I love the idea of a homemade Halloween, but as a mom of a newborn, shortcuts sound equally appealing. So, I took three store-bought costumes and put my own DIY spin on them. I made a parrot and vest for my little pirate, a plane for my pilot, and a flower for me to wear with my baby bee. Get inspired by these Halloween costume makeovers to create some fun DIYs for your family.
Editor’s Note: Babble participates in affiliate commission programs, including with Amazon, which means that we receive a share of revenue from purchases you make from the links on this page.
Pirate with a Parrot
First up, the pirate. This basic costume was fairly cheap, and provided a great foundation to add our own pizazz. I created a paper mache parrot and simple vest to take it up a notch. What pirate is complete without his trusty parrot sidekick?
- Pirate costume (I bought this one on Amazon)
- Scrap paper (I used packing paper)
- Duct or masking tape
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- Acrylic paint (red, yellow, black, and white)
- Paint brushes
- Black canvas fabric
- Sewing needle
- Mold the scrap paper into the shapes that will make up the bird: the body, head, wings, and tail. Use the tape to hold it together and smooth out any crumpled parts.
- Create paper mache paste with a 1-to-1 water-flour ratio. I used 1 cup of each, and it was more than enough.
- Tear your newspaper into 1-inch strips. Then coat with a thin layer of paste. Slide two fingers down the length of each strip to rid the excess paste.
- Cover your bird with a layer of pasty newspaper strips and allow to dry. Repeat with a second layer. I sped up the drying process by putting it in a 225 F oven.
- Once the second layer is dry, you can paint! (My little man did the heavy lifting here and loved every second.)
- For the vest, I folded a black canvas fabric around the striped costume top and trimmed the excess off the bottom.
- I then sewed the shoulders together at the top (two straight lines — nothing fancy) and cut armholes. You can hand sew or use a machine.
Next up, I got a darling pilot costume and using a couple of moving boxes to create a DIY airplane. He has been flying around the house in it ever since.
- Pilot costume (I bought this one from Melissa & Doug)
- 2 small moving boxes (16x12x12 inches)
- Red acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Stapler and staples
- Cut the top and bottom off one box, then cut the propeller, tail, and wing pieces from the second box.
- Paint red accents on the propeller and wings. (It also looks great as-is if you’re in a hurry to get out the door on the 31st.)
- Cut slits for the tail and wing pieces, and wedge them into the main box.
- Hot glue the propeller onto the front of the box.
- For trick or treating, staple ribbons to each side for wearable straps.
Baby Bee and Mama Flower
Finally, we created a baby-wearing costume duo: a baby bee and mama flower. The little bee costume can’t be beat at just $6. I added a yellow baby carrier and whipped up a DIY flower accompaniment. Done, and done!
- Bee costume (I bought this one on Amazon)
- Yellow baby carrier (like this one at Target)
- Card stock (a paper plate will do just fine!)
- Crepe paper or streamers
- Glue stick
- Sewing needle
- Duct or masking tape
- Cut two circles out of the card stock to create a base for each flower.
- Cut out crepe paper petals. It’s so thin that you can cut 5 or more at a time.
- Glue the petals, from the outside spiraling inward, pulling a bit on each petal to give it some texture.
- For the center of the flower, cut a strip of fringe in a complementary crepe paper color.
- Then glue in the center.
- Sew the ends of the elastic together just long enough to fit around your head, then adhere the flowers to the headband using masking or duct tape (underneath so it doesn’t show).