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It’s Halloween Time – No Sew Costumes to the Rescue

Money is tight for everyone this year and with Halloween right around the corner, this is a great opportunity to have fun and make your kids’ (and your own) Halloween costumes. Most of the components of home made costumes can be found in your own house or the local dollar store. Have the kids pitch in and I guarantee you’ll have more fun than opening your wallet at the party store. The costumes my kids always remember from Halloween isn’t the girl who dressed up in the store-bought Hannah Montana costume, but the kid who came in as the home-made TV. Sometimes the imperfections make it memorable – lucky for those who are less gifted in the crafty department (like me).

 So this year, skip the party store and go back to basics – here are some great costume ideas with no sewing (I don’t sew – or iron for that matter – pity my husband) and in many cases, no need to buy anything new. These are nothing fancy, but quick and easy and definitely not featuring Sponge Bob or Pokemon.

Cardboard Box Costumes:

Take a large cardboard box and cut a hole in the top for your child’s head and a hole on each side for the arms. Fold the flaps in on the bottom where their legs come out.

Playing Dice/Die: Paint it white and paint black circles on it to match the die of your child’s choice. Have a sibling or friend? Make 2 for a pair of dice.

TV: Paint most of it silver and draw a smaller square on the front for the “show”. Draw your show, print out characters from your computer, or paint it black for the set that is turned off. Fashion some antenna (again – do kids know what these are – more history on the advent of cable) by rolling up tin foil to make 2 antenna and attaching to a plastic hair band.

Fire Truck: Paint it red, paint some paper plates black for wheels and glue or tape to the box where the wheels would go. Decorate to look like a fire truck. Top it off with a fireperson’s hat.

Refrigerator: Paint it white, attach a handle.

Present: Wrap in wrapping paper and add a bow.

Costumes using Poster Board:

Playing Card: Have your child pick the card they want to be and copy it on 2 pieces of large poster board (yes, some artistry required, but keep it simple) . Take 2 pieces of ribbon or strips of material and staple so you can hang the poster board over your child’s head and have one piece on front and one on back.

Pizza: Cut 2 big circles of brown poster board or one white and one brown and leave one brown circle plain for the crust. Decorate the front to look like a pizza. Again use ribbon or material to hang over head – crust in back.

Costumes using Sweat Suits:

Road: Black Sweat Suit. Using wide white tape, make a dotted line down the middle of the front and back to look like a road. You could draw or print out road signs from your computer and pin onto the road.

American Flag: Blue Sweatshirt/Red Sweat pants. Cut stars out of white contact paper and stick to shirt. Put white tape stripes down the pant leg.

Autumn Leaves: Brown, Black or other “Autumn” colored Sweat Suit. Safety pin silk leaves (from craft store – or you could try real leaves – could get tricky). Carry a rake and collect candy in a lawn bag.

Black Cat: Black Sweatsuit. Girls could wear a leotard for the top with black leggings or sweatpants. Make a tail of felt or even construction paper. Tape or glue ears from construction paper to hairband (or you may find cat ears at a dollar store at this time of year). Draw nose and whiskers with eyeliner. Carry a stuffed animal mouse for added effect.

Crayon: Sweatsuit in a crayon color. Use black contact paper or construction paper and cut out letters to spell “CRAYON.” Stick to the clothes running vertically.

Bunch of Grapes: Green or purple sweatsuit. Attach same-colored balloons – paint face and hands same color.

Other easy ideas:

Artist: Use an over-sized white shirt and splatter with paint. Cut out an over-sized paint palette out of poster board – paint 4 or 5 large circles of paint on the palette. For a finishing touch, you could draw a mustache and goatee out of eyeliner and add a beret. Carry a paint brush.

Pumpkin: Green turtleneck/brown pants. Use an orange pumpkin leaf bag (at most grocery stores or hardware stores) and cut 2 small holes in bottom for legs. You’re done.

Hippie: Tie die shirt, jeans, sunglasses, sandals, long wig if you have one or bandanna tied around head or both.

Basket of laundry: Use a cheap, light laundry basket (try a dollar store). Cut a circle in the bottom for your child’s body to fit through. Cut 2 pieces of clothes line or rope to tie to the basket like suspenders. The top of the basket should rest just above your child’s waist. Hang clothes on the basket and your child – secure with clothespins. Safety pin some dryer sheets. Carry an empty detergent container and use a pillow case to collect candy.

Bag of Jelly Beans: Have your child wear a white top and bottom. Blow up lots of small different colored balloons. Cut a hole in a clear garbage bag for the head, put the balloons inside and and cinch the bottom of bag so the balloons don’t fall out. Make a sign that says “JELLY BEANS” and hang around your child’s neck. Replace balloons with leaves for bag of leaves.

Other easy ideas using your and/or your child’s clothes and sporting goods: Soccer player, tennis player, football player, hockey player, baseball player, a baby (wear pjs, carry a bottle), cheerleader (pleated skirt, pig tails, make pom poms).

Feel free to bring back the favorite costumes from when you were growing up – most years I was an old lady or a hippy (remember those?).  What is your favorite home-made costume?

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Rachael Ray