How to Make Your Own Halloween Costume

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Now that we are in the month of October and pumpkins are just starting to appear on doorsteps in your neighborhood, I thought I would talk today about how to make your own Halloween costume. Free craft projects can provide a great variety of ideas on how to make a Halloween costume. After all, store-bought costumes are neither creative nor inexpensive. With materials such as yarn, plain sweatshirts or cardboard boxes, you can learn how to make Halloween costumes for yourself or for the kids. Have kids help created their own Halloween costumes for a fun family activity.

Also, we just recently had a great craft project on How to Make Your Own Costume Horns from clay, so definitely check that out.


The basis of so many homemade Halloween costumes is a plain sweatshirt.

  1. Turn an orange sweatshirt into a Jack-o-Lantern costume with black fabric paint. You can also secure the sweatshirt at the waist and stuff with crumbled up newspaper to create a round-pumpkin shape.
  2. Cut off the neck band and cut out triangles from the bottom and sleeve edges of a plain sweatshirt to create a jagged edge for a Pirate Costume. Add a skull and cross bones with black or white fabric paint.
  3. Blow up purple balloons and affix to a purple sweatshirt for a Bunch of Grapes costume. You can affix the tie end of the balloon to the sweatshirt with safety pins. Try making a little stem hat with aluminum foil and green or brown felt.
  4. Sew stripes of yellow felt to a black sweatshirt or black stripes on a yellow sweatshirt for a Bumblebee Costume. Wear over plain black leggings and make antennae with black pipe-cleaners, a black headband and black pom-poms for the ends of the antennae (either store-bought or homemade with yarn).
  5. Add big black dots to a plain red sweatshirt for a Ladybug Costume. Use the small technique to create antennae as above.
  6. Though not technically a sweatshirt, this is a simple idea using the same basic concept: Add white stripes to a red turtleneck for a Waldo costume, by sewing white fabric stripes or you can even use white duct tape. Add a white stocking hat with red stripe at the brim and red pom-pom to complete the look. You can create the pom-pom with red yard or paint a thrift-store white knit hat.

Cardboard Box

A plain cardboard box can provide so many opportunities for how to make your own Halloween costume. Wear the box over the head and cut out holes at the front to see. Or, cut off the top and bottom tabs and wear the box around the body with the help of suspenders. You can create simple suspenders with strips of black felt or fabric stapled or glued to the cardboard box.

  1. Add black dots cut from craft foam to create Dice. This costume would be great for two friends to go as a pair!
  2. Turn the box into a Lego piece by gluing fruit or applesauce cups to the box sides in lines and painting the whole box a solid color.
  3. Cut out a rectangular slit in the front of the box and paint silver or cover with aluminum foil to make a Robot.


Whether or not you knit or crochet, you can still use yarn to make Halloween costumes. Use yarn to make an inexpensive “wig,” such as for a Raggedy Ann wig with bright red yarn or create curling pigtails with yellow yarn and a bit of floral wire for a Pippy Longstocking costume. Use yellow yarn and wire to create a Princess Crown and Scepter for a Halloween princess costume. (For something a bit fancier, create a Gold Lace Crown by painting lace gold and covering with several coats of Modge Podge.)

If you do crochet, check out the Free Patterns from Red Heart or the 8 Halloween Crochet Patterns.

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Editor at FaveCrafts is a website with all the craft project ideas, tutorials, videos, and tips you'll ever need! We add new projects and tips every day. Some of our readers' favorites include Christmas Crafts, Free Knitting Patterns, Free Crochet Patterns and Crafting with Kids. You will find step-by-step instructions, videos and patterns to make it quick and easy.
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