by Christy Whitehead
You can create delightful Halloween costumes at home in five minutes to one hour, once you have the supplies. It’s easy! Give one of these creations a try.
Time: 20 minutes.
What you need: Gray pants. Gray long-sleeved shirt. A headband that matches your child’s hair or is gray. Gray fuzzy slippers or fuzzy socks. Three squares of gray felt. Two squares of pink felt. Glue gun. Black marker. Wire hanger. Wire cutters.
To assemble: For the mouse tail, unravel a wire hanger and cut it to the desired length. Glue gray felt over the wire to cover it. Leave 1/2 inch of felt hanging at one end. Glue this to the back of the gray shirt. Cut 2 small rounded ears out of the gray felt. Cut 2 small pieces out of the pink for the inner part of the ear. Glue the pink to the inside of the felt ear. Glue the ears onto the headband.
Take 1 piece of pink felt and cut into a large oval shape. Glue this to the belly of the shirt. Cut two small paw shapes (like a mitten shape). Draw a line for the toes. Cut 2 small pink ovals and glue them to the bottom of the fuzzy slippers or socks. To draw toes on the slippers, take a black marker and draw 2 lines that are evenly spaced. The lines should start about 1 inch from the top of the sock and be drawn over the top of the sock, so that the toes are visible on both sides.
One Blue Elephant
Time: 1 hour.
What you need: Blue hooded sweat suit. 1 yard of blue felt. 1 foot of pool hose (purchase from hardware store).
1 sheet of white sticky-backed Foamies (usually found near the felt in a craft store). Pipe cleaners. Dark blue ribbon.
1 square of white felt. Glue gun. 1 wire hanger. Wire cutters. For the candy bag: 1 bag with handles. 1 sheet of yellow felt. Markers.
How to assemble: Cut 4 large round ear shapes, no bigger than your child’s head, from the blue felt. For each ear, take 2 of the pieces and between them, glue pipe cleaners laid flat to create stiffness. Glue or sew about 3 inches of each ear to the hood of the sweatshirt, near the face.
Cut the pool hose to a desired length for the trunk. Unravel the wire hanger and cut it about 1 inch shorter than the hose. Insert the hanger inside the hose. Cover the hose with blue felt, including the hole on at least 1 end. The covered hole will be the end of the trunk. On this end you will glue 2 small, skinny ovals. On the other end of the trunk cut a slit on either side. Run a ribbon through the slits. The ribbon needs to be long enough to go around the child’s neck loosely and make a bow behind his head.
On the white sticky-backed Foamies draw and cut 2 rounded tusks about 6 inches long. Pull the backing off of the Foamies, just enough to make them stick to either side of the base of the trunk, near the ribbon. (When dressing child, tie the trunk loosely around the neck, and then pull hood of shirt up.)
Use whatever is left of the wire hanger or another hanger to make a small tail of about 8 inches. Glue blue felt over the wire to cover it. Leave 1/2 inch of felt hanging at one end. Glue this to the back of the sweat shirt.
For shoe covers, cut 2 ovals out of the blue felt that are just a bit smaller than the top of the child’s feet. Cut 4 small, skinny ovals out of white felt. These will be the elephant’s “toenails.” Glue two toenails to each of the ovals. Strap the ovals over the shoes with ribbon.
For the peanut bag: Write “peanuts” on the candy bag with a marker. Cut peanut shapes out of yellow felt and add details with markers. Glue the peanuts onto the bag.
Time: 15 minutes. (Note: This idea is good for slightly older children who don’t mind carrying things.)
What you need: Long-sleeved blue shirt and matching blue pants. Small wicker basket or small laundry basket. Embroidery hoop. About 9 helium balloons. 2 sheets of white sticky-backed Foamies from a craft store. Ribbon that matches clothes. Small, lightweight doll.
How to assemble: Have child put on the blue clothes. Cut cloud shapes out of sticky-backed Foamies. Pull the backs off the Foamies and stick the clouds to the shirt.
While child is holding basket, attach the balloons to an embroidery hoop. When the balloons are attached to the side of the basket, the hoop should be just above the child’s head.
Place a lightweight doll inside the basket. Use ribbon woven through the basket to hold the doll in place. For extra pizzazz, tape a piece of candy onto doll’s hand.
Run ribbon through the side of the basket that does not have the doll. Then wrap the ribbon around child’s waist and tie in a bow in the back.
Alternative version for infant: Use a basket that is large enough to fit inside of stroller and let child sit inside the basket as the hot air balloon captain.
1950s Sock-Hop Girl
Time: 30 minutes.
What you need: White shirt. Sweater. 2 scarves. About 1 yard of pink or bright colored felt. A poodle appliqué (or cut a dog from fabric). Funky, skinny ribbon. Ribbon can be the color of the skirt. White shoes. Black marker. Socks with lace. Funky glasses. Measuring tape. Glue gun. Sewing machine.
How to assemble: Measure around the child’s waist and add about 6 inches. This will be how wide you need to cut the pink felt. Measure from the waist down to just between the knees and the ankles. This will be how long you need to cut the pink felt. Once the felt is cut, fold the waist of the skirt over to create a small pocket. It needs to be just big enough that the ribbon can go through it.
Sew the fold down, toward what will be the inside of the skirt, making sure not to go over the opening for the ribbon. Sew the length of the skirt bottom to make a hem. Fold the skirt so that the inside is facing you and sew the final seam to complete the dress’s shape. After sewing, turn the skirt right-side out.
Cut a piece of ribbon longer than the waist of the skirt. Tie one end to an ink pen lid. Use the pen to guide ribbon through the waist pocket. (Then put the pen away.) Leave the ribbon hanging from both openings, so the skirt can be pulled tight around your child’s body.
On the front of the skirt, wrap some of the funky ribbon around the
appliqué dog’s neck, like a leash. Glue it there. Let the ribbon come across the skirt and up to the waist. Glue it in place.
Use the black marker to color the white shoes to look like old “saddle shoes.” Color the sides and the tongue of the shoe.Have your child dress in the outfit. Tie a scarf loosely around her neck and another scarf to her hair. Use a vintage purse to collect candy while chewing bubblegum.
Time: 5 minutes
What you need: Plaid vest. Plaid knee socks. Long-sleeved shirt. Baggy, tan pants. Bow tie or wired ribbon to make a bow. Goofy golf hat. Child’s toy golf bag to collect candy.
To assemble: Put on outfit. Roll the pants under to create a pair of long shorts. Carry golf bag to gather candy with. When given candy say things like, “It’s another hole-in-one!”
Christy Whitehead is a freelance writer and photographer.