DIY {Costumes}

Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costumes

Whether your little one has dreams of becoming a chef or a zookeeper, these are easy do-it-yourself Halloween costume ideas he/she will love!

1. {Artist} Set your artistic creativity free by splattering and streaking paint across a plain button-down shirt to make a colorful paint smock for your favorite budding artist. Accessorize the outfit with leggings, tights, and a scarf, then tuck a variety of paintbrushes into pockets. Transform an empty paint can from the hardware store into a candy bucket with a computer-printed "I love art" sign attached to the side.

2. {Chef} With a dash of creativity and a sprinkling of fun, it's easy to whip up this chef costume for a boy or girl. Mimic the look of chef pants with patterned pajama pants and pair them with a matching T-shirt. Purchase a plain denim apron and decorate it with bits of jumbo rickrack, then spell out a saying such as "Yummm" on a plain chef hat using letters cut from adhesive-back felt. Accessorize the costume with a variety of kitchen tools, a rolling pin, a cleaver made from crafts foam, and a metal mixing bowl for treats. Toss in some faux vegetables to add to the recipe.

3. {Mad Scientist}Don't let the lab coat fool you -- this scientist is a mad man on the loose! It's simple to complete the Dr. Jekyll-like transformation by spiking up your trick-or-treater's hair with colored hair spray and giving him oversize black glasses and a loosely knotted tie to wear. Fill small plastic vials with colored water and slip them into the coat pockets to complete this experiment gone awry.

4. {Basketball Player}Be prepared to score big with this basketball player costume that's perfect for a boy or girl. Decorate a white tank top (such as a small men's undershirt) with iron-on number transfers on the front and back and add patch letters to spell out your child's last name. Team it up with athletic shorts, long tube socks, and a terry cloth headband and wristbands for a winning look. To make a basketball-theme treat bowl, embellish the inside of a plastic rust-color bowl with black electrical tape lines -- just remove the tape when trick-or-treating is over to use the bowl again.

5. {Rock Star}Nurture lofty dreams of singing stardom with a rock star costume made primarily with clothing found in your child's closet. Look for a black skirt or pants, black boots, sunglasses, and a few colorful or glittery scarves and belts, then add a T-shirt decorated with sticker gems and letters cut from adhesive-back felt. A play microphone adds the finishing touch: Purchase an inexpensive version found at discount stores, or make your own by decorating an empty paper towel tube with a glittered plastic foam ball, shiny paper, and sparkly gems.

6. {Beauty Queen}Straight from the runway to your front door, this beauty queen has been deemed "Miss Everything" by our judges. Make the upper portion of the "gown" by decking out a pink T-shirt with ribbon bows and arranging stick-on jewels around the neckline. For the bottom portion, fold two yards of tulle in half and sew the edges to a ribbon waistband. Cut wide ribbon and sew ends together at a diagonal to make the sash, and adorn it with letters traced onto and cut from sticky felt. Complete the ensemble with inexpensive purchased items including long gloves from a costume or theatrical shop, a dress-up tiara, play jewelry, and a bouquet of inexpensive silk flowers.

7. {Zookeeper}Need an idea for a costume you can make in nearly no time at all? Dig into your child's stuffed animal stash to create a clever zookeeper costume. Simple khaki shorts, a white polo shirt, a ball cap decorated with a "Zoo" label, and stuffed animals attached to the clothing with safety pins or hook-and-loop
tape are all that you need to tame this look.

8. {Scuba Diver}Help your little guy fulfill his dreams of underwater exploration with this imaginative scuba diver costume. Use swim trunks and a swim shirt as the basis for the outfit, then add on air tanks made from two empty 2-liter soda bottles, duct tape, and clear plastic tubing. Make the walking-friendly flippers with crafts foam, and add a swim mask wired with crafts-foam coral and fish. Download patterns for the flippers, fish, and coral and detailed instructions for the air tanks.

9. {Magician}Alakazam! No illusions are needed to create this show-stopping magician's costume. Boys and girls alike will love donning the sweeping cape made by joining black and red satin fabric panels with black iron-on hem tape at the neckline. Hot-glue playing cards to the inside of the cape and play up the trick factor by tying bright-color hankies or fabric squares together (not shown). Underneath the cape, a plain white T-shirt decorated with black buttons and a bow dresses up the attire. Finish off the costume with a stuffed bunny, and a magic wand made by painting a wooden dowel, and a black top hat -- which can double as a treat bag -- from a party store.

10. {Doctor}Even though going to the doctor might not be high on the list of fun kid activities, playing a doctor is always a hit. Make your child look like an official M.D. by decorating a plain white T-shirt and a small canvas bag (not shown) with a cross made with red electrical tape. Fill the bag with first aid supplies such as bandages, gauze, and cotton balls -- or use the bag as a spot for treats. Attach a small mirror to a headband and have your child wear a toy stethoscope to complete the uniform.

11. {Construction Worker}Hold on to your hard hat! This construction worker is ready to build and fix just about anything. To help your child get into character, simply cut off the sleeves of a bright orange T-shirt and spell "Men at Work" on the front of the shirt using iron-on letters. Write your child's name on the front of a toy hard hat, put washable tattoos onto your child's arms, and complete the look with a toy tool belt worn over jeans. A child-size toolbox is perfect for collecting treats.


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