Easy, DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Use stuff you have around the house to make easy and cheap Halloween costumes

Kids are naturally creative when dressing up, so for Halloween costumes turn to them for easy and cheap ideas. Use Halloween costume accessories you can borrow or buy as well as what's in the closet. Sometimes all it takes is the right hat. Remember creating the costume is a big part of the Halloween fun!

If you do have to buy a kids costume, often you can reuse it later – either as dress-up or regular clothes.

None of these easy Halloween costume ideas involve sewing because in my book,...MORE that's not easy! The more specific your child’s costume is the hard it's to take a DIY approach. But there are a few specific characters listed among these cheap and easy Halloween costume ideas.

  • 01 of 05

    Jack-o-Lantern or Pumpkin Costume

    High Angle View Of Baby In Pumpkin Costume Relaxing On Carriage
    Yami Rodelo / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Babies are just such naturals for pumpkin costumes. They’re cute and round, and they pretty much stay in one place. I had an expensive store-bought pumpkin costume for my first. But it’s easy enough to make your own with an orange sweat suit (which you can reuse for play clothes) and a green cap. Cut out the face of the jack-o-lantern in black felt and pin it to the sweatshirt. Put a small, rolled-up towel inside the shirt to give your pumpkin extra girth. If your little girl won’t tolerate a hat, try a green ribbon in her hair.

    Items for this easy Halloween costume: Orange sweat suit, green cap or ribbon, black felt, small towel, safety pins

  • 02 of 05

    Firefighter Costume

    Caucasian boy dressed in fireman Halloween costume
    KidStock / Getty Images

    For this, you'll need to have a proper costume hat on hand, but one can often be found in your own dress up box. One year my son brought a cheap plastic hat home from the firefighters’ visit to his preschool and that became his costume. We used reflective tape to decorate a raincoat and his black snow boots to complete the outfit. He loved it, and I didn’t spend a dime.

    Items for this easy Halloween costume: Fireman’s hat, raincoat, reflective or duct tape, boots

  • 03 of 05

    Ballerina Costume

    Girl (4-5) wearing tutu dancing in living room, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
    Tetra Images / Getty Images

    Got an old tutu from big sister’s dance class? Then you’ve got a ballerina costume. If you don’t, you can find one at a toy or thrift store. Girls love to dress up in tutus so if you do have to buy one, think of it as an investment. It will definitely get used again! And if you have a tiara, that adds sparkle.

    Items for this easy Halloween costume: Tutu, dance leotard, tights, tiara

  • 04 of 05

    Indiana Jones Costume

    If you’ve got an old-style men’s hat, an Indiana Jones costume is easy. One Halloween I bought the hat (unfortunately it came with the whip too) and a white, long-sleeved, button-down shirt. However, the stipulation was that my son, who only likes t-shirts, must wear the dress shirt when I asked, and he'd better not use the whip on anyone. He wore a plain muscle shirt underneath so he could leave the shirt mostly unbuttoned like Indy.

    Items for this easy Halloween costume: Men’s hat, white button-down dress shirt, khaki pants, undershirt, whip

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Karate Master or Ninja Costume

    Little ninja
    Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

    Use your child’s (or borrow a friend’s) old martial arts uniform to create this costume. Move your child up to black belt with some black fabric around the waist or accessorize with weapons and a headband to make a ninja. Maybe pin on felt cut-outs of the rising sun for color and authenticity.
    Items for this easy Halloween costume: Martial arts uniform, black belt from bathrobe, black fabric, swords, red felt, safety pins