Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY Halloween Tips: Easy Costumes for Kids!

Let Kids Get Creative
It’s time to shake things up this Halloween!  Forget driving to the mall and buying pricey Halloween costumes again this year.  You should turn right back around and start rummaging through your own house instead. 

Why?  Decades ago it was standard for kids to make their own Halloween costumes.  Let’s start a new trend and bring it back!

Halloween is the perfect time for your kids to discover their DIY skills and create their dream costumes.  Not only are you saving money in the process, it is also a fantastic opportunity to carve out some quality time with your kids as well. 


What’s in Your Closets?

Rummage through the closets or drawers and find possible clothing items to be used like plaid flannel shirts, overalls, themed tee shirts, any type of hat, old housecoats, and old bed sheets.  You get the idea. 

Do you have a large cardboard box?  Help a young boy draw a car on both sides of the box, attach small ropes to either end of the box so they rest on his shoulders and he looks like he is driving his own little car.  Dress him up with a small cap and he is on his way.
Quick and Easy Princess Leia Costume

Cardboard Fire Truck
Old sheets can be used to make superman or bull fighter capes. Or, use large pieces of brown roll paper to make a grass skirt for a little hula dancer. Do you have a tiny dancer in your house? Let her wear her tights and ballet slippers or perhaps a dance costume from an older sibling. Recycle and reuse these items for fun and imaginative costumes. Cut out black circles and past on red shirt and tights to make a little lady bug, finish with cute make up.

Old McDonald Was a Zombie

For the older children who want to be scary, the zombie comeback is great for DIY Halloween costumes!  If you have any old overalls, plaid shirts, straw hats, and kid-sized boots laying around the house, your kids could whip up their very own zombie farmer costumes.  All you have to do is supply their zombie transformation!  

You can turn anyone into a zombie, whether it’s a cheerleader, doctor, bride, or a pilot.  For a true zombie look you may want to stop by any local craft or drugs store and pick up some basic Halloween makeup kits.  Before they create their zombie faces, surf the web with your kids for zombie makeup tutorials they can do themselves.

Make Your Own Halloween Masks

Decades ago it was standard for kids to make their own Halloween masks.  Let’s start a new trend and bring it back!

If you browse through pictures of vintage Halloween costumes from the turn of the century, you’ll notice a lot of handmade masks.  There is a variety of different ways to make masks, but paper mache has to be one of the coolest techniques for making spooky or funny Halloween masks for kids. 

There are different recipes out there for paper mache.  But one of the most tried and true requires you to dunk newspaper strips into a paste made from cooked flour and water.  Parents should definitely be in charge of the whole paper mache process, and again there are great videos on line with instructions. 

A safe way to do this is blow up a balloon to the approximate size of the child’s head.  Lay the paper mache strips on the balloon to the desired shape and thickness.  Once dried, pop the balloon and your kids can go to town with decorating!  Not only can they paint their masks with crazy colors and expressions, but they can glue on horns, scary eyes, faux fur, and even fake reptilian scale!
Make a Paper Mache Mask

Whatever costumes you choose for your children this year, please be sure to keep them safe.  Applying glow in the dark tape on backs of costumes or shoes will help ensure your children are seen.  Supply each child with a flashlight and make sure they can properly see if wearing a mask.  But, most importantly, if your children are going trick or treating in a neighborhood, go with them.  Let’s keep our children safe and have a wonderful time!

 At Just Boys Bedding we realize many young families are on a tight budget.  We hope some of these easy, cost saving ideas will help you and all your children enjoy Halloween together.

Trick or Treat!

This post is part of the Sharing is Caring Halloween Blog Hop hosted by Life With Lovebugs, Pam’s Party & Practical Tips, and A Spectacled Owl!

All of the blogs listed below are sharing Halloween themed posts as part of this event, so click on one or all of the links below to find some great recipes, tutorials, crafts and more!


  1. I love that Princess Leia costume! So simple but so adorable!

    I'm not sure what my kids will want to be yet but I love simple & I don't want to spend $40 per child!

    1. Tara - thank you for stopping by. Costumes can be expensive to purchase, especially if you have more than 1 or 2 children to outfit. Kids get excited once they get started on making up their own costumes.

  2. Great costume ideas! I love being a zombie and it is true a zombie can be anything.

    1. Melinda - thank you for stopping by. Zombies can be anything for sure! Have fun with whatever costume you and yours choose!

  3. Love your blog hop post!! The princess Leia is a big favorite and never seems to go out of style. Thanks for sharing some frugal costume ideas. :)

  4. I love seeing make your own costumes during Halloween. They are always the cutest :)

  5. Great ideas! I love the firetruck, my son would wear that in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing, Monika

  6. I'm one of the participants in the Sharing is Caring Halloween Blog Hop and I'm pinning your entry. You can find mine at

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  7. I love the cute princess leia costume! So much fun. I have been wanting to bring the homemade costume back too. They are so expensive to buy and it can be a lot of fun to make your own! I love your great tips :)