Shortcuts for a Simple Homemade Halloween

Pinterest is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, it is full of seemingly brilliant ideas that promise to make your life simpler.  On the other hand, it appears to be populated with professional artists and photographers whose sewing and home decorating projects are guaranteed to make the full-time working mom (or me at least) feel completely inadequate.

Gabi as a mermaid.

I am here to wave the big orange and black flag and jump up and down and tell you that you can have a homemade Halloween without having to stay up until 3 AM sewing for an entire month ahead of time.  In fact, homemade Halloween costumes can be so simple and quick to put together that I would encourage all of you to give it a try!  The best part?  Aside from saving money, you can involve your kids and they can help make their own costumes!  What a fun creativity outlet!

Halloween costumes don’t need to be elaborate, store-bought, or expensive to be memorable.  There are some easy, last-minute costumes that are so much fun.  These may not win your child a best-dressed award at ComicCon, but they will make for a fun and adorable trick-or-treating experience. 

Gabi as a superhero of her own creation: Superbad Monkey

So here are my quick, off the top of my head ideas for some easy, inexpensive, homemade costumes that work for both adults and kids:

  • My Little Pony: Hooded sweat suit in the color of choice, yarn for a mane and tail, fabric paint for the cutie mark (that’s the picture that ponies have on their butts)
  • Horse: Brown (or black or tan or whatever) hooded sweat suit, yarn for mane and tail, black shoes and gloves for hooves.
  • Unicorn: white hooded sweat suit, styrofoam cone spray painted gold for horn glued to hood, colored yarn for mane and tail.
  • Clark Kent: Khaki pants or jeans, white button up shirt with a superman shirt underneath, glasses, and lots of hair gel.
  • Kermit the Frog: Green hooded sweat suit with styrofoam balls cut in half and glued on top for eyes
  • Quick Jedi: Brown clothes, brown fabric as wide as you are and twice as long as you are tall.  Cut the fabric in half length-wise halfway.  Put the fabric over your head with the cut part in front and the uncut part in back.  Put a belt over everything. Carry a toy store light saber or make your own with a pool noodle and electrical or duct tape.
  • Jellyfish: Orange sweat suit, clear or purple umbrella with streamers attached for the tentacles, gently open and close the umbrella to make the jellyfish swim!  If you want to get really fancy, you could cover the umbrella with bubble wrap for extra texture
  • Serial Killer: This requires no costume at all. When anyone asks you what you’re supposed to be, simply look them straight in the face and say,”I’m a serial killer. I look just like everyone else.”
  • Cat: Black sweat suit, black shoes, black sock stuffed with cotton to be the tail, black headband with felt ears glued or stapled on.
  • Classic Mummy: Wrap yourself up in rolls of white paper party streamers.  They’re studier than toilet paper and will hold up better for trick-or-treating.
  • Party Mummy: Wrap yourself up in rolls of multicolored party streamers and then go get your party on!
  • Ghost: Sheet+scissors. Not nearly as lame as you might imagine and great in a pinch.
  • A Rainy Day: Gray sweatsuit, black umbrella, silver christmas garland attached around the bottom of the umbrella umbrella for the rain.
  • Super Hero: Sweatsuit of whatever color you want, undies on the outside, painted on hero emblem, stuff the sweatsuit with batting to make muscles (not a good idea if Halloweens are generally hot in your area).

Bonus Tip: If you ever need an instant cape, just take an old skirt, slice up the middle, leaving the elastic intact to hold it together.  Voila!  Cape!

What was the best costume you wore when you were a kid?  Have you tried making a Halloween costume for your own kid?  What was it and how did you do it?

Join us on Pinterest!  Check out the MAW Homemade Halloween pin board!  Tag us with your favorite homemade Halloween costume ideas by typing @mamasatwork into the comments of your pin.

This year, Katie is dressing up as Yoda and Gabi will be Darth Vader.  I’m thinking of going as Clark Kent.  What are you and your family members dressing up as for Halloween?  Tell us on our Facebook page or tweet it to @MamasAtWork!

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