Although I love the idea of homemade Halloween costumes, my talents don’t exactly measure up to my ambitions.
Luckily I have a sister who is as creative as she is capable, and she’s whipped up two of the most incredible Halloween costumes for my son (she’s currently working on costume #3). Using her as an example, here are some basic tips for anyone looking to DIY this Halloween. (And take a look at my son’s costumes from Halloweens past!):
10 Tips for DIY Halloween Costumes
My son has been lucky to have two very special costumes made for him: a penguin, and The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. Read on for some basic tips I’ve learned by watching the process.
Use Old Clothes as a Base
My sister isn’t a traditional seamstress, in that she can’t take your measurements and whip up a Project-Runway-worthy dress. But she can take old/thrifted clothes and sew fabrics on top of them.
When In Doubt, Go Bigger
Especially if you’ll be layering for chilly weather, it’s always best to go bigger in terms of costume sizes.
Use Items Around the House
Like old burlap material, for instance. And I didn’t buy costume paint for his scarecrow nose — I just mixed two of my lipstick shades.
Get Inspiration on Etsy
There are so many handmade costumes on Etsy — making it the perfect place to browse for DIY inspiration. Although this costume is very different from the one my sister made, she could have gotten some realistic inspiration — like the rope belt and straw details. (This costume also costs a whopping $150!)
Costume from Magical Attic on Etsy.
Think About the Weather
When brainstorming costume ideas, consider the practicalities of the season. (You don’t want to cover up that beautiful costume with a coat!) Luckily for our New York Halloween, The Scarecrow costume required a stuffed, padded shirt (with plenty of layers underneath), gloves, boots, and a hat.
My Little Penguin
His penguin costume was also a warm one, thankfully.
Get Inspiration from Fabric Stores
I can’t tell you how many times my sister has come home with a new project, simply from seeing a soft/fuzzy/pretty fabric at the store. It might prompt a brilliant DIY costume idea.
Considering Hiring a Professional Photographer
I’m also lucky in that my sister happens to be a photographer, but this is one of those times when a pro is totally worth paying for. After spending countless hours planning and crafting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume, you deserve to have it remembered in its best light.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Or else you’ll be scrounging for the last store-bought Halloween costumes on October 28th.