Let’s face it. Some costumes, especially for licensed characters, are easier to buy off the rack. But here are some things you can do to put together costumes that are just as imaginative and creative, using things around your own home.
When Troy and I were pregnant, we would joke that we were going to dress our kids up as Baby Predator and Baby Alien. Look to your kid’s favorite movies, books, or video games, and ask how they would put a costume together. Ask them what they like about their favorite characters or their favorite scenes. It’s not always just about the Instagram for kids.
Also, show them videos and pics from Comic Con or Pinterest and see how you can scale down those types of unique costumes. The more they are involved, the more creative and excited they’ll be.
Shop Your Closet
A lot of characters have everyday clothes that can just be dressed up. Look in your closet for jackets, accessories, bodysuits, and white or colored plain T-shirts.
When my girls were infants, we used plain onesies. We also picked movie characters that were quirky and easy to duplicate. This also made it so there weren’t any copycats.
Think About Accessories
For a lot of characters, you only really need 2-3 accessories or face paint. Look around for briefcases, glasses, sports equipment, helmets, name tags, crowns, hats, wigs, wings, etc.
We also looked at accessories from previous years that could be repurposed. A ninja sword from last year could easily be a Pirate sword or Deadpool swords. I had aviator goggles from one of my college costumes and we’ve used them for Riddick and Mad Max.
Arts and Crafts
If we’re focusing on accessories, try your hand at making them. Growing up, my stepmom was great at sewing costumes, but I unfortunately am not that skilled. However, I was able to make a Bane mask with cardboard, craft store elastic and a glue gun. I also made an Avatar cape with some leftover yellow fabric and a travel sewing kit. Is it super polished? No, but the pictures still looked great and they’ll hold up for one night of Trick-or-Treating.
Cardboard, spray paint, super glue, card stock, tulle, glitter, your printer or Cricut; all of these can be found around the house and can put together a creative outfit. You can also get in the kitchen for papier-mâché or find a recipe for makeup blood.
Many consignment stores sell used costumes, and of course many of these costumes have only been worn once. If your kid absolutely has to be Elsa or part of Paw Patrol, look at consignment shops first before buying off the rack.
I’ve also bought inexpensive white Keds and turned them into saddle shoes, used kids boots for The Fast and The Furious, and a used blazer and shearling kids jacket for Gogo Yubari and Bane.