Stores are constantly trying to sell you something. If it's not something you need now, it's something you will need soon. That's why you're still wearing shorts when they start pitching Back to School and you haven't even sharpened a pencil before Christmas decorations take over. Baby stores are no different. I was barely in the door of one before being presented with the most adorable selection of baby boy Halloween costumes; pumpkins, Frankenstein and the nail in my wallet's coffin... a dinosaur. My husband had one in his hand immediately. Okay, it's super cute and I let it go. He's our first and currently only, I will allow the indulgence.
Having said that, however, I can't buy a costume every year... They can be unimaginative, poorly made, and with the prospective of multiple children, can really add up! More than that, when I think about my favourite costumes over the years, they were usually ones that my parents had made especially for me. Unique, special, and undoubtedly a lot cheaper. So if you have a few moments to spare and a few dollars to spend, how can you make a wonderful Halloween costume? Here are a few tips:
Under 4 years old:
Start with pajamas! Take a old pair or a very inexpensive pair and a minimal amount of accessories from the crafting or dollar store will make the basis for some seriously cute results!
- Green footsie pajamas and a pointy stalking cap can become a string bean for a lean baby. Add some green pompoms to turn him in to a sweet pea! A painted tin pie plate can make for a turtle shell! A collar and some mittens could become Kermit the frog!
- A neutral colour pajama can become all matter of animal - a super cute choice for a little one. A little felt fringing for a lion mane, for example, or some fuzzy ears attached to a hood for a cat or mouse.
5-10 years old:
The age of imitation! This is when kids love to play and dress up like movie or tv characters. Start with an oversize adult t-shirt!
- Slice the sleeves off an orange tee and add a felt tie and spots for a Fred Flinstone look. A white tee cut on an angle with a twisted neckline can become Wilma for a matching set.
- A dark green shirt, green tights, and a brown belt is a perfect place to start for any number of characters; Robin Hood needs a sword and a feathered cap, add some pointed shoes and a dagger for Peter Pan, or a cute bun, inexpensive wings, and glitter for a feminine Tinkerbell!
- http://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com has a fantastic tutorial on how to turn a t-shirt in to a custom cape that will last far longer than those store bought plastic ones. A red or black shirt would work best here of course.
- Pink, purple or light blue is a good way to start a princess. Fluff up the sleeves, add a shiny belt, a little volume to the skirt, then add sparkles! Little girls love any opportunity for a fancy hairdo and makeup.
11 and up:
Think outside the box! The cardboard box that is... Without as many concerns about safety, take your bold costume to new heights with bigger pieces that make a statement.
- Paint yourself something bold and interesting like an iPod or a juice box. Add some paper cups for a Lego look.
- Turn your box into a car, train, boat, or other ride and cruise in to that Halloween party!
Of course, these are very basic outfits, but I hope we have offered something to inspire you. If you like some of the ideas you have seen here, but need a little more instruction, you can certainly look at sites such as Etsy or Pinterest for examples or even tutorials. Share ideas with crafty friends and family while you're learning. Also, stock up on some essentials to take your costume to the next level when you see them on sale; washable paint, paper plates for masks and texture, felt or other fabric squares, etc. The fun thing about Halloween is that it is all about imagination. Don't plan too far ahead, let your child and the season guide you. By the time those products are in store you still have over a month to prepare!