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DIY Simple Halloween Costumes on a Dime


Sorry that I haven’t written anything in a while. I’ve been sidetracked. Sorry! Anyway, my sis (Nikki Lea) has inspired this post. We were discussing Halloween on a budget and all sorts of memories came flooding back to me. Before my kids were “too old” to trick or treat, I use to make their costumes for them each year. Since Halloween wasn’t a big holiday for us, I refused to spend much money on costumes! So here, for all my DIYers, I have put together a list of simple to make costumes that require only a few supplies. Many of these things you may have laying around the house and will not need to buy. I haven’t tried all of these costumes, but I have dressed my boys through the years in many of them. As with any costume, the amount of time and effort you put into them will determine the outcome. Enjoy!

Cheap DIY Halloween Costumes

DIY Halloween Costumes

Cereal Killer (Cute take on a Serial Killer) – This one is one of my favorites because it takes something unthinkable and makes it cute! All you need is:

  • a plain white tee shirt
  • some safety pins
  • a few small boxes of cereal (like we use to get in school). They are sold at all grocery stores.
  • 1 small tube of fake blood or a red marker

To make the costume all you do is drip tiny spots of fake blood onto shirt or use red marker to make red splatters. Let shirt dry. Dress the child warm, (put the tee shirt over a long sleeve shirt for warmth). Then remove the small bags of cereal from 3 or 4 boxes. Set aside to eat later. Punch safety pin through back of box and then pin it the front of shirt. Can pin on back of shirt too. The child wears the boxes with red marks on shirt and could carry a fake knife, gun, bow and arrow, or he could just carry a big plastic spoon from your kitchen!  Boom – cute little “cereal killer”.

Political costume: Everyone, no matter what their beliefs loves this one! This one is easy to make too. Here’s what you need:

  • A white tee shirt
  • small Iron on letters or Black Marker

To make costume, take white tee shirt and iron on letters spelling out TAXANATOR or write it on the back of shirt in block letters. This one is a cute spin on the Terminator and let’s face it…NO ONE LIKES TAXES! Child wears tee shirt and regular clothes. There’s no messes, no make up, and very little time involved in this one!

Military or Duck Dynasty Costume: This one is simple for you and I see it a lot! Here’s what you need:

  • Camo clothing
  • Face paint optional
  • (Duck dynasty twist) Duck call hanging round neck

It’s as simple as that! Everyone now recognizing camo as “Military” or as “Duck Dynasty”. Simple, no mess, warm, and comfortable.

Pretty Fairy: This one is girly. Since young children’s costumes have very few accessories, this one is cheap if you buy these items at a Dollar Tree or Everything is $1 store. Her regular clothes will do. You could use a pretty dress or jeans and a tee shirt for warmth. Your accessories make the costume, not the clothes. Here’s what you need:

Pick up any 3 of these items:

  • Tiara
  • A wand
  • Sparkly hair attachments (usually come as a head band)
  • Plastic jewel ring
  • Glittery flaring skirt

That’s it!

Fitness Trainer: This one is cute and you may already have some of these items already! Here’s what you need:

  • Tight on little girl legs cloth pants any color. (Most child’s pants are made this way anyway.)
  • Cloth headband
  • Plain Tee shirt
  • Black marker or Small Iron on letters
  • 1 pr of your socks (crew cut) that you can push down on her legs

Take plain tee shirt and write with marker or use iron on letters on front or back of shirt to write TRAINER. Let dry. Put on her pants then let her wear mommie’s socks pushed down to ruffle them. (This looks like leg warmers on her). Put hair in pony tail. (If it’s a messy look, that’s okay.) Put on head band. Even if she won’t wear the headband, it looks great!

Fitness trainer can be used to boy too. Change type of shirt to sleeveless to make it look like a muscle shirt!

Pumpkin: Children’s costumes are all about the accessories because kids don’t do well with face paint. This one is pretty simple too. Here’s what you need:

  • Orange shirt and pants.
  • 1 pumpkin head band
  • face paint optional

If they already have orange clothes, this one is the most simple. Dress them. Put on head band. Optional: Paint eyes, nose and mouth with black face paint to make jack-o-lantern appearance.

Doctor or nurse and patient: You can get the supplies from a Dollar Tree type place. Here’s what you need:

  • White shirt and pants or one of daddy’s big white button up shirts
  • A toy stethoscope
  • a toy needle
  • Band-aids

This one is cute because 2 kids can dress up together and look sooo cute! One child wears the white clothes or large white button up shirt as the doctor or nurse, carries the needle, and wears the stethoscope. The other child covered in band-aids!!!

Little Green Army Man: Here’s what you need:

  • Green pants and shirt same color.
  • Face paint to match clothing color
  • toy accessories (binoculars, knife, gun, carry bag to drape over one shoulder, etc.)

Put outfit on child. Paint face, hands, arms, any showing skin – green. Then add accessories.

Lord of the Rings (Froto): Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White button up shirt
  • Brown pants
  • Grey vest
  • Green cape

Put on white shirt & button all the way up. Put on brown pants and roll up the legs 2 turns. Do not tuck in white shirt. Add Vest buttoned up. Add the green cape. Shoes are optional because they were always bare foot in that movie!

Easy Honey Bees: Here’s what you’ll need

  • Yellow shirt
  • 1 roll of pretty black rouged ribbon (craft department)
  • Fabric glue
  • Black pants
  • Head band optional

Lay yellow shirt on flat surface. Remove all wrinkles. Measure out 3 or 4 strips of black ribbon that will fit across shirt horizontally. Cut ribbon. Glue ribbon strips to front of shirt. Let dry. Put on black pants and shirt & you’re done.

Cowgirl: Here’s what you’ll need

  • Blue jeans
  • Cowgirl boots
  • 1 plaid cowgirl type shirt.
  • Bandana
  • Cowboy/cowgirl hat
  • Dark Mustard colored yarn
  • Belt Buckle Optional

First make the lasso. Unravel yarn from skeen (about 6 ft). Cut. Take yarn and form a large oval shaped form on flat surface. Cut another piece of yarn (about 4-5 inches) and use to tie your lasso in middle.

Dress child. Hang the end of lasso on from belt loop on side. Tie bandana around neck.

Mummy: Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 white flat bed sheet
  • 1 white shirt
  • 1 white pr of pants
  • Safety pins

Cut sheet into  1″ strips of material. Set aside. Dress child. Drape 2 strips of bed sheet from child’s left shoulder to right side of waist. Use safety pin to hold in place. Repeat on right side. If wrapped correctly, there should be extra material hanging below the child’s waist line. Wrap 1 piece of material around waist and tie in bow in back. Remove safety pins. wrap child’s arms and legs in pieces of material and tie to hold in place. Continue adding strips of material to complete the desired look. Remember to remove unnecessary safety pins!

Business Man/Corporate Woman: This one is so simple! All you do is dress the kids in their “Sunday best” suit and you are done!!

Pair of Aces:Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White tee shirt
  • Iron on letters or Red or Black Marker

Lay tee shirt flat on surface. Remove all wrinkles. Draw your choice of design in middle of shirt (heart, spade, clover, or diamond). Let dry.

Next draw or iron on letter A of same color you chose for middle symbol in upper left corner of shirt near shoulder. Iron on or draw another letter A in the lower right hand corner of shirt.

Dress child in any pair of pants you want and put on Tee shirt.

Indiana Jones: Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brown khaki pants
  • Brown shirt or Brown Coat
  • Brown fedora hat
  • 1 whip optional

Dress child. That’s it!

Big Kid: Here’s what you’ll need

  • Pair of pajamas
  • 1 big overstuffed stuffed animal
  • Ponytail holder

Put hair up in ponytails. Put on Pjs. Carry stuffed animal with you!

Nerd: Here’s what you’ll need

  • Over-sized glasses or just glass frames
  • Tape
  • Suspenders

Place tape on the nose bridge of glasses or glasses frame. Get dressed in long pants and shirt of choice. Put on suspenders. You’re ready!

Vampire: Here’s what you need

  • Vampire teeth extensions
  • Foundation makeup 3-4 shades lighter than you would normally use
  • Fake blood

So many shows on television have glamorized the modern day vampire and changed the way we see them. Now, it is easier than ever to be a vampire for Halloween because they look just like normal people. Apply foundation to face. Insert fake teeth extensions. Apply a dot or 2 of blood. That’s it!

Shaggy (Scooby Doo): Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 green v neck tee shirt
  • 1 pr dark brown slacks/pants

Get dressed!

Velma (Scooby Doo):Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 orange long sleeved shirt (plain – no writing or designs)
  • 1 red mini skirt (Length doesn’t need to be short short)
  • Long orange socks
  • Flat bottom shoes
  • Wig Optional

Get dressed!

Daphne (Scooby Doo): Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 purple dress
  • 1 green scarf
  • 1 purple headband
  • Purple shoes Optional

Get dressed!

Silent Film Star Charlie Chaplin: Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 pr black slacks/pants
  • 1 white button up dress shirt
  • 1 black dress coat
  • 1 black tie
  • White face paint
  • Black eye liner

Apply white make up to face and neck. apply black eye liner to lips and upper lip to create a small rectangular mustache.Get dressed.

Tennis Player: Here’s what you’ll need

  • White tennis shirt & skirt or Tennis dress
  • Racket

Get dressed. Carry racket.

Internet Error Costume: Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 White tee shirt
  • 1 Black marker or iron on letters and numbers

Lay tee shirt flat on surface. Remove wrinkles. Iron on or write “Internal Server Error 404. Costume Not Found.” Allow to dry.  Get dressed.

Etch a Sketch: Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A large piece of cardboard
  • Red Markers or paint
  • White paint or markers
  • 2 toy plastic wheels from broken ride on toy or 2 small plastic or foam plates

This costume is cute, but takes some time and effort. Take your large piece of card board and make sure it’s rectangle shaped. We are using this as the frame of the etch-a-sketch. When cardboard is right size to hang around child’s neck, cut out the center. When you are finished, it should look like a chunky cardboard picture frame. Next, paint or color the frame red. Let dry. After dry, in the center of bottom of frame, in white write Etch a Sketch. Let dry. Attach the wheels/plastic or foam plates to the bottom corners. (These are your knobs that you would use to draw with.)

This should be light weight enough to hand around the neck of a child using yarn. Dress the child anyway you want. The accessory you just made is the costume!

Toothpaste Costume: This one is cute, but your babies may be too little for it just yet. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 white King size pillow case
  • Red & Blue markers or Paint
  • 1 white lamp shade to fit child’s head

Take pillow case and cut hole for child’s head and arms. Lay flat on sturdy surface. Remove all wrinkles. We are going to paint or draw the word Crest longways down the pillowcase. Using Red paint or marker, draw or paint a C. Then using Blue paint or marker write the letters r. e. s. t. Let dry. To put the costume together, allow child to wear pillow case and place lamp shade on head. You may need to wrap the inside of lamp shade with a cloth to make comfortable to wear.

Traveling Art or Moving Artwork: This one may be too old for the kids right now. Here’s what you need:

  • Safety pins
  • 1 twin flat bed sheet or crib flat sheet
  • Paint or markers

Spread sheet flat on working surface. Remove all wrinkle. Throw paint onto sheet, flick paint from toothbrush, or make a design somehow. Let dry. Dress child as normal. Safety pin sheet twice on each sleeve and once on chest of shirt. When they come up to someone for candy, all they do is stretch their arms and boom – they are moving art.

Scary Costume “The Ring”: This one probably won’t work at a church function! Here’s what you need:

  • 1 long black wig
  • 1 white dress (any style, any length)
  • Halloween make up

Take dress outside and make it dirty (mud, dirty, grass stains, etc). Put on dress. Use makeup to create a dirty look on legs, arms, and face. Put on Wig. You are now the little girl from the well in “The Ring”.

Spaghetti:This one is cute if child will be sitting for a while, but not so good to walk much in! Here’s what you’ll need.

  • 1 round laundry basket
  • 1 skeen (or roll) very light yellow yarn (Craft/fabric department)
  • 1 skeen (or roll) red yarn (Craft/fabric department)
  • 3-4 round Styrofoam balls (Craft/fabric department)
  • red shirt
  • red pants
  • masking tape
  • Hot Glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Brown spray paint

Take Styrofoam balls and spray paint them brown. Set aside to let dry.

Cut bottom almost completely out of laundry basket. Leave a small rim at bottom. Take masking tape and cover any sharp corners. Next, plug in glue gun so it’s warm when you need it. Then, get out your yarn. Begin cutting pieces off about 2 ft long each. cut about 40 pieces of the yellow and only about 20 pieces of red. The yarn is your noodles. Glue yellow yarn to laundry basket so that it appears the noodles are flowing out of the basket from bottom to top on inside of basket.Make sure that you’ve covered the basket all the way around with the yellow yarn. You may need more or less than what you cut off. Next glue the red yarn 5 pieces at time in various places around the basket. The red is your sauce. Set aside

Glue to brown Styrofoam balls to the basket/yarn. These are your meatballs.

Dress child in red outfit. Allow child to sit in basket. Drape remaining yarn cut over child. Give child the two remaining Styrofoam balls to play with.

Wednesday Addams: Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 long sleeved black dress
  • White face paint or foundation 3 to 4 shades lighter than your skin
  • Pony tail holders

Part hair in middle of head. Braid each side. Apply light foundation or white face paint. Get dressed.

Men in Black: Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 pr black aviator sunglasses
  • 1 black suit
  • 1 white button down dress shirt

Get dressed. Put on sunglasses.

If you have your own DIY costume recipe, I’d love to hear from you! How are you dressing up this year? What will your kids be?

PTSD on Halloween Night


PTSD on Halloween Night

I am happy to proclaim that Halloween night was not as bad as I had anticipated. 🙂

My oldest son was perturbed that his sisters were not going to be able to make the long drive to our home & bring his neice & nephews to trick or treat with us this year. He ranted, raved, and released some anger verbally.
My youngest was ready for some candy loot collecting activities though.

Costumes were simple and inexpensive (as usual). I always allow the boys to choose what to be, then I create the costume. My oldest son chose to be death. He wore a black robe, carried a sickle, and wore a black skeletal mask. I was a bit concerned about PTSD on Halloween Night because of this. 
My youngest son was a Star Wars Jedi. He used his Monk costume robe and carried a lightsaber.

These boys are certainly not “little”.  After all, they are 13 & 15 years old now. But trick or treating has always been a part of their childhood lives. After their father passed away, we attempted to resume a normal life, so they have continued in this adventure night.

So, off we went…into trick or treat land. My oldest son with his bitterness and my youngest with his giddy excitement & thoughts of skittles running through his mind.

The first neighborhood was not catering to “older” kids. Each one passing out candy at the homes there gave a disparaging look at the boys & handed them “Just Say No” stickers. Nancy Reagan would have been proud, but the boys were more than disappointed.

We promptly left that neighborhood and went to a sure thing neighborhood. There was candy to be had, and lots of it! My oldest began to perk up some and confessed his anger reasonings he was carrying all night. He was upset because when he trick or treated with his younger neices & nephews, he racked up a large degree of candy. This year, it was all up to luck, charm, and comedy to get candy! And rack up, they did! They had pillow cases full of candy won by wit.

After we got home, the boys did the traditional candy dump and swap to trade candy with each other. Then, my youngest sat some candy outside for Jack & off to bed they went.

They did well all night, after my oldest son moved past the anger stage.  I am most happy to report that PTSD did not have an effect on Halloween Night.

Yea 🙂 🙂 🙂

Oh, I almost forgot, I dressed up also. My costume was an unemployed widowed mom fighting for her family 🙂

There you have it: PTSD on Halloween Night

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