I love dressing my kids up for Halloween, but in recent years it seems like finding the right kid costume has grown more expensive and time-consuming than ever before. The good news is that you don’t have to drop $100 on a costume (or spend dozens of hours on a DIY) to put your kid in something cool. Here are 10 simple costumes you can make, largely using things you likely already have around the home, that will take less than ten minutes to prepare — and cost no more than $10!
Bumble Bee and Beekeeper:
- Found objects: Black and yellow clothes, black ribbon, straw hat
- Purchased: Yellow Duck Tape, Tulle, Butterfly Net
- Directions: To make the bee costume, apply the yellow tape to the black clothes, creating even stripes. Create a “stinger” by wrapping tape around itself, then tape it to the pants just below the waistband. You can also purchase (or make) an antenna for the bee to wear (but my son never would have kept them on!). For the beekeeper, attach the tulle to the brim of the hat with pins, tape, or staples.
- Found objects: White onesie, white yarn, pom-pom maker, safety pin, black eyeliner
- Purchased: Pink felt, bunny ears, tail
- Directions: Cut a circle of pink felt and attach to the front of the onesie (I sewed mine on). Draw a bunny nose and whiskers with black eyeliner. Attach bunny tail (I made mine with the pom-pom maker but you can also buy one) and put on bunny ears. Bonus points if you have a carrot!
- Found objects: Bright clothes, argyle socks, golf club, golf balls
- Purchased: Newsboy cap, green craft felt
- Directions: Find your loudest, craziest patterns and put them on — they don’t even have to match! I was lucky that my aunt plays golf and let me borrow some of her gear, but a plastic golf club would have worked just as easily.
- Found objects: Red shorts, sunglasses
- Purchased: Zinc sunscreen
- Directions: Pretty much the easiest costume around! If you don’t have zinc oxide, you can use face paint or regular sunscreen — just don’t rub it in.
- Found objects: black pants and jacket, bow tie, brown eyeliner, construction paper
- Purchased: Top hat
- Directions: The keys to this outfit are the top hat and beard. It’s actually easy to make a top hat if you don’t want to buy one. For the beard, keep it no wider than the temples and be sure to cover the entire front of the chin. With construction paper, you can either cut out a map of the United States, or you can write “Gettysburg Address” on the top and have your child carry it around!
- Found objects: Black clothes, beret, black eyeliner, red lipstick
- Purchased: White face paint
- Directions: My daughter could handle sitting still for the white face paint but my son definitely could not, so know what your children will happily tolerate before you start. Mimes always draw on their eyebrows and emphasize their eyes and lips, so focus on those areas for makeup. Teach your kids some basic “mime in a box” moves and they’ll be all set!
- Found objects: Red, white, and blue clothes, multi-colored construction paper
- Purchased: Red, white, and blue ribbon, red and yellow tissue paper
- Directions: Put on your patriotic gear. Make a torch by rolling a piece of black construction paper into a tube, then stuffing red and yellow tissue paper into one end. Cut a circle out of yellow/gold construction paper and attach it to the red, white, and blue ribbon. Consider making Olympic rings, or walking behind your child with a boombox blasting “Chariots of Fire.”
- Found objects: Black jacket, chopstick, glasses, black eyeliner
- Purchased: Tie
- Directions: Honestly, just drawing the lighting-bolt scar on your child’s forehead is practically enough, but you can’t go wrong by adding a red and yellow Gryffindor tie. A black jacket or bathrobe, glasses, and a chopstick-wand complete the look.
- Found objects: Black T-shirt slightly larger than your child
- Purchased: Aluminum foil
- Directions: Cut your foil into small strips and fold pieces of it into the hair at the root. Put the black T-shirt on to simulate a hair salon robe.
- Found objects: Shorts, tank top, glue gun, newspaper
- Purchased: Black, yellow, and white craft felt
- Directions: Cut a strip of black felt that will fit around your child’s waist. Cut out a square of yellow felt, then attach it to the middle of the black strip of felt (this is the belt buckle). To make the barbell, cut four circles of black felt (two for each side) and one longer, rectangular piece. Glue or sew two of the circular pieces together, stuffing with newspaper. Repeat with the other two round pieces. Cut numbers out of the white felt and glue them to the outside of the black circles. Make a tube with the longer, rectangular piece of felt, then glue the two stuffed black circles to either end. Prepare for your child to get totally swole.