5 Tips to Make Your Own Halloween Costumes

DIY Witch King of Angnar, Lord of the Rings, by Travel Parent Eat

Today my husband is actually helping me write this post because he is the King of Making Halloween Costumes!  Well, I know in this picture he’s actually the Witch King from Lord of the Rings, but he is awesome at making costumes.  And he loves it, and he inspires me in all the costumes we make.

It’s getting really close to showtime for costumes, and maybe you don’t have one yet, and all the good ones at the stores are gone, and you don’t want to spend $50 to get one for you or your kids.  So that’s where these tips come into play, and you could still (easily) win the costume contest at whatever party you received that last minute invite to…:-)

1. Start with what you have.

Maybe it’s just the crafter in me, but I keep weird things that maybe only have a purpose around Halloween.  I kept all my graduation robes (hello, Harry Potter easy costume).  I also kept my long gloves (cuz they were in style then) from high school dances, and I’ve kept other little random clothing items.  You might be surprised at what is already lying around your house that could be easily transformed with step #2.

2. Focus on the details.

This may seem counterintuitive when you only have a couple of days or a couple of hours before your party.  Costumes are all about the details, and not a bunch of them, just one or two.  Think about some of your classic ideas.

Wear any type of clothes, grab the dollar store vampire fangs, and instantly you are a member of the Cullen family, maybe add a little white face paint too.

Grab one of the ubiquitous mockingjay pins, a black rain jacket and you’re staring at Katniss Everdeen in the mirror.  To add the final touch, go ahead and braid your hair while you’re looking in the mirror.

3.  Stick with what you know/like.

Days before Halloween isn’t the time to try for The Joker from Batman, or even Batman for that matter.  Not if you’re trying to make your own.  I wouldn’t try to go as an Elf from Lord of the Rings because I don’t know those characters that well; I don’t know what details will make me easily identifiable.  I can go as Hermoine using my graduation robe, frizzing my hair, grabbing my Griffindor scarf, and a stick from the yard.  See how easy it is when you stick with what you like?

4. Search Pinterest for Ideas.

Why not?  If anything, it will get the creative juices flowing and you can pull together a costume quickly using the previous steps.  But complete those steps first because it will help narrow your search field amongst the thousands of tutorials.

5. Shop at the Thrift Store.

The thrift stores around me have some great costumes that are ready to buy, but they also have some great vintage pieces that can place you in whatever decade you want, then you focus on the details of hair and other styling.  Or you start with the basic (details) pieces for the ground work of the rest of your costume.  I picked up a black hoodie for the under part of my jacket, and a construction vest for my youngest at the thrift store, we’re going as Wild Style and Emmett from the Lego movie.

Here’s some ideas we’ve done in the past:

 DIY Padme, Anakin, Luke Skywalker costumes

Skywalker family: Black robe, red scar (with lipstick), lightsaber = Anakin.  Karate shirt, brown pants, lightsaber = Luke.  Orange (should be red) robe, white face, red line on lips, crown or jeweled head piece = Padme.

 DIY Psy Gangham Style Costume

Psy (Gangham Style): Blue leisure suit, bow tie, black 80s sunglasses, black slacks, white socks, black shoes.

DIY Indiana Jones costume by Travel Parent Eat

Indiana Jones: Brown Jacket, tan shirt, khaki pants, whip, and maybe a gun.

This year:

 DIY Witch King Angmar Costume by Travel Parent Eat

Witch King from Lord of the Rings: I sewed the black robe (easy because it’s supposed to look ragged and unfinished), my husband cut the “metal” pieces out of craft foam and followed you-tube videos to shape.  He will wear a graduation robe under the robe I sewed.

 DIY Minecraft Guy Costume by Travel Parent Eat

Minecraft guy (I don’t know if he has a real name): Got a box, drew some squares following a picture I found online, painted the squares.  Painted foam board and will attach over the shoulders.  Bought the pixel sword for his birthday.

 DIY Wild Style (Lucy) from Lego Movie, by Travel Parent Eat

Wild Style from the Lego Movie: Bought black wig (could just paint your own hair as well), styled, it was already different colors.  Black foam board painted and attached over the shoulders.  Black hoodie from thrift store.  Yellow face paint.

So now that you’re full of creative ideas, what are you dressing up as for Halloween?

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About Anne Banks

Hi, I'm Anne! I am an active learner on this crazy road called life. I love learning about anything, but currently spend most of my study time researching parenting tips and improving health. I get excited about crafting, reading, running, baking, and spending time with my three crazy boys (in no particular order, and sometimes at the same time)! I love sharing what helps me get through the day, and I hope my tips help you!

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