DIY Tips :: Creating the Perfect Halloween Costume

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The winds have changed, the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, and Halloween is knocking at our doors; which means the costume hunt is on for our trick-or-treaters. I am such a sucker for homemade costumes. Nothing beats a creative, one-of-a-kind, wearable and durable Halloween costume.
 

       

Over the years I have made many of my kids’ costumes, bringing my inner project runway contestant out. I haven’t always been successful, and I’ve had to throw in the towel a few times with a last-minute run to Party City. It hurts my heart to spend any amount of money on a horribly made costume that barely survives one wear. You don’t have to be a seamstress or a stay-at-home-mom to make a unique, one-of-a-kind DIY costume. Here are just a few tips from this DIY DI-TRY mom, on creating that perfect piece.

Internet Inspiration 

When my kids choose their character, I look to Google for pictures and inspiration.
I find the color palette and pick a main accessory to work off of. There needs to be one distinctive feature that identifies your child’s character.

  

Here is my son Nixson dressed as Disney’s Goofy. His distinctive features are the large gloves that we happened to have stuffed in a closet (but a rather easy online purchase if needed). I shopped in the  Hobby Lobby t-shirt section for his orange shirt and bought a black t-shirt to cut into a vest. His green beanie was an Amazon purchase. I simply stuffed it with a Wal-Mart bag and added felt pieces for the ears and black tie. Bright blue pants were purchased from H&M, and we already had the black Converse shoes. This costume cost me a whopping $23 dollars, and we were able to re-use all the pieces for everyday clothes. We even re-used this costume several times for character day at school. 

TuTu’s are Too, Too Easy

 

Coming from a ballerina (insert eye roll), of course I’d say you can’t go wrong with a great tutu. For all my girl moms, I’m here to say you can create ANY character with a roll of tulle and ribbon or elastic. Stick to the color scheme, and you’ll find a winner every time! If you want to give it a go and call it a day, here is a quick link on how to make a tutu:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNdaQWJ93l4

Creative Interpretations 

I try to think outside of the box when putting something together. One year, my daughter Lily asked to be a baby duck. The internet wasn’t much help for me, so I had to get my creative gears turning. I dusted off the sewing machine and put my very rusty seamstress skills to the test.

Opting for white, I bought felt, feather boas and pink ribbon. Spending a solid hour at a sewing machine I really didn’t know how to use, I threw together a poodle skirt; chopping off the length to shorten it. Then I hot glued feathers to the skirt and the front of a white onesie and added a big, pink bow for that distinctive baby look. To add some character, I cut little duck feet out of orange felt and tied them to Lily’s shoes. Every girl needs a bow, so we finished her look off with a pink ribbon and feathers hair clip. This costume is my all-time favorite, and I topped out at $15 dollars!

Repurpose and Reuse

Spending any amount of time or money on a costume should warrant wanting to want to re-use it… right? At least that’s my philosophy. Creating a costume with wearable clothes makes it easier to re-purpose and reuse, but sometimes a costume is a costume, and it becomes just another thing shoved in a drawer. In order to prevent this, I try to find ways to re-create looks with costumes I already have. 

Lending pieces to friends and family to let your awesomeness live on through others is a sure way to do it! My brother and sister-in-law reused some of my son’s UP costume for a couples party.

       

Passing hand-me-downs to younger siblings is always a good way to go, too. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell were two of my first homemade costumes. We reused Peter Pan for school character day, and years later, I was able to re-purpose Tinkerbell into Moana’s Heart of Tafiti. 

In case you couldn’t tell, this was one of those years a quick trip was made to Party City.

  

Whether you choose to create something original or buy from the store, the joy it brings out in our little ones makes it worth the while. Happy costuming, Mummies! May your trick-or-treaters be the cutest yet!

Have any DIY tips or all-time favorite costumes? Share with us in the comments!

  

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A native to the Birmingham area, Lindsay is a retired professional ballerina. She spent her time training and performing with prestigious dance companies around the country. Now, she is holding down the fort in Alabama, Lindsay lives with her loving husband, Ian and three children Nixson, Lily and Amelia. You’ll find Lindsay sharing her love for dance, as a ballet instructor; and in between the delicate in’s and out’s of being a wife and mother, she manages to squeeze in some time to sweat it out on her yoga mat. An active member of her church, Lindsay lives her life with unwavering faith and love for the Lord. Hoping to spread a little joy and laughter, Lindsay likes to share her life journey and stories from a comical point of view. Striving to live life fully by finding laughter in the chaos.