There is no day of the year that I want to take more pictures than Halloween. For some reason, seeing little kids in adorable costumes makes me go paparazzi on them. But I’m also not the type to buy a new full-priced costume for children who will wear it once or maybe twice—ever! We go one of two ways when planning a costume: creative or consignment.
When my oldest Sophie was one, we found a pumpkin costume for 25 cents at a garage sale. I cleaned it, paired it with striped leggings, and she was good to go. When Halloween was over, we donated it for another child to wear the next year! We got a bumblebee costume for Maggie the same way.
To create costumes, we enjoy using what we have around the house and buying or making a small accessory to complete the look. One year, we used the accessories from Sophie’s toy doctor kit and paired them with a white shirt and loose white pants to make her look just like a paramedic. Last year, she dressed as a black cat. I purchased kitty ears for $5, and drew whiskers and a kitty nose using my eye makeup (try to use a natural brand!). She wore her black jacket, leggings and boots, and we tied a black scarf around her waist to act as a tail. She loved it so much that she suggested she wear it again this year! Her logic was impressively eco-friendly: “We have kitty ears, black leggings, a black shirt, and boots! I should be a kitty again.”
We’re still deciding what the girls will be this year, and these are two ideas we come up with:
Artist: Take an old white dishcloth, paint it, glue a ribbon around, and tie. Add a winter beret-type of hat (she borrowed mine!). And have them hold their paintbrush and paints. You’ve got a masterpiece!
Sailor: We looked through drawers to find navy or white or stripes anywhere in her wardrobe, and actually found this perfect dress instead to made it work. I used an old white flour sack dishtowel and cut a strip, then tied it around her neck loosely. She added white tights and red shoes, and made her sailor hat out of a white sheet of paper (using this tutorial). She loved holding her “telescope,” (a paper towel tube) and looking for pirates.
Making a Halloween costume doesn’t have to be a big, complicated, or expensive thing. It can be something created in ten minutes and can be so fun. If you are partial to the store-bought, be sure to plan ahead and purchase next year’s when they go on sale after Halloween!
Katie (Kate) Brightbill lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters. Out of her love for mini fashion and writing, she created a blog called Style Smaller with her cousin and good friend, Erin Taylor. Follow them on Twitter @stylesmaller.