Costume Ideas for the Craft Challenged

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Glue gun divas look forward to Halloween, but if you're less crafty, simple, easy ideas will fit the bill better.

Sure you can go to the costume shop and buy expensive, perfect replicas of your child’s favorite character, but making costumes at home is part of the fun. Most of the time all you need is cardboard and paint. If you’re the least crafty person on the planet, next to me, there are some fun ideas that are easy to make, meaning your children can do most of the work. The trick is starting early so the paint is dry before they head out hunting for treats. You can create anything from astronauts, game characters and more. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

For the video game lover, pick a favorite character. I usually try to steer my son toward a highly recognized character, otherwise he is disappointed when house after house asks, “Who are you?” But older kids may enjoy being an obscure character that only their friends get.

Mario & Luigi.

These costumes require overalls and a matching hat (red for Mario, green for Luigi), a T-shirt, white gloves and a bushy moustache. You can easily make and tape on the “M” or “L” logo for the hats. If your child no longer wears overalls, a trip to the local thrift shop can usually locate an inexpensive pair.

“This year my son decided he is Mario, his little brother is Luigi, his baby brother is Toad, I’m Princess Peach and Daddy is King Coopa. Should be fun!” — Heather McCormack

Wii Remote.

You can use a box and paint it white, then draw on the logo and the buttons. Use a narrow box. For a smaller child, you can use a large white T-shirt and draw the buttons and logo with fabric paint.


This very popular game is based on building a world from blocks, so it lends itself to easy costumes. Yes, you can purchase a Creeper or a Steve head, but all you need is square box. Cut out eyes and a mouth, and draw the face with paint or markers. My 11-year-old quickly made himself a Steve character head with supplies in the garage when I said no to paying good money for a cardboard box. The costume could be simply the block head made from a box and an outfit that looks vaguely like the character you’re emulating. You can also make an entire body out of boxes painted to match the character, just be sure your child can walk and climb stairs in the get-up. You can buy the pick axe needed to mine in the game, but again, some foam board or cardboard and markers will do just fine.

“We went with food both years and have something even better in store this year!” — Kassi Powell Alsip

Even if you’re not a Mac family, the “i” devices make for fun, easy costumes.


You need a slim, long box. Paint it black or cover with black tape. On the front screen area, your child can draw on his favorite apps or even print the icons and stick them on. Arms, legs and head stick out from the iPod body, or you can be inside the box so that the child is in the screen area acting as if they are a YouTube video. If you want a coordinating costume, maybe you can go as the older, original iPod that your child may not recognize — you remember, the ones with the circle on the front.

“My daughter was the cutest Ninja Turtle around last year! This year we’re thinking of a Star Wars theme. I’m pregnant with baby girl number two, so I’m trying to think of creative maternity ideas for Halloween.” — Jessica Walker Brewer

Mac Computer.

Another easy box costume, painted silver or covered with duck tape. The simple apple icon is easy to print on the front.

iPad & iPad mini.

These two would make a cute matching ensemble for an older and younger child. You use the same idea as the iPod with the apps, just use boxes shaped more like the iPad. You can get clever and design your own apps and see if anyone notices.

Test out costumes at least a week beforehand so you can make any adjustments. Remember to make costumes that are easy to walk in, see in and be seen in. A flashlight or reflective tape is always a nice safety add on.

“My favorite we have done so far was when my daughter was a cupcake and I was the baker.” — Faith Madden Cuzmin

Sue LeBreton is a writer and mother of two teens. She loves watching them create interesting Halloween costumes and tries to limit her role to cheering their efforts.

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