It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And while that phrase is usually reserved for Christmas, I’m talking about autumn. I’m a big fan of autumn because it plays host to Halloween, WoOoOo – that’s a ghost by the way. Very spooky.
Whether it’s for a party or to go trick or treating, chances are if you’ve got kids they’ll be dressing up for Halloween. You can always buy them a costume, but making one is more fun and often cheaper. So, I’m on the hunt for some thrifty, spooky costume ideas to keep your little ones happy.
Let’s get started, Muah-ha-ha – that’s an evil cackle. See, we’re having fun already!
1. A bewitching witch!
If casting spells and making potions is what your kid is all about, a witch costume might be a good choice.
Firstly your witch will need a hat. You can make a hat out of black cardboard and tape. For the outfit, black clothes and striped tights are always a popular choice in the world of witches.
A witch needs a wand to cast spells. Make a silver magic wand out of a stick with foil wrapped round it. Feeling fancy? Cut a star shape out of cardboard and tape it on the end (wrapped in foil too of course).
Witchy shoe buckles are a must for any budding witch. To make them, cut out two rectangles from cardboard and then cut out a smaller rectangle in the middle of each. Wrap with foil and tape them to your witch’s shoes.
You can also make a cape for your witch. Find out how in the vampire costume below.
Extra tip: Pick up green face paint from pound shops for a witchy tint and a broom if a magic wand isn’t your kid’s style.
2. A blood-sucking vampire
Does your child have a fear of garlic and sunlight? Perhaps it’s time to unleash their inner vampire!
Your vampire will need a cape to swoop through the night. This can be made easily using some cheap fabric from the market, an old school skirt or even a plastic black table cloth. These instructions on how to make a simple cape are easy to follow and require no sewing – hooray!
For your vampire’s face use white face paint as a base and darken their eyebrows. No face paint? Talcum powder will work and you can use black eyeliner for the eyebrows, just make sure your vampire’s skin isn’t sensitive to it first.
You can make fake blood using syrup, flour and food colouring, although it’ll be pretty sticky with a high chance of dripping on their clothes. If you don’t fancy that mess, you could use some red lipstick and make it ‘drip’ from their mouth instead.
For a finishing touch, slick your vampire’s hair back with some hair gel. We’ve found some in supermarkets’ value ranges for 25p.
3. A decaying zombie-mummy
Halloween night is the perfect time for a zombie-mummy to escape its dusty tomb.
Pick up some cheap bandages and wrap them around your little mummy. We found some that cost 49p for 4 metres in value ranges. If you haven’t got enough bandages you can always mix in some toilet paper for good measure – although beware any flames!
If bandages are too pricey, you could use an old white bed sheet or pillowcase, cut it up and wrap it around your mummy’s clothes.
You can use talcum powder as white face paint and black eyeliner to create a skeleton inspired face. Simply line under your child’s cheeks and the temples of their foreheads and then blend the eyeliner so it’s slightly smudged.
I’ve always thought a good finishing touch to a mummy costume is fake blood oozing out from the bandages.
4. A spooky spider
If a spindly spider is what your child wants to be, then so be it! There’s nothing spookier than a spider creeping about in the cobwebs of a haunted mansion after all.
Dress your spider all in black. Grab some old black tights and cut them in half at the top. If you want your child to have 8 spider legs, you’ll need two pairs of tights. Fill each of the legs with plastic bags or socks to give them some shape then tie the top up to seal them in. You could also use toilet or kitchen roll tubes if you want a more structured leg. Use safety pins to connect the legs to your child’s top.
If you have black eyeliner, you could draw lots of spider eyes around your child’s face to complete the look.
Or, get some googly eyes and stick them onto a hooded top, as shown in the photo!
5. A scary skeleton
A skeleton figure dashing through the dark is likely to give anyone a fright.
Start by choosing an all-black outfit for your little skeleton. A full length top and trousers are best for this one.
Next, get some thick tape (ideally white or silver) and make some skeleton bone shapes on the clothes.
For the face, use some white face paint or talcum powder to create a spooky skeleton look. Next, using the black face paint or eyeliner, draw lines in the ‘hollows’ of your child’s face. I usually go for under the cheeks, around and under the eyes and the forehead temples. Blend the black to create a smudged effect.
Don’t forget a black skeleton ‘nose’ too and if you’re feeling adventurous, draw some tooth gaps around their mouth.
6. A sinister bat
Swooping through the dark skies, there’s nothing eerier than flying bats.
Pick up some black fabric from the market to make bat wings with. You shouldn’t need too much. It should be the total length of both of your little bat’s arms spread out and it needs to be deep enough to create wings.
Lay the fabric flat on the floor, and sketch out two batwing shapes but keep them joined up in the middle rather than making two separate wings. If you’re unsure of a shape, use this bat wing template as inspiration. Aim to keep the top of the fabric straight and the more jagged parts at the bottom.
Find a black outfit for your bat – a long sleeved top is best here. Carefully safety pin the bat wings to the fabric on their sleeves, or you can create arm slots within the wings as shown in this tutorial. When they open their arms up it should open their wings up too.
If your bat is a vampire bat, you can steal some ideas from the vampire costume. Talcum powder their face, slick down their hair and add a drop of ‘blood’ dripping from their mouth to finish the look.
7. A creepy zombie
A zombie slowly wandering through empty streets is guaranteed to cause a scream.
To begin with, grab an old shirt. Then cut into the bottom of the top and the bottom of the sleeves to create a jagged look. You can also cut jagged holes into the actual sleeves if you’re feeling it.
Next, dress your zombie in their new jagged
top. It’s zombie chic at its finest. Give them a pale face with talc or white face paint. They’ll need dark eye sockets, so surround their eyes with a bit of black face paint and smudge it in. Finally, create some ‘wounds’ by putting fake blood on their top and face.
So there you have it! Lots of ideas to get you started. As Halloween tends to be around half term you and your kids could spend a day making their costumes together.
If you’re having your own Halloween party, don’t forget to have a look at our cheap party ideas blogpost.
Are you a DIY costume master? Let us know in the comments below.