At our Raleigh preschool, we know how excited kids get for Halloween and love standing out in their costumes. If you want to skip the department store options, consider a DIY costume for your preschooler or toddler! Not only are they often much less expensive and let you upcycle stuff around your house, you and your child can customize it depending on what they like!
To help give you some ideas, we’re sharing our favorite DIY Halloween costumes that don’t require any sewing or special skills!
Gumball Machine Costume
We love the gumball machine costume! It is easy to customize, works for any age, and can be done without sewing! Just make sure you have a glue gun handy.
We love this costume from acasarella.net! but we added a few substitution options to make it easier for you!
- A white t-shirt (go with long sleeves or even a sweatshirt for cool weather)
- Large piece of red felt
- Small sheets of black, gray, and white felt (roughly the size of a piece of notebook paper)
- One or two packages of pom-poms (the instructions say 1.5″, but you could go with smaller or larger ones from the Dollar Tree)
- Red leggings (or skirt or even sweat pants)
- Red felt beret (or beanie)
- Round mixing bowl (just for tracing an outline)
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- On the shirt, use a pen to trace the bowl so you have a circle outline and draw a straight, horizontal line across the waist (toward the bottom of the circle).
- Hot glue pompoms in the circle, stopping at the horizontal line (that’s where the bottom of the “machine” will attach).
- For the bottom, draw out an apron shape on the large square of red felt (just a rectangle, leaving the top uncut so it can be tied around your child’s waist)
- Glue the square of gray felt to the front of the apron
- Cut the white felt into a small 3-inch square
- Cut out a number 25 from black felt that will fit in the white square, then cut out a small square from black felt for a coin slot and a piece of black felt for the handle and glue those to the gray felt.
- Add a red beanie or red beret and that’s all there is to it!
Pac Man Costume
If you want a retro costume that will definitely be eye-catching during trick or treat, this Pac-Man costume is so cute and simple to make, plus you can turn it into a family costume by adding a Ms. Pac-Man or the ghosts!
Check out this idea from The Effortless Chic!
- Black or white long-sleeved t-shirt and leggings or pants
- Cardboard (you can buy cardboard sheets at an office supply store or just go to Costco or Sam’s and ask if they have any cardboard slip sheets! )
- Duct tape
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Spray paint (yellow and black for Pac-Man)
- Box cutter
- If you have a hula hoop or large, round object, use that to trace the circles for Pac Man. Find the center of the circle and draw a triangle for the mouth. Carefully cut out the circle and the mouth.
- Hold the circles up to your child and see where the arm hole should go, and trace out circles using the role of duct tape or a small plate. Carefully cut out the armhole.
- Connect the two pieces using cardboard (make sure you measure your child from shoulder to shoulder to get the right width. Cut your connecting center so the cardboard is horizontal. This way it can roll and take shape.
- Hot glue and duct tape the pieces together, making sure there is a hole cut out for your child’s head and plenty of leg room. The mouth section should be made of stiffer card board, so measure and cut that separately.
- Once the assembly is done, paint the outside yellow, and the mouth black, and you’re all set!
Note: You can also take this circle idea and use it to make a donut costume, hamburger costume, or any round idea!
Care Bear Costume
Perfect for toddlers and older children who may have sensory concerns, the Care Bear Costume from See Vanessa Craft is cute and simple (and re-wearable!).
- Felt (White for the “belly badge,” Felt for the design on their tummy, and red for the heart on the bottom, plus felt to match the color of the sweatshirt)
- Hoodie that is the color of your Care Bear OR a white hoodie and Rit Liquid Dye
- Leggings or Sweatpants to match the hoodie
- 1 White Pipe Cleaner
- Yarn for tail
- No-Sew Permanent Fabric Glue
- Dye the sweatshirt according to the instructions on the bottle, wash and dry.
- Measure the width of the sweatshirt and cut out a white felt circle that’s a few inches smaller than the width.
- Cut out the belly badge design (sunshine, hearts, shamrock, etc) and glue to the white felt.
- Use puff paint to add any extra touches – rays and sunshine face, balloon strings, etc. Once the paint is dry, glue the belly badge to the sweatshirt.
- Cut out 4 ear shapes with tabs at the bottom out of the colored felt, and cut two smaller white inner ear shapes with tabs. Cut a piece of pipe cleaner to fit in between two colored ear shapes and glue them into place (to help the ears stand up). Don’t glue the tabs together!
- Have your child try on the hoodie, and mark where the ears should go. Then, take the hoodie off and make slits where the ears can go, separating and gluing down the tabs on the inside.
- Make a pom-pom out of yarn for a tail, and glue it to the back of the sweatshirt, then cut out a heart from the red felt and glue it to the side of the tail.
Happy Halloween from Our Raleigh Preschool
While these are just a few DIY Halloween costume ideas, there are tons of options out there! The key is to find a costume that is safe, comfortable, and the your child will love. Best of all, by having your child help you make these costumes, you’ll get to spend quality time together and it will have more meaning.