It’s funny how Halloween can just creep up on you sometimes. Life gets crazy like that, especially with lots of little ones running around zapping up your energy, time, and brain thoughts. But don’t worry—when it comes to last-minute DIY kid Halloween costumes we have you covered. Here are seven that you can make on the cheap and in minutes from household items.
Tree of Life
Get inspired by nature with this one. Head out to the backyard to collect colorful leaves from trees or ones that fell to the ground. (If you’re feeling super crafty, you can cut leaves out of colorful felt pieces, but, seriously, who has time for that?) Dig up that never-worn brown shirt from the recesses of your closet. Safety pin the leaves strategically on the shirt. Add a cute cutout of a squirrel from Google images. Pull shirt over your child’s head. Add a colorful “wreath” of leaves as a headpiece (or, well, don’t—we’re going simple here folks!), and call it a day. Voila! Tree costume, all set within minutes.
Who wouldn’t want to dress up as their favorite wizard? It’s easy to accomplish. You’ll need slacks and a white polo shirt, topped off with a pullover black sweater and a colorful scarf (Harry models the maroon and yellow version), all combined with back, round glasses and Harry’s signature forehead scar. Add a broomstick for some added flourish.
This one is super cute. Simply paint two empty one-liter soda bottles and duct tape them together, side by side (to create the tanks). Dress your child head to toe in all black. Use Velcro adhesive strips to attach the tanks to the back of the child’s shirt. (add one strip to each of the bottles, and add two strips to the corresponding spots on the back of the child’s shirt, then put together). Attach a snorkel goggle set to your child’s head, and you’re ready to head out to trick or treat.
Save up a large, rectangular cardboard box from a recent home delivery. Tape it shut. Holding it vertical, with an X-Acto knife, cut out completely the bottom square, and cut a circle into the top square. Cut armholes into both side, vertical rectangle pieces. On the designated “front” of the box, glue on six round craft boxes (in lieu of boxes, old tuna fish cans also work). Spray paint the entire thing one solid color. Then fit the box over your child—the perfect Lego piece.
Old Man / Woman
Little kids look adorable as old people! And the costumes are super easy to put together. It’s best if you can give your child a prop—like a cane or a walker. Add glasses, suspenders, a bow tie (or sweater for the ladies), and gray hair spray paint, and maybe a few wrinkle lines or two, and you’ve got an adorable Benjamin Buttons.
Queen of Hearts (or King of Spades)
For this, you’ll need two equal-size poster boards. This works really well for a super artsy parent, but you can also print out replica images of cards and paste them on the poster boards. To make the card wearable, punch two holes at the top ends of both sheets of poster board. Then string yarn through both so they can suspend over the child’s shoulders.
Trying to figure out what to do with that red-and-white striped shirt? Turn your child into Waldo! It’s okay if you don’t have the matching hat—a sold black knit cap also works just fine. Add black-rimmed glasses, and you’ve got yourself the perfect storybook character.