Back in the old days, Halloween costume planning meant deciding between the hobo costume my sister tossed aside, a sheet for a ghost or borrowing my brother’s football uniform and putting on eye black. Fast forward and now my kids start talking about what to wear when school starts, make lists, go online for ideas and we (meaning I) STILL end up running to Party City two days before the Halloween parade at school, looking at their wall of costumes and getting a headache.
And the kicker is EVERY year we see other kids in costumes that are amazing and amazingly simple. So, this year I asked some friends and their kids to come up with their most creative, but simple ideas for the Big Day.
Here’s what they told me:
Jelly Beans: Blow up lots of different colored balloons; attach them all over a bright colored leotard or sweat suit.
Rubik’s Cube: Take a large square box and cut holes for head arms and feet. Paint nine squares on each side. Squares can be different solid colors on each side or mixed up colors.
X-Ray Machine: This large box should be painted black with head/arm/leg holes and a paper skeleton taped on the front.
Static Cling: Socks and underwear sewn on black sweatshirt and sweat pants.
Chocolate Chip Cookie: Cut light brown felt into a large circle, attach to round cardboard, use small dark brown felt circles for chips. Attach an empty milk carton to the costume.
Christmas Tree: Cut green felt into a tree shape, use colored felt circles for balls, sew together and attach green tinsel and a star on top. Wear over a long sleeved green shirt and brown sweatpants.
Window Frame: Cut window frame/panes out of cardboard for the front, pick a scene to go on the back, add curtains and a rod, with the child standing in the box.
Nerd: So simple but hilarious. Wear a plaid flannel shirt with a pocket protector, black glasses with white tape in the middle, fake teeth, slicked back hair, pants pulled way up.
TV Celebrities: Cake Boss guy, Toddlers & Tiaras beauty queen, Dancing with the Stars couple.
Werewolf: Button down business shirt with fake hair sticking out. Bear claws on hands, wild hair and fangs, jeans and hairy feet.
Grapes: Purple or green leotard with lots of purple or green balloons attached. Put hair in a bun and spray it green for a stem.
Table: Take a big cardboard box, make a hole big enough in the middle for your child to fit around his/her waist. Set the table with a tablecloth, glue on plates, napkins, silverware and cups. The child in the middle could be the waiter or a diner.
Cupcakes: Great for a group of girls. Use tulle fabric for frosting on a white or cream-colored shirt. Attach cut-out circles of different colored felt or crinkled up colored tissue paper for sprinkles. Wear a brown skirt, tights and a red knit cap as a cherry on top.
Peacock: Perfect for a baby. Pick up fake peacock feathers at a craft store, put baby in a blue or green one-piece leotard then attach fanned feathers to the back.
Bee Keeper: Use a white work suit/jumpsuit from a costume store as the bee keeper uniform, belt it at the middle and get gloves. Find a big straw hat and add netting around it. Attach little fake bees to the netting and the hat. Carry a bucket with "Honey" written on it.
Bed Head: Mess up hair with gel and teasing, making it stick up on one side. Put on PJs and slippers, grab a pillow and blankie and look sleepy!
Lucy Probert is a Bergen County writer and mom.