Five Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Looking for easy DIY Halloween costumes for kids? I created these five homemade costumes for my kids to save money and time. Check out what we came up with and if there’s a fun costume idea you can use, too!

Five Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Happy Halloween! How are you celebrating this weekend? We’re doing things a little differently this year and skipping trick or treating. Last year, we went to a trunk or treat event and also went trick or treating in a local neighborhood. Trick or treating is our Halloween tradition, but we feel more comfortable keeping the kids (especially the baby) home this year.

For our family Halloween celebration, we’re going to have a family party at our house. There will be yummy pizza, Halloween treats, and leftover cake from Zhen’s birthday. (Today’s her 8th birthday! Happy birthday to Zhen!) I have some fun games planned for us and we’re going to watch our favorite Halloween movies Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas. We watch both movies every Halloween!

It’s just going to be Travis, myself, and the four little ones because Elijah and Michala have to work all weekend. (It sure does feel different now that they’re both older and working!)

We still plan on wearing costumes. It wouldn’t be any fun if we didn’t! We decided to give DIY Halloween costumes a try this year. Last Halloween, Travis and I made homemade costumes for a fun date night in Detroit. We had so much fun creating our own costumes. I think we spent under $20 because we thrifted everything except for his afro wig. (You can see why Travis wore an afro wig here. Haha!)

I didn’t want to spend too much money this Halloween, either. Buying costumes for four small children can get very expensive! Kids’ Halloween costumes can run for $25 to almost $100. Multiply that by four kids and we could end up spending $200 to $400 on costumes!

Making DIY Halloween costumes for the kids is much more cost-effective for us. We bought the supplies we needed at Dollar Tree, Home Depot, and Target. Everything else we already had at home. Altogether we spent under $50 on the kids’ costumes and supplies. Major mom win! πŸ™‚

Here are ten fun DIY Halloween make up ideas and top adult Halloween costumes if you need more costume ideas.


DIY Butterfly Halloween Costume Idea for Kids
DIY Butterfly Halloween Costume Idea for Kids

When I was shopping for Halloween decor at Dollar Tree, I found butterfly wings in the costume aisle. I originally bought the wings for the kids to use for dress-up play. Zhen loved them so much that she wanted to create a Halloween costume with it!

Here’s what you’ll need: butterfly wings, skirt, Halloween face paint I bought a pack of makeup sticks and white cream face paint at Target. The makeup sticks cost $3 and the cream face paints were $1 each.

How I created the butterfly face paint: I used photos of butterfly face paintings (like this one) I found on Pinterest as my guide for making Zhen’s butterfly design. I used the makeup sticks to color in the sections of the butterfly wings and then I went over it with my yellow, blue, and purple eye shadow.

DIY Butterfly Halloween Costume Idea for Kids
DIY Butterfly Halloween Costume Idea for Kids


Tin Man Halloween Costume Idea
Five Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

I LOVE Zephaniah’s Tin Man costume! He looks so cute wearing it. For his DIY Halloween costume, I had him wear a gray long sleeve shirt and gray sweat pants. That way his outfit matched the chest piece of the costume.

Here’s what you’ll need: large brown paper bag, metallic spray paint, red construction paper or red fabric scrap, plastic funnel, toy ax, child-size headband, black and white cream face paint, glue gun, and glue sticks

How I created the Tin Man costume: We had a bunch of paper bags leftover from a grocery trip to Trader Joe’s so I used one of the bags for Zephaniah’s costume.

1. Cut out the head and armholes in the bag. I didn’t make it a perfect circle or anything. I just took a guess at how big the holes needed to be. It worked out just fine.

2. Spray paint the bag metallic or gray. We bought a can of spray paint at Home Depot for under $5. Make sure you wear a mask when you spray paint the bag because the fumes are strong. I spray painted the bag outside and applied two coats of spray paint.

3. Cut out a heart shape from red construction paper or a piece of red fabric. If you don’t have either item, you can always color a red heart on paper. Then once the paper bag is dry, glue or tape the heart to the painted paper bag.

4. Spray paint the plastic funnel the same color as the paper bag. I also applied two coats to the funnel.

5. Once the funnel is dry, use your hot glue gun to attach the funnel to a headband. The headband made it easier for Zephaniah to wear the funnel. It was actually Zhen’s idea to use a headband for the funnel!

6. If you find a toy ax at DT, then you can spray paint it the same color as the funnel and paper bag. I couldn’t find a toy ax at the store so I ended up buying a gray foam sword at DT. I cut it and used a piece of it to form an ax shape. Then I used hot glue to attach the cut piece to the sword.

7. For Zephaniah’s makeup, I combined black and white cream face paint (Target) to make the color gray. You will need just a little bit of black paint and heavy on the white face paint to make gray.

I didn’t put face paint on his eyes. Instead, I used my silver eyeshadow for his eyelids and under his eyes. You could also use silver body glitter to put on top of the gray face paint for a sparkly look.


Five Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids
Nerd Costume Idea

Doesn’t Zechariah look adorable?! A nerd costume is very easy to make. You probably already have all of the supplies at home!

Here’s what you’ll need: button-down shirt, bow tie or hair bow, fake glasses (if your child doesn’t wear them), masking tape, pens or pencils to put in the shirt pocket, one or two books

How I made Zechariah’s nerd costume:

1. He already had a button-down shirt so we used that for his costume. I had him wear a long sleeve shirt underneath his button-down shirt because it was chilly outside.

2. If you don’t have a bow tie, you can use a hair bow instead. I used one of Michala’s hair bows and clipped it to Zechariah’s shirt.

3. Since Zechariah doesn’t wear glasses, I bought a pair of sunglasses at DT and Travis popped out the lenses. Then I added a small piece of masking tape to the middle of the glasses.

4. For the final touch, I put a couple of pens inside the shirt pocket.

You could also add suspenders to pants for this nerd costume.


Five Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids
DIY Kids Halloween Costume Idea: Gumball Machine

Here’s what you’ll need: 3/4″ multicolored pom poms (we call them fuzzy balls), white shirt, red pants, hot glue gun, glue sticks, headband

How to make Zhen’s gumball machine costume:

1. Draw a circle on the front of the white shirt. (The measurement of the circle will depend on the size of your child’s shirt.) This will serve as the border of the gumball container.

2. Using the glue gun, add a small drop of hot glue to a fuzzy ball and place it on the border of the circle. Repeat this process until the border is complete.

3. Add more pom poms to the inside of the circle. Remember to use different colors for the gumball machine!

4. We added a 25 cents tag to the bottom of the circle. All you do is write 25 cents on a piece of paper and then glue it to the shirt.

5. If you would like to add a gumball headband to the costume, then use your glue gun to glue a few fuzzy balls to the headband.

Five Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids


DIY Cat Halloween Costume

Another easy DIY Halloween costume for kids is a kitty cat. Zhen said this is her favorite costume idea because it reminds her of our cat Sasha.

Here’s what you’ll need: cat ears/tail (I bought the Kitty Halloween 4-piece accessory set at Target for $10. It comes with the ears headband, kitty gloves, and tail), black leggings, black shirt, Halloween makeup sticks

How I made Zhen’s kitty costume:

1. Zhen already had a pair of black leggings so we didn’t need to buy a new pair. She didn’t have an all-black shirt so we decided to make it a fun look with her yellow kitty tank. It was a shirt I got her at Old Navy during the summertime. She wore it over a long sleeve shirt that had black sleeves.

2. For her makeup, I used the Halloween makeup sticks that I bought from Target. I used my e.l.f. eyeshadow palette and black eyeliner (also from Target) for Zhen’s eye makeup.

3. Then she put on her kitty ears, paws, and tail. Here’s a cool tip from Travis for attaching the tail to the back of a shirt: take a quarter and put it on the inside of the shirt. Then wrap the elastic loop around the quarter on the outside of the shirt. It keeps the tail in place!

Five Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

How do you like our DIY Halloween costumes? What are your kids going to be for Halloween?



All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

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