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5 DIY Halloween costumes on a budget

By DealPro(view all posts by Mary.Hoover)
at 6:00AM Thursday October 10, 2013
under Money Saving Tips

Making your own Halloween costume can not only be an inexpensive alternative to pre-packaged store bought sets, but it also encourages creativity and individuality!

Thrift stores, the clearance aisle, dad's workshop and your current closet can provide many of the basics you need. And with just one or two key store bought pieces, the rest is imagination.

Here are a few ideas for DIY costumes for your trick or treaters:

  Cat in the Hat Thing 1 and Thing 2 Costumes 
 1. Cat in the Hat
  • Black sweatshirt and sweatpants
  • Wide, long piece of red felt
  • White gloves
  • Red and white hat
Easy peasy. Wear black sweats and white gloves, then tie a large bow with the red felt around the neck. 

You can buy the Cat in the Hat hat fairly inexpensive. Or if you sew, make one with felt. Cut circle top base, then approx 2-3 inch wide strips of alternating white and red in the same diameter. Sew strips together and seam up the back. After, attach it to the circle top. For brim, cut circle 3 inches wider than the base, then cut the inside diameter same as the base/strips. 

 2. Thing One and Thing Two
  • Red sweatsuits
  • White gloves
  • Bright blue yarn and ski hat
  • White paint and permanent marker
Once again, You can buy Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts or make your own. Paint on the white circle and then use a book or online pics for reference. Use the marker to draw on the "Thing  1" wording. 

Cut the yarn into about 4-5 inch strips. Tie two together by knotting them in the middle. Take a winter ski hat (as close to the right blue as possible, I actually made a hat out of the same color blue jersey) and attach it onto the yarn hair. You can either hot glue them or hand sew them using the knot as the base.

  diy riddler costume 
  3. Riddler
  • Green shirt (plain, no graphics) and pants
  • Black or Green derby style hat, green ribbon
  • Gloves (purple or white)
  • Cane or stick, cardboard, yellow tape
  • Black permanent marker
Use the marker to write question marks all over the green shirt. The Riddler question mark has a rounded top (search for images of Riddler as a guide).
Use green ribbon as a band on the hat and also draw on a question mark with the marker. 

Cut out the same question mark from the cardboard (an empty cereal box is perfect). Then wrap it with the yellow tape. Use yellow tape to attach the question mark to the top of the cane or stick.  If using a long stick, wrap it with the tape as well.

poision ivy 

  4. Fairy/Tinkerbell/Poison Ivy (to go with Riddler!)
  • Leggings and Turtleneck in desired color
  • Wide elastic belt (tied to fit around waist)
  • Strips of colorful tulle, organza or scrap fabric
  • Silk flowers and silk leaves
  • Wire hanger, colored tights or panty hose, elastic or ribbon
Strips of fabric should be twice the length of the distance between your child's waist and knees (A little shorter if you want a shorter skirt).  Width should be about 3-4 inches. Fold strips in half and lay on top of the elastic "belt" band (loop slightly above band), hold top of loop and thread the ends of the fabric through the loop. Pull down to tighten "knot".

Place flowers in hair as desired.

For wings, clip off the hook part of the hanger with wire cutters and then straighten out the wire. Create a figure 8 shape with the wire, and then wrap the black panty hose around the outside (a foot on each wing).  Attach the elastic or ribbon to the center of the "8" to use to tie the wings onto your child's shoulders. Leave wings off for Poison Ivy costume. Instead, hot glue leaves onto a band of elastic as a "top". 

  Buzz Lightyear Costume 

 5. Buzz Lightyear
  • White sweatsuit (long johns, football/baseball pants also work)
  • White gloves
  • Piece of neon green felt
  • Several old cardboard boxes painted white, hot glue and wide purple cord/ribbon, double sided velcro tape or duct tape
Cut the green felt into the shape of a collar (with a slit at the back for an opening), then using a Buzz Lightyear picture for reference, paint on Buzz's "control panel" buttons 

Cut one of the boxes so that it will fit the size of your child's back. Be sure to leave about a 2 inch deep boarder around the outside (so box is still 3D not flat). Cut another box into wing shapes, fold down an inch on the wide end to hot glue to each side of the back box.

Once again, use a picture as reference to paint on the wing details. Using hot glue, on the top attach the purple cord to the inside corners of the top of the back piece. When you place the piece on your child, cross the cords in front and then attach with double sided velcro or duct tape to the bottom corners of the box. 

Happy Creative, Budget Friendly Halloween!

Mary Hoover is a DealPro and Ohio native.  She is also the owner of where she encourages her readers to save more so they can give more and live more too! Come join her on the Mission!

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