Friday Craft: The Best Halloween Costumes

Okay. Maybe not the best, but I certainly like them. I know these ideas are last minute, but maybe you’ll get some ideas for next year. Unless you’re really crafty and can whip them up in no time flat and if that’s the case? I’M JEALOUS OF YOU.

Here are some of my favorite costumes from Family Fun:

Girl Costumes

Paper Doll (*squee!*)

Our cute paper doll costume can hold its own against Halloween ghouls, ghosts, and goblins.

Materials

diagrams and templates
poster board
paint
black marker
headband
duct tape
foam core
hot glue (an adult’s job)
elastic and Velcro straps
white t-shirt and shorts (concealed by the costume)
frilly socks and Mary Janes

Instructions

Clothing and accessories: Measure your child, then on poster board, draw a shirt, skirt with bloomers, and accessories to fit. (Download our free purse and bow templates, and shirt and skirt diagrams.)

Cut out the pieces and cut several 2- by 4-inch tabs from the scraps. Paint the pieces and let them dry.

Use black marker to outline the tabs with dotted lines and to add details to the clothing and accessories. Attach the tabs to the pieces and the bow to a headband with duct tape.
Reinforcements: Strengthen the shirt by attaching a roughly 7- by 8-inch piece of foam core to its back with hot glue (an adult’s job). Cut a strip of foam core to fit the skirt waist and hot-glue it on as well.

If the bottom of the skirt seems unstable when worn, add a strip of foam core along each leg.
Straps: Have your child hold the bottom of the shirt in front of her, then cut two lengths of wide elastic that can each reach from the top of the shirt, across your child’s back, and to the bottom of the opposite side of the shirt.

For strength, staple a rectangular scrap of poster board to both ends of each strap, then tape one end of each to the top of the shirt (the foam core, not the poster board).

Horizontally attach two strips of adhesive-backed Velcro at the bottom of the shirt and the matching strips to the foam core on the free end of each strap.

Use the same method to attach a single horizontal strap at the skirt waist.


Face Book (hahahahaha!!!)

This friendly costume will have people wanting to add candy to your bag Halloween night.

Materials

12- to 15-ounce cereal box
glue stick
wrapping and white paper
marker
thin elastic
duct tape
baseball cap

Instructions

Book cover: Cut off the top and bottom flaps and one narrow side of a 12- to 15-ounce cereal box so that you’re left with three panels. Apply a glue stick all over the printed side of the cardboard, then cover it with wrapping paper that’s an inch wider than the box on all sides. Fold down the edges of the wrapping paper and glue them in place. Glue an 11- by 17-inch sheet of white paper on top.

Inside pages: Beginning at a short end, accordion-fold two sheets of 11- by 17-inch white paper. The folds should be 1 inch wide.

Glue an end flap of each of the folded sheets along a short edge of another 11- by 17-inch sheet, creating a table shape. Glue the bottom flaps of the accordioned sheets to the book cover leaving the center piece loose.

Face opening: Lay the book wrapping paper–side up and draw an oval face-opening in the center. Use a craft knife to cut through the cardboard and paper (an adult’s job).

Neck strap: Attach a length of thin elastic with duct tape under the white paper.

Hat attachment: Cut off the bill of a baseball cap. Attach the front of the cap to the book by running a strip of duct tape down the front center of the cap onto the top edge of the book above the face opening.

Continue running the tape over the edge of the book cover, straight down under the paper, through the face opening, and into the inside center of the hat.

Finishing touches: Glue the center of the white book page to the cover, then use a marker to write “face book.”


Jellyfish Costume

To get this sweet and sassy jelly ready to roll, cover a broad-brimmed hat with bubble packaging and sparkly fabric, then add some ribbon-and-rickrack tentacles.

Download a complete materials list and illustrated step-by-step directions.

Materials

Glue gun and glue sticks
Broad-brimmed straw hat (we used a child’s sombrero)
1 yard of sparkly blue fabric
1 yard of blue fleece or felt
Large-bubble bubble packaging (we started with a 15- by 1-foot length and cut it into pieces as needed)
Clear packing tape
Fabric measuring tape
20 (1-yard) lengths of curling ribbon (we used 10 yards each of blue and silver)
5 (1-yard lengths) of 1-inch-wide sheer blue ribbon
3 (1-yard lengths) ofK-inch-wide red rick rack

Instructions

The Hat Base: Apply glue all over the underside of the hat brim. Lay the brim glue-side down on the fleece or felt and press it firmly. Trim the excess fabric. Cut away the fabric from the head hole.

Fill in the area around the crown with balls of bubble packaging, then top with sheets of the packaging, securing it with packing tape as you work.
The Covering and Tentacles: Measure the hat from one edge of the brim, up over the crown, and down to the far edge. Cut a circle from the sparkly fabric with a diameter equal to the over-the-crown measurement plus 6 inches. Cut the remaining fabric into 6 strips measuring 1 1/2 inches wide by 1 yard long.

Glue one end of each fabric strip, ribbon, and piece of rickrack to the brim’s underside, evenly spaced and about 1 inch in from the edge. If desired, leave a gap of 8 inches at the hat’s front center for your child’s face.

Temporarily bundle the ribbons’ free ends into the headhole. Center the hat’s crown on the fabric circle. Pull the fabric up over the edge of the brim, gluing it to make even gathers. Have your child wear blue clothes and try on the cap. If it’s too wobbly, glue felt or fleece strips to the inner hatband until it fits securely. Trim the tentacles as needed.

You can find many more girl costume ideas here.


Boy Costumes

Alien Encounter

An alien costume ranked so high, you might say it was out of this world. According to Ryan, age nine, “It should have curvy black eyes and wear a robe.” Fitting the bill is this trick costume, inspired by finalist Kim Harvey and her son, Andrew, in FamilyFun.com’s annual on-line contest.

Materials

Balloon inflated to about 12 to 15 inches
Large bowl
Papier-mâché glue (See Tips section for recipe)
Newspaper, in 1 1/2- by 6-inch strips
Ruler; Scissors; Utility knife; Safety pins
Masking tape; Craft glue
Cardboard tube with a 2-inch diameter, at least 14 inches long
Tights
Green acrylic paint and paintbrush
Double-sided carpet tape
Black paper
3-4 yards of black polyester fabric
15- by 24-inch piece of cardboard (corrugation should run the long way)
3 1/4 yards of ribbon, 1 inch wide, in a color that matches pajamas
Velcro Sticky-Back strips
Black long-sleeved turtleneck
2 green rubber gloves
Fiberfill
Black skirt with elastic waist
Pajamas and slippers

There are a lot of instructions, which you can find here, along with helpful diagrams.


Monkey Business

Combine two traditional costumes to make one outfit that’s totally bananas.

Materials

templates
wire hanger
brown faux fur
brown duct tape
hot glue (an adult’s job)
headband
tan felt
rectangular box
scrap cardboard
poster board
ribbon
craft foam
office clothes and tie
face paint for details

Instructions

Tail: Untwist and straighten a wire hanger. Snip off a 3-foot length and fold in the tips so that they don’t stick out (all adult jobs).

Place a 3-foot by 6-inch piece of short-pile brown faux fur face down and lay the hanger along one long edge. Secure it with duct tape. Roll the fur around the wire and secure it with hot glue (an adult’s job).

Bend and tuck 4 inches of the tail into the waist of the costume pants, and secure it with duct tape. Bend the tail to give it shape. (We cut our tail from a 2/3-yard piece of fur and used the rest for the ears and hair tuft.)

Ears and hair tuft: From faux fur, cut two ears and a rectangular tuft with one jagged edge. (Download free templates.)

Hot-glue the tuft, pile-side up, to the center of a headband (an adult’s job). With the pile sides facing backward, pinch the ears as shown to give them dimension, and hot-glue them to the side of the headband.

Glue a piece of tan felt to the center of each ear.

Briefcase and tie: Cut a long narrow side panel from a small, rectangular box. Snip two handles from scrap cardboard and cover them with brown duct tape. Tape the handles to the box as shown, then cover the box with tape. Write “This monkey means business” on poster board and attach it with ribbon to one of the briefcase handles.

For the tie, cut out a banana shape from craft foam using our template and tape it to a real tie.


Bedbug

Create a cute bedbug costume so your child can creep and crawl around the neighborhood looking for treats.

Materials

template
pipe cleaner
craft foam
duct tape
poster board and ribbon
robe and pillowcase
headband

Instructions

Antennae: Wrap a pipe cleaner around a headband so that the two ends stick up at an angle.
Bedtime attire: A robe works best as a base for the legs and a pillowcase can be used as a candy collector.
Legs and sign: Use our free template to draw insect legs on craft foam. Cut out the forms and place duct tape on the ends closest to the body. Tape the legs behind the robe’s collar.

For the sign, write a message on poster board and hang it around your child’s neck with ribbon.

You can find many more boy costumes here.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, YA’LL!!!!

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