Simple Kids’ Costumes You Can Totally Make at Home
For busy parents, the phrase “homemade costume” may sound scarier than the haunted corn maze your kids have been begging you to visit. You might imagine spending hours toiling over a sewing machine only to create a costume that may cause your discerning little gremlin to turn up his or her nose.
It’s no wonder you see so many parents frantically digging through the detritus of rejected costumes at Target the day before Halloween, a school play or any other event where a get-up is required.
But not this year. This is the year you’ll plan ahead and make a cute costume for your kid. A costume that will not cost you a lot of time or a lot of money, and one that your little dinosaur will love so much that it can be used all-year round to play dress up. And if all else fails? There’s always Etsy to help you get the homemade look without investing anything more than the minutes it takes for you to enter your credit card info.
Ready to get crafty? Here are ideas for easy costumes, plus links where you can buy them if you’re not ready to test your DIY skills just yet.
This costume is ideal for the kid who may not really want to wear one. As a bonus, it can keep them warm while all their friends are shivering in their flimsy store-bought attire.
Start with a basic gray hooded sweatshirt, then grab some green and gray felt or fleece to create spikes and a pointed tail. Sew the pieces on if you’re feeling ambitious, or a hot glue gun will do the trick. Just be prepared: Your little dino fan is likely to want to wear this hoodie long after Halloween is over.
Buy the premade dinosaur costume here.
"Wayne’s World" Characters
This costume is a sure hit with parents. And even if your kid doesn’t get the reference, they’ll think all the attention they’re getting is radical.
Channel “Wayne’s World” stars Garth and Wayne with ripped jeans, black T-shirts, flannel and classic sneakers. Accessorize with thick black glasses for a little Garth or a black baseball cap for a mini Wayne.
You can get a spot-on “Wayne’s World” cap here.
Masks are one of the easiest DIY costumes for kids (or adults, for that matter). If you can just do a reasonable job with the mask, the rest of the costume can be super simple — think a black sweatshirt with leggings.
This Etsy vendor provides downloadable PDF patterns for kids’ masks, ranging from cheetahs and elephants to Ferdinand the bull. You can find similar patterns for DIY masks all over the internet, or just let your creative juices flow and come up with your own creation.
Got a cute baby? (Bonus points if he’s bald!) Got a yellow T-shirt and jeans? Then, you have a Charlie Brown costume.
Break out the fabric paint or even a Sharpie to carefully draw the cartoon character’s signature chevron stripes on the lower half of the T-shirt, and pat yourself on the back for creating one of the easiest “costumes” of all time.
You can also buy the shirt here if you prefer.
Capes are lifesavers for parents with limited (or nonexistent) sewing skills. Simply cut your fabric into the proper shape, and attach a fastener to go around your little one’s neck.
If you choose a no-fray fabric like felt or fleece, you don’t even need to hem (although even the most hopeless seamstresses can usually handle a straight line). Decorate the cape with the brand of your kiddo’s favorite superhero, or have fun coming up with your very own custom design.
Head over here for plenty of inspiration and pre-made capes.
’80s Aerobics Instructor
Chances are you already have a lot of the pieces you need to put this fun costume together: bright tights or leggings and a basic bathing suit in a contrasting color.
Finish it off with a high ponytail with a neon headband, and you’ve got the cutest aerobics instructor the world has ever seen.
Get the whole shebang right here.
If you have a train-obsessed toddler at home, they’ll love being a train conductor for Halloween. You probably already have a white T-shirt and classic overalls in their closet.
Just add a red bandana and a cute little conductor hat to complete the ensemble. Can you say “all aboard?”
Morton Salt Girl
A sweet and simple look for kids of all ages, the Morton Salt Girl costume just requires a yellow dress with matching shoes, white tights and a purple umbrella. Add a container of classic Morton Salt to really drive the look home.
Go DIY by searching for the costume elements at your favorite kids’ clothing store, or buy a handmade version of the dress here.
Black dress? Check. Baby sunglasses? Check. String of fake pearls? You’ve probably got some buried in your jewelry box.
Put them all together and you’ve got a tiny Audrey Hepburn. Make up your little one with the star’s signature thick brows for the ultimate in Audrey authenticity.
Or get the tutu here if you don’t have a black dress that fits the bill.
You’ve heard people say your baby is so cute they could just eat him or her up. Why not take them literally with this sushi-inspired costume?
A white onesie, fleece and fabric glue are all you need to create a costume that’s clever and unique, while also easy and comfortable for baby to wear.
Pick up a premade version of the sushi costume here.
Help your kiddo channel their best Danny Zuko with this fun rockabilly costume. A striped shirt or onesie (or just plain white shirt with rolled sleeves), dark jeans and a 1950s-inspired cardigan will capture the look of a heart throb from back in the day.
And if they’ve got the locks, why not use a little styling gel to give them that perfect rockabilly swirl? You can get this full "Baby Grease" costume ready to go here.
Strong Man or Woman
Let your little one show off their superhuman strength with a strong man or woman costume. A striped, circus-style onesie (like this one) is perfect for achieving this look, but really you could do any combination of a basic tank top and shorts with a belt.
The key is a convincing barbell — so get ready to tap into your long-lost paper mache skills. A drawn-on curly mustache will complete the look.
Your child may or may not have been introduced to the classic film “A League of Their Own,” but either way, they'll love dressing up as a player from the first women’s professional baseball league.
This ensemble is easy to throw together with a little pink dress and a red baseball cap, belt and knee socks. Finish it off with some white Chucks and a mini baseball bat to complete the look.
You can buy this dress, emblazoned with the Rockford Peaches logo, right here.
What kid isn’t fascinated by fire trucks and the firefighters who drive them? It’s easy enough for them to live out their firefighter fantasies with a simple navy T-shirt, khakis and reflective tape. (This Etsy seller will even personalize the outfit for you.)
Look for a cheap helmet and a plastic axe at your local dollar store, and your kid will be ready to fight some fires like a pro.