10 DIY Halloween Costume Ideas.

Via Candice Garrett
on Oct 27, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

About the time my first son turned two, I became aware of the rip-off that is the current Halloween costume industry. Cheaply-made polyester costumes sold at premium prices.

It’s about that time I became a homemade costume wizard. Why pay $30 for a costume that I can throw together for about $5?

Since then, we’ve used our local thrift store and ingenuity to make our annual dress up ideas. Here are a few of them, along with a link on how to find more.

Ninjas and Pirates (pictured above)

I’m not the first mom to have used her son’s karate gear as a ninja costume. Don’t have one? How about black pants and a black t-shirt? We picked up the ninja hood for just a few bucks.  The pirate costume uses a vest we made in previous years, a bandana and handmade “dreadlocks” made from twisted strips of fabric. We even tied beads into them so they looked just like a famous pirate captain.

The pirate vests we’ve used a few times, made out of felt:

The Tin Man

Grey paint, poster board, a funnel and some string.

Ghost Rider

The ninja turtle costume we found at the local thrift store, along with the ghost rider mask, which we paired with a hand-me-down leather jacket, decorative chains and flaming hair made out of orange and red tissue paper.

Tooth Fairy

A combination of second hand items and craftiness.


This one speaks for itself.

Shark Bites

This one was spotted at our kids school.

Garden Gnome

Seriously adorable costume from my friend Mandy Holmes: “Items: a shirt from dollar store with a felt strip for belt, black sweat pants he already had, the hat was a $2 witch’s hat I painted red and cut the rim off of. The beard is faux fur you can find at Michael’s for about $3 that I cut into the shape of beard and hot glued to the hat.”


Scenes from the festivities!

Lego Man

Bart Simpson


Lastly, what about a clothes washer or a mailbox?

Up for this years fixings: Spongebob (using a box) and Patrick (pink sweatsuit), a bank robber (because babies look cute with mustaches)  Harry Potter ( cape and dress shirt, scarf, glasses, lightning scar) and a zombie clown.

Go on get crafty! Post your DIY costume photos on elephantjournal’s facebook page or on mine!



About Candice Garrett

Candice Garrett is a yoga teacher, writer, foodie and mother of three from Monterey, California. She is author of "Prenatal Yoga: Finding Movement in Fullness," assistant to Female Pelvic Floor Goddess Leslie Howard and director of the Nine Moons Prenatal Yoga teacher training program. Candice teaches yoga, prenatal yoga and pelvic health with workshops nationally. You can find her teaching schedule at Candice Garrett Yoga or her love of food at The Yogic Kitchen


9 Responses to “10 DIY Halloween Costume Ideas.”

  1. holly troy says:

    Being crafty is fun!

  2. ARCreated says:

    I'm so glad I only have to do my own costumes now…but I sort of miss the little kid costumes…

    This year for me..it's tank girl 🙂

  3. candicegarrett says:


  4. Denise says:

    A pirate and Dorthy for my girls this year from goodwill and thrift store finds about $16 for both of them.

  5. One daughter is a Queen Bee this year using a hand-me-down bee costume and a golden tiara from the dollar store. A family fav is a Pizza Delivery Person (pizza box, hoodie & cap) – take out pizza the night before is an added bonus.

  6. candicegarrett says:

    the pizza delivery costume is hysterical! And genius!

  7. BrotherRog says:

    Fun! On a related note (though perhaps more for the grown ups) see: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/10/halloween-

  8. […] Make your own costumes. Each year Dan and I raid local thrift stores and put together our costumes by just recycling […]

  9. Yes! Americans will spend $8 BILLION on Halloween this year. Craaaazy like commercial Christmas! DIY costumes are one way to have a great time with our kids, (or just a great time) without making corps(e) pun-intended, richer and US poorer.