Halloween is just around the corner. Giant gourds are piled up outside every market, farmers' fields are filled with families picking out the perfect pumpkin, pop-up shops are open on every corner filled floor to ceiling with ghosts and ghouls and goblins and gravestones and creepy cobweb decorations and stores are filled with costumes for sale.
Kids can find almost any costume imaginable - cute, cuddly, scary, unique, favourite characters from movies and tv - all designed down to the last detail, ready-to-buy and ready-to-wear. But store-bought costumes can often be expensive - and, since, so often they end up only being worn once, wasteful.
Why not make your child's Halloween costume at home?
With three children to dress up for Halloween we have gone through many, many costumes over the years. We have gone both the store-bought and the homemade route, depending on what the boys wanted to be and what we could find, and I have to say that some of our very favourite family Halloween costumes of all time are the ones we made ourselves.
We've store-bought pumpkin costumes, dinosaurs, a ladybug and a fireman; Star Wars characters, Transformers, Ninja Turtles and the Mario Brothers. All adorable.
We couldn't find a coordinating Mario Brothers costume for my youngest, so the year our older two boys dressed up as Mario and Luigi I made a Mario Brothers mushroom costume out of dollar store items. Inverted plastic serving bowls covered in felt and sewn to the hood of my youngest's snowsuit: a five dollar Mario mushroom costume!
One year the boys wanted to dress up as pirates. I cut outgrown black pants into ragged, jagged edges between the ankle and the knee and chopped an old black and white t-shirt into striped sashes. They wore plain black or red t-shirts and open white button-downs with rolled-up sleeves. Pirate hats and bandanas, eye patches and earrings and medallions and beads from our dress-up chest and eye pencil "scars" across their cheeks and foreheads: homemade pirates using everything we already had at home.
Another year they dressed as ninjas. Plain black trackpants and hoodies under a little black bathrobe. Plain black masks and gloves. Ninja swords crossed on the back and tied with a high-waisted belt: homemade ninjas using everything we already had at home.
And my favourite homemade costume by far was the Minecraft Creeper costume I made for my eldest last year. I wrapped cardboard boxes in plastic dollar store tablecloths and glued on a few dozen paint chips in various shades of green to mimic that pixelated video game look. (Creeper Costume photos and instructions.)
Consider making your child's costume at home this Halloween. Be creative! Think crafty, raid your closets and crawlspaces, explore your local dollar store. Use your imagination - sometimes the most amazing costumes are the ones we make ourselves.
Do you have ideas for awesome, inexpensive homemade costumes? Please share!