- particularly original
- particularly popular
- particularly well-made
- particularly accurate
In other words, pretty much anything goes as long as your kid’s excited to wear it, it’s comfortable, and it doesn’t stress you out.
I put out a call for Halloween hacks and got a bunch of smart, sane responses, enough that I’ve divided them up into a few Halloween-related posts. To all those who responded — thank you! (Pop over to Facebook and read the comments or hop into the conversation.)
Here are some reader tips (past and present) for simplifying the process of making and/or otherwise getting your kid’s Halloween costume ready for trick-or-treating.
Mix and match three simple pieces to make different costumes — no sewing required.
Hedra’s cape/tunic/overtunic system is genius: dead simple (like, cut holes and tie knots simple), cheap, and endlessly open to interpretation.
Or use pajamas as a base for Halloween costumes.
Look how many more adorable costumes start with a pair of PJs! (Thanks for sharing, Rookie Moms.)
Or commit to using what you already have.
If you have a well-stocked dress-up bin, it’s perfectly OK to skip costume shopping altogether.
Says Holly: “We costume shop a year in advance. I buy 2-3 costumes while they are 75% off for dress up play and for Halloween the coming year. The kids pick out the costumes and if they change their minds they still have a few to choose from. If they want one we don’t have, I buy it after Halloween if I find it in their size and they get to be that the next Halloween or they get to dress up for fun through the year.”
And Sarah: “We don’t buy a particular “halloween” costume – he just decides that day what he’s wearing out!”
No need to sew homemade costumes — use a hot glue gun.
Tracy reminded me about the power of the hot glue gun! Cut up old stuff (including old costumes) then glue it back together into a new form. Yolanda told a great For example, Jason cut up an old laptop bag to make toy holsters for his daughter’s Princess Leia costume. Here’s how to size down a costume hat.
Or gather inexpensive costume components at thrift stores.
This is what I used to do every year (now my kids are in charge of their own costumes).
From Yolanda: “Thrift stores get lots of donated costumes (Halloween, dance, dress up). In my experience they bring them out early October. I assembled a pirate costume for my daughter a couple of years ago almost exclusively from thrift store components and for well under $20.”
Host a costume swap.
Snap reflective cuffs onto your kid to increase nighttime visibility.
Inexpensive reflective armbands (sold with sporting goods) add nighttime visibility and are fun to pop onto arms, wrists or ankles.
Or carry glow sticks.
Toss a glow stick into the trick-or-treat bucket to make it light up, or let your kid wear glow stick bracelets (great tip, Betsy). I included links here, but Kate and Rachel found glow sticks and glow stick bracelets at the dollar store.
Or add reflective patches.
These FlashBrite reflective stick-on patches work like bike reflectors are easy to stick onto the back of any costume.
Remove face paint with baby lotion and wipes.
No one ever uses a full bottle of baby lotion so follow Kelly’s advice and use it to easily wipe away face paint. Finish up with a baby wipe.
Sara Carlstead Brumfield sent in that adorable photo of her daughter along with this hack years ago! And we’re still in touch. Sara — how old is J now?