Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids
As seen on CBS - The Early Show! (Saturday, Oct 27, 2007)
Click here to watch the video If you're in a jam to whip up some last-minute costumes for Halloween, pay a visit to your recycling bin, sewing box, or local craft store before standing in line at a crowded costume shop. You can quickly and easily whip up these five amazing kiddy costumes using supplies you probably already have on hand, plus a bit of creativity. These custom-made outfits have more staying power than most flimsy storebought costumes, and you'll love how cheap and quick they are to make. Read on for full instructions.
Pirateby Nancy Flynn
CRAFT Pattern Podcast by Nancy
Time: 2-4 hours
2 yards wide double-faced satin ribbon (red)
1 sheet black felt
2 yards brown felt
1 pkg. black iron-on Velcro (one long strip)
1 pkg. ¼" black woven elastic
Hand sewing needle
Silver, White or Black fabric paint (whatever contrasts best with your t-shirt)
Gold acrylic paint
2 sponge brushes
*Sewing machine (optional--you can also sew by hand, or use fabric glue)
Black leggings or narrow-botttom pants
Solid color long-sleeve cotton t-shirt--black, white or red
Freezer Paper (in your grocery store's foil/plastic wrap section)
Black sharpie or marker
Cardboard (a packing box works well)
Cardboard toilet paper roll
Reference: Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial
- Download and print out Skull & Crossbones stencil - Download PDF here
- Place a sheet of freezer paper shiny side down over the printout, and trace the image onto the matte side with a marker.
- Using a craft knife or small, sharp scissors, cut inside the lines of the design to make a negative to paint on your shirt. Carefully cut out the eyes and nose inside the skull and set them aside—you’ll be ironing them on the shirt in their original position after you’ve ironed on the main stencil.
- Place stencil shiny side down on the center front of the shirt. Carefully iron the stencil (medium heat, no steam) so it adheres to the shirt. Once set, place the eyes and nose inside the skull and iron them in place.
- Allow the shirt and stencil to cool, then slide cardboard or newsprint inside the shirt to keep paint from bleeding through. *This is a good place to have your child step in!
- Dab fabric paint on the exposed shirt using a sponge brush until it is well covered. Set aside to dry for at least 8 hours or overnight. When dry, gently peel away the freezer paper (you may need to start lifting an area with the point of a pair of small scissors first).
- Draw a curved cutlass shape on a piece of cardboard, including a straight “handle” at the bottom.
- Cut two identical pieces of cardboard based on your traced design.
- Lay two cutlass pieces so they are a mirror image of each other, spread the “blade” of each with glue.
- Press glued portion of blade to a sheet of aluminum foil, repeat with second blade.
- Once the glue is dry and secure, cut the foil around the blade leaving ½" of foil around the edge. Fold this extra ½" over to the exposed cardboard side of the blade.
- Spread the remaining exposed cardboard on the blades with glue and press them together. Use elastic bands to hold them together while drying (if necessary).
- Slide the toilet paper roll over the “handle” portion of the sword. Stuff the roll with aluminum foil to keep it roundish, use silver duct tape across the exposed top of the toilet paper roll to keep the stuffing in. Your child can probably take it from here…
- Paint the toilet paper roll and any remaining exposed cardboard of the handle with gold acrylic paint and allow to dry.
Swashbuckling Buccaneer Boots:
- Lay one leg of the leggings or pants on a piece of newsprint.
- Make marks at the inseam of the ankle, knee and mid-thigh on the newsprint.
- Connect the marks and draw a diagonal line from the ankle point about 3" below (to cover the top of the child’s shoe).
- Cut long the lines to create the boot pattern.
- Make a fold in the brown felt and place the straight edge of the newsprint pattern along the fold. Pin the pattern to the doubled layers of felt. Make a small cut at the "knee" to indicate where the boot-top will be folded down.
- Cut around the newsprint and voila! You have one boot. Repeat step 5 to make the second one.
- Cut a length of iron-on Velcro that will fit between the small cut you made at the knee of the boot and the ankle. Follow the directions on the package to attach each side of Velcro to the edges of the boot so that it will close into a cylinder around your child's calf once closed. Repeat on your second boot piece.
- Fold your t-shirt in half lengthwise, lay the fold along the edge of a piece of newsprint.
- Trace along the neckline and shoulder, then from the underarm to the hem.
- Remove the shirt and draw a curve between the shoulder line and the beginning of the underarm.
- Mark a second line 1/2" away from your traced line along the shoulder and side, leaving the armhole curve line as is.
- Cut around the second line to have your basic vest pattern piece.
- Fold the brown felt and pin the vest pattern piece so that the straight edge is lined up with the fold.
- Cut around the pattern piece to create the vest back.
- Next, pin the pattern onto two layers of felt, but not along a fold. Cut around the pattern piece to create two vest front pieces.
- Pin the front pieces to the back at the shoulders and sides.
- Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew the pieces together at the two top shoulder seams and two side seams. Press seams open (low iron, acrylic setting).
- Hand the vest over to your child so that she can cut ragged edges into the bottom of the vest to make it more piratey.
- Cut eye patch pattern from the sheet you downloaded earlier.
- Pin pattern to black craft felt and cut around it.
- Measure your child’s head, across one eyebrow and around the back of the head. Cut a piece of black elastic that measures this length MINUS ½".
- Hand stitch the raw edges of elastic to the eye patch at sides of the straight top edge.
- With your child in the top and pants, wrap the satin ribbon twice around her waist and tie at the side with a large double knot. Tuck the sword into this "sash" at your child's side (preferably across from her sword arm).
- Fold the bandanna in half diagonally and tie around the top of your child's head.
- Put on the eye patch over the bandana, using hair pins to secure.
You're done! Go and find some booty, matey!
Monkeyby Susan Beal
CRAFT articles by Susan
Time: 2-3 hours
This costume is so easy to make! Just grab a hoodie and pants and embellish them with a few fun extras and you’ll be dressing up your own little monkey in no time.
A dark brown hoodie and pants to fit your child
Two 8.5" x 11" pieces of tan felt
Two 8.5" x 11" pieces of yellow felt
½ yard brown fleece
Two pipe cleaners
20 inches of 3/8"elastic and safety pin or elastic guide
Sewing machine (recommended)
Needle and thread
Hot glue gun
Aleene’s OK-To-Wash-It fabric glue
- Cut small slits in the hood’s channel that frames the face and guide your elastic through the channel, pinning it at both ends, so that the hood fits more closely (optional). Hand-sew each opening closed, catching the elastic with your stitches so it’s secure.
- Cut out four half-circles out of brown fleece for ears (each 3.5" across and 4" tall) and pin two pieces together, sewing around the round sides. Turn it inside out, slip a pipe cleaner inside for definition, then stitch around the inner edge of the pipe cleaner. Repeat with other ear.
- Cut out two half-circles of tan felt (3" across and 3" tall) and use fabric glue to attach them to the ears. Let dry completely.
- Now cut a 26" by 3" strip of fleece for the tail and stitch up the long end. Turn it inside out using a chopstick so you have a 1" wide x 26" long tail. Hand-sew it on the back center of the hoodie’s hem.
- Hand-sew the ears in place on the hood sides.
- For the belly patch, cut out a 8-inch wide and 10-inch tall oval of tan felt. Iron on six little pieces of fusible Velcro spaced around the perimeter. Iron the six corresponding pieces of Velcro on the front of the hoodie so they match up. Now you can put the patch on after you zip the hoodie up!
- Cut out four banana shapes in yellow felt (10" tall and 3.5" across). . Stitch two together all around the perimeter, leaving an opening, and repeat with the second pair.
- Stuff both of the bananas with polyfil and stitch the openings closed.
- Hot-glue them to your treat bag.
You’re done! Have a fun Halloween with your monkey!
Time: 2-3 hours
2 - 12" pieces medium gauge picture-hanging wire
2 - 1 1/2" white foam balls
Yellow pipe cleaners
Heavier gauge wire (enough to make two wing shapes)
Aleene's Tacky glue
1 yard 70" wide black felt
1/2 yard yellow felt
Black Converse sneakers
- Wrap enough wire (at desired points) around head band to secure - you should have about 10" left.
- Tightly wrap entire headband and wires with pipe cleaners (make sure any wire ends are clipped and or secured down so the child won't get pricked).
- Pierce foam balls at end of wires.
- Shape heavier gauge wire into desired wing shape,wrap extra wire and leave a tail of about 2". Repeat.
- Lay wing shape over felt, trace with a pen, cut to size, glue on to wire. Repeat front and back, on each wing.
- Wrap wings together with excess wire. Glue a few strips of felt around the wires to cover any possible sharp points.
- Following the concept of a jumper (or using one as a template), cut two large pieces of black felt for the front and back of your costume.
- Glue side and shoulder seams (or sew if desired). Secure with pins while drying (if desired). Remove pins.
- Cut yellow felt in 3" wide strips. Glue yellow strips onto black jumper at 3" horizontal intervals. Attach the wings to the back center point of the jumper via safety pins or by sewing.
Paint all white parts of shoe yellow, including shoe laces. Use market to color white threads and any other white areas of shoe.
Layer the "jumper" over long sleeve black t shirt and leggings (or tights).
Legoby Diana Eng
CRAFT articles by Diana
Time: 2-3 hours
1 Large Cardboard Box
2 cans of spray paint in desired color (one that can spray plastic)
6 plastic food containers
- Bottom side: Using your ruler, measure and cut out rectangular section of box from the bottom with a 2" perimeter around edge.
- Top side: Estimate and cut area for child's head/neck.
- Sides: Cut 2 holes in the side of the box for the arms.
- Place the food containers on the front of the box and check for placement. Use the glue gun to put the containers in place.
- Spray paint entire box and containers.
Sushiby Diana Eng
CRAFT articles by Diana
Time: 2 hours
2 medium sized posterboard
13-16 small round orange balloons
White tissue paper
4 small strips of Ribbon - 16" each (for straps)
- Cut the posterboard to desired height. Form the 2 pieces of posterboard into a large tubes (with edges overlapping by at least 5"). Staple boards together.
- Staple each ribbon to the posterboard to create straps, 2 on the front and 2 on the back which will be tied together like a jumper.
- Wrap tissue paper around the 2" outside top edge of the posterboard. Flip tissue paper back in over the top edge and staple to posterboard's top edge. This is the "rice".
- Blow up balloons.
- To attach balloons to costume, fold a bit of tissue paper over the end of the balloon and staple it together.
- To put on the costume, make sure tissue paper and ballons are on the ouside of the cylinder before child steps in. Once they are inside, tie the straps and stuff the tissue paper and balloons back into the sushi.
- Tape any extra balloons to the top to finish off your little sushi!