I love Halloween, it’s one of my favorite times of the year, but I hate to spend a great deal on costumes that will only be worn for one night. My biggest problem, I’m a bit of a procrastinator. If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself scrambling around the night before, trying to throw together a decent last-minute costume for the kids, your spouse, or yourself. So for all the last minute moms, here are a few easy and inexpensive costume ideas that will work for kids of all ages and even for the adults tagging along to trick or treat with them. You can find most of the items you’ll need already in your closet, and the rest I picked up for under $5.00 at the craft store and dollar store. So do not fear, these easy DIY’s will have you looking Halloween ready in no time.
Itsy Bitsy Spider
When I think of sheer terror, the first thing that comes to mind is spiders. The best thing about this costume is you’ll probably have black pants and a black T-shirt (maybe even a black beanie) in your closet already. So all you’ll need are a couple of add-ons to complete the look.
First I glued 6 Ping-Pong balls around the edge of the black beanie and drew on “eyes” with a sharpie. I then took 4 of the 6 pairs of women’s trouser socks that I purchased and stuffed each one with newspaper to make 4 “legs” (your own arms and legs will act as the remaining 4). Once the 4 legs are stuffed, I tied the ends of each sock closed with some black embroidery thread. I took the 4 large safety pins and pinned the 4 legs onto the sides of the black T-shirt under where the sleeves of the shirt are (it’s important that your arms are the top set of spider legs). Pin the first set of legs about 2 inches under the armholes and the next set of legs another couple of inches under the first set. You can sew the legs onto the shirt if you want to make it a little sturdier, but I kept it as easy and quick as possible. Plus, using the safety pin method you can re-use the shirt and the socks. Then, because my black shirt was short-sleeved, I took one more pair of black socks and cut off the toe. This pair will go on your arms to make your shirt look long-sleeved, but you can skip this step if you happen to have a long-sleeved shirt. Next, you will thread the legs and the sleeve you created together, on each side, so that all the legs will lift up when you lift your arms. Use the needle and thread to make one simple stitch through the toe area of the lowest leg by passing the needle through the toe of the sock and then tying a knot in the thread. Then make a second stitch through the top leg and tie another knot in the thread. Make one more stitch through one side of your “sleeve.” Tie a knot to secure the thread and cut off the excess. Repeat on the opposite side. Pair your spider shirt and hat with black pants or leggings and you’re all set. You can use this same method for an adult or kid’s costume, but I suggest using a couple of stitches instead of the safety pins for a child’s costume.
Fruit of the Loom
This one is incredibly easy to make and you can adapt the DIY to make all kinds of different fruits for a family or group costume!
First, I folded the white felt into thirds to save time and cut multiple shapes at once. I drew a teardrop shape onto the felt and used it as a template to cut about 30 total teardrop shapes out of the two sheets of felt. Then glued all of them onto the T-shirt with the hot glue gun. This did not take as long as it sounds! For the headpiece, I took one sheet of green felt and rolled it up to make the stalk. I ran a line of hot glue down one edge and sealed it.
Then I took the remaining two sheets of green felt and cut two large leaf shapes out of each, creating four leaves. I did this freehand as it doesn’t need to be perfect. Use the hot glue gun to glue the four leaves around the base of the stalk. Make sure all the glue is dry before putting the headband on your head. Glue and hair do not mix!
I paired the outfit with shorts because fall in Florida is basically Summer! You could also pair it with red leggings or pants if you have them. I think this DIY would even work well for a baby, adapting the tutorial to use a red onesie instead of a T-Shirt.
This is another great family or group costume because everyone can dress as a different ninja turtle. I love this costume because the local Dollar Tree sells the turtle shells ready-made in the toy department.
To make the ninja mask, I took my purple felt (or blue, red or orange felt, depending on which turtle) and used a sharpie to draw the outline of the mask. I did use a paper template I found online to get the shape correct, but you can freehand this if you have better skills than I. Once I cut the mask out, I cut two additional strips of purple felt, that were 2″ wide and the length of the felt piece and hot glued one strip on each side of the mask (this will be used to tie it on).
With the remaining purple felt (or blue, red, or orange felt) I cut four more strips of felt that were 2″ wide and the length of the felt. I tied those around my daughter’s elbows and knees. That’s it – it took about 10 minutes to make. Cowabunga!
This one can be thrown together in minutes, which is probably why it’s a go-to for your average bank robber! You or your child probably have most of the items in your closet.
The only thing to DIY for this costume is the mask. I used one sheet of black felt and the same method as above in the ninja turtle tutorial to cut out and attach the ties to the mask. If you want to be extra fancy and have somewhere to stash your loot, you could use an old white pillowcase as your swag bag and draw on a dollar symbol with a black sharpie.
Last but not least, this is probably the easiest DIY of them all.
All I had to do for this costume was cut two long strips of duct tape and stick them to the from t of the shirt as suspenders. I then took two shorter strips of duct tape and attached them to the hem of the pants as reflectors. Once you put the hat on, you’re ready to go and fight fires! I paired the outfit with some adorable red shoes my daughter had in her closet that match the red hat, but black or yellow rain boots would be even better.
I hope this gives you some ideas to throw together some last-minute costumes that won’t cost a fortune. If you need some ideas for where to find Halloween fun in St. Augustine this year, check out our guide to Halloween and Fall Fun in St. Augustine.
Have a safe and scary Halloween!