Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
With Halloween looming I've been a bit nostalgic for the days when my kids dressed up and went Trick or Treating. Most years they decided what they wanted to do a maximum of 24 hours before, sometimes even on the afternoon of the 31st October, so most of the things we've done are pretty last minute! 


So I've trawled the archives of our family photos to share our awesome (and less than awesome) ideas - they might just help if you are a bit lastminute.com like us. All these photos are just pre-blog family snaps taken just before the kids went out Trick or Treating so forgive the grainy, poorly lit quality (and the mess in the background!)

The main things I learnt when my kids were small and dressing up for Trick or Treating are:
  • In the UK at the end of October it can be pretty chilly so the costume needs to be warm. Layers underneath are your best bet. (Of course if you live somewhere hot you have no problem with this, maybe even the opposite )
  • Personally I much prefer face paint to a mask. Masks are just too scary for me, but I know some kids are allergic to face paint so I guess that's your call.
  • Assuming you have time, the Charity shop/Thrift Store is your best friend for costume materials, otherwise you can usually do something with stuff from the wardrobe of someone in the house.
  • Really young children's costumes need to be simple, prop free and close to normal clothes. They will loose/drop/remove anything that gets in their way after about 5 minutes
  • If you have several kids save everything that's not broken and reuse each year
  • Beware mixing fake fur and rubbery masks, it can get pretty sweaty in a mask and fake fur can moult - we had an unfortunate Chewbacca incident, enough said!
So here are some of our masterpieces, I warn you now, these are not dazzeling ideas, but they might come in handy if you have to come up with a costume in next to no time.

Dracula
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Same costume, different years, different kids
This is just black school uniform trousers, white shirt, a strip of red fabric for a tie, fake plastic teeth and a cape made from a black bin bag and black duck tape. They are wearing long sleeved t-shirts under the white shirts for warmth. 
I seem to have varied the face paint a little over the years, here is our very theatrical son showing that off a little better.
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Nice!

Mummies
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
3 different kids, 3 different years
For this they wore white clothes (or grey when no white was available in their size - it looked better in real life, I blame the flash) and we ripped up an old white sheet to make bandages. They were just pinned on with safety pins and a very simple bandage face paint finished it off. White socks make good white gloves at a pinch too! On the left here was the year when we discovered how cold you can get if you go out in thin white summer trousers - layers people, it's the way to go! I still have the bag full of "bandages" just in case someone ever wants to do this again.

The Grim Reaper
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Black clothes, including something with a hood and a plastic scythe prop (we bought one for next to nothing in a supermarket and it lasted several years) On the left here we revisited the black bin bag and duck tape cape idea too. Again I seem to have varied the face paint a bit over the years but it's pretty straightforward.
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids

Witch
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids

Black clothes, black cape (bin bag and duck tape of course!), witches hat, maybe a broomstick if possible. The only thing that has varied here over the years is the face paint.

Zombie
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Not to blow my own trumpet or anything but this is probably the best face paint I've ever managed! It's not that complicated when you look closely though, just a white face, black round the eyes with a sponge and on the cheeks, then a little red under the eyes and mouth with a little paint brush.
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
This was such a easy costume, just take some clothes that they have almost grown out of and chop 'em up! Then attack them (the clothes not the kids!) with felt pens and/or paint. The hair was sprayed with some white colour hair spray.

Mad Scientist
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
This is probably my favourite. We had the doctors coat from an adults fancy dress outfit from years ago so I just took up a massive hem with tape. You could just put them in a man's white shirt. Then it's just swimming goggles, washing up gloves and white colour hair spray. To finish off we made the test tubes by running laminating pouches through the laminator with just a small piece of bright paper, cutting out the test tube shapes and then taping them to a piece of string. 

Ghost
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
I can't find any great photos of this but they have all taken a turn in the pillowcase ghost costume. It's a white pillowcase with the top rounded over on the sewing machine and an oval cut out for their face. 
This was one of the first Halloween costumes I ever made when the kids were really little. To start with I just popped the pillowcase over their heads without rounding the top, 2 seconds in it slipped to the side and the corner pointed to the ceiling (very KKK and scary but not at all what we were going for) After rounding the top I though we would be able to just cut eye holes - NO - not for little children, this did not work AT ALL, the oval "whole face poking out" was much more practical.

And now for something a little less scary:

Santa
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Red coat, Santa hat (you probably can't see but that is a Santa hat, just a very fluffy one), black belt and a white face painted beard. If I remember right he finished it off with welly boots.

70's Hippy
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
That's a wig, but I guess it depends on your hair. The head band is the same strip of fabric as the Dracula tie at the top of the page. A plain old t-shirt with the design just drawn on quickly in regular felt pen and a cardboard and foil pendant.

Jedi
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
This was Dad's old long sleeved sand coloured T-shirt that had gone all out of shape. I drew the "folds" on the front in pen, we rolled the sleeves up a bit and added a belt and light saber. Job done. He had to wear a T-shirt underneath as the V neck was a bit low but it did the job.
We've also done but not photographed:
  • A Pumpkin, just an old orange t-shirt with a face drawn on in felt pen, and a couple of cushions tied round the waist underneath
  • A Cinderella with a summer dress, apron, headscarf and feather duster
  • A Pirate from a stripy top, the same trousers in the zombie photo further up the page, a headscarf, eye patch and a little parrot toy from MacDonalds pinned on the shoulder
  • Peter Pan from a green shirt cut in a zig zag round the bottom, green trousers, a belt, a cardboard dagger and paper hat
So, if you need a last minute costume and don't have time or money to go to the shops maybe you will feel inspired to create something yourself from stuff you probably already have. If you have more time to be creative I have a pinterest board full of DIY costume ideas I've found and liked to give you much more inspiration.

15 comments:

  1. These are fab, my mum used to make us costumes just like this, the black bin liner was a brilliant costume cape! I remember one year my mum made me a witches hat out of paper/cardboard painted black, I thought it was brilliant haha. xx #sharingthebloglove

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes Claire, the best alternate use of a black bin bag - a fabulous cape! The hat sound fun, I'm sure it was easily as brilliant as you remember.

      Delete
  2. Wow, you've really done lots of costumes over the years! The mad scientist is definitely my favourite too. I never really did dressing up for Halloween as a kid, so I'm looking forward to doing it with my son, and these ideas are great, so easy! And I'll definitely be avoiding the Chewbacca mask situation! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, yes Katy, lots of kids + lots of years = lots of costumes! Happy to spread our "learned the hard way" wisdom re the fluff/mask situation!

      Delete
  3. That is a lot of costumes you have done! My girls have their costumes already to go. Alice is very excited and Holly has no clue. But she will look adorable her ghost outfit. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lot of years worth Laura, and this is not even all of them, but some years we just didn't get any good photos. It's nice once the kids are old enough to decide what they want to be, when they are really little it's more for us than them, right?

      Delete
  4. These are all such fun ideas! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love all these costume ideas! The mad scientist is so fun! Thanks for sharing at the InspirationSpotlight party @DearCreatives. Shared.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What great ideas, thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  7. Some great costumes, and especially good facepaint. My son dressed in a similar way as a mummy one year, but the bandages took so long that we had almost missed halloween by the time he was ready to set out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, what a shame! We had sparse bandages and lots of safety pins - in the dark it's the overall affect that counts right?!

      Delete
  8. These are really great, thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

    ReplyDelete
  9. These are great! You are so creative, love how you did the make up :) Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays this week. You are one of this weeks features :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Claire, such a lovely surprise.

      Delete

I love to hear your thoughts/comments, thank you for taking the time.