Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas | 3 Easy Steps to Awesome



Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is kind of like the Do-It-Yourself Olympics – a time to really go all out, let your crafty light shine!  But you don’t have to be a seamstress to make your own (or your kids’ own) costumes – you just need 3 basic ingredients for success….

I make my kids’ costumes nearly every year or revamp ones we’ve bought from yard sales and thrift stores. (Also, see our article on 13 Thrift Store Tips)   Like these Star Wars costumes in the photos, most costumes can be made with these 3 Easy Steps:


  1. Hot glue gun – this is the MOST important tool in your arsenal!
  2. Bits of random clothing from the thrift store, cut into useful shapes and hemmed with said hot glue gun (See cape above made from a thrift store graduation gown)
  3. Re-purposed objects, to add flair and lifelike realism (Like the skittles and tin foil, hot glued to a pizza box as Darth Vader’s chestplate).

***Last but not least – be willing to look at things and see other things.  Like Darth Vader’s mask – which is a Darth Vader treat bucket bought on clearance the year before, and sawed in half.


My sleepy Ewok here was made using a scraggly bear costume found at a thrift store (and washed – ugh!) covered partially with a big tan shirt found at the thrift store (that I cut and hot-glued into a cowl).  Then to add “flair” – I painted his nose with eyeliner and gave him a big stick from the yard.

Here are some ideas of Halloween Costumes you can make at home – along with brief project-starter tips. Please leave comments with any costume ideas you have!

Kid Costumes:

  1. Playing Card -  2 pieces of card/posterboard tied over shoulders – decorate like a playing card

  2. “Drama Queen” -  Buy a cheap prom dress at the thrift store, add a tiara and a sash with “Drama” written across it (or Coupon Queen).  Also could carry fake flower bouquet.

  3. Handyman –  Overalls, plaid shirt, toolbelt, toy tools.  Add a cap or nametag reading “Mr. Fix It”

  4. Bag of Jelly Beans/Skittles - Wear white clothes with a big white or clear garbage bag on top – fill bag with small balloons

  5. Dice - (As many as you want, for single or group) Wear all black and cut a few circles out of posterboard to tape to yourself  *Or wear white and cut out black circles.

  6. Lego -  Cut holes in a rectangular piece of cardboard (or use a whole box) and paint it all red. Stuck red plastic cups through the holes (bottom side facing out)

  7. Robot -  Put on a long sleeve shirt and pants, (same color) like blue for instance. Take some tin foil and tape to some body parts, (arms, legs, chest). Afterwards, take a cardboard box for the helmet and cut out holes for eyes, then let your little cyborg help decorate it. *For extra detail, sharpie in some circuitry on the tin foil.

  8. Raggedy Ann - Bright blue dress from thrift store, striped socks, DIY red yarn wig, facepaint triangles on cheeks

  9. Indiana Jones -  Fedora, Leather bomber jacket, khakis and homemade rope whip rolled up and attached to belt loop (thrift store finds)

  10. Classic Characters -  Clown, Princess, Cowboy, Indian, Pirate, Ninja, Bum, Scarecrow, Ghost, Cat, Mummy, Hippie, Disco dancer, soldier….

Family or Group Theme Costumes:

  1. Wizard of Oz

  2. Snow White & Dwarves

  3. Robin Hood

  4. Incredibles Family

  5. Indiana Jones

  6. American Idol Judges

  7. Super hero group\

  8. Bands (Beatles, Monkees, Village People, Kiss, etc)

  9. Charlie Brown characters

  10. Harry Potter characters

  11. Red Riding Hood & characters

  12. Mario Brothers & Princess

  13. Lord of the Rings

Last-Minute Costumes:

  1. Static Cling: Wear black clothes and attach socks, baby clothes, other small items of clothing with a few stitches.  Add “wow” factor by making crazy big hair with hairspray!
  2. Bag of Leaves: Get a big black garbage bag and cut arm & head holes in it.  Stick arms and head through and staple/tape leaves straight out of the yard to the bag.  Hot glue a few leaves to a headband or hat.

MORE? We know you have lots of ideas too – so leave them in the comments!



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