What are your favorite homemade Halloween costumes?

Walsh's homemade iPad costume! It was super easy and cute!

Walsh's homemade iPad costume! It was super easy and cute! Michael is tying it on him. Lilina dressed as Strawberry Shortcake. Store-bought of course and the green-striped leggings have already ripped!

I love homemade costumes, and Walsh has come up the cutest costume for this Halloween. Walsh thought of the idea, and Michael helped him make it. (The first time the man has crafted in 10 years of parenting, and it turned out great!)

Walsh decided he wanted to be an iPad, and he won most-original costume at the Y Halloween party last weekend. There were at least 100 kids there!

I bought two foam-core poster board at Target.  They glued-down tin foil (Rose’s idea) to the make the screen. Then Michael printed out from the Internet large icons of apps – like Angry Birds and of course AP!  Then he printed out a large Apple icon for the back and they glued it all down. They connected the two boards with shoe strings like a sandwich board. It turned out so cute and he can’t wait to wear it again.

Rose’s store-bought costume hadn’t arrived yet (Girl Robin as in Batman and Robin – she loves the Teen Titans and Young Justice), so she donned a wig put on some black jeggings with sparkle, a sparkly scarf  to become Lady Gaga for the night.

Last year we needed a quickie costume and she was a girl at a spa – bath robe, hair up in a towel and bedroom slippers.

My college-age sister-in-law just posted photos on Facebook of her cute costume for this year – a Slytherin student complete with the Dark Mark etched with a  Sharpie I believe.

Here are some links to other quick and homemade ideas

Johnny Cash kid costume

Kids as celebrities

Last-minute costumes for kids

Whole gallery of different types of costumes

Creative women’s costumes

What homemade costumes do you remember from your youth? What have been the your favorite ones that you created for your kids?

38 comments Add your comment


October 26th, 2011
6:57 am

Showing my age here: in college, I went as a Rubic’s Cube: black box with colored squares in a grid. Only problem? Couldn’t sit down.


October 26th, 2011
6:58 am

I’m going as an Occupy Wall Street protester!

I love the iphone costume, Theresa! But I love any homemade costume!

My granddaughter is going to be Ladybug Girl (from the book series) and she is SO excited!


October 26th, 2011
7:15 am

A cute costume I loved for my daughter: was SMALL fry….mimicing a french fry from Mc Donald’s. It was red container with yellow fries that puffed out in the front and back…she was a baby. She was also a ladybug and I remember poodle skirt and a pencil ( with a pink poof hat for the eraser).

My son was a turtle, (when he was a baby), Dalmation, Power Ranger, and Spider Man. I rarely bought Halloween costumes, when they were small. I designed and made most of them myself. That was when I sewed. Now, my sewing machine is untouched. Different chapters in my life!

I do not remember much about my own costumes, although we did trick or treat and our parents did NOT go with us. As kids, we went all over the neighborhood, in Chicago. We got BIG candy bars and regular boxes of cracker jacks. That was a LONG time ago!

I just bought candy yesterday…a big bag of chocolate 150 candy bar pieces. Not sure if this will be enough. Some years we have TONS of kids. I will probably buy another bag.
I love Halloween. I DO NOT love the folks who drive into our neighborhood and up and down the streets, with their kids.


TWG…what happened to what I mentioned to you about celebrating Holidays? I am curious what others think.


October 26th, 2011
8:01 am

My parents went to a Halloween party as packs of M&M candies when I was a kid. My mom made the costumes herself. Of course she was plain M&Ms and my dad was M&Ms “with nuts”


October 26th, 2011
8:10 am

Seriously MJG! I agree!


October 26th, 2011
8:13 am

My mother was not the artsy type and neither am I. I couldn’t make a costume if my life depended on it! It always has been and always will be store bought for me.


October 26th, 2011
8:15 am

When my, now 25 year old, daughter was 2 I took a copy paper box and wrapped it in Christmas wrapping paper, cut a hole in the bottom and long sides for her head and arms to fit through. She wore her footie jammies (it was chilly that year) that and had a Christmas bow on her head. She was (and still is) a great gift!


October 26th, 2011
8:17 am

@ Really? I like to sit out in the yard and pass the candy out, as I know many of the kids on our streets. I HATE it when I am blinded by headlights. I may make a sign that says:


To me, it is dangerous for the cars to be squeezing up and down the streets, while the kids criss cross. Also, these are folks who DO NOT live in our neighborhood.


October 26th, 2011
8:20 am

I made most of them — one of my favorites was when my daughter and two friends wanted to be Power Puff Girls — I made the simple dresses, and they got the wigs, and tights. They were so cute! I made an elaborate dragon costume for my son that he wore for a couple of years — the head and tail were, quite modestly, amazing :-)

That iPad costume is as cute as it can be! Congrats, Michael and Walsh!


October 26th, 2011
8:20 am

Sorry, that sounded rude…we have ALL sorts of folks who live in our neighborhood and I can recognize many of the cars. Most parents walk with their kids, who live here. Those who drive over, from other areas, just drive all over the neighborhood. Some neighbors cook out and pass out hot dogs to the grown ups…we are friendly but I do not want kids to get hurt and the headlights ruin the night, as it blinds us.


October 26th, 2011
8:21 am

@MJG: Aren’t you tempted to put up cones at the end of the street? :-)


October 26th, 2011
8:21 am

When my kids were small I loved to be creative with their costumes. For the few years before they had their own opinions I made them match eachother. My son was a scarecrow and my daugter a pea or my daughter was a small town sheriff and my son was an old fashioned prisoner (She had just turned 1 and was barely walking. The pictures are priceless). I was lucky for a few years after that to find costumes on clearence and talk the kids into wanting them. Now my most hated day of the year is the trip to Party City. They love that place. I have caved. I have figured out that I spend so much time planning and creating I might as well just spend 10-20 dollars and be done with it. So sad. I hope someday they will figure out that the creative homemade costumes are so much cooler.

Question on a kind of related topic. How old do you think is too old to trick or treat? I remember when I was 12 I wanted to trick or treat but I was embarassed b/c it was a “kid” thing so I took my younger cousins. My mom used to get so mad at the teenage boys who would throw a sheet over their head and come around and get candy. Now it seems that the kids never stop. I swear my 22 yr old nephew wants to go trick or treating?!? I kind of think that by the teenage years they need to find something else to do on Halloween. Just curious what others think. My oldest just turned 11. I’m trying to figure out how firm I’m going to be with him when it comes to hanging up the trick or treat thing.


October 26th, 2011
8:25 am

And I agree MJG. We don’t live in a subdivision so we always have to “mooch” off of someone else”s. :-) We always park and walk.


October 26th, 2011
8:35 am

DB…I am but the president of the neighborhood association lives next to me and, so far, she is not going for it…maybe I can remind her again for this year.

@homeschooler, in my fall travels, I read a newspaper that said something about a cut off age for trick or treaters as the older kids are frightening the little kids and those who answer the door……hmmmm. I think 12 is fine but that is just me. My daughter used to dress up and take the neighbor’s boy so they did not have to.


October 26th, 2011
8:53 am

My favorite was a Varsity carhop. All you need is to borrow a plastic tray, a couple of food boxes, and cups. Top off with a red Varsity cap and an orange vest.


October 26th, 2011
9:15 am

I think 12 is about the limit for trick-or-treating. Let’s call it one of the “responsibilities of growing up” that when you hit the teen years, you leave trick-or-treating behind.

Or, as I said to my daughter and her friends when they were 15 and wondering if they could get away with trick-or-treating: “If you’re young enough to trick-or-treat, you’re too young to drive. . . .” That squelched that! And my kids weren’t allowed to drive on Halloween — waaaayyyy too many distractions for drivers and pedestrians alike.


October 26th, 2011
9:18 am

@homeschooler, I think high school age should be the cut off. With that being said, I still give out candy every year to kids I know that are 16! Usually it’s boys because girls at that age don’t have any desire to go trick or treating any more.


October 26th, 2011
9:29 am

Before we moved, we would see tons of teenagers. As long as they are dressed up, I don’t mind. I’d rather have polite teenagers than rude kids whose parents drive them around (hear, hear, MJG!).

I don’t make costumes now since DD is small – she was a princess last year and will be one again this year, and the dress goes in her dress-up box afterwards. Once she is older, we’ll work on creating costumes like I did as a kid.

I – of course – am a witch :o)


October 26th, 2011
9:47 am

My girls were “cave girls” one year. I used black and white animal print flannel fabric. I made it into a tunic-style dress. Bought one plastic bone necklace which I split between the two of them – tying one in their hair with a Pebbles-style ponytail. They wore the dresses as nightgowns for a long time after. When my youngest was a baby I did the lamest one ever. Her skin was very sensitive, so I covered her face with white Desitin. I had an old white pillowcase that I cut a hole in the top for her head. She was a “Desitin Ghost”. My husband and I still laugh about it – she’s 24 now.


October 26th, 2011
10:15 am

I’ve made a few costumes for myself over the years, mostly from parts of different costumes as I cannot sew to save my life. I really wanted to make my son an R2D2 costume but I let him choose what he wanted to be and he picked motocross racer.

Still trying to figure out what I’m going to dress as. Probably have to dig to find an older costume since I’m moving this weekend and everything is everywhere at the moment!

yes but

October 26th, 2011
11:01 am

MJG, while I can understand yours and others point of views regarding driving your children, sometimes it becomes an only choice. My husband was out of town one year and I had a 2 week newborn. My then 5 year old wanted to go trick or treating and we had no one to help with the baby or walk with her. Since our driveway was over a mile off the road (no subdivision), I had no choice but to drive her around a nearby subdivision. The streets went around in one large circle with the exit being 1/2 mile from the entrance. There was no way I could park my car and walk the 2 miles around after I had just had a baby.


October 26th, 2011
11:20 am

I trully loved to make my daughters costumes when she was young. When she was 2 months we went as a red M&M since her intials are MNM. Second she was a angel, before you could by premaid angel, farrie and butterfly wings., Third year I made both she and her older sister buttleflies, A princess on a white horse. And was making her and her doll matching costumes when her father went and bought her a store bought costume. A witch, that night I packed up the fabric still with needls and thread attached and never made her another costume. That was also about the last time I touched my sewing machine.

I love to watch the kids in costume, especially the homemade costumes. My mom never go into helping my brother or I make costumes. I remember once my mother just told me to go with my teddy bear and I would be a princess with her teddy bear. I knew it was not a costume, but didn’t feel I could do much more. The teachers asked what I was and then gave me a sad face. That was the last time I remember dressing up until I got into my teen years

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 26th, 2011
11:27 am

MJG — I remembered about it last night – I will pull it back out and will probably use this week.


October 26th, 2011
12:02 pm

I’m costuming the boy as Herman Cain. It will scare the hell out of the liberals, who want to “take” the candy by force of law.


October 26th, 2011
12:20 pm

My mom had me go as a bunch of grapes one year. I wore a purple sweatshirt and sweatpants and had purple balloons pinned all over me. My mom took a winter hat and wrapped a silk vine around the top for the stem. super cute, super cheap, and can wear the sweatsuit again (as long as they are little and don’t mind :) )


October 26th, 2011
1:42 pm

I usually made my own costume as mom wasn’t into it or was gonna be too busy with something else. I remember a few times she bought me one, but I mostly through something together. I, like RJ, cannot make a costume whatsoever. I just let the kids pick them out and buy them. They love it and have fun and don’t really care if it’s homemade or not.

On the age topic of trick-or-treating, I went through high school cause I LOVED the frenzy of everyone being out walking amongst each other. I was lucky that I had two younger sisters to take out (one is 9 years younger than me the other is 16 years younger) so I didn’t have to worry about people thinking I was too old. I guess it was good for them too, because if I hadn’t taken them out, they wouldn’t have been able to go.


October 26th, 2011
2:50 pm

@ yes but and others…I spoke with my neighbor this morning. She is checking with our board and if there is no problem, I will post a sign that says:

WELCOME TO …… we are happy to have your trick or treat in our neighborhood. Please park your car by the tennis courts/pool and WALK your children. This is for everyone’s safety.

BTW if you park by the clubhouse, there are about 30 houses or so within a block and this is PLENTY of houses for anyone under six IMHO. Plus, they need to get to bed at some point.

I remember when my daughter was born. It was one week before my son turned 5, to the day.
He did NOT get a big birthday party that year…no way I could do it. Oh well, he survived and probably does not even remember it. There were PLENTY of other years!

yes but

October 26th, 2011
3:48 pm

MJG, thank you but mine are now grown thank God lol. I was just saying that not all of us live in an area with a lot of houses. I’ve always lived in the country and had to take my kids to the nearest subdivisions (5 miles) and I always felt like the residents didn’t like us outsiders coming in. Is trick or treating only for the children in subdivisions and is that the way the residents view outsiders? Just askin…


October 26th, 2011
4:06 pm

I knew one family that didn’t have a neighborhood with a lot of houses, so they took candy with them to a subdivision. They’d park the car and the two parents would take turns — one walking their kids to houses and the other staying at the car to hand out candy to neighborhood trick-or-treaters as if they were another house on the street. :)


October 26th, 2011
4:26 pm

HB…that is nice! I do not mind having other kids at all in our neighborhood…it is one day per year and we do it for the kids! We have lived here for over 14 years and seen all sorts of precious children. I love their costumes and enthusiasm. I just do not like it when they could be in harm’s way, with cars up and down the street!

In the summer, many kids invite their friends to our pool and that is fine too. Even though we pay for the pool, I do not mind sharing as long as the kids are polite and clean up after themselves.
When someone has the entire soccer or baseball team in the pool, that is another story to me.
I think they should do that on a night where there are not many kids and leave the weekends open to those who work all week and would enjoy some down time with their families on Saturday afternoon.
Of course, mine are gone now. We laugh that our pool experience is about $20 per visit as we may go 20 times per season and the dues are over $400….kinda expensive!


October 26th, 2011
6:49 pm

Mothergoose..please get over yourself..we live in a neighborhood that people drive their kids around! for whatever reason! you must live in some cookie cutter neighborhood…


October 26th, 2011
7:57 pm

@ get.., yes, I do live in a subdivision but did not live in one growing up and NO ONE drove their cars to trick or treat in Chicago….in the 1960’s. If it were about me, I could simply stay inside and watch TV with my porch light off. It is not at all about me nor my kids…they are grown. It is about HUGE SUVs/Trucks plowing down the streets while little kids are criss crossing. If you are too lazy to walk with your kids ( which is historically what has been done in many, many neighborhoods) PLEASE stay home.

Agree with getoverit

October 27th, 2011
11:34 am

MJG – You need to live in your own world, not us. You gripe every year on here about outsiders coming thru your precious neighborhood on halloween and non-residents using the pool as well. You may tudor children but what you lack to realize is that we here are not children and we don’t believe everyword word you say. We are grown ups that make sound decisions on our own and most of us have made this long without your input. There’s nothing wrong with someone driving their children around to trick or treat as long as they are moving slow and being cautious. I mean how much speed can you get up to between houses? Your neighborhood would be better off if you just turned your lights out, went to bed and slept thru halloween IMO


October 27th, 2011
2:06 pm

@ agree….How do you tudor children? I have never done it and wonder how it is done. Please share.

I am FINE with anyone coming to our neighborhood, AS LONG AS THEY ARE BEING SAFE AND POLITE ABOUT IT. It is not precious.

I have 200 pieces of chocolate to pass out…there are lots of children! I love to see them.

Since you are not IN my neighborhood, you do not see the near misses every year. Our block is not a wide block and there is not enough room for children to move with several large vehicles on the street too. Many of those who KNOW me would agree that it would be a shame for me to miss Halloween. I have visited schools nearly every day and we have had a wonderful time singing and sharing spooky stories….never do I tudor.


this applies to those who cut others off in traffic, leave their dogs outside to bark all day long, talk on their cell phones while at the counter at the bank, toss trash out of the car window, drop cigarettes on the sidewalk or drive their HUGE car down the street for Halloween ( I am not talking about those who need to get home) and a host of other things.

mystery poster

October 27th, 2011
6:11 pm

“If you are too lazy to walk with your kids ( which is historically what has been done in many, many neighborhoods) PLEASE stay home.”



October 27th, 2011
8:08 pm

@mystery….thanks! After all, I am the one buying the candy and I do not buy cheap candy….LOL.


October 28th, 2011
11:17 am

I never remember to get my own costume together for halloween with everything else going on. So I’m still trying to figure out what I have. But I saw a blog post I thought I’d share that had some quick and easy costumes.


October 30th, 2011
5:39 pm

@get… and @agree… A big part of the joy of trick or treating for my son now (and my family when I was young) is passing by all the other kids walking on the streets, seeing their costumes, and greeting them; along with the excitement of walking from house to house and enjoying the fresh, cool crisp air and the lawn decorations. By driving, the focus is really just about hopping out and getting the candy.

MJG and others comments about the drivers are not about those that need to do so for medical reasons. There has certainly been an increase the last few years in those driving around. Another reason we have a rise in obesity. Kids usually have plenty of energy to walk. I think it’s the parents that don’t want to walk and the kids are missing out on some of the fun. I think the increase is also, in part, due to the helicopter parenting and parents being overly afraid for their kids to walk the streets. Or, is it that they feel they can cover more ground quickly and get more candy by driving. We would never consider driving around to do this task.