Halloween costume prices are climbing every year, and at the same time hemlines are shrinking. Instead of blowing your entire budget on a costume that might not be appropriate—or worse than that, might not be made from safe materials—parents have turned to DIY costumes, just like in the “old days.”
Before you start ripping up old sheets and heating up the hot glue gun, make sure to consider your child’s safety.
1. Think of safety with your child’s costume
Taking your kids trick or treating can be exciting for kids, but nerve wracking for parents. Twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. When making their costume some of the safety precautions you can take are:
● Use reflective tape on the child’s costume. Only 18 percent of parents currently do this; however it can save your child from being struck by a vehicle.
● Make costumes using bright fabric. Try to stay away from all-black costumes, as they are harder to see in the dark.
● Use fabric that is not highly flammable. For example, polyester, wool, feather and smooth fabrics with a slightly raised surface (like crushed velvet) are more likely to melt than flare up when exposed to fire, making them safer than cotton and shimmery fabrics.
● Beware of long dangling sleeves and hanging fabric. If a child is near a jack-o-lantern with hanging sleeves, it can be a recipe for disaster.
● Consider hem length. If a child is wearing a long skirt or pants that are a little too long, they are more likely to trip and get hurt. Use safety pins if needed to raise hem lines.
● Consider accessories. Try to stay away from masks that might obscure the child’s vision (which can cause them to walk out in front of a car), and remember that neck ties or scarves can easily become a choking risk or can dangle into a flame.
● Use glow-sticks. Having your child carry glow-sticks as well as hanging them from the costume can help increase their visibility to motorists. You can even use glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns instead of candles to reduce the risk of catching fire.
2. DIY Costumes that are easy and fun to make
Once you have taken all of the safety factors into consideration, it is time to start making a fun costume! These costumes won’t break the bank, but will turn heads!
Corn on the Cob
This costume is almost as much fun to make as it is adorable. Perfect for boys or girls, you only need a few things:
A green sweater or green shirt
Old egg cartons
Yellow tights or rain boots
All you need to do to make this fun costume is to paint the egg cartons yellow. This will be the actual “corn” part of the costume. Take the green felt and cut it into strips and hot glue it to the green shirt or sweater. This creates the “husk” part. Then, glue the yellow egg crates to the green shirt between the felt pieces. The yellow tights or boots will create the perfect finish to this easy fun costume.
This costume is perfect for any age and is sure to delight. All you need is:
2 empty soda bottles (2 liter for bigger kids, 1 liter for toddlers and babies)
Spray paint or food coloring
Black electrical tape
A black shirt and black pants
The beauty of this costume is that there is no sewing needed, and the black shirt and pants are totally reusable! To start, spray paint the two liter bottles. You can use standard colors like blue or green, or even bright neon colors. If spray painting isn’t your favorite way to paint, you can also use food coloring in water to fill the bottles for color (but beware, this could get heavy for your little one’s back) or regular finger paint to cover the bottles. Once you have painted the bottles, use the electrical tape to bind them together. This will create the look of an oxygen tank. Then, using yarn or even rolled tape, tie the tape around the top of the bottle and the bottom. This will create straps so make sure to not connect them too tightly.
Then, using dollar store foam curlers, you can create a tool belt. Simply use electrical tape to connect all of the curlers and tape to the pants. Add your snorkel and goggles and voila! A scuba diver!
BONUS: By turning the bottles upside down and adding red and orange streamers, you have a DIY jet pack!
Who doesn’t like to spend a little time under the sea on Halloween? For this easy costume, you will need:
Four pairs of colorful footed tights or pantyhose
A matching shirt
Batting or soft stuffing
This is one of the easiest costumes that is great for busy working moms. All you need to do is to stuff all four sets of tights with stuffing or batting. This will create the octopus tentacles. Next, you will need to tie the leggings together in a circle. You will need to make sure to do this directly on the child so that you don’t make it too tight or too loose. You can tie the leggings up by twisting every other leg together, or by rolling them together on the tops. Safety pins will help keep them all in place once you have your tentacles tied up. You can have your child wear the same color leggings or pants and a matching shirt and they will be the perfect creature of the sea!
America’s founding fathers and even kings from centuries past have rocked a curly gray wig—so why not make it a costume?
All you will need is:
At least 15 empty toilet paper rolls (cardboard)
A nice outfit (like a white shirt and slacks)
A hair band
Using hot glue or tape (or even staples) connect the rolls together side by side to create the wig. When you pick it up, it should make a U shape. Hot glue the top of the “wig” formed from the rolls to a hair band. This is your fancy curly head piece! Pair it with a robe or a nice outfit and you will have an outfit fit for a king, or Benjamin Franklin!
For more exciting costume ideas and Halloween safety tips, visit TBParenting.com.