Simple DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids: Repurpose Clothing in a Good Way!

It’s about that time when the kids start talking about Halloween. After all, it’s probably one of the most favorite holidays that young children celebrate. Now you could go out and buy a pre-made costume but with this tight economy, it’s best to make something homemade. It’s economical, easy and so creative. Your children will look original: not like everyone else in the neighborhood. Here are a few of my favorite DIY costumes using things you already have and maybe a couple minor store-bought items.

Spider and its web Halloween costume

Start with an old black hooded sweat suit (jacket and pants) and decorate using white paint made especially for fabric. Paint a big spider web on both sides of the sweatshirt. Go round and round making the web and then draw lines across the web giving it that octagon shape. Paint a few smaller webs on the pant legs. Tape or staple a fuzzy plastic spider toy on top of the hood. You can even stitch a few small plastic spiders on the webs of the suit. This makes for a cute Halloween costume that is warm for places that have cool weather in October.

An easy turtle costume

Hopefully your child has a green sweatshirt and pants for this costume. To make the shell, cut a sheet of green or brown poster board into a large turtle shell. Draw circles and marks onto the shell with a black marker. From another piece of poster board or cardboard, cut two strips (about 2 inches thick) the full length of the board. These strips will be used for the straps. Staple these strips to the top of the backside of the shell and run these over the child’s shoulders as straps. Staple the bottom in a comfortable position. It’s best to cover all staples with tape to avoid scratches. Leave enough room so your child can move his arms without tearing or breaking the straps.


Repurpose clothing into fun Halloween costumes for your children

Repurpose clothing into fun Halloween costumes for your children

A homemade skeleton

Take a black long-sleeved shirt and black slacks and apply white adhesive tape in pieces to look like bones. Tape can be bought at craft stores in a variety of widths. Find a picture of a skeleton in a book to follow the bone structure. Purchase an inexpensive skeleton mask or make one using a paper plate with black and white paint. Punch holes on either side of the paper plate and thread with elastic or ribbons to tie around the child’s head. Make sure to cut out eyeholes for the kids to see.

Are you my mummy?

Tear an old white sheet into strips about 2-inches wide. Leave these white or soak them in weak tea to discolor them for the “old mummy look.” Have the child wear white clothing (something form fitting) and then wrap the dry strips around the arms, legs and body securing them with safety pins. Make sure this costume is comfortable and not too tight. If you have an abundance of gauze you could use this as well.

Remember, Halloween is a time of fun dress-up. Look in your closet or even the grandparents for old scarves, gloves, jewelry, boas, hats and such. Old sports uniforms, dance outfits and other clothes can make unique costumes. Just make sure to check the length of pants and dresses so they are short enough to prevent children from tripping. Enjoy these precious moments and take plenty of photos!


  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Sandy KS
      Sandy KS

      I love making costumes. I can remember making my son who is now a teen in to an ice cream cone when he was about a year old. It was fun.

    2. Profile photo of Tania K Cowling
      Tania K Cowling Post author

      Yes, I think the creative costumes we make as parents are so memorable. And, I also tell moms to take a lot of photos during these events — you and your child will cherish these as the years go by.

    3. Profile photo of Tania K Cowling
      Tania K Cowling Post author

      Pat Z Anthony — thank you for your kind words. These costumes are easy, but I think young children will appreciate the comfort of wearing fuzzy sweatsuits with a theme.

    4. Profile photo of Donna Thacker
      Donna Thacker

      I have always been a fan of do it yourself Halloween costumes. I really dislike the generic off the rack costumes. These are great ideas yet simple and economical.

    5. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
      Vickie Ewell

      Using sweatshirts as the base for these Halloween costumes is a fantastic idea. Warm. I can still remember how chilly it was when I used to take the kids out around the neighborhood.

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