There are many commercial costumes available at the local stores, however between the cost, and lack of imagination, and the fact you end up with a half dozen kids all looking the same at a party. Nothing beats homemade. Below is some basic ideas for you to play with. All are cheap, easy, and allow for tons of imagination. By the way if you have an idea to add please feel free to send it in.
Costumes from the closet or second-hand store
old stand by a Ghost:
Grab a old white sheet, cut out the eyes. Be sure its is short enough
to trip you. Take scrap piece of sheet, and sew up a simple treat
Clown: Sweet clothes that are too large. Decorate by using either fabric paint, or markers. For those who dare try tie-die. Tack on some large pop-poms, add a cheap wig, hat, and make-up. You may also stuff the extra space in clothing with tissue. However this could be messy, if you need to make a "pit-stop".
Scarecrow: Over sized flannel shirt, faded blue jeans with patches, rope for belt and to tie at the cuffs of his jeans and sleeves, stuff the shirt and jeans with plastic grocery, or paper, a little bit of straw to hang out of jeans and shirt. Add a little bit of make-up.
Guys loud Hawaii shirt, shorts (if weather permits), Large straw hat.
bright loud dress, flats, big sun hat, straw bag. Don't forget to have
a camera, and maps hanging out, and that look of being lost. Guys
can use a tourist bag, (like you get from travel agents, and gals can
the straw bag for their treats.
1960s Hippy: This one is hard, after all its all back in style! What is real, and what is costume? ;-) Tie die clothing, long wig (in the old days we called a "fall", sandals, headband, anything with fringe on it (vests, purse...) light colored sun glasses.
Old man: Dark paints (cuffed), and jacket, most any dress shirt, mans flannel hat, walking cane. Gray the hair, with any of the commercial temporary colors, or dust with a little flour.
Old woman: Old style dress, just below knee, knee-hi stockings rolled down a little, oxfords, large black purse.
Your chance to be a real nerd. Slick back the hair, grab some paints that are too short, white shirt, white socks, penny loafers, or lace up oxfords, pocket protector, with lots of pens, dark rim glasses (don't forget to tape the corner, or at least paper clip it) briefcase, or backpack for treat bag.
From our guests:
Japanese Doll: My daughter won with this costume! Her face was painted white, she had red rosy cheeeks all shaped in a circle, Hair in buns, thoung slippers, and a kimono. From Lani S.
Soda pop can: Use a round barrel, cut a hole in the bottom. You cut holes for arms and your head. Paint it the colors of a pop can. Presto! You have a pop can!!! - from Ann
of Notre Dame
Crash test dummy - After! There is a commercial costume for this, but a good one can be made with sweats and tape to make the markings on it like the crash test dummies. Use bandages and fake blood to decorate. Fashion a seat belt out of webbing and an old buckle and pin in place. (or go to a junk yard as ask for an old seatbelt). From: Chris
Brown, tan or white, either paint, or pin paper spots on. Make floppy ears and bobby pin to hair over your ears. The tale can be most anything, depending on what type of doggie you wish to be. Add a little make-up.
From our guests:
Bunch of Grapes
appear to be popular!
Here is one from Jo:
all the balloons.
Cut two leg holes in the bottom of the bag and two arm holes near the
Have your child stand in the bag and fill with blown up balloons. Write
on each piece of cardboard "JELLY BEANS 2 CENTS EACH". Safety pins
to front and back of bag. LOOSELY tie around shoulders with a colorful
ribbon. Cut off excess bag around face From: Dee
Dogs on the Prairie)
Just use your imagination.
Paint it silver, glue on a few extras a presto.. a robot.
red, tack on some
paper plate wheels, and you are a race car.
Paint it white and a handle and you will be a cool refrigerator.
Paint it light tan, tack a small flat box. Draw on a keyboard, you will be the first walking Macintosh. (may work with Windows ;-) )
Wrap it in Christmas paper, add a large bow.. wow a Christmas present.
Paint it bright colors, and a crank. You can pop into the local Halloween party as a Jack-in-the-box
with table cloth, glue
on silver plastic platter in the middle (cut hole for head to pop
Glue on a couple of place settings of Plastic dishes, and glasses. Now
your head in on a silver platter.
the Engine &
With a little thought you may come up lots of ideas that make the chair a natural part of the costume. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
King or Queen on Throne
Convert chair into a throne, by wrapping the back and arm rests with gold or silver foil / paper. Use plastic gems (from craft store), old jewelry, Christmas garland to give it that "special look".
Simply wear a cape of a royal color (velvet looks great). Scepters and crowns can be purchased at most retail stores, or make your own!
If an attendant will be going, they may dress as the mate (King or Queen) or as a court jester.
A variation of this would be to dress like Santa and have the attendant be an elf.
have a bad habit of
falling and breaking a bone or two. This opens the door for a great
Just put on some ski clothing (hat, scarf,...) Wrap a leg in wide white
gauze (to look like cast) and if you really want to "ham it up" and you
use a power chair, wrap an arm too.
Gift, Jack in a box, or Robot
Find a box that will fit conformably over chair (still allowing you room to maneuver inside). Remove top flaps, cut hole in top for head, and in sides for arms. Decorate.
For gift box, wrap box in wrapping paper, make a large bow and wear as hat.
To be a Jack-in-the-box, paint the box in bright colors, than wear a matching top and hat. Clown make-up will add that little extra.
To be a robot, cover box in foil, then use your imagination to decorate.
Car, Truck, Space Ship
Again using a box (as above) decorate as you favorite vehicle.
The space ship can be done much as the robot. This can be real cool costume for high tech power chairs and or using a vent.
Mix ingredients shortening and cornstarch. Separate the recipe into different cups, add food coloring.
Wash your face and any area that you will be applying makeup to and than dry thoroughly.
Apply a thin coat of cold cream to the entire face.
Using a cotton ball, gently pat cornstarch over cold cream. Keep your eyes closed.
make-up with fingers
Berkely Parents Network - A pretty cool list of other costume ideas.
Express - Lot's of unique costumes, ready made
Prod - While the text of this site is written in French, it offers
some great ideas. One of the great things about pictures.. a picture is
worth a 1,000 words. ;-)