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Creative Costumes: Homemade is Best!

From cookies to costumes, I’m in the “homemade is best” camp—the latter in particular. I like the personal touch that creativity from scratch allows, and it’s an excellent project to do with your kids. All you need is some planning, found materials, some ingenuity, and you’re off on a grand adventure. Best of all, your work of art is a true one-of-a-kind!

With Halloween just around the corner, let’s take a look at a few strategies for unique and thrifty costumes for your little candy collectors. Another plus? Parenting and kid projects go hand in hand, you can have a blast and bond a bunch too!

Let’s go!

Start early. As a world-class procrastinator, I feel guilty even writing this (do as I say, not as I do) but waiting until the last minute is not the best idea—especially if you have more than one costume to make—I can’t think of anything scarier.

Brainstorm ideas. Sit down with your kids and talk about what they would like to be for Halloween. Use as much of their input as possible, yet dissuade them from projects that will be costly and take too much time. Favorite characters and personifying silly words and phrases are always a great way to go.

Hit Pinterest. I take Pinterest for granted, but if you haven’t jumped in a Pinterest vortex, you haven’t lived! All you have to do is throw your idea into the search engine and you’ll find all sorts of creative inspiration and great ideas for your costumes.


Harvest cardboard. Break down boxes and dumpster dive if you must but having cardboard on-hand is crucial.  Cardboard will put you on the fast track to creating a killer robot, superhero, spaceship, Lego block or Minecraft character. A great source for boxes? Try grocery stores and liquor stores or start hoarding your Amazon boxes when they arrive. Be sure to check out YouTube for tutorials for ideas and videos on how to construct costumes.

Visit Michaels or your preferred craft supply store. Michael’s has all sorts of affordable materials to use on your costume. They have acrylic paints in squeeze bottles and inexpensive paintbrushes to do the trick, along with a rainbow of spray paints. (Avoid water-based paints because if you run into rain your costume will suffer.) In addition, they have foam, feathers, pipe cleaners, glitter, and all sorts of supplies to add the all-important finishing touches. If you go online prior to shopping, you can download their coupons for extra savings too.


Scrounge thrift shops and charitable organizations that sell donated items for fundraising. I’m a big Goodwill shopper. There you can find clothing to alter, dye, or distress and you won’t feel an ounce of guilt. In fact, you’ll end up feeling good because you’ll be supporting a great cause as well as saving money.


 Invest in face paint. At Kids Quest we stock our centers with Snazaroo. It’s water-based, safe for sensitive skin, and comes in a variety of vibrant colors. Face painting is also a great choice because it’s much safer than wearing a mask—your kiddos can see clearly and avoid injury when walking in costume while attending parties or trick-or-treating.


Let go of perfectionism. If you’re doing this project with your children, versus for them. Don’t worry about miscues and quirky mistakes—those are the things that make your costume unique. Have fun! You might even make a mess, but this is an opportunity to enjoy time with your child and boost their self-esteem.

Now that you have some tips, it’s time to get going! Also, be sure to enter our How Do You Boo? Instagram Photo Contest to win some very cool prizes.