Frugal Living 

5 Homemade, Low Cost Children’s Halloween Costumes

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We have already shared some homemade, low cost baby and toddler Halloween costumes, and today we would like to round out the bunch and share some children’s Halloween costumes. Again, why buy something they’ll wear for just one day (they won’t fit next year!) when you can make something yourself?

As kids get older, they get a bit more particular about their clothing, but there are still some easy, kid-approved costumes you can make at home. The key is to focus on what is popular now and what your child enjoys. Boys may love something with a gross factor, and girls may like something with a make believe element to it. Most of these ideas can be created with things around the house, making them very low-cost Halloween costume options.

Bed Bug

Supplies: Bathrobe, white shirt, pajama bottoms, head band, pipe cleaner, brown craft foam, ribbon

Directions: Wrap the pipe cleaner around the head band and have it stick up at angles on the side to resemble antennae. Using this template, cut out 6 legs out of the brown craft foam. Duct tape three legs on each side of the collar. (See this picture to see where to place them.) On poster board, write in red, “Bed Wanted” and place around your child’s neck with a ribbon.



Supplies: Old shirt (ideally plaid), old jeans, and scraps of yellow fabric, hot glue, fisherman’s hat, patches (optional)

Directions: Cut the yellow fabric into thin strips and hot glue on the shirt, between the buttons. When the shirt is buttoned, it should look like straw is coming out of it. Also do the same to the cuffs of the pants and around the collar of the shirt. Add a hat and hot glue the yellow strips to the inside of the hat so it looks like straw is coming out of there. Add patches and dirt to the clothes to make it look more authentic, if you would like.

Source: Family Crafts


Supplies: Piece of cardboard, paints, oversized white shirt, dark pants, beret, paint brush

Directions: Cut out the cardboard in a palette shape. Put five circles of different color paint on the palette, and also glue on an old paintbrush. Let dry. Have your child carry the palette, and if your child is a boy, sketch a moustache on his face and add a beret.

Source: Family Crafts

Cat Costume

Supplies: Black running outfit with hood, black felt, pink felt, face paints, black sock

Directions: Cut out triangles from the black felt for the ears. Hot glue smaller triangles of pink felt on top of the black felt. Attach the cat ears to the top of the hood, either with small pieces of duct tape so they are removable, or with hot glue. Fill a long black sock with stuffing (could even be filled with other pairs of socks) and use duct tape to close. Secure to the seat of the pants. Finish the look with a nice face painting of a cat. (Here is a simple idea for face painting.)

Source: All Free Crafts

Paper Doll

Supplies: Several large pieces of poster board, duct tape, hot glue gun, foam padding, blue paint, elastic,

Directions: Cut out the shapes of a skirt with bloomers, a shirt, a bow and 2 inch x 4 inch paper doll tabs as well as a purse from the poster board. (Use this template to help you cut them out correctly.) Put the outlining on the cardboard pieces, including the dashes for the paper doll tabs. (See this picture of the costume as a template to follow.) Paint the pieces and let dry. Duct tape the tabs on the costume, including the headband. Hot glue large pieces of foam padding to the back of the skirt and shirt to stabilize them, leaving a margin on the side. Have your child hold the costume in front of her and measure elastic from one side of the shirt to the other, across her back. Use two pieces of elastic, one around her upper back and the other near her waist. Staple the elastic to a scrap piece of poster board on each end, and then duct tape the scraps with elastic to the back of the costume. Do the same thing on the skirt, but just attach one piece of elastic at the waist.


Three other simple ideas: If your son is in football, he could always wear his football uniform and go as a football player. If your daughter is in dance, depending on her recital costume, she may be able to wear that. Also, if your children have skeleton pajamas, they can always wear those and go as a skeleton.

What are your favorite, low-cost kids’ Halloween costume ideas?

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “5 Homemade, Low Cost Children’s Halloween Costumes”

  1. Martha says:

    I just read a great article about using a cardboard box to make costumes on Real Simple ( . It reminded me of when I went as a boat which I made from a box. However I didn’t put a back to my boat so frequently people thought I was dressed as a toilet! It was super fun either way!

  2. Shirley says:

    Martha, the popcorn had me laughing… great!

    One year a grandson used a box and went as a handheld video game (maybe GameBoy?). He won first prize for originality in the local Halloween Parade. 🙂

  3. Jim M says:

    My children are older and no longer dress up. I gave away their old costumes to a neighbor with two young children. I look forward to seeing those old costumes used agin in the years to come.

  4. Melissa says:

    Jim–We had a friend lend us the homemade Peter Pan costume she made for her son. It was in great shape, and my son looked adorable in it! Swapping is a great idea, too.

  5. Sally says:

    My daughter and I always go bargain hunting when Halloween comes. Its like a mother and daughter time for both of us while preparing for Halloween.

  6. danielkeck says:

    We bought our two ATV125CC for our two little guys for Halloween, so we have been taking our time and putting them together. We did get one put together it fired right up and my oldest son took it for a spin so far it seems like there are no problems, which is great. I would like to say the were great on its shipping I ordered these items and had them at my door in less than a week. I honestly don’t see that will will have any problems which as a mother of 4 that is great. I’m looking forward to seeing that my little guys think about them on Christmas. Thank you very much and have a wonderful Halloween.

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