You have waited until the last minute to figure out what your child is going to wear on Halloween. Party City is out of costumes, and the thought of pushing your way into the Halloween section at Walmart and digging through mounds of costume pieces and accessories is unbearable.
All you need is a few household items, a little makeup and voilà, your ghost or princess is ready to Trick-or-Treat. Here are five easy-to-make costume ideas that will leave change in your pocket-and, as a bonus, provide you and your child with some bonding time.
The white sheet ghost has long been a quick fix favorite for parents in a bind. You will need an old white sheet or similar white fabric, scissors, a baseball cap, black eye makeup, safety pins and a pen, permanent marker or dark crayon to mark the fabric.
Start out by covering your child with the white fabric and centering the fabric so it falls evenly on all sides. Mark the bottom of the fabric to be cut about two inches from the ground or more and have you child extend their arms. Once their arms are fully extended, mark the fabric at a point slightly past the wrist on the hand for easier hand and arm movement.
Finally, gently draw circles around your child’s eyes being mindful of their line of vision. Larger ovals will ensure good eyesight even if the sheet slips off center. After marking the fabric, remove it from your child and cut the hem, sleeves and eye holes as indicated. For a rougher look, cut the edges jagged instead of tailored, straight lines.
Gather the baseball cap, sheet and pins. Have your child stand with the baseball cap backwards on his or her head, drape the sheet over them lining up the eye holes and hold the cap together with the sheet while your remove it from your child. Pin the fabric to the hat to minimize slippage during Trick-or-Treating.
Before heading out, use the black eye makeup around your child’s eyes to create a black hole effect. If desired, complete the look with white gloves and shoes.
Creating a nerd costume with what you have at home is simple. Find a pair of khaki, plaid or patterned shorts too short for your child, dark colored shoes, white knee high socks, a mismatched button-up shirt, suspenders and accessories like large glasses, a pocket protector and pens and a necktie or bowtie.
When dressing your child, button the shirt up all the way, tuck it in and pull the shorts up to the waist or higher. If you have hair gel or mousse, craft a nerdy hairstyle such as a gelled part or slicked back style with some hair sticking up. Accessorize with oversized glasses, pocket protector and a name tag.
A homemade princess costume can be just as beautiful as a store bought costume. All you need to make your little girl the belle of the ball is a semi-formal party dress in a pastel color or white, comfortable white dress shoes, matching frilly socks or white tights, a tiara and makeup. Dress your child in the dress, tights or socks and shoes. Add a white cardigan with jewel buttons in cooler climates. Choose a functional hairstyle that will stay put and support a tiara like an up-do; secure the hairstyle with hair spray and position the tiara.
Keep the makeup natural, but rosy, with blush and pink lipstick. Glitter may also be dusted on the cheeks, but be careful not to apply it too close to the eyes.
2. Sports Star
Whether your child is a football, soccer, baseball or hockey player, his or her game day uniform will make an excellent Halloween costume. Ballerinas can also join in on the fun; just make sure your dancer wears an older pair of ballet slippers that can get dirty. Add thick, black under-eye lines, a helmet and football for a football star, shinguards and a headband for a soccer star and so on. Try to avoid giving your children bulky accessories to carry around-they are out walking around for hours and are already carrying a pillowcase or bag for candy.
The robot is definitely one of the most fun costumes to put together because you can be as creative as you like. You will need a few cardboard boxes, a larger one for the body piece and a smaller one for the head, silver spray paint, tin foil, buttons or plastic bottle tops or beads, a hot glue gun, shoeboxes (for shoes) and scissors.
Cut a hole for your child’s head on the top of the larger box making sure it is large enough for his or her head to fit through. Put the box on your child and mark holes for the arms. Remove the box, cut the arm holes and place it back on your child. Now, take the smaller box and position it on your child’s head marking where his or her mouth, eyes and ears are. Remove the box and cut a rectangular hole where the mouth will be, two square holes to reveal the eyes and two square holes to expose the ears. Take your shoeboxes and turn them upside down cutting holes in the bottoms large enough for your child’s feet.
Bring the boxes to an area away from the house and put down a tarp or newspapers. Use the silver spray paint and completely paint the outside of the boxes; allow boxes to dry before moving. Let your imagination run wild while you decorate the body box with buttons, dials and gauges. Using the hot glue gun, affix the plastic bottle caps, beads or buttons as desired then draw on the gauges and dials. You may also print off images of calculators, clocks and controls. Apply tin foil in selected areas to make the surface more metallic. Also, if you have dryer vent pipes available, they make excellent robotic limbs.
Secure the shoeboxes closed with the hot glue gun and let dry. After you have finished decorating, you are ready to dress your child. Have him or her put on a black shirt, pants and sneakers, and arrange the boxes comfortably.
Mia Cronan, “Robot Costume”. Kaboose.
Mia Cronan, “Ghost Costume”. Kaboose.