DIY Children's Halloween Costumes

DIY Children's Halloween Costumes
Halloween celebrations have several narratives of how it has originated. Some believe in a secular Celtic festival of Samhain as its beginning with bonfires and costume garb to ward off ghosts; some believe the holiday has pagan origins. Whatever its ancient roots, contemporary festivities have become enormously popular with children and adults alike featuring costume parties at work and play, readings of spooky poetry or tales of witches, headless horsemen and goblins, pumpkins carved into jack-o'-lanterns and of course children trick or treating.

Traditionally, October 31st is the day Halloween is observed by many. It is an awesome time to get creative by making a DIY costume with little effort and expense.

Ladybug - Cut out four circles from red felt about 18-inches in diameter. Cut two circles from batting each slightly smaller than 18-inches in diameter (can be made larger or smaller). Cut out several round or oval-ish 'spots' from black felt. Sandwich together one red felt circle, batting, and top with another red felt circle. Sew all around the edges. Trim seam close to stitching. The enclosed batting gives the circle shape some poufy-ness. Do the same with the remaining two red felt circles and batting. Hand stitch black spots to what will be the back outside of one of the now layered circles. Hand stitching the spots through all layers will secure the inside batting and keep it from moving inside the circle. Tack a few places in the remaining layered circle as well. Connect the two finished layered circles at what will be the shoulder edges with black felt pieces. The ladybug costume should slip easily over a child's head. A black turtle neck and black leggings or black sweatshirt/sweatpants can be added to the costume. Add side ties of black ribbon attached to the inside of the red felt circles at opposite sides can keep the costume in place. A black antenna headband can be purchased as well to complete the ladybug look.

Pumpkin - using similar directions as above, cut out four orange felt circles and two from batting slightly smaller. Proceed as for the ladybug but cut out yellow felt triangles for eyes, nose and fashion a scary or happy mouth. This time make the two layered circles into pumpkin sections by sewing a few slightly curving lines starting at the center top curving down to center bottom. Add a few green felt leaf shapes to the top sections.

Emoji Face - again, cut out felt circles and batting as above and stitch together, however this time use yellow felt and black or brown felt cutouts to make any emoji face desired.

Little Red Riding Hood - sew a cape out of red fabric (fabric cut in a half-circle makes for a flowing cape) be sure to attach a red hood and large-ish ribbon bow where hood attaches to cape to help keep cape on. Add a handled woven basket that can be used to collect Halloween candy too.

Fleece Poncho - sew a simple poncho out of any solid color fleece fabric. Select a solid color fleece and decorate with felt cutouts. White fleece with black cutouts for scary ghost eyes and mouth, pink fleece with added inexpensive pink boa can be a flamingo, black fleece with edges cut out like bat wings can be a bat, a black fleece poncho can be made into a spider by cutting half moon edges from the bottom of the cape and sewing on spider web lines using while thread (or draw on web lines using white puff paint).

Princess/Fairy/Unicorn Tulle Skirt - tulle is available in six-inch wide rolls or by the yard, sometimes up to 60-inches wide, and comes in several colors. If using 6-inch-wide fabric, cut many tulle strips double the length of the skirt. The more tulle the fuller the skirt. Use one-inch-wide elastic the child's waist measurement minus two inches. Overlap the elastic one-inch and stitch or hand sew the edges together by overlapping one-inch. If using 6-inch-wide strips, begin the skirt by folding a strip of tulle in half so it forms a loop at the top, place on the elastic and pull through the free ends into the loop and tighten. Add as many fold-over strips as needed.

When using tulle in larger widths, a strip of wash-away or tear-away stabilizer along the edge helps when sewing a long basting stitch to gather the airy tulle. If no stabilizer is handy then strips of tissue paper will work well for gathering or for seaming edges.

For princess or fairy costume any chosen color tulle will work nicely. Add a tiara for a princess costume and a fairy wand for the fairy costume. The unicorn can have a combination of white, pink, blue and lavender tulle strips. Add a unicorn headband to complete the unicorn look.

Children and adults alike delight in dressing up in a costume for Halloween. Store-bought ones are charming and some have added details and props, however a DIY one can be just as quirky, imaginative and economical too!

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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