If you want to take your toddler out trick-or-treating on Halloween but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a store-bought costume, you should probably try to make a costume from items that you have at home. Fortunately, little kids look cute dressed up in just about anything so it is pretty easy to whip up a homemade costume without a trip to the department store, or even to the material store. Of course, the exact costume that you end up with will largely depend on what kind of materials you have around your house.
Difficulty: Medium easy
Step 1: Decide what the costume will be. Since you are working with the things that you have in your home, you should base this decision on what colors you have available. For most costumes, you will start with either a pair of footie pajamas or a hooded sweatsuit. Look at your toddler’clothes and find something that you can use for the costume base. If the pajamas are green, a turtle or a dragon are options to consider. If the sweatsuit is brown, tan, or grey, you might make a puppy costume. Light yellow sweatsuits might be turned into cute lambs or kitties. Black makes a great spider.
Step 2: Make tails and ears. Once you have a base costume (sweatsuit or pajamas) and you know what you are going to make, the next thing to do is start accessorizing. For most costumes, this begins by adding a tail and ears. Depending on what you are making, these can be made out of pieces of felt, or out of other material, or cut out of cardboard. Be creative with this step. I have made a bee stinger out of a fabric covered pixie cup and a pipe cleaner and I made a dog tail out of a nylon stuffed with socks. Look through your old clothes for sleeves you can cut off and stuff. If you are making a bunny tail, you might cut up an old pillow for the batting. Ears are often easily made by cutting the shape out of a cardboard box and then using markers or paint to make them the right color.
Step 3: Attach tails and ears to the costume. For this step, you might use material glue, a glue gun, double-sided tape, or a needle and thread. I have found that using a needle and thread keeps the item attached and is also easy to remove after Halloween if you want to use the pajamas or the sweatsuit again. If you get something that is really hard to attach (I had a horrible time getting my bee stinger to stay put) you might resort to using thin wire or even zip ties.
Step 4: Add anything else you can think of. Once you have the ears and the tail on the costume, you will have a good idea about what the finished product will look like. Now, you just need to add your own creative touches. If you are making a puppy costume, try adding a collar (made out of a belt) and even a nametag (cut from cardboard). If you are making a lamb, attach cotton balls or batting around the face. Little socks on hands and feet make cute paws. Whatever you can think of to enhance your costume, go ahead and add it.
Step 5: Apply a little makeup. You can add a lot to the costume by applying a little make up. Use mascara to make whiskers, and a little rouge to make a pink nose. You won’t need to use much makeup just enough to add the essentials.