e, complete with stiff plastic mask with gigantic eye holes, but most years we made our own. This was in Wisconsin and back before kids trick or treated at the mall so under or over our costume was our heavy jacket ... which kind of distracted from the costume.
But here we are in Florida, where my kids have never had to wear a jacket on Halloween, but where they still often have home made costumes, often out of parts of other costumes, things from the dress-up box, consignment and resale shopping, and a bit of sewing from Mom.
Not only does the "make your own" technique of costuming save money but it allows the kids to be more self-expressive and creative. AND, we've found that the costumes that win the contests are usually home made ... and really really cool!
One year three of my kids were the Blues Brothers (when they had the little kid with them) using simple dark pants, dark shoes, white shirts, dark jackets, hats, and sunglasses, one was a good purple witch (using parts of store bought costumes), and another was a pirate (he's always a pirate).
So what kind of costume could you make? Here are a few simple ideas:
denim overalls + flannel or t-shirt + hat + straw or raffia = scarecrow
jean skirt or jeans + white t-shirt + scissor-fringed vest = cowgirl or cowboy
shredded dirty white clothes + face make-up = mummy
jeans + white tee with sleeves rolled up + loafers = James Dean
white tee + white tights + stuffed pillowcase with arm and head holes cut out = marshmallow
homemade halloween costume ideas