Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Great Halloween Costumes for Kids

Can you believe that Halloween is only about a month away?!?? Well, considering that Christmas decorations have been in the stores for two months, you probably can. But anyway, if you have kids, you'd better get yourself in gear to start planning their costumes. (Unless, like me, you took the easy way out and bought their costumes at Costco back in July. But I digress.) Now, depending on what kind of parent you are, you may be looking for anything from a unique, clever, creative costume to something that can be tossed together from what you have around the house to your kid's favorite comic book or video game character. Fortunately, I can help you out with any of those options and more.

Costumes For Two

If you have two kids and you want to coordinate their costumes, there are plenty of options.

If you can come up with a large box, a laundry basket, an empty (or not) bottle of detergent and package of dryer sheets, and some dirty laundry, this adorable washing machine and laundry basket is the duo for your kids. Don't forget the socks and underpants on the head. That's what really makes it art.

Even easier to make from stuff you have around the house, put one child in a striped shirt and an old beret (or a scally or golf cap turned sideways), paint on an outrrrrrageous mustache and goatee with black eyeliner, then cut out a cardboard artist's palette and paint multicolored circles on it and there's your artist. And what would an artist be without a work of art? So have child #2 paint an old pillowcase with a face hole cut out (you can brace it with an old picture frame or leave the pillow at the back for support) - or use a large piece of cardboard - and there's your masterpiece. Add a few colorful drips of paint on their candy-collecting buckets and you're good to go!

If you want to go all-out on your paired costume, check out this fabulous magician and his assistant. With a few yards of velvet cloth to make a matching cape and tablecloth, a simple top hat, a rolling cart of some kind, an old pair of pantyhose, a pair of sparkly shoes, a saw (real or fake), and a couple of large cardboard boxes, you can astonish everyone with this clever costume.

Favorite Characters

Whether your kids are into superheroes, video game characters, TV show or movie characters, I bet you can find something they'd like below.

If you're willing to shell out for a Superman T-shirt (or if your mini-fan already has one), toss an open shirt and tie over it and throw on some horn-rimmed glasses, and Clark Kent is turning into Superman right in front of your eyes!

If your little monster prefers video games to comic books, the Mario Brothers are easy. Add two big yellow felt circles with a sharpie X on them to a pair of overalls, pair with a green T-shirt and baseball cap for Luigi and red shirt and cap for Mario (don't forget to add the proper initial!), plus a quick eyebrow pencil mustache, and they'll be off to rescue the princess in no time.

If you have a couple of empty gallon milk jugs, a little bit of artistic skill, and a Star Wars fan in the family, you can follow these directions to make a fabulous stormtrooper helmet. Paired with white sweatshirt and sweatpants (you can gussy those up with black electrical tape, if you're up for it, or just leave them plain) and a Nerf gun, you can happily miss every target in the neighborhood. 

If you're willing to invest in a crazy wig, any of the characters in "Inside Out" are doable. For Sadness, a blue pageboy pairs with a long turtleneck sweater, tights, oversized glasses, blue lipstick, and a hangdog expression. For Disgust, a green flip wig, pink neck scarf, sleeveless green dress, and a sneer will do the trick. For Joy, a light blue pixie wig, flowered dress, and a big grin is all you need. For Anger, make a cardboard crown of fire and big red eyebrows and wear it with a shirt and tie and a scowl. And for Fear, a bowtie and a sweater vest with white clown makeup around the eyes, black felt eyebrows, and a deelybopper headband - along with a terrified expression, of course - and you're all set. 


Most kids love to dress up as their favorite animals, whether it's a sweet kitty, a scary lion, or something a bit more...unusual. Check out these cute creatures!

Start with a clear umbrella and add long strips of ribbons, rickrack, crepe paper, mylar streamers, or whatever you have on hand. Wear over any solid color outfit, and you'll have yourself a sweet jellyfish who won't sting anybody. 

Start by stitching (or stapling or safety-pinning; I won't judge) an old, mushy pillow into a loop as shown and add a couple of ties to the "corners". Tie the bottom pair to beltloops (or to each other around the wearer's waist) and make long loops of the second that go in front of the shoulders (you can even use elastic). Rig up a couple of eyestalks on the hood of a sweatshirt (hot glue on ping pong balls if you don't sew), and you've got a fast-moving snail. 

For an easy but spooky spider costume, stuff two pairs of long black socks with fabric or newspaper. Stitch them onto the sides of a black sweatshirt and then attach them to the elbow of the sweatshirt with lengths of clear nylon thread or fishing line. Add black gloves and dark jeans or black pants, and you have an eight-legged creepazoid. (Adding multiple eyes to the hood is optional.)

Last Minute

When your child informs you that they've been invited to a Halloween party that starts in half an hour, what do you do? You grab whatever's handy, of course. Here are a few last-minute costumes you can throw together with what you already have around the house. 

A plaid shirt, jeans, boots (or sneakers), an old hat, and a few silk flowers - you can add freckles and stitches with eyebrow pencil if you want to get fancy - and you have an adorable scarecrow. 

If you have a white (or other light-colored) sweatshirt and sweatpants, create an outline with black electrical tape. Make a simple mask using a paper plate, Sharpie, and string, and you're a stick figure. 

Got a solid color T-shirt? Got some duct tape? Depending on the color of each, you can transform that T-shirt into a pumpkin, Charlie Brown, a skeleton, a bumblebee...or anything else your imagination can come up with. 

When all else fails, grab an old sheet and a pair of scissors. Hey, it's a classic for a reason, people. 

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