5 easy DIY Halloween costumes

You arrive in the school playground for pick-up and there’s an excited buzz of “See you later!”s. You wonder what slip of paper your child forgot to give you. School disco? Too early. Sports Day? No, bit cold.… Then horror dawns – it’s Halloween! Everyone in the class is going trick or treating TODAY and you’re forgotten to buy an outfit!

Don’t worry, these 5 Halloween fancy dress ideas are so simple, you and your kids can rustle them up using stuff you already have at home. 

1) Unicorn: The most asked for outfit is sweet not spooky!

What you’ll need: card, tissue paper in lots of colours, headband, belt, scissors, tape, glue plus leggings and a top

What to do:

Scroll for easy step-by-step instructions!

1. Draw a triangle on the card and then snip it out (or ask your child to).

2. Help your child to roll it into a cone and tape in place.

3. Now, help them to cover it in tissue paper.

4. Trim the tissue paper, leaving about 2 or 3cm beyond the bottom of the card.

5. Make a snip in each side, big enough to thread the headband through.

6. Slip the cone onto the headband and glue in place.

7. Now your child can wrap around some ribbon and glue in place.

8. Meanwhile, make a pile of multi-coloured tissue paper and snip lots of strips.

9. Make a snip in each piece so you can wrap it around the band and then thread it through the hole to hold it in place.

10. Ask your child to repeat until you have a mane! Do the same with tissue paper and a belt to make a tail.

11. There you have it, a sweet unicorn outfit! Finish with leggings and a long-sleeve top, and add their magical unicorn accessories!


2) Monster mate: Make a hideous head and horrible hands

What you’ll need: green, black and silver card, black pens, scissors, glue, wool

What to do:

1. Cut a big forehead from green card and draw on some hair and a scar with black pen.
2. Add silver card bolts to the side, then stick on a band of card to fit your head.
3. Cut out monster hands from green card and draw on scars. Add silver card stitches and bolts. Tie the hands to your own with lengths of wool.

3) Scary spider: kids can dress up as a creepy crawly mate!

What you’ll need: black top, black tights, material, needle and thread, foil, tape, scissors

What to do:

1. Shape lumps of foil into spider eyes. Cut the top off some old tights to make a hat type headpiece, then attach the eyes in place with tape.
2. Stuff some old tights with material and attach each leg to a black top with a few stitches.
3. Tie pieces of elastic around your child’s wrist and connect to the spider legs so they can hold them out.

4) Brilliant bat: It’s easy to turn your little ones into a friendly, flappy friend

What you’ll need: black card, scissors, tape, old black material

What to do:

1. Cut a strip of black card and fit it around your child’s head. Then cut 2 bat ears and stick them on!
2. Attach some material to either side of an old t-shirt to make bat wings.

5) Oooooh, aaaaaah! Transform kids into a glowing jellyfish

What you’ll need: clear or white umbrella, batter-powered fairy lights, pack of white crepe or tissue paper, white and black card for eyes, scissors, tape

What to do:

1. Snip a few bits of tape and secure the fairy lights in a spiral inside the umbrella. It’s easiest to start at the top and work your way down. Tape the battery pack last at the base of the umbrella.
2. To make the eyes, draw two circles on the white card, approx 12cm diameter (we drew around a kids’ bowl). Draw two smaller circles on the black card, approx 6cm diameter (we drew around a mini-cup). Glue them together and then glue them onto the umbrella.
3. Cut strips from the crepe paper approx 3cm wide (it’s quicker if you fold it so you can cut a few at once.) Keep them about a metre long – you can trim them once your child is holding the costume if they trail on the floor.
4. Turn on the lights!
5. Dress your child in black and give them their twinkly costume to hold.

Have spooky fun making these outfits! For some creepy crafting, take a look at this spider and skull art kit.

Happy Halloween!

Craft and photos by Liz Langley.