants to impersonate. In preparation, I’ve been saving up ideas for fun (but easy!) costumes I can make for her.
Need some ideas for your kids’ costumes this year? There’s sure to be something in this list that will appeal to both you and your child. Be sure to check out the links for photos and further resources.
When my younger brother was about 10 he made a truly incredible robot costume out of two boxes, some paint, and duct tape. But robots are just the beginning. A box can be a delivery truck, a car, a carton of food, or your favorite iDevice.
If you cut open the box you have even more options. Make a [sandwich board] sign for your son to declare his personal political agenda, or cut out two bread shapes to turn your daughter into an [actual sandwich]. Cut out and paint a fried egg or a piece of bacon or perhaps a planet.
Break In a Sweat
The obvious benefit of a sweats-based costume from a mom’s perspective is that it is warm! But also incredible versatile. At the very simple end, let the color of the sweats inform the costume. One year my sister and her best friend dressed as peanut butter and jelly. One wore brown sweats and the other purple and they completed the outfit by simply painting their faces and spraying paint in their hair to match. Consider adding some white fabric triangles to the face edge of a grey hoodie to make an adorable shark. Or just add some antennae and wings and you get the tiniest monarch.
A hoodie and pants in solid colors can be dressed up with a bit of fabric paint or fabric scraps. Paint, glue, or sew on some stripes to make a tiger or a contrasting piece for the tummy to make a mouse or bear. Start with white sweats and wind your child up in a roll of white bandages for a mummy. Sew some ears on a set of black sweats and draw on whiskers for a cat or add a wide white stripe down their back for a skunk. Add a beak for a bird. Sew a ruff of orange yarn around the hood of brown sweats for a cozy lion – don’t forget the tail! Go pink with a fluffy tail and longer ears for a bunny rabbit. For an older child, blow up balloons and tape or sew them on for a bunch of grapes.
Use two different colors for top and bottom for even more options. Black pants and a yellow top with black stripes added is an easy bumble bee. Tuck black sweatpants into boots and put a wide belt over a blue or green top and add a simple pointed red hat for a garden gnome.
Simple enough for even a beginning stitcher, a basic shift is a great base for lots of costumes. The addition of a perfect hat will turn a basic black or grey shift into a witch, or a wizard. A pink or white dress can be a fairy, a princess, angel or a ghost. Martha Steward has a great tuturial on how to make fairy or dragonfly wings from wire and pantyhose.
If your sewing skills are up to snuff, there are a bunch of commercial costume patterns available, like these incredible animal costumes for toddlers. But you can also start with items you already have and repurpose or combine them in interesting ways. One of my favorite ideas that really showcases your child’s personality is creating their own superhero. Whip up a cape and stitch a letter to the front of a long-sleeved shirt. Help them decide what their superpowers are and accessorize accordingly.
No matter how your kids are dressed for Halloween this year, I hope you will join us for the Village Costume Party on Sunday, October 28 at 11AM. Bring your lunch or a snack to share and enjoy an afternoon with friends, food, arts & crafts and a costume contest!
Doña Bumgarner is a local writer and mama is doing her best to hold up her familiy’s tradition of last-minute home-made Halloween costumes. You can vist her at her blog, Aubergine.