Are you a parent who doesn’t want to spend $30+ dollars on a brand new retail costume that your child will wear for less than five hours? We get it. Halloween is about friendship, fun, and… candy, of course! Who says it can’t be inexpensive and DIY too?
Not us! That’s why we’ve come up with five children’s Halloween costumes that you can put together with items you probably already have in your own home. For five dollars or less. Ready? Let’s do this.
Every child has a teacher they look up to. What better to way to pay homage to an honored profession than to dress up as one for Halloween? This holiday is all about caricatures so go big. Find a button-down shirt and either pleated trousers or a semi-formal skirt for your little one. If your child wears glasses, great! If not, get them a pair of lense-free spectacles from the dollar store. For one dollar or less, you can also purchase a clipboard and create faux report cards at your own dining room table. If you have a leather satchel or briefcase your child can take to school, that would be the icing on the cake. Your child will have a blast “grading” their classmates and handing out pretend detention slips. Give them a pencil to place behind their ear and a roll of gold stars to pass out to whoever they think deserves one—and your teacher costume is complete!
This spooky Halloween staple is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Literally. First, dress your child in all white. (If you can’t find white pants, black or grey are also fine.) Second, find those old sheets you’re not using anymore (If they’re not white—or at least very, very faded—throw them in the wash with some bleach), then tear them into strips and arrange them loosely around your child’s top and bottom section (separate pieces so your child can use the bathroom comfortably). No need to sew or hot glue, just tie it snugly. Make sure to affix lots of raggedy edges to give your child a “mummified” look. Third, using face paint you bought at the dollar store, color your child’s face white with black circles around their eyes. Use gel to give their hair an unkempt style. Bonus for parents living in colder climates: Have your child wear black or white mittens. Now you’re good to go!
A cat is a simple Halloween costume to make. No need to go out and buy one! Start by dressing your child all in black. If you have a black leotard and black tights, this works as well. For cooler weather, opt for jeans or sweatpants. Create two black triangles to serve as “ears” and affix them to a black headband (you can get one for as low as one dollar). Next up, you can get as creative as you’d like! Draw a black cat’s nose and whiskers, and color in some black around the eyes with a makeup pencil or face paint. For the tail, you have lots of options: The stuffed sleeve of a black long-sleeved shirt, a black boa, or stuffed black panty hose will all work wonderfully. Meow!
Is there any costume simpler than the classic ghost? What makes this costume such a great option is that you can dress it up or down as much as you’d like. Your child can have fun getting creative too. Start with striped leggings, or pants in either black or white. Cut a hole in one of your old white sheets for the head, or use a man’s white T-shirt. Paint your child’s face white. Be sure to add scary details with gray, red, and black. You can even use colored white hairspray to make it seem like your child just arrived from the beyond! Play up this simple costume by tattering the edges of the shirt or sheet with craft scissors. Use tulle to give it an ethereal feel. You can hot glue or staple the taffeta to the shirt directly. Finish the costume off with a white toque and—tada—you’re done!
Chances are your child already has a princess dress or skirt lying around the house. Make it extra special by adding costume jewelry and a tiara that you can create at home with a headband and glued-on beads or rhinestones. If your child has a pair of shoes they (and you!) don’t mind getting wacky with, paint them with clear glue and bedazzle with glitter. Spend some time curling your little one’s hair or braiding it in a way that screams “I’m royalty today!” And don’t forget the magic wand. These can be made by wrapping a stick or branch in ribbon. Leave some hanging down for a truly beautiful effect.
You did it! Halloween on a budget can be done with a can-do attitude and an open mind. The message is simple: Big box stores don’t have all of the solutions—a little elbow grease can go a long way. For more ideas, steals, and deals, check out a swapping site like VarageSale… and get your creative juices flowing!