Halloween is right around the corner, and like so many other families, you have been prepping costumes for your children for months. Wait, just kidding. The reality is, it’s difficult to plan ahead for Halloween. With countless parenting commitments, preparing for one evening isn’t always a priority. We understand. And even though it’s Halloween, there’s no reason to be afraid!
With the help of some of our crafty providers, we’ve assembled a list of spooky and fun DIY options to get your little ones in the Halloween spirit! The best part? All of these costumes are meant to be crafted with your little ones, so there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy the process. And don’t worry, it’s not about making the costumes perfect – focus on the fun! Looking for more Halloween crafts? Check out our list of fun Halloween activities for the whole family!
DIY Halloween costumes
1. Unicorn Hoodie Costume
A unicorn costume for Halloween? Yes, please. This fun and magical costume is perfect for the holiday. Does your child have a hoodie? If so, you have the first piece of the costume! From there, you can easily incorporate the materials below to create a comfy unicorn costume. And if you’re feeling up for some additional flair you can add face paint or makeup. After all, all unicorns need to glow!
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks for quick assembly
- Wide plastic headband
- Fabric flowers
- Sticky ornamental gems
- White and pink felt for ears (or any color of your choosing)
- Silver foamie sheet for the horn
- Multi-color yarn
For the horn:
- Cut a 7" in length x 5" in wide triangle shape with your silver foamie sheet and roll it into a cone shape. Then, hot glue the end.
- Make a circle for the bottom of the cone by tracing around the cone. Cut it out and glue onto the hood. Then, hot glue it on to the center of the headband.
- Have your child add some sticky gems to horn.
For the ears:
- Take your stiff white felt and cut roughly 5" to 6" ears in an oval shape. Try to have a subtle point in the shape.
- Take your stiff pink felt and cut a roughly 3" to 4" ear in a similar shape. When you glue it on, layer the pink felt over the white felt.
- Glue the ears on either side of the horn.
- No unicorn headband is the same! Let your child make the fabric floral arrangement. Help them place the hot glue down and then they can get decorating around the headband.
For the unicorn mane:
- Use multicolor rainbow yarn, bought from any craft store. To make your unicorn mane, it’s best to make 7 or 8 yarn bundles at any length you desire.
- Take a piece of cardboard and cut it 4” or 5” wide and about 8” long. Then, begin wrapping the yarn loosely around the cardboard. Careful! Not too tight. Gently push to one side and when you’re about 5” or 6” in length you can cut the yarn.
- Cut another piece of yarn fairly long, and on one side of the cardboard slip yarn underneath. Make sure the ends are long enough to tie a knot at the center (but don't tie them together yet).
- Next, with a pair of scissors, slip under the other side and cut the yarn length-wise. Then, pull the yarn onto the other side and tie it at the center in a double knot. Repeat the process for as many bundles as you’d like.
- Cut a foamie strip about 2 inches wide and length desired and hot glue each yarn bundle on.
- Next, simply hot glue the unicorn mane to the back of your headband and let it drape down the back of hoodie.
For the unicorn tail:
- Using the same multicolor rainbow yarn, let your child stretch their arms out roughly 10” - 12” apart.
- Next, wrap yarn around your hands until you have it’s fairly thick. Now, cut another piece of yarn and slip it through one side and tie a double knot.
- Cut the other side and trim to desired unicorn tail length. You can put a safety pin on the back of the pants.
2. Leaf Bag Costume
When it comes to Halloween, the team at Studio Nafisa always prefers the DIY route. Well, they’ll also admit...they’re just not making it to the store in time to buy a costume. They predict that at around roughly 7pm on October 30th, panic mode begins. While searching for things in the house, sometimes the best DIY inspiration is right in front of you. In this instance, a brown paper bag becomes the chosen one. Yes, certainly an unlikely hero. In last minute DIY fashion, we present to you, the leaf bag costume. This is a quick and fun costume that you can make with your child!
- Brown paper yard bag for the costume
- Duct tape
- Construction paper or any other fall colored paper for leaves
- Poster board (cardboard works well too) for rake
- School Glue stick - Markers or Crayons (optional)
- Face paint (optional)
- Cut a circular hole on one side of the paper bag closer to the bottom. Make sure the child’s face is visible through the hole.
- Cut 2 holes on either side of the paper bag for the arms.
- Duct tape the edges of the cut holes to avoid any tearing of the bag.
- Cut leaf shapes using construction paper and randomly glue the leaves in the front and back of the bag.
- Using a poster board or cardboard, cut a rake for your child to carry in hand.
- Your child could draw or write any Halloween messages on the leaves.
- Face paint your child’s face with Green or Mud color.
3. Frida Khalo Costume
Halloween has always been a favorite holiday for the team at Artists and Crafts! Shaping their child’s Halloween experience and creating new family traditions through fall craft projects is always a priority for them. The best part about this costume is you can do as much or as little “crafting” as you’d like. The main thing to remember is to have fun. So, with that in mind, are you ready to make Frida Kahlo? The famous female Mexican painter has been celebrated as a symbol of national tradition and by feminists as an uncompromising depiction of the female form.
There are three components to transform your child into the iconic painter Frida Kahlo...flowers in hair, layered floral outfit, and, of course, her signature unibrow. You can add to your costume with a stuffed monkey, a paint palette, and even earrings.
- Tissue paper (4 different colors)
- Hot glue or glue stick
- Bobby pins
- Floral dress
- Cardigan, scarf, and/or necklace
- Halloween makeup (or traditional eyeliner)
- Optional - fake flowers
Flowers in hair
For the flowers in hair, we opted to make tissue paper flowers.
- Cut your tissue paper into 4’’x 10’’ rectangles.
- Layer 4 sheets on top of each other. You can make these flowers any color you would like, keep them all one color, or make them multicolored.
- Once you have them layered, you will fold the stack accordion style lengthwise, with the length being the 10’’ side.
- Fold it in half making a crease. Use string to tie a loop around the crease.
- Now cut the ends into a “U” shape. This is what makes it look like petals.
- Now, stretch out the tissue paper and slowly pull each layer apart. And just like that, you have the cutest little flower!
Repeat this for as many flowers as you would like. They made five! Once all of your flowers are made, simply hot glue them onto a store bought headband. To add to the “Frida Look,” part the hair in the middle, make two braids, pull them towards the front, and bobby pin them on top of her head.
Other options for flowers in hair is to buy fake flowers at your local craft store and fix them to a headband or hair clips. You could also buy an already made floral headband from a store.
Layered Flower Outfit
Frida was known for her layered looks. You can achieve this by combining a floral dress with a cardigan, scarf, and/or necklace. There is a lot of fun to be had with this part, especially if you enjoy shopping. The beauty is that the clothing doesn’t have to match perfectly. In fact, it’s almost better if they don’t. You can also add beaded, gold, or floral necklaces.
Her signature unibrow
Frida’s stunning beauty is accentuated by her unibrow and we know your child’s beauty will also shine once you draw in that natural eyebrow. You can use Halloween makeup in both brown and black or even eyeliner. Simply go over their current eyebrows, continuing seamlessly from one side of their face to the other.
Voila! You have your very own mini female art icon! When taking photos to preserve this memory, ask your child not to smile, but to “be serious.” The outcome will be precious and will add to the Halloween fun.
The Craft Studio loves halloween. No really, they love Halloween. For them, it’s the ultimate crafting holiday. And because there’s nothing like a Halloween costume made from scratch, the crafting potential lies in a homemade costume! The best part? You can work with your little ones! These two costumes were made with a 2.5 year old and a 5 year old at the helm!
4. Shooting Comet
- Poster board
- Washable markers in red, yellow, orange, and brown
- Hole punch (for you, the adult assistant to use)
- Scissors (for you, the adult assistant to use)
- Loose Glitter (Godspeed. We wish you nothing but luck as you take this out of the packaging.)
- Tacky glue
- Pipe Cleaners in red, yellow, and orange
- Assorted neon pom poms
- Black marker
- Use a black marker to draw the outline of a spiky and fiery comet and its trail behind it. Next, let the kids color the comet brown and each stripe either red, yellow, or orange.
- Do another spiky comet shape, but much smaller (roughly the size of a grapefruit). Have your little ones color it in yellow, and glue it on to the headband.
- Along the red/yellow/orange trail carefully poke holes with scissors so the kids can insert pipe cleaners. Before they poke them through, make sure they twist them first in order to create a fun texture. Once they poke in, bend them against the poster board so they stay in place.
- Next, do random dots of tacky glue for them to add pom poms on top of the brown comet, and random streaks of glue to shake gold loose glitter on top of the entire “shooting comet”.
- Carefully shake the glitter on top (again, we wish you nothing but luck here) and then discard the excess glitter into a trash can.
- Lastly, hole punch the top of the comet, and again towards the end of the shooting comet trail. Tie a piece of yarn into one hole and then measure where to tie the yarn onto the other so that the cutie wearing it will have it comfortably around their neck.
- And there you have it…the cutest homemade comet ever!
5. Rapunzel in her Tower
- Cardboard box that your little one can comfortably fit around their waste
- Yellow yarn
- Scissors (for you, the adult assistant to use)
- Hole puncher (for you, the adult assistant to use)
- Black poster paint
- White poster paint
- Paint brush
- Paint palette or a plate to pour on
- Floral moss (or crunched up green tissue paper works if you can’t get this)
- Fake fall leaves (or real dried leaves)
- Toilet paper tubes
- Masking tape
- First, you will be in charge of cutting the top and bottom flaps out of the box and setting them aside, you won’t need these for the costume. Make sure to recycle!
- Next, don’t forget that even washable paint can stain! Protect your surface with newspaper and paint (and make sure you’re not in all-white attire...we’ve made that mistake before). On a paint friendly tray or plate, squeeze out a bit of grey and a bit of white. Dip your brush in both colors and paint a streaky grey color on your box and toilet paper tubes to make it look like a castle tower. Cut strips of floral moss or crunch up green tissue paper, to give your castle an old and medieval look. The leaves you tape on will make for a perfect fall landscape.
- Cut triangles out of the card stock and glue them to be the top of the toilet paper towers on your castle (yes, toilet paper towers). Use your masking tape to attach the toilet paper tubes.
- Bunch up enough yarn to make a thick long and lush Rapunzel hair bunch and tie it together. If done correctly, you’ll be incredibly jealous of the beautiful hair you just created! Glue the yarn hair to a headband with tacky glue, and set aside to dry.
- Punch holes in the front of the box. Make sure to align them with shoulders of the little nugget wearing it. Then, holes directly behind them on the other side of the box.
- Tie yarn to the front of the box hole and then feed it to the back hole, making the length long enough for it to become a shoulder strap. Repeat on the other side.
- To complete the look have your cutie wear any dress up outfit they may have, or borrow one from a friend.
- You now have one sweet princess trapped in one cool DIY tower!
It’s safe to say the team at Luna de Papel are a bunch of Halloween pros. Why is that, you ask? Well, in true Halloween fashion, they picked a very scary costume. Two words you were probably hoping to never hear again. Baby shark. However, if that’s too scary, they have an awesome fairy dress option that will be so cute.
6. Baby Shark
- Blue Hoodie ($11.99 but can be cheaper)
- White, red, grey and black felt
- Small piece of cardboard
- Glue gun
- Cut white felt into teeth triangles (about 16 or so), and two circles for eyes.
- Cut red felt into long one inch wide strip to line the hood.
- Cut small circles out of the black felt for eyeballs.
- Cut dorsal fin out of the grey felt - two identical pieces.
- Cut cardboard the same shape of the felt dorsal fin only slightly smaller.
- Glue the felt dorsal fin cut outs together with the cardboard sandwiched in between.
- Glue the white and black circles together to make the eyes.
- Glue the red strip to the edge of the hood on the hoodie all around.
- Glue the teeth to the red strip on the inside of the hood (start from the middle).
- Glue the dorsal fin to the back of the hoodie.
- Glue the eyes on each side of the hood.
7. Fairy Dress
- 6 Rolls of tulle in light colors (three colors with 2 rolls each is sufficient)
- One inch elastic bands for sewing
- Pom pom ribbon
- Paper flower embellishments
- Cut 40 strips of tulle from each color for a total of 120 strips - size roughly two yards each strip (designed to fit child 5-7 years old - can be done to fit child of any size).
- Cut elastic band to the appropriate size to wrap around your child's bust and sew it together at the ends.
- Tie tulle strip in a Lark’s head knot to the elastic band four in a row of the same color and work your way around the band.
- Embellish with paper flowers and tie the pom pom ribbon around the waist line.
- Sew the pom pom ribbon to the elastic band as shoulder straps and decorate with embellishments.