Easy Halloween Costumes for Little Kids: Make It, Don’t Buy It!

It always amazes me that Halloween costumes are so expensive. If I bought everyone’s costume brand new this year, it would cost me at least $75! FOR ONE NIGHT! I don’t know about you but I can’t afford that. In the past, I’ve bought costumes at consignment stores or I’ve borrowed costumes from friends.

My older boys are still deciding what they want to be (and we’ll promptly hit the consignment store if we can’t make it) but I’ve been thinking about some simple homemade costumes  for my little guy.  Homemade costumes are so much more fun and way cuter than the store bought ones that everyone’s kids will be wearing! Here’s some of the simplest costume ideas that anyone can make for Halloween.

Make A Train Conductor From What’s In Your Closet


The train conductor hat can be worn for daily use following Halloween! That’s being frugal! Image byjbramley.

This one is easy and the one I’m planning for my little man! Online, you’ll pay $20 for a train conductor costume but all you need to make this “costume” is a pair of overalls, a hat and a bandanna.  Striped  or denim overalls will be the “uniform.”  Find a conductor’s hat and (loosely) tie a bandanna around his neck. I think you could probably use a similar cap style and make a little logo to hot glue to the front of it (use low heat hot glue and it should peel right off the fabric). The best part about this costume is you can use the overalls and the hat for every day use.

A Frugal Gumball Machine Costume

Balloons, a clear trash bag, and some poster board and you have a cute gumball machine for a Handmade Halloween! Image by deziner02

I actually got this idea from a friend! Online, an un-adorable gumball cost is $28. We can do so much better making our own! For this costume, you’ll need a shirt and pants in a single color (red if possible) as a base layer, a clear trash bag, balloons, scissors, tape and a piece of poster board or construction paper.  Use scissors to carefully cut leg and arm holes and have them step into the clear bag.  Pull the bag up and fill the bag with balloons.  Then use clear package tape to close the bag over your child’s shoulders. Use a piece of poster board or an old cereal box to make a “hat” and put 0.25 on the front of it and you have a gumball machine!

A Frugal and Easy Peter Pan Costume

Elf Costume 002

This easy elf hat will work great for Peter Pan. And with hot glue, it’s no sew! Image by rmommaerts

A Peter Pan costume costs $25 online you can make one pretty easily. Grab an old green shirt and slip it on your child. Use scissors to cut a rough zig-zag hem at the bottom and on the sleeves. Tie rope around his waist and you’re almost done!  Use some construction paper, or felt to fashion a hat for this costume.

Store bought costumes have green tights/leggings with them but green ones may be hard to find right now.  If you have a pair of white tights and a white t-shirt instead, use RIT dye (I found it in the laundry aisle at my grocery store) to dye your costume.  I did look for natural green dyes but green is really hard to achieve naturally.

The Homemade Cat Costume

Halloween Cat

Don’t waste money on a cat costume when you can easily make your own from items at home! Image by edenpictures

Online, you’ll pay a whopping $25 for a cat costume, but it is so easy to make one at home.  Dress your child in solid black (or white if you want a white cat). Cut out ears from an old cereal box, paint them your desired color, and hot glue them to a headband or a piece of elastic (stiff felt would work here too). For the tail, cut a leg off of an old pair of black stockings. Stuff the other leg into your “tail” for a little fullness and attach it to the back of her pants with a simple stitch that you can remove after Halloween, or else use fabric glue. Use eye liner to draw a nose and eyes, and you’re done! This one could be completely FREE.

That’s four easy to make costumes that should cost you very little to no money!  Halloween doesn’t have to break our banks, despite the retail world bombarding us and our kids with a slew of commercials and cheaply made costumes.

Are you making costumes for your kids this year? What are you planning for Halloween?!?


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