Halloween Doesn't Need To Come From A Store

My brother is 26 and Mom is still making his Halloween costumes.

My mom was doing DIY before DIY was cool. Before Pinterest, before downloadable templates, before you could order your fabric and supplies online. 

Every Halloween when I was a kid, Mom handmade costumes for my brother and me, whatever we wanted to be. Over the summer we got to go to the fabric store and look through their fat McCall pattern books to pick out our costumes. She bought the paper patterns and bolts of fabric and notions the “recipe” called for. 

Then Mom would go to work on our costumes after work at night and on weekends, holed up in her sewing room. When they were ready it was more like Christmas than Halloween.

I was a giant panda, complete with bear head that I could see out of. I was an orange-yarn-haired Rainbow Bright. My brother is 26 and Mom is still making his Halloween costumes. 

When we were little, the other kids were wearing store-bought costumes, which back then consisted of plastic pants and a Spiderman mask with an elastic band to keep it on the face. I had no idea how lucky we were!

If you want to give your child the “I’m-the-only-one-of-these” experience this year, make his Halloween costume. There’s still time. And you don’t have to be a super sewer or crafty diva.

If you’re a true DIY novice, here are five easy costumes your kid is sure to be the only one on the block wearing. But hurry! The Big Haunt is a mere four weeks away!

Mummy – This no-sew costume requires a white t-shirt, white pants, strips of white fabric and Tacky glue. What could be easier? Oh, and a child who can stand still for 30 minutes. Good luck with that.

Lady Bug – Black pants and a shirt, under a red vest or sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. Glue black felt dots to the red vest, or paint them on. Attach black pompoms to the ends of black pipe cleaners, then attach the antennae to a black headband. If you had all the ingredients, this is a costume you could probably make in 10 minutes flat. 

Human Lego – I love this one because it’s literally just a couple of boxes and Solo cups. Cut some holes for arms and head, paint boxes, cut out openings for cups and secure them. Just add kid! 

Sweet Ghost – Or fairy, princess, butterfly or ballerina. This tutu is versatile! It’s a time-consuming project, but an easy one. You’ll need elastic for the waistband, lots and lots of tulle, and whatever ribbons or flowers or other items you need to decorate it. For the ghost, cut out black felt and glue it to the tulle, then outline the cutouts with glitter glue.

Fuzzy Chicken – I saved this one for last because it’s the most challenging of the DIY costumes I’m featuring. It requires a little more patience and a tiny bit of hand sewing. It’s mostly just gluing and assembling, but there is some stitching required. It’s doable, though, even for a beginner, and the finished costume makes for one cute chicken!


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