Poping up like daysies, commercial costumes seems to be available at all the local stores. However, having in mind their cost, lack of imagination, and the fact you end up with a half dozen kids all looking the same at a party, it seems reasonable to do it by ourselves. After all, nothing beats homemade. Below you’ll find some basic ideas for you to play with. They are all cheap, simple, and allow for tons of imagination.

50’s Girl

What do you need?

  • poodle applique iron-on or cut from felt
  • white bobby socks
  • saddle shoes or sneakers
  • 3 feet of yarn or tubing for leash

optional: Pink Jacket


Poodle skirts were the big thing for girls back in the 50’s. You can use any long skirt you have or get one from a thrift shop or yard sale.
The Poodle applique should be sewn or ironed on. Wear a short-sleeve blouse or an angora sweater, white bobby socks, saddle shoes or white sneakers, and a scarf for neck. Put your hair in a ponytail if you can and hold it with a rubber band. If you have an old 45 rpm record box you could use this to collect candy in.By putting on a pink jacket you change to a pink girl from the movie “grease.” Quotes: “Gee, this sure is a swell party.”

Alice in Wonderland

What do you need?

  • blue dress with white collar
  • white apron
  • hair ribbon

optional white tights


If you already have a blue dress your all set. If you need a blue dress try a thrift shop or yard sale. Add a white apron like the one in the photo. Put on white tights if you have them and your all done. You could carry a stuffed rabbit for an extra touch.

The fashionable Ghost

What do you need?

  • Old white sheet
  • eye shadow
  • Lipstick
  • earrings
  • necklace


Why be the same old plain ghost? A ghost going out in public might like to get dressed up a little. Use the old white sheet, cut out holes for the eyes and a small slit for the mouth. Then dress it up a little. Put eye shadow and lashes around the eyes. Lipstick for the mouth. Put a little color on the cheeks. How about earrings and a necklace ? You could color in a beard or mustache. Use something besides just a white sheet to be a little more fancy

The American tourist

What do you need?


  • Hawaii shirt
  • shorts
  • Large straw hat


  • bright loud dress
  • flats
  • big sun hat
  • straw bag


Don’t forget to have a camera, and maps hanging out, and that look of being lost. Guys can use a tourist bag, (like you get from travel agents, and gals can use the straw bag for their treats.


What do you need?

  • White or light colored long dress
  • heavy wire or coat hangers
  • tin foil
  • cardboard


You will need a long light colored dress (white, pink, blue or yellow). If you don’t have one in your closet, try a thrift store or yard sale.
To dress up as an angel you need to make a halo. You can fashion this by making the wire into a ring and then covering it with tin foil. Or make the halo with a ring of gold or silver flowers instead. If you can’t find gold flowers, spray paint any color plastic flowers. You will need wings, you can make these from cardboard and attaching to dress with thread. You will have to make the wings to fit the size of the angel. You could use wire, shaped like wings, for the wings and stretch shear nylon (like old curtains) over the wire and sew it. Attach the wings to your back in advance by sewing or pinning them to the back of your dress. A little glitter on the wings completes the outfit.

Butterfly or Fairy Costume

What do you need?

  • 2 large sheets of cardboard
  • mixed paint colors
  • small paint brush
  • black marker


The most important thing is the wings. You will have to make the wings from cardboard. Draw a wing pattern on newspaper before you start cutting. You will have to adjust the size and shape of the wings to fit. When you are satisfied with the way the wings look you can cut the cardboard wings out. You should now color the wings. Outline the wings with a black marker and then fill in the center with yellows and golds. If you like, you can use spray glue, then sprinkle glitter over the areas where you sprayed the glue. Or you may want to use a tube of glue and just put the glitter around the boarder. Attach the wings to your dress with staples that can be removed later. Be sure to have the pointed parts of the staples away from you facing out.

Lego Costume

What do you need?

  • cardboard box
  • paper cups
  • enamel paint
  • glue


The most important thing is the Lego body. You will have to make the lego body from a cardboard box. Pick a box that will allow you to fit inside comfortably and has room for you to make a hole in the top for your head and a hole on either side for each arm. Using glue, attach the paper or styrofoam cups to the cardboard box in straight rows while you are out of the box. Allow to dry completely. All you need to do now, is paint your lego box with either a paintbrush or a spray can. Enamel paint looks good, but will melt plastic cups, so only use the enamel paint on paper cups. You can use any color, but try to get a color that will match your sweat pants or slacks that you plan to wear. When the box is dry, it’s ready to wear.

Oompa Loompa

What do you need?

  • orange makeup
  • white makeup
  • white gloves&gt
  • green temporary hair color
  • brown turtleneck
  • white shorts or capri pants
  • white suspenders or cloth strips
  • white shoes or sneakers


To do makeup, cover the face in orange makeup, adding white makeup on lips and white eyebrows. You could glue some cotton for eyebrows.
Use a wig, or curl hair up at ends. Push some hair up in the front in a wave and hold in place with hair spray. Spray the hair green and let dry.
Get dressed in the clothing listed above. Use suspenders or cut two white strips of cloth to attach and crisscross in the front and back.


What do you need?

  • Large cardboard box to fit size
  • White paint (spray or can)
  • Red paper for stripes (or paint)
  • Bottle of glue or glue gun
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts


  1. The box: First pick out a box that is suited to your height and is big enough to cover your body, but not so big that it’s clumsy. Now you need to cut 3 holes in the box. One hole should be on the top (for your head). Measure your head, then cut the hole in box about 2 inches larger than your head. Slip the box over your head and measure where you will cut the 2 holes for the arms. Now cut the arm holes. Be sure to make the hole big enough so arms have room to move.
  2. Paint your box: Be sure to paint in a ventilated area if not using water based paints. Spread old newspapers on the floor before painting. Paint the entire outside of the box white. You may want to paint a little inside near the holes also. Let the box dry completely.
  3. Red stripes: Measure red stripes from construction paper being sure to measure and make the stripes all the same size. You could also paint the red stripes. Painting is much harder that gluing though. Wait for the stripes to dry on.
  4. The hat: The girl in the photo glued styrofoam packing peanuts to an old hat to make it look like popcorn. You could also use a small box for a hat and make it look like a small popcorn box.
  5. Finishing touches: Spread glue on the top of the box where your head will come through. Now cover the box with styrofoam packing peanuts and allow it to stick to the box. You can also use real popcorn for this. You can glue popcorn to an old hat and wear the hat if you like. Now if you like you can write the word “Pop Corn” with black paint or write your own name like “Daniel’s Popcorn.”

and now, some recipes and tips for the make-up…

Haloween Homemade Makeup

  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid food coloring (color of choice) OR
  • 1/4 teaspoon paste food coloring (color of choice)
  • (paste makes more intense colors)

The above ingredients are the actual face paint to be used. You may wish to add other things for application of makeup and special effects as listed below.

  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 4 paper cups
  • 4 Cotton swabs or sm. brush
  • 1 box facial tissues
  • cotton balls or batting
  • puffed wheat cereal


In bowl, mix 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon flour. Gradually stir in 3/4 cup Karo corn syrup and 1/4 cup water until smooth. This amount will make up 4 children’s faces. Divide mixture between 4 paper cups.

Color 3 batches with food colors of your choice (1/2 teaspoon liquid or 1/4 teaspoon paste for each batch). Leave 1 batch untinted.

For additional colors, prepare more makeup. Separate tissues into single layers; tear lengthwise into 2-inch wide strips. Using swabs or brush, paint generous coat of untinted mixture on forehead; place strip of tissue over area; pat firmly with fingertips. Brush on more of same mixture to cover any dry spots on tissue. Continue painting rest of face, one area at a time, and covering it with tissue. Don’t paint eyelids or around eyes. Let dry about 15 minutes; time depends on temperature and humidity.

Stir colored batches before using. Paint on 1 color at a time as desired. Let dry slightly before using another color if you want them to blend, or let dry completely if you don’t. To speed process, use hair dryer on air setting.

For deeper, smoother, candy-color effect, use several coats of same color (allow to dry slightly between coats).

TO BUILD UP EYEBROWS, nose or chin (or for beard) apply cotton to damp, untinted mixture. Paint with more of the same. Cover with tissue and paint desired color.

FOR GHOULISH EFFECT, dust made-up face with flour.

FOR WARTS, stick on Puffed Wheat cereal with untinted mixture, then coat with layers of mixture-soaked tissue. Paint desired color.

TO REMOVE MAKEUP, wet face, then gently peel tissue away. Wash face with warm water.

Sources: Robins, Budget101, Halooween.net

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