One of my favourite things about Halloween is creating homemade costumes – especially now that we can have fun family themes! Here are a few of our past creations. They’re not perfect, but they might just be the inspiration you need to create an awesome five-person group costume!
Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2
The littlest Pickle was 15 months old when we decided to share the news we were expecting. She was Thing 1, my pregnant belly was Thing 2. The real treat came a few weeks later when we realized it was actually Thing 2 AND Thing 3 hanging out in there! Still one of the best family costumes on a budget:
- We had red tops and pants on hand.
- I bought a black shirt and a furry hat to create the Cat.
- I spent $2 on red and white felt to make the Thing signs and the stripes for the hat.
- The silly bow tie was $1.
- I found the blue wigs at a thrift store.
Scooby Doo and the Gang
This remains my favourite family costume! Again, another great one for the budget.
- Daphne: We had a purple dress, but you could easily find one at a thrift shop. We used a scrap pf green fabric for the headband and belt.
- Fred: A blue collar shirt, a white sweater, and another piece of scrap fabric for that orange ascot and voila! (We were at an event that included a 5km run, hence the shorts on Fred; blue pants would be ideal.)
- Shaggy: A green shirt and brown pants, found in the closet.
- Thelma: The tights and skirt were bargain bin finds bought for this costume, the glasses and turtleneck could also be found easily on budget if they’re not already in the house.
- Scooby: The only non-DIY costume, snagged for under $5 at the Moncton Multiples Consignment Sale.
Our kids loved watching Huckle Cat and his friends solve mysteries, so when they asked to be the Busytown gang for Halloween, how could we resist?
Pig Will and Pig Won’t were a little young, so we just went with oversize polo shirts in the appropriate colours. The Cat in the Hat bow tie was re-purposed with a green hat to create Lowly. Huckle was a yellow polo shirt with strips of red ribbon attached to create suspenders (iron-on hem tape is prefect for these kinds of projects if you’re looking for a no-sew option, which I always am!) and some face paint. Sally‘s dress is actually an adult’s extra-small tank top (my go-to trick for little girl play clothes dresses – check the youth size 14+/adult xs section for $1 tank tops!) with the flower made from felt scraps, attached by iron-on hem tape.
Another favourite show in our house, The Doodlebops, also became a favourite family costume.
These were some of the most time-intensive costumes I’ve attempted and the photo doesn’t do them justice, but it was the only one we got together.
The kids really stayed in character with these costumes, which was lots of fun, and they loved the wigs! My favourite was creating Bus Driver Bob: a quick tie-dye project for his undershirt, then gold ribbon ironed on a blue thrift store shirt to create his jacket (which has since been re-worn as part of a Prince Charming outfit).
Again, a tricky age for getting good family photos means the details of our PAW Patrol costumes aren’t as prominently displayed as I’d like, but I wasn’t ruining trick-or-treating by insisting we get photos!
- Ryder‘s jacket was a thrift store fleece sweater with felt attached to create the proper look.
- Katie was a striped pink sweater dress and headband borrowed from our daughter’s closet.
- Skye was a pink sweater over a brown jacket, face paint, and an awesome pair of steampunk-inspired googles from Value Village.
- Cap’n Turbot and Mayor Goodway (complete with Chikaleta peaking out of a red purse!) completed the family look. The hip-waders, touque, and glasses were already in the house. For the Mayor, a little thrift store shopping secured a pencil skirt, red purse, blue blazer, and gold earrings. The chicken came from the dollar store.
We LOVE Octonauts and I LOVE these costumes! Again, not the simplest group we’ve undertaken, but not that hard to pull together, either.
With most of these costume ideas, the main trick to making it happen on a budget is finding the right colour clothes for the base. I had to buy a lot of the pieces for this group, but they’re still in rotation in the wardrobes a year later, so it was a good investment. (Not Professor Inkling, but the rest.)
I also bought two coloured rolls of duct tape, which are still being used for crafts, some blue craft foam, and three blue toques to create the hats, boots, and collars. Some blue and yellow felt, three pairs of gloves (the kids insisted their hands had to match!) and two pool noodles for Inkling, and that was it. Here are the rest of the pieces we needed:
Dashi: Brown leggings, brown long sleeve shirt, darker brown tank top over it, pink skirt, camera.
Kwazii: Orange pants, orange shirt with yellow felt circle attached (I just duct taped it on so the shirt was fine to be used afterwards.)
Captain Barnacles: Blue pants, blue shirt (had to turn one inside out to have it plain).
Tweak: Green hoodie with green felt ‘ears’ attached, pink headband, green leggings.
Professor Inkling: White dress shirt and pants, and two pairs of white pantyhose, all dyed pink together. I cut two pool noodles in half and put them inside the pantyhose for the arms, then attached those to the seams of the shirt. A quick felt bowtie and a monocle and you’re set to go!
I know it says FIVE ‘family of five’ ideas, but I had to include Halloween 2017 – PJ Masks!
Do you do theme costumes as a family? We’d love to see your creations! Happy Halloween!
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