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Thrifty Frights: DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Scrambling to find a last minute Halloween costume? Do the prices of store-bought costumes make you scream with fright? Well, rest your pounding heart and trembling hands! This year’s Halloween costume search need not be a scary experience! There are plenty of Do-It-Yourself costume ideas that will wow your friends and not break the bank. And don’t worry: I won’t tell you to wrap your child in a garbage bag and have them go as a “raisin!” These ideas are more fun and creative than that!

Take a peek at some of these fun costume ideas, raid the closets, and unleash your creative side.

Raining Cats and Dogs

Watch out for poodles! Pull out your child’s rain coat, boots, and a few of her furry friends for a clever conceptual costume. All you need is an old umbrella and a hot glue gun to attach the old stuffed animals. If you don’t have stuffed animals you want to apply glue to, pick some up at the Dollar Tree store or local thrift store. Now just wait for the compliments to rain down!

Scuba Diver

Take the plunge with an ensemble you can assemble from your child’s summer wardrobe! Simply use board shorts, a T-shirt, and water shoes. You won’t want to use flippers unless you are at a party, since they will for sure hold you up if you trick or treat in them. The protective goggles can come straight from the toolbox or summer toy bin, and the oxygen tank can be made from spray-painted water bottle!

Pig in a Blanket


This one is perfect for tiny trick or treaters! Start by decking out your little one in pink, head to toe. A pink sweatsuit will work best. Glue felt ears snipped from a piece of pink crafting felt to a headband. A little rouge on the nose and cheeks finishes the look. Then, wrap her in her favorite blankie, and you’ve got one little piggy way too adorable to stay home!

Spelling Bee

Wondering what all the buzz is about? This spelling bee costume idea is truly unique! This costume starts with a basic black leotard and matching opaque tights. Dress up the leotard with yellow painter’s tape, and then add adhesive letters. Basic wings can be found in the toy aisle at most retail stores and even your local Dollar Tree and can be spray painted black or yellow if you wish.

Hula Girl

For the girl who lives for the luau, make sure she’s dressed for island hopping this Halloween. This Hawaiian-inspired get-up starts with a brown paper bag and is properly accessorized with clusters of colorful cupcake liners. Just cut the brown paper bag into strips and glue to a thick strip that will fit around her waist. Pair with a colorful top and flip flops. To make the lei, just string colorful cupcake liners on a thread and tie. Or, you can pick up leis at most Dollar Tree stores and craft stores.

Safari Guide

Get ready for adventure in the wild with this great costume! Simply cut a brown paper grocery bag into a vest (make a slit down the front, add two holes for arms) and add a straw hat. Pair the vest with khaki pants and a checked shirt. You can create binoculars from a pair of empty toilet paper rolls, and add a handful of stuffed animals to complete the look! Rawr!

Thank you, Real Simple!

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