My Favorite Halloween costumes

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the drama of it.  I had so much fun dressing up as a kid, and when I became a mom I was so glad that sewing was one of my hobbies – being able to take a couple of words and ideas from my daughters’ imaginations and create the perfect costumes for them makes me so happy!
I just want to share some of these costumes with you, and how I made them.  They all came from Maya and Lily with my own construction twists – There are probably tutorials online for most of them, but I wasn’t online so much then, so I wasn’t searching pinterest for cool ideas 🙂

My favorite has to be when Lily was 4.  I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween (expecting her to say ballerina or fairy…) and she grinned, “Can I be a basket of laundry?”

This costume truly is simple.

A wicker basket with the bottom cut out (a friend of mine had a broken basket that she gave me, but you could probably find a cheap one at a thrift store)

Some sturdy ribbon

a staple gun

a dozen or so pieces of clothing

I started with the basket and cut out the bottom.  I used waistband elastic to make the suspenders, but I definitely recommend wide grosgrain ribbon or something else non-elastic.  With the elastic, the basket “bounced” as she walked and I think it made it seem a lot heavier to her.  I stapled the ribbon directly to the  edge of the  front of the basket, and then to the back of the basket (making sure they would cross in the back so as not to slip off her shoulders.)  It may take a bit of experimentation to figure out the exact placement of the straps so that he/she is comfortable.

After that I took items of clothing and stapled them so that they were hanging over the edge of the basket, as well as putting some up along the ribbon. The underwear on the head really makes the costume, though, don’t you think?

What I love about this costume is that is doesn’t matter how cold it is…you can layer all you want under the basket, and mixing and matching just makes the costume better!


I find it funny that as I go back through the photo albums my favorite costumes have been “no-sew.”  Here is another – Maya’s Frankenstein:

I dug through the thrift store racks for anything olive green.  I found corduroys and a sweatshirt in her size as well as an oversized t-shirt.  Loved the price of 1.49 per item! (especially since I was going to cut up the shirt and tatter the hem on the pants)

I had been saving wine corks for years. While I planned on doing something crafty with them, I did not anticipate using my champagne corks as bolts in Frankenstein’s neck! I made a simple band of green fabric as a collar (the closer you can get the color to that of the facepaint, the better, but I didn’t bother) with velcro at the back.  I painted the corks black and hot glued them to either side of the collar.

The rest of the costume is makeup – gelled back hair, a green face/neck, an incision across the forehead, black eyebrows and lips…have fun with it!

Here’s another favorite (if only because of the absurdity.)  If your child tells you she wants to be a purple and green alien monster – please don’t say no!

It took a bit of discussion to understand what she meant (I don’t think she quite knew herself)

I cobbled together a costume in this shiny scaly green fabric I found at Joann’s using  patterns from my stash (you could very easily pick up a sleeper pattern) and a vest out of purple furry fleece (or something like that) If you have a vest pattern, instead of cutting it straight across at the waist, taper it down to a point at the center back like a tail.

I made little cone spikes, stuffed them with batting, and hand stitched them down the back of the vest

The final touches (other than makeup) were the knit hat with vinyl horns and “teeth” and the wrist/ankle bands with vinyl “claws”

Maya was a ghost one year… the only thing I needed to buy was cheesecloth and facepaint:

I honestly can’t remember exactly how I did this…she wore black clothes and I think I just tacked layers of cheesecloth over her clothes…and wrapped a plastic headband in it as well to make the veil.  I know I didn’t buy anything but the cheesecloth.

I hope I’ve inspired you to listen to your kids and make their off the wall ideas reality.  I know for our family it has been wonderful for both them and me!


August 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Sewing.

One Comment

  1. Frugal Frights and Delights replied:

    I hope our children grow up and still love Halloween as much as some of us adults. Great story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: