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DIY: Homemade Halloween

Learn how to make Halloween meaningful and affordable with homemade halloween costumes like a baby dalmation or an extravagant homemade tutu.

It seems that each year as Halloween draws close, my younger sister and I reflect upon costumes of Halloweens past. We chuckle at the many trick or treat events to which she, my sister, wore the same costume that I had worn a couple of years previously. This infamous costume was that of a rabbit. Mom was blessed to be the recipient of a rather large hand me down fur coat to which my she added a pink sun dress and a rabbit mask. Voila, the costume was complete.

While my mother is a woman of many talents and abilities, creativity is not her forte and Halloween certainly never seemed to be her first priority when caring for her own Super Seven. Because of these Halloween experiences growing up, I try to mix things up a little bit on Halloween. In fact, I love Halloween. There is just something about this “Spooktacular” event as it mixes with the autumn breezes that ignites my creative juices.

However, you must realize that I myself am not crafty nor am I a seamstress, so for me, the costumes must be creative and simple. My first Halloween as a mother found my husband and I penniless. Thank goodness for the magazine or TV show which I stumbled upon that guided me through my son’s first Halloween costume- a Dalmatian. The process was simple and cheap and the product has been worn by all four of my sons. I simply visited my local K-Mart for the following items: white sleeper pajamas, white snow beanie, one pair of black gloves, one pair of white gloves.

The process: take a potato and cut it in half, dip it in black paint and potato press the white pajamas and white gloves so as to create black spots on the Dalmatian costume; Second, sew black gloves onto white snow beanie; Third, paint child’s nose black. He was simply adorable.

One year our entire family dressed up as scarecrows. Everything we needed for our costumes we found “in house” including raffia. That Halloween, we were definitely “outstanding in our field.” Another Halloween, I visited our local thrift store and found the necessary items needed to dress our brood as a band of pirates. It was a fun and memorable “All Hallow’s Eve.” Then there was the year I attempted to sew small portions of my son’s batman costume. Thank goodness my husband came to the rescue. I gathered the remaining necessary items as he sewed them together. We were one cute bat family that year – complete with Bat Woman, Baby bat, Batman and of course Robin.







Below is a list of creative and simple of ideas to help you create costumes which are meaningful and inexpensive:

We also consulted our resident tutu expert on how to make your own tutus this Halloween. Tutus make just about any little girl’s costume look spectacular but they can be pricey when bought from the store. Tutus can also be custom made to go with many of the homemade costume ideas found below. Make your tutu pink and white for a bunny or red and black for a ladybug.

Kara Miller’s No Sew Tutu

Cost: Under $10

Things You’ll Need:

Tulle: 6 yards

Elastic: 1/2-1 inch wide




1. Lay tulle out across a large flat surface with fold toward you. Cut 6inch wide strips using all of the tulle. You can use a cutting board and rotary blade or just cut with scissors. It is not important that the strips be perfectly straight or exactly 6 inches wide.

2. Wrap elastic around child’s waist and cut where edges just meet. Overlap elastic 1-inch over the other side and staple together along both edges. Make sure staples are running up and down, not from side to side. You can also hand stitch the elastic together or sew on a sewing machine.

3-Open a strip of tulle and place the center over the back of the elastic. Pull tulle around to the front and tie until snug. Depending on the length of your tulle you may want to keep it folded for a shorter tutu.

4-Repeat with all tulle pieces. Add any bows or flowers on clips in the front to dress it up or leave it just the way it is. Add fake spiders for a with or flowers for a butterfly.


Other costume ideas

Story book characters: Alice in Wonderland, Pippie Longstocking, Tweedle dumb and Tweedle Dee, Little Red Riding Hood, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

Nursery Rhymes: Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Little Bo Beep

Animals: peacock, bunny, tiger, lion, monkey, elephant, turtle, black cat, mouse

Food: raisin, Hershey’s Kiss, grape, M&M’s, carrot

Other: Crayon, Gypsy, Clown, Cave Person, hippie, nerd, magician, Zorro, Old person, alien, scarecrow

Makeup Recipe:

2 tablespoons shortening

4 tablespoons cornstarch

Food Coloring of your choice

Directions: Mix all ingredients together.

Add a bowl of chili to your after Trick or Treating festivities, an old scary movie, and of course for the bedtime story “The Hallowiener by Dave Pilkey. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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