By: Kathryn Trudeau
Between candy, spooky treats, and costumes, there’s no surprise why Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays. Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, there’s something fun and almost magical about dressing up for Halloween.
Although trick-or-treating may look different this year, there’s no reason why you can’t dress up at home and eat candy and watch Halloween movies!
Here are some budget-friendly costume ideas for a chill Halloween at home.
For the Older Kids
1. The Pippi Longstocking
Even if your daughter hasn’t seen the movie Pippi, she’ll get a hoot with these crazy braids.
This is a perfect costume for girls with medium to long hair. For the clothing, you’ll need just a few things: a striped top (any color), a denim skirt, and tall, knee-high striped socks.
Now for the fun part: the braids!
- Twist 2-4 pipe cleaners together.
- If your daughter’s hair is really thick or long, you might need to add a few more pipe cleaners.
- Repeat the process.
- Now you have two twisted strands of pipe cleaners.
- Part your child’s hair as if you were going to make two pigtails. Braid her hair around the pipe cleaner bundles. Secure with an elastic tie. Now bend each braid to make it stick out!
Draw Pippi’s freckles with brown eyeliner or brown face paint.
2. Stick Figure
This is a great costume for kids with a sense of humor. Lay a plain white sweatsuit on the ground and place strips of black electrical tape on the sweatsuit to outline the stick body. Use a paper plate to serve as a stick figure smiley face. Cut out the eye holes, and draw a smile with a marker. Secure the paper plate with yarn or string (like a masquerade mask).
A mummy is just a classic Halloween costume. If you have old dingy or stained white sheets that you don’t use anymore, they can be upcycled into a mummy costume.
Splatter some cold coffee on the sheets to add to the dinginess then rip the sheets into several long strips. (Cutting doesn’t look as authentic.) Then, wear a white shirt and white sweats and wrap those strips around your child to create the perfect mummy look.
For this one, you need two large pieces of cardboard and use a box cutter to round the edges.
To make the front of the Etch-a-Sketch, cut out a large rectangle. Only cut out the center. You want to leave a good border so it is sturdy. Spray paint the solid rectangle piece of cardboard and the cut-out piece of cardboard red.
Hot glue two large white circles -- such as a plastic lid to a jar or plastic container -- to the lower left and lower right corners of the shape.
Use a silver paint Sharpie marker to write “Etch-a-Sketch” on the top.
Secure over your child’s shoulder with twine, string, or duct tape (put a second layer of tape where it would lay on the shoulder so it doesn’t stick to your child.)
Cute Costumes for Toddlers
There’s something oh-so-cute about a baby pineapple. For a no-sew version, you just need 1.5 yards of yellow felt, a brown Sharpie (or fabric paint), a headband, hot glue, and a piece of green felt.
What to do:
- Cut a wide circle of yellow felt.
- Cut a slit in the center. This will be the hole for the head.
- Draw upside-down V marks with the brown Sharpie or fabric paint and let dry.
- To make the headband, hot glue leaf-shaped pieces of green felt to resemble the crown of the pineapple onto the center of the headband.
These directions create a felt “poncho-style” pineapple.
For an even easier and more budget-friendly option, skip the felt pineapple costume. Simply wear a yellow shirt or tunic or dress. Wear the pineapple crown headband and voila!
As a mama of three, I know that sometimes it’s hard to get kids to wear anything other than comfy clothes. “It’s too itchy” is an immediate cause to rip off the offending item of clothes. That won’t happen with this Olaf costume because it only requires a white sweatsuit -- and who doesn’t love a good ol’ sweatsuit?
What you need:
- White sweatshirt (with hood)
- White sweatpants
- Felt (black, white, orange)
- Bamboo skewer (or even a chopstick)
Use the black and white felt to make eyes, and hot glue them on the white hooded sweatshirt. Make eyebrows too. Use 3-4 short pieces of brown pipe cleaners to create the hair. You can hot glue them right onto the top of the hoodie. To make the carrot nose, roll the orange felt to create a cone/carrot shape. Stuff it, glue it shut, and then glue it to a chopstick. Your little one can have fun putting on -- and taking off -- his nose, just like Olaf!
3. Superman in Mid Transformation
This is another easy one, and you might already have all of the pieces. You need a superman onesie or T-shirt, a white button-up shirt, and a pair of glasses (we use the leftover 3D glasses from the movie theater). Just leave the button-up partially undone to reveal the Superman shirt underneath.
4. Boo from Monsters Inc
Just like the Superman costume, you might already have all of these items too. Dress your toddler up in an oversize pink T-shirt and purple leggings. Style her hair in two pigtails and secure it with pink hair ties. Bonus points if you already have a stuffed Sully at home!
5. Where’s Waldo?
This is another budget-friendly costume that’s easily recognizable. The basic requirements are a red and white striped shirt and a red and white stocking hat. If you have extra 3D movie glasses laying around or binoculars, those are great additions to the costume.
6. Baby Shark
We all know sharks are gray, but if you’re going for a true “baby shark” look, you’ll need a yellow sweatsuit.
Here’s what to do:
- Using white felt, cut out a strand of triangles. Measure the length of the hoodie opening and make sure your felt teeth strand is long enough.
- Sew the strand of white felt triangles along the rim of the hoodie to form teeth.
- Next, sew two black felt and two white felt circles to create eyes, and glue them to the top of the hoodie for eyes.
- For the fin, cut two large yellow triangles. Lay the triangles on top of each other. You can sew (or fabric glue) two sides of the triangle, but don’t sew the third side closed just yet.
- Cut a triangle out of cardboard. Make sure it slightly smaller than the two yellow
- Slide the cardboard triangle into the yellow triangle.
- Sew the final side closed. This creates your fin and the cardboard helps it stand upright. You can attach (sew or glue) the fin to the back side of the hood.
You can get felt sheets for less than a dollar at most craft stores. If you use a whip stitch, you can remove the teeth and fins later and wear the sweatsuit as normal.
You can recreate these same steps and make Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark, and even sibling shark costumes.
Babywearing Costume Ideas
Celebrating your baby's first Halloween? These babywearing costumes make it easier to celebrate the day with a baby in tow.
1. Baby Bee and Mommy Beekeeper
For a super easy version of this, dress your baby in yellow and black striped onesie and top with a bee-themed beanie hat. To create a beekeeper costume for you, drape a piece of netting or mesh over a sunhat.
If you have more time, you can create a cover for your baby carrier: take a rectangular piece of black felt and hot glue yellow strips of felt to create a “bee” pattern. Then wrap the bee cover around your baby carrier and tuck into the sides.
2. Where’s Waldo (Baby Version)
This is another fun parent-baby combo. Top your baby with a red and white beanie. If you want to go as Carmen Sandiego, throw on a red jacket.
If you’ve got time, you can even crochet the stocking cap so your baby can be nice and cozy going into the colder months.
3. Rosie the Riveter + Mama the Riveter
Have extra red bandanas laying around? Create this iconic look for both you and your little one.
4. Mama + Baby Kangaroo
Do you have a brown Moby wrap? Wear all brown and go as a mama kangaroo with a little joey! Bonus points if you crochet or knit two little beanies with ears!
What’s Your Favorite Budget-Friendly Costume?
We’d love to hear!
Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at www.katietrudeau.com