Ideas for Making Your Own Halloween Costume

Thinking about how you can save money this Halloween? Why not consider a Halloween costume that you design from used odd and ends, clothing and accessories? Thrift or Goodwill stores offer these items at a small portion of what you would pay at a Halloween or retail store.

child holding halloween pieces to face with text overlay

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Ideas for Making Your Own Halloween Costume

You can also network with other moms and swap old costumes for the ones you want. With some creativity and legwork, you can make any of the following costumes.

Pirate Costumes

Pirate costumes will be huge this year. Think Captain Jack Sparrow. My middle child has been planning this one since May and she rewatched all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

How to Make Your Own Pirate Costume:

  • You need baggy black or brown pants cut below the knee.
  • A baggy white shirt, cut up a bit and dirty looking.
  • A baggy vest, unbuttoned, would be worn over the shirt.
  • A bright scarf tied around your waist.
  • Army boots, large gold hoop earrings, sword, eye patch, hat or bandana tops this outfit off.
  • If you live in a colder region you might want to look for a long black coat.

Ghost Costumes

The ghost is the oldest and easiest ghoulish outfit around.

How to Make Your Own Ghost Costume:

  • You need a large white sheet that completely drapes your being.
  • With arms down cut any excess off the bottom up to an inch from the ground.
  • Cut out eyeholes.
  • White eye makeup keeps the ghost entirely white.

You can carry a pumpkin or maybe a glow stick for that added touch.

person dressed as a scarecrow


With the right straw hat and a little straw, a scarecrow can easily be done. Oversized, old and sloppy is the key.

How to Make Your Own Scarecrow Costume:

  • You will need old overalls or jeans that you can patch with bandana-type material, a flannel shirt, work boots, and work or garden gloves.
  • Be sure to stuff straw or raffia inside your shirt and leave some hanging out wherever you can.
  • A blackbird attached to your hat, silk daisies, or a corn cob pipe would be good accessories.
  • Paint your face base white and proceed with black paint for a triangle nose and circle eyes. Paint your lips a bright red extending the makeup beyond your lips for a straight smile.

Football Player

Another inexpensive way to look sharp while using odds and ends is the football player.

How to Make Your Own Football Player Costume:

  • You may have or can easily network to get the pads, helmet, shirt, cleats, and pants for this easy costume.
  • Black makeup under the eyes is all that is needed.
  • Oh, don’t forget to carry the football for the full effect.

Wanna save money next year on Halloween costumes?

Once Halloween is over, it’s time to hit the discount stores.

Often, outfits and accessories can be picked up for half the price or less. Thinking ahead on what your needs will be the following year will save you a ton of money, especially if you’ve got more than one person in the family dressing up.

Don’t forget the garage sales too. Clearly, with a little imagination and a bit of planning ahead, you can create a costume that the kids will love and so will your checkbook.

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