Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes

by Pregnancy.org Staff

Halloween is a wonderful excuse to plan a costume or two! It's a time to allow your child's imagination to run wild - yours too! Why not? The best news is your budget doesn't have to suffer. See what ideas we've come up with! Remember, "safety first" when you have tiny-tots.

Costumes from the closet or second-hand store

Standard Ghost

For the old stand by ghost, grab a old white sheet, cut out the eyes. Make sure it's short enough not to trip. Take scrap piece of sheet, and sew up a simple treat bag.

Fancy Ghost

Why be the same old boring ghost? A ghost going out for a night on the town might like to get dressed up a little. Use the same white sheet, cut out holes for the eyes and a small slit for the mouth. Then dress it up a little. Put eye shadow and lashes around the eyes, Lipstick for the mouth. Put a little color on the cheeks. How about earrings and a necklace or maybe a tie? You could color in a beard or mustache. To be just the cutting edge of fashion ghost, use something besides a white sheet.

Clown

Sweat clothes that are too large is a must! Decorate the costume by using either fabric paint, or markers, or even try tie-dye. Tack on some large pom-poms, add a cheap wig, hat, and make-up. You might also stuff the extra space in clothing with tissue. However this could be messy, if you need to make a "pit-stop."

Scarecrow

You'll need an over-sized flannel shirt, faded blue jeans with patches, rope for belt and to tie at the cuffs of his jeans and sleeves, stuff the shirt and jeans with plastic grocery bags or paper and add a little bit of straw to hang out of jeans and shirt. Make the face with a little bit of make-up.

The American Tourist

Boys (and dads too) wear loud Hawaii shirt, shorts (if weather permits) and a large straw hat. Girls (and lets not forget mom) bright loud dress, flats, big sun hat, straw bag. Don't forget to have a camera, and maps hanging out, and that look of being lost. Boys can use a tourist bag, (like you get from travel agents, and girls can use the straw bag for their treats.

1960's Hippie

This one is hard. After all, it's all back in style! What is real, and what is costume? Here are some ideas -- tie-die clothing, long wig (in the old days we called a "fall"), sandals, headband, anything with fringe on it (vests, purse...) light colored sun glasses.

Old Man

Dark pants cuffed and pulled up high on the waist, and jacket, most any dress shirt, man's flannel hat and walking cane are the basis for this costume. Gray the hair, with any of the commercial temporary colors, or dust with a little flour.

Old Woman

Old style dress, just below knee, knee-hi stockings rolled down a little, oxfords, large black purse transform your child into an older woman.

Real Nerd

Slick back the hair, grab some pants that are too short, a white shirt, white socks, penny loafers, or lace up oxfords. Accessories can include a pocket protector, with lots of pens, dark rim glasses (don't forget to tape the corner, or at least paper clip it) briefcase, or backpack for treat bag.

Chinese Doll

Paint the child's face white, with rosy cheeks shaped in a circle. Finish the disguise with hair pulled up in a bun, thong shoes, and a kimono (just a old silky housecoat works great for this).

Miss America

Use an old bridesmaid dress or formal. Add a pair of gloves, a tiara, some over-sized jewelry, and heels. For the banner, use a piece of wide ribbon, and write "Miss America" in glitter.

Soda Pop Can

Use a round barrel with a hole cut in the bottom. Cut holes for arms and your head. Paint it the colors of a soda pop can. Presto! You have a pop can!

Static Cling

Wear anything. A solid color is good, for example, all white or all black. With safety pins pin anything to yourself i.e.: socks, underwear, bounce sheets, etc. You can also spray your hair straight up in the air.

1950's Sock-Hopper

It's quite simple; just a round skirt, a white short-sleeved shirt, and some saddle shoes. (If you don't have saddle shoes, plain buckle shoes are fine.) You could add some cat-eye glasses if you want. Tie hair in a ponytail with a scarf wrapped around it.

Mummy

Wrap yourself in white bandages (rolls of gauze). Use splotches of green paint for "mold". Use white make-up on face with "age lines" drawn on. A stiff-legged gait works perfectly.

Pirate

Make a wooden leg by wrapping one leg in brown felt. Wear sailor pants or jeans with a striped top. Tie a bandanna around your head, wear an eye patch, carry an empty bottle marked XXX (for the "rum") and mutter "aarrr" a lot. Ask for "trick or treat, matey!"

Train Engineer

All you need is a pair of blue jeans, a blue jean jacket, a red and black bandanna and a blue and white engineer hat. Add a whistle and play lantern for extra effects!

Skunk

Dress in black. Tape or paint a white stripe down the back. Be careful everyone may run!

Bunny

Dress in a pink, brown, or white sweat suit. Add a powder puff or large pom-pom to the backside and a set of ears made from constriction paper and a plastic headband. Now just hop on out and enjoy!

Turtle

Dress in green. Simply cut the poster board into a large oval and make random marks like a turtle shell, and paint. Attached to the back.

Puppy Brown

Wear tan or white; then either paint, or pin paper spots on. Make floppy ears and bobby pin to hair over your ears. The tail can be most anything, depending on what type of doggy you wish to be. Add a little make-up just for fun.

Kitten

Start in gold, brown, tan, white. Make ears from construction paper, attach to headband or bobby pin in to hair. Sew a simple round tail, and pin on.

Spider

Dress in black. For the legs, grab some cheap black hose and stuff with any thing dark and lightweight. Either sew, or staple to keep stuffing from falling out. Pin to clothing, and add a little make-up.

From Our Members

Lady Bug

Start with a pair of black sweats and black sweat shirt (and a pair of black shoes). Use a large piece of poster board or cardboard and cut out a large oval. Paint it red with black dots. Staple black elastic pieces (in a loop) onto the board to make armholes. For the antenna attach craft pipe cleaners with black pom-poms on the ends to a headband.

Snowman

Begin with white sweats, Christmas socks, white tennis shoes, a cheap black hat, fake snow, mittens, scarf and black pom-poms for the coal! Spray the hat to look like snow and add a cheap red bird from the craft store. You can get a white mask and a cheap carrot from the craft store and glue it onto the nose part of the mask. Glued the pompoms on sweatshirt and that is it. Hippity hop hippity hop look at Frosty go!

A Bunch of Grapes(*)

Using green or purple sweats, attach balloons of the same color with safety pins. Paint face and hands same color.

Bag of Jelly Beans(*)

You'll need lots of different colored balloons, a large clear plastic bag (We got ours from the grocery store - the BIG bags that they put all the recycled cans in), colorful ribbon, two safety pins and two pieces of white cardboard. Blow up all the balloons. Cut two leg holes in the bottom of the bag and two arm holes near the middle. Have your child stand in the bag and fill with blown up balloons. Write on each piece of cardboard "JELLY BEANS 2 CENTS EACH". Safety pins signs to front and back of bag. Loosely tie around shoulders with a colorful ribbon. Cut off excess bag around face.

Black Bat

Using a black umbrella and tights, Rip the umbrella in half. Discard the center and innards of the umbrella. If you are fancy you can sew the edges of the umbrella to the back of the body. If you don't have the time or patients to sew the umbrella you can always safety pin it.

Butterfly

Put on black sweats and black shoes. Use a piece of poster board and paint wanted color. Cut out in a wing shape. Punch two holes toward the edges of the wings. Put black ribbon through them and tie around waist. Attach pipe cleaners and pompoms to a plastic headband.

Ragdoll

One year my girls dressed up as rag dolls and I didn't have to spend a penny! Take an old sleeper and cut out the feet. Then sew or glue patches in various places over the sleeper. For the head, use an old stocking cap and sew or glue strips of fabric from old clothes to the stocking cap. Then add red cheeks and freckles.

*Be very cautious using balloons around young children.

Costumes Made From Boxes

  • Paint it silver; glue on a few extras a presto -- A robot.
  • Paint it red, tack on some paper plate wheels, and you are a racecar.
  • Paint it white and a handle and you will be a cool refrigerator.
  • Paint it light tan, tack a small flat box. Draw on a keyboard; you will be the first walking Macintosh.
  • Wrap it in Christmas paper, add a large bow -- A Christmas present.
  • Paint it bright colors, and a crank -- a Jack-in-the-box
  • Cover with tablecloth, glue on silver plastic platter in the middle (cut hole for head to pop through. Glue on a couple of place settings of Plastic dishes, and glasses. Now you're a head on a silver platter.
  • Thomas the Engine & Friends: Get a small box big enough to fit around your child's waist. Paint a box, blue (for Thomas), or green (for Percy) etc. With colored construction paper add stripes and train number to sides, also add black train wheels. On front make a 3D face with construction paper to match your train of choice. Attach a belt from a robe to each side and harness over shoulders. Dress your child up with a conductor's hat.
  • Dice: Grab a friend and take 2 cardboard boxes, paint them white. Cut out several black circles from construction paper and glue them in the appropriate places to make you and your friend a pair of dice!

Create Your Own Make-up

You will need:
  - 2 tablespoons of soft shortening
  - 4 tablespoons of cornstarch
  - Food coloring

Mix shortening and cornstarch. Separate into different cups; add food coloring. Wash your face and any area where you will be applying makeup and then dry thoroughly. Apply a thin coat of cold cream to the entire area. Using a cotton ball, gently pat cornstarch over cold cream. Keep your eyes closed. Apply make-up with fingers tips.

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