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22 Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids Basically Anyone Can DIY

Create a costume your child won't ever forget (and stay within your budget!).

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Courtesy Delia Creates


You don’t have to spend a bundle on Halloween to enjoy all the fun when you can make costumes like these. There’s no sewing required for this cute fruit costume. All you need is 1 to 1½ yards of felt, a ruler, and scissors. You can also save some dough with these great DIY Halloween decorations that are easy and inexpensive.

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Lotus Blossom Photography/Courtesy The Scrap Shoppe Blog

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Buy green sweats for your little crime fighter (or white ones and dye them green). Cut out yellow felt for the chest and colored bandanas for elbow and knee pads. For the shell, spray paint a roasting pan brown. Cut slits on the sides and run a ribbon through it for a belt. If your little ones love adventure, spend Halloween with them at the world’s spookiest theme parks!

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Courtesy Positively Splendid

Pippi Longstocking

The Pippi Longstocking costume is a perfect DIY costume for girls with long hair. Start with a striped top, denim skirt, and, of course, tall striped socks. Twist two to four pipe cleaners together (the thicker the hair, the more pipe cleaners you’ll need) and make braids around the pipe cleaners to make them stick out. Don’t forget Pippi’s freckles! These are our 17 favorite Halloween makeup ideas.

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Courtesy Desert Chica

Olaf from ‘Frozen’

Do you wanna build a snowman? Well, now you can turn your kid into one. Glue felt cut-outs onto a white hooded sweatshirt for the buttons, eyes, and eyebrows. Add a few brown pipe cleaners to the hood for hair. Use orange felt, stuffing, and a wooden skewer to make Olaf’s carrot nose. With Frozen 2 hitting theaters later this year, this costume is sure to be a hit! Want to dress up while your kids trick-or-treat? Creative couples will love these costumes.

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Courtesy All For The Boys

Stick figure

Trace electrical tape on a plain white outfit for the body, use a paper plate for the face, and you have your own living stick figure. In addition to being a great costume for kids, a stick figure family is also one of our favorite group Halloween costumes.

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Courtesy Jane Can...


The horn and wings for this unicorn costume require some paint and glitter glue, but if you have a white shirt and pants, you’re halfway done. Tie colorful fabric around your child’s waist for the tail. For even more rainbow magic, paint strands of her hair with colored hair spray or use colorful extensions. These are the best deals on Halloween candy out there. 

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This Star Wars droid is made out of a Chinese paper lantern, a colander for the hat, and LOTS of white duct tape. Add BB-8’s designs with a black permanent marker and orange duct tape. These popular Halloween costumes from Amazon will wow your neighbors.

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Courtesy Really Risa


Turn your little one into an adorable sushi roll. Use fishy-looking fabric to make a pillow that you can tie on with black fabric (the seaweed in your sushi). Add pieces of a shower loofa or fabric for a wasabi and ginger headband. Before you head out, try one of these fun Halloween crafts for kids.

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Courtesy Design Dazzle

Scuba diver

Recycle empty soda bottles and turn them into an aquatic costume. Spray paint two 2-liter soda bottles and duct tape them to look like oxygen tanks. Glue them to a foam board and strap on with elastic bands. Add flippers and goggles, and you have an adventurous DIY scuba diver.

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Courtesy NellieBellie


Rip a white bed sheet into strips (ripping makes it look more authentic than cutting) and wrap, wrap, wrap. To give them a dingy color, soak them in coffee water for an hour. Make sure your mummy is wearing white under his or her wrappings. A mummy costume is a classic, just like these adorable vintage Halloween costumes that your kids can still wear today!

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Courtesy Andrea's Notebook

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’

Even if your child hasn’t seen the Hitchcock classic, this Melanie Daniels costume is too good to pass up. All you need are some fake crows, white gloves, and sunglasses, and your little star is fighting off bird attacks in Bodega Bay. These gifts are under $10!

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Courtesy Design Dazzle

Cat lady

Not only is this costume cute, but it’ll keep your kid warm during a chilly night of trick or treating. Throw on a robe and grab some stuffed kittens for your cat lady to cuddle. Put rollers in her hair to complete the look. This is a great DIY costume you can probably make with things you have at home, and so are these great ideas for last-minute Halloween costumes.

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Courtesy Desert Chica

Prince Charming

Even though you probably won’t find a Prince Charming in these fun, spooky Halloween books for kids, it still makes a great Halloween costume! Start with a white button down and red pants. Glue on gold buttons and trimming to make your little prince as dashing as can be.

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Courtesy Giggles Galore

Bubble bath

Carefully pin white and pink balloons to a white shirt and pants to turn your kid into a walking bubble bath. Don’t forget to include a rubber duck for extra bath time fun.

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Courtesy Dukes&Duchesses


Let your child embrace his or her inner artiste with this creative outfit. To make the paintbrush hat, poke strong broom bristles into a styrofoam disc (use glue for added stability) and attach the disc to a crown of poster board. Color a giant paint palette, and let the paint master go to work.

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Courtesy Dukes&Duchesses

Flower pot

Cut leg holes into the bottom of a giant plastic tub, and glue fake flowers to the inside of your “pot.” Use duct tape suspenders to hold the tub on your flower child.

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Courtesy All For The Boys

Charlie Brown

Good grief! This Charlie Brown outfit takes no time at all to make—simply put black duct tape on a yellow T-shirt—but it’ll have all your neighbors wondering why they didn’t think of it too. You can also cut Halloween costs with these Amazon costumes that are $25 or less.

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Courtesy Andy Simmons

Box of tissues

Turn a cardboard box into a decorative tissue box, like Reader’s Digest’s features editor Andy Simmons’ daughter has done here. Just add wrapping paper and sheets of white tissue paper.

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Courtesy The Sits Girls

Jelly beans

Fill a clear trash bag with small colored balloons for your jelly beans. Make sure not to fill the bag too much so your kid still has room to move around. Tape on a Jelly Belly logo, and your costume is good enough to eat!

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Cheap-Halloween-Costumes-for-Kids-Basically-Anyone-Can-DIY-via-stitched-by-crystalvia stitched by crystal

Little bandit

Outfit your trick-or-treater in black pants, black shoes, and a black-and-white striped shirt. Add a black hat and a black eye mask, and craft a “money bag” out of a burlap sack. The sack doubles as place for your child to stash her loot—of candy, that is. Check out these facts about Halloween goodies you never knew.

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Cheap-Halloween-Costumes-for-Kids-Basically-Anyone-Can-DIY-Courtesy-Liz-RungeCourtesy Liz Runge

Beanie Baby

If dressing up as an ordinary lion or tiger seems too easy, take it up a notch with this adorable Beanie Baby costume. Simply print out the Beanie Baby logo (a red heart with white “ty” letters), attach it to a necklace, and wear it with your favorite animal costume. Bonus points if the costume is warm and cozy. You can also turn your pet into a Beanie Baby—it’s one of our favorite Halloween costumes for dogs!

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Cheap-Halloween-Costumes-for-Kids-Basically-Anyone-Can-DIY-Courtesy-The-SwayCourtesy the Sway

Toy army guy

This creative spin on the soldier costume requires a bit of thrift shopping and a lot of green spray paint. Pick up a can or two along with a plastic helmet, binoculars, a vest, boots, camo pants, and a jacket. Spray paint the ensemble with green spray paint (you’ll need to use a layer of primer first) and make sure to get your little ranger to strike his best freeze frame army pose. Want to get in on the Halloween fun with your kiddos? Kids and grown-ups alike will love these ideas for family Halloween costumes.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada