Homemade Halloween Costumes

Holidays and
Homemade Halloween Costumes
Updated on October 9, 2017 Samantha Harris moreSam is the mother of two young boys, Juju margin:0px !important;” />like this one

Ribbon (optional)

Women's Red Dragon Printed Long Sleeve T Shirts

Mardi Gras beads (optional)

Flat glass marbles (optional)
Step 1. Cut out an oval strip of cardstock and glue it on to the headband. This will give you a wider base to work with. You can skip this part if you want a skinny flower crown.

Step 2. Glue down leaves on to the cardstock, you can cover the headband entirely if you like, but definitely do the front and sides. You can do a wild pattern, or keep it symmetrical. I like symmetry so that’s what I usually try to go for but it all depends on your personality and the feeling you’re going for. You can skip the leaves if you like, but I think it makes the crowns feel more luxurious.

Step 3. In my opinion, when it comes to flower crowns, more is more. Keep flowers closely bunched together. Look at wedding bouquet pictures for inspiration and guidance. The nicest looking bouquets are the ones that appear full, with flowers closely together. If you are using different kinds of flowers see how your flower will look in the crown before gluing it down.

Step 4. Embellish. I like to add strands of ribbon at the ends of my flower crowns. You can also add Mardi Gras beads to the end, or loop them around the flowers in your crown for added effect. Frost the tips of the petals with glitter and glue for more sparkle and charm. Flat glass pebbles are also nice for embellishing. Use pretty findings from around the house. The sky is the limit.

Wonderland Hatter Hats
Click thumbnail to view full-sizeBlaze helping me with a prototype.Skeleton of the hat.Hats post fabric, ribbon bands, and Mardi Gras beads.Add as many or as few details as you like. Mad Hatter Hat
Click thumbnail to view full-size White Rabbit Hat
Click thumbnail to view full-size Cheshire Cat Hat
Click thumbnail to view full-size Okay, so these hats actually took some time to create, I wouldn’t exactly call them last minute. However, since they were so detailed, I just ended up putting the boys in clothes they already had in their closet that coordinated with the hats. The whimsical hats really worked well to transform every day clothes into Wonderland attire.

I made three hats; Mad Hatter hat, White Rabbit hat, and the Cheshire Cat hat. Each of the boys were so suited to each hat and having the boys in mind while I made them I think really helped me create something that reflected their personalities. I’m going to describe the general process of creating each one and offer tips on how you could decorate them.


Card stock

card board

Fabric or paint or just use colored card stock


Mardi gras beads

Tape measure

Fake flowers and other decorative items
Step 1. Make a sketch of what you would like the finished hat to look like. You don’t have to stick to it, but it will help guide you. Use this as an opportunity to plan out the colors you will use and materials you will need. You could also pick out an outfit you would like to wear from your wardrobe and plan the hat around it.

Step 2. Measure the circumference of the head you are making the hat for and add a few centimeters.

Step 3. Create a hat out of your card stock following the instructions in the video above and use your own measurements. Use cardboard to reinforce the top of the hat and the brim. Alternatively, you could just buy one of those plastic top hat party favors and skip ahead.

Step 4. At the time I made these I just so happened to have lots of fabric, no paint, and no colored card stock, so I made things very difficult for myself and covered the hat in fabric I cut out into large pieces and hot glued on. I then used Mardi Gras beads and detailing to cover up my rough edges and seams. It was very tedious. If you don’t have time or patience for it, I would recommend using card stock in the colour you want, or spray painting/paint your hat your desired colour.

Step 5. Now time for the fun part! Time to detail, decorate, and make this hat your own. For the white rabbit I used felt fabric for the ears and added lots of flowers to tell the story of the white rabbit racing through the garden. For the cheshire cat, I used cardboard triangles, felt fabric, and an old knitted cap to create the cat ears. I added flowers and a few stray feathers to elude to the cheshire cat’s sneaky nature and how dangerous that could make him (the feathers being from a bird he caught while prowling through the garden). I also added some Mardi Gras beads for whiskers. For the Hatter I used craft feathers to create an entire wing and stuck Joker cards in the ribbon to elude to the Hatter’s over the top and playful nature.

This is another instance where more is more. Add stuff until your satisfied, especially if you plan for this to be the focal point of what you are wearing. Pair with coloured contacts, makeup, and coordinating accessories.

Male coloured pants, thermal shirt, vest, and mommy’s scarves for belt and bandanna.” title=”Little pirate boy; coloured pants, thermal shirt, vest, and mommy’s scarves for belt and bandanna.” class=”image_module_thumb”/>Wardrobe Pirate: Coloured pants, button down shirt, vest, boots, bandanna, accessory eyepatch, and face paint!A button up shirt with a vest look very piratelike with face paint and a bandanna.The more menacing the face paint the better, ARR!Little pirate boy; coloured pants, thermal shirt, vest, and mommy’s scarves for belt and bandanna.Face paint is a good option for kids that don’t want to wear a bandanna or to make them look more piratelike. Female Pirate
Click thumbnail to view full-sizeWardrobe Pirate; Boots, fishnet stockings, skirt, chunky waist belt, corseted top, bangle scarf, and lots of accessories.The shinier the accessories the better. Show off that booty, hahaha… Last Minute Pirate Costume
Unisex Suggested Items

Button-down shirt

Colourful or striped pants

Industrial Boots


(optional) Eyepatch

(optional) Sword

(optional) Pirate Hat

(optional) Long Coat

(optional) Makeup

(optional) Waist Scarf
Female Suggested Items


Fishnet Tights

Full Black or dark skirt

Knee High Boots

Costume Jewelry

Waist Belt
This is my go-to costume when I’m down to the wire. Mainly because I have always seemed to be drawn to piratey/gypsy like clothes anyway…This costume works well for the whole family!

Step 1. Plan out your outfit and get dressed. Look at TV pirates and other pirate costumes for inspiration. If you don’t have a hat, a bandanna will work just fine.

Step 2. Once you’re all dressed take your outfit a step further by doing facepaint or makeup. This is especially cute on little kids!

Step 3. If you have an eye patch or other pirate accessories, awesome.

That’s it. Really.

DIY Bodycon Skirt
Mermaid Costume Tutorial
Last Minute Mermaid Costume

Shimmery Fabric*



Button-up Cardigan or shirt

Hot Glue or Fabric Adhesive

(optional) Costume Jewelry

(optional) Seashells

(optional) Needle “>Simple makeup with to a costume can also make a big difference. I love the manga “Magi: Labyrinth of Magic” so one year I decided to make costumes modeled after the Djinn.

Recommended Items


Suitable top

Gold jewelry and bangles

Gold flats or sandals

Scarf complimentary colour or same colour as pants

Colorful wig

Coloured contacts

Face paint
The Djinn in the show follow a blue, red, black, and gold colour scheme–but you can use bright colours to give it more of the look people have come to associate genies with. Before you begin collecting your costume pieces, decide on your colour scheme. Taking a quick look at what items you already have in your wardrobe may help you decide.

For my costume, I took a pair of my husband’s sweatpants and tied them tight around my ankles using rubber bands. I then tied a black piece of jersey fabric around my waist, but a belly dancing scarf would have been nicer. I just didn’t have one in the colour I needed and ran out of time before I could get one.

I had a red bohemian top, but a tank top, crop top, or any shirt in that matches the colour scheme would have worked just as well.

I bought gold flats and glue plastic ruby coloured stones to the tips. I bought gold bangles and earrings and made lots of gold chained jewelry (more on that below).

I topped it off with a blue wig and painted a few extra eyes on my face since the Djinn I modeled my costume after has six eyes. I also bought coloured contacts from LensVillage, my favorite place to buy coloured contacts.

For my husband’s costume, I made him a chest piece with cardboard and scale pieces cut out of faux leather scales. I made his pants out of jersey fabric. I was supposed to make mine too, but ran out of time–which is why I ended up stealing his sweats instead (the BEST decision ever honestly. I was so warm and comfy all night!).

He topped his off with a wig, black sclera lens, horns, and more of my handmade jewelry.

Djinn Jewelry
Click thumbnail to view full-sizeAdd gold beads and pair with other gold jewelry.Start with clear flat pendant pieces, colour center and outline black, colour rest in choice colour, then shade in a darker tone around center and outline.Glue pendant or flat gems into blank pins.Add chains to create necklaces, headdresses, body chains, etc. Materials:

25mm Flat round acrylic jewels in Red

Gold jump rings

Gold plated chain

25mm Round blank cabochon pins

25mm Flat round clear cabochons

25mm Flat round double sided adhesive stickers

Red, black, and brown sharpie markers

Gold lobster clasps

Craft or super glue

Gold beads (optional)

Fake nose ring (optional)
I made the jewelry by attaching chains to the cabochon pins in various designs to create headdresses (didn’t end up using because it didn’t work with the wig), hip chains, body chains, and necklaces. To create the pinks with the eyes I first drew a black dot at the center of the clear cabochon and outlined it in black, then coloured the piece with the red sharpie, then shaded the center and outline with the brown sharpie to make it look more eye like. Once it was dry I used the adhesive stickers to add it to the pin.

One of my cabochon pins came broken so I hot glued it to one of the gold bobby pins I had bought a pack of along with my gold jewelry.

I used big gold beads to embellish the jewelry a bit.

I chose gold chain with larger links because I wanted to elude to the sort of prisoner status of a Djinn, despite them seeming so mystical and all powerful. Even though I have jump rings listed here, I didn’t really use them all that much since I could easily bend and adjust the links in the chain to suit my needs.

Dragon “> Click thumbnail to view full-size Knight Costume
Hot glue
Fabric in the colour you want your surcoat and coat of arms to be
Grey undershirt
Grey pants
Needle and Thread

I had a lot of leftover jersey fabric from another project so that’s what I used to make my son’s costume, but I had to sew two layers of it together so it would work properly. I would suggest picking out a stiffer fabric that will not fray to get this project done quicker and easier than I did it.

Step 1. First you will make the surcoat by making a poncho-like piece of clothing with your fabric. If you have a stiff fabric that won’t fray, like felt, you can cut it twice the length you want it, fold it in half, and cut a hole in the fold for the head to come through. For other types of fabric, you will have to do what I did and measure out two piece of fabric the same length, sew them together along the edge, cut a slit in the middle for the head, and stitch the circle around.

Step 2. Design you coat of arms. I kept mine simple and just did a green dragon. I found a graphic I liked online, printed it and used it as a pattern for the dragon. I then cut the dragon out of felt and stitch it on the surcoat. I did this on both front and back. If you trick-or-treat at night in a place that’s not so well lit, this may be a good opportunity to put some reflective fabric on the costume for safety.

Alternatively, you could hot glue the coat of arms on or use fabric paint instead.

Step 3. Belt it and add accessories. Swords and other knight accessories aren’t too hard to come by during Halloween, but I’ve add a little step by step guide on how I made my son’s knight gear below. It does take some time though.

Last Minute Way:


Grey sweater/long sleeve

Grey pants

Pull over sweater, hoodie, or vest

Fabric paint OR Fabric, Scissors, Needle and Thread/Hot Glue

Cut off the sleeves of your sweater or hoodie then paint or sew on a coat of arms on the chest and back, if you have time. Pair with facepaint that looks like a helmet or knight accessories from the store or following the tutorial here.

Click thumbnail to view full-sizeSword, shield, sheath templatesTrace pieces on cardboardCut out two cardboard pieces with the corrugation going in different directions to make piece stronger.Add decorative tape to cardboard.Finish adding tape.Add tape to shield piece as well.Make handle for back of shield.Add handle to back of shield, make another; one for arm, one for hand.Tape up sheath pieces, only one side needs to be covered.Connect sheath pieces together, leaving a pocket for sword.Add belt loop to sheath.Finish sword, sheath, and shield. DIY Sword, Sheath, and Shield

Poster board

Hot glue

Duct tape/packing tape

Silver reflective tape (or whatever colour you want the blade to be)

Coloured duct tape in the colour you want

Coloured tape for decaling (optional)

Paper and pencil

Step 1. Create a stencil for your sword, sheath, and shield using your paper and pencil. Make sure your sheath is a little wider than your sword so it will fit.

Step 2. Trace and cut out two sword piece and two shield pieces from cardboard. Try to cut the pieces so that the corragation of the cardboard is going in different directions on each piece, this will make it stronger.
For the sheath, cut out two poster board pieces.

Step 3. Hot glue the sword pieces together and the shield pieces together, you could stop here and hot glue a cardboard handle to your shield if you like the cardboard knight look.

Step 4. Completely cover the sheath pieces in decorative duct tape on one side. I used a reflective duct tape so it will be safer when we go trick or treating (and because it was pretty). Lay the untaped sides against each other and tape them together along the seams.

Step 5. Duct tape the edges of your sword and shield to smooth them out. Cover the sword with the silver/blade coloured tape you choose and the hilt with your other decorative tape. Cover the shield in any pattern you choose. This seems like a daunting task but I actually ended up making two swords and two shields because my son left his at his Gma’s house right before Halloween. It didn’t really take too much time or effort to make–just a lot of tape.

Step 6. Use either regular duct tape/packing tape to make handles for the shield and a belt loop for the sheath. I did this by layering several pieces of tape together then taping the loop to the back of the shield/sheath. For the shield I created a large loop for him to stick his arm through and a small loop for him to grab on to with his hand.

Step 7. Make a helmet if you’re feeling ambitious! Otherwise, you can use face paint to finish off the look. Slide your sheath on to your belt and get ready for battle.

DIY Knight’s Helmet
So, the initial plan for Blaze’s helmet was that I was going to paint it on his face–but of course, Blaze, being the little Aries that he is, decided to have a melt down an hour before we went trick or treating because he did not have a helmet. The costume did feel incomplete without one and I do like a challenge–so, somehow, I whipped one together just in time to go trick or treating. I did not document the process and I honestly can’t remember how I made it, but it was something similar to the video above plus massive amounts of duct tape instead of paper mache.

Click thumbnail to view full-sizeStuff horns and sew them to top of hoodie.Stitch scales down hood and back of hoodie.Sew two pieces of fabric together to make scales stand up. Dragon Hoodie

Pullover hoodie

Felt or fleece for scales and horns

Needle and thread or hot glue

Cotton or some sort of filler

Fabric in same colour as hoodie (preferably the same kind of fabric)(optional)

I apologise again for not having too many images of the process of this. I actually worked on it during my commute to and from work so it would have been a bit awkward taking pictures. I’ll walkthrough the process as best I can.

Step 1. Trace and cut out a whole bunch of scales for your dragon. Then stitch or hot glue two pieces together to make the scales stiff so they will stand up straight. I would suggest sewing the scales if you are using fleece and hot gluing the scales if you are using felt, but do what looks best to you.

Step 2. Pin scales down the center and back of the hoodie. I’m not sure what the best method of doing this is, but I just sort of made a pocket for the scales by pinching the fabric of the sweater over the bottom of the scale. I tried to keep it consistent. This part was the biggest pain of all. If you can think of a better way to do this please share!

Step 3. If you have a sewing machine you could probably sew all the scales down. I had to do it by hand. I’m sure hot glue would have worked just as well.

Step 4. For the horns I cut out cones with rounded bottoms and stuffed them. Then stitched them to the top of the head.

Step 5. This is optional but if you have fabric the color of your hoodie you can add a tail by creating a cone and sewing it to the back of the hoodie then adding scales. You could also add a little fabric around the horn to make it seem like it is protruding from the dragon’s skin. You can removed the front pouch of your hoodie (if you have one), cut off the sleeves, or crop it if you would like to add these details but don’t have the fabric for it.

Recognizable Characters
Here are some tutorials for costumes I made over the years of iconic characters.

DIY Angry Bird Hoodie Costume
Click thumbnail to view full-sizeSide view of DIY Angry Bird Hoodies | SourceMe and my two angry birds; Juju (Red) “>Front view of Red’s Angry Bird costume, but Bomb didn’t want to cooperate! Lol | SourceReal Life Angry Birds going after piggies in the parking lot with daddy, haha. | Source Click thumbnail to view full-sizeI started with a sketch for the design of my Angry Birds hoodies. At first I thought about making masks, but later decided to add the Angry Bird features directly to the hoodies. | SourceFor the beaks I cut out a semi circle shape and sewed the flat ends together to make a cone like shape. | SourceI sewed the top portion of the beak cones to the top of the hood, and the bottom portion underneath the hood. This made the beaks more firm. | SourceI used at least two layers of felt for each decorative piece, but for the eyes I cheated by cutting a circle and then folding it in half. | SourceI even used two felt layers for the pupils, just so the colour would appear completely solid. | SourceI pinned the pieces in placebefore sewing them down. I put the hood over my head a few times, to make sure the face was as symmetrical as I could get it. | SourceSince Bomb’s eyes are rounder I couldn’t get away with the eye trick I used for Red. I moved his eyebrows around a few times until I was happy with them. | SourceThe finished DIY Angry Bird Hoodie Costumes | Source DIY Angry Birds Hoodie Costume

Pullover sweater with hood (in color of Angry Bird you want to make)

Sturdy sewing needles/sewing machine OR glue gun

Thread (preferably in same color as felt add ons)

Colored felt (in colours of accents of Angry Bird you want to make)

Pins/Safety Pins

Sharp Scissors

Paper “>This mask was picked up at Family Dollar, nowhere near around Halloween. I’ve seen similar masks all year round at Target and Toys R Us. Face Paint
Face painting is a perfect way to dress up a costume more or to make up for having no costume. Tutorials are so easy to find now on Google and Youtube and thanks to all the amazing makeup bloggers, new tutorials are springing up every day.

If you don’t have too much artistic skill, don’t worry. You may not be able to do a realistic rendering of the Night King from GoT but you should be able to pull off a decent dragon like the dragon face paint I did for my son here using only a basic face painting kit which can be found almost everywhere around Halloween or every day at a local costume shop (my town has one, doesn’t yours???)

If you can’t find a face painting kit makeup works too–and sometimes even better! If you are not willing to sacrifice your makeup for the cause or are like me and have an eyeliner laying around somewhere but no real makeup–figure out the design and colors you need first and then stop by your local dollar store and pick up cheap cosmetics.

I do not recommend this tip to those that have sensitive skin. You know who you are. (I am one of you *sad face*)

The Power of Accessories
If you have a character hat, tiara, wig, or some other costume prop of some sort you can use it as the foundation for your costume.

With character hats, just dress in the colour of your character or in an outfit that is similar to what your character wears.

If you have a crown or a tiara, dress up in your fanciest clothes and wear some regal-looking costume jewelry if you have any.

Have a cool coloured wig? Take a look at some K-Pop videos and dress up like a K-Pop idol.

Have a cowboy hat? Be a cowboy!

You’ll be surprised by how many options you have once you go through your wardrobe and think creatively.

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sendingAuthorSamantha Harris 5 weeks ago from New York

Updated with a lot of new stuff including djinn/genie, more fairy stuff, and Mad Hatter hats.

AuthorSamantha Harris 3 years ago from New York

Added Ninja Turtles, April O’Neil, and Casey Jones

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