Halloween is right around the corner and parents across the land are shaking in their boots. Though I suppose some might be afraid of ghosts and goblins, the child-asked question of “What am I going to be for Halloween?” can strike terror in the hearts of parents. The hunt for costumes begins.
First of all, Halloween costumes can be expensive. Second, kids can be fickle. Third, by the time a lot of people get around to obtaining a Halloween costume (the weekend before), it can be time consuming and stressful to find or make a costume that both you and your kid can agree on.
Now, I am not really that big of a fan of this holiday but I know how much fun it is to be a kid on Halloween so I have always made sure my daughter has had fun Halloween costumes and there have been some really cute ones over the years. Here is how I do it…
I like to keep my life as stress-free as possible, so I plan for Halloween WAY in advance. In fact, throughout the year, I’ll ask my daughter what she would like to be for Halloween. When there starts to be some consistency and real enthusiasm to her answers, I know it’s time to begin looking for her costume.
I’m going to be honest with you here: I’m cheap. Or is it frugal? Thrifty? Whatever you want to call it, I cannot justify spending money on costumes when there are so many fun things you can do to make a costume for your child. And I simply love the creative challenge of re-purposing items I already have to put together costumes that will work. Now, this was a LOT easier when my daughter was younger so the homemade costumes have become less frequent but I will continue to go this route whenever possible.
My daughter’s school has a Halloween dance every year, and every year we have dressed up as a family. Again, I love the opportunity to be creative in coming up with costumes for my husband and myself that will go with what our daughter wants to be for Halloween.
Halloween Costumes for Ages Birth to Seven
Infant Costumes: With some creativity, you can repurpose a sleep-and-play/onesie into almost anything. For my daughter’s very first Halloween costume, I glued spots made of black felt all over a light pink sleep-and-play. As luck would have it, we also had a light pink hat to which I added spots and floppy ears. I rolled and sewed some felt for a tail and had me the cutest little Dalmatian puppy ever! As a child, I adored “101 Dalmatians” and I happen to have an amazing silver streak in my hair so of course I HAD to dress up as Cruella de Vil! All it took was some black and white clothing, a feather boa and a set of cute zebra print infant leg warmers to add some creepy pop to my arms.
Age One My daughter had a gray fuzzy onesie at this age so all I needed to do was roll and sew some gray fleece into a tail and create ears by gluing gray fleece onto pipe cleaners and attaching them to a headband. White accents were added to the ears and tail using felt and a cotton ball. What a cute kitty!
Age Two My mom was really into animal prints and picked up a pair of leopard-print pants for my daughter at a garage sale. After she gave them to me, I was browsing through the racks at Savers and found the exact matching leopard-print top! A Halloween costume was born! I pushed the easy button and went straight to the Halloween section and bought a leopard tail and ear set and we were done.
Age Three This was the year my daughter was REALLY into the television series Doc McStuffins. She had asked for doctor toys for her birthday and of course needed to have a doctor’s coat to match. I simply repurposed this gift for her Halloween costume, with the addition of pink leggings.
Age Four Every kid wants to be a Superhero, and my daughter was no exception. I cut customized letters out of yellow felt and glued them to a purple top. We raided her closet to add purple leggings, a pink sparkly skirt and pink headband to create Supergirl!
Age Five My husband started keeping bees when our daughter was five and this inspired our first family costume. Of course, our daughter was our little honeybee, which was easily created with a black top and leggings from her wardrobe. I bought a cheap black t-shirt and put strips of yellow duct tape (which I already had on hand) across it. Antennae were easily made with pipe cleaners and a black headband, which she wore over her yellow knit hat made by Grandma. My husband wore his beekeepers top with integrated veil and I was the hive! I painted a large box white, cut arm holes and one end off and added shoulder straps. The end I cut off was covered with foil and fashioned into a hat. I wore all black clothing underneath the box. This was definitely the most challenging costume I have made (and worn) but it also got the biggest laughs!
Age Six This was the year of everything Frozen. We decided to have a special Frozen-themed birthday party and I went all out and got my daughter a really nice Elsa dress, tiara and shoes. With that kind of investment, of course she was Elsa for Halloween. By a stroke of luck, a friend had given us a white fur cape, which kept Elsa warm on that chilly night. Of course, Elsa couldn’t go unaccompanied to the Ball, so Kristoff (my husband outfitted in a plaid shirt, boots and knit cap) and Olaf (me draped in an old bed sheet with cut-out eyes and an orange construction paper carrot tied-on nose) were her escorts. I have to say my Olaf costume was pretty lame, but I can’t tell you how many kids ran up to me to say hi!
Age Seven After two fairly intense costume years, thankfully my daughter decided to be a cowgirl for this Halloween. She already has a cute western skirt, denim vest and cowboy boots. My husband and I can get away with plaid shirts and jeans so all we had to buy were two hats at Savers to complete our costumes. Whew!
With a little serendipity and a dose of creativity, you too can put together some amazing and affordable costumes for Halloween! What are your awesome Halloween costume tips and tricks? Please share!