DIY Halloween Costumes—Experts Share This Year's Hottest Costumes - MetroFamily Magazine
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DIY Halloween Costumes—Experts Share This Year's Hottest Costumes

by Brooke Barnett

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Your child is one-of-a-kind, so why shouldn’t their Halloween costume be?  We asked three industry experts to weigh on this season's hottest homemade costume ideas, guaranteed to put the "ahhh!" in awesome.

The Benefits of DIY

Kate Horvat, a Halloween costume, makeup and décor expert with says that creating DIY costumes not only encourages creativity, but also gives you an opportunity to customize just the right costume for your child’s specific interest and size. “Even altering a hand-me-down or readymade costume gives you a chance to create something as unique as your child,” she explains.

“One of the benefits of making your own costume is saving money,” says Carly Fauth, head of marketing at, a personal finance blog. “If you make it out of items you already have from around the house, you won't have to spend a dime. You can also make it fit perfectly, making it more comfortable for your child to wear on Halloween night.”

Taking the Fear Out of Making Your Own

If you fear the amount of work it will take to create your own costume or worry that the end result will be inferior to a purchased costume, Larry Kirchner, owner of says to have no fear. “Remember that you can be more creative when you make your own costume, and the result is almost always more unique and better quality than what you'd find in the store,” he explains.

“Often thoughts of glue guns, expensive materials and hours spent sewing come to mind. But that isn’t necessarily so,” Kate encourages. “A DIY costume can be created with items that you already own or grab off a thrift store rack. It’s really about inspiration and combining items to create a costume that is one of a kind.”

Ready to get cracking? Here are four DIY costume ideas sure to make a splash this Halloween.

Make-Your-Own My Little Pony

“My Little Ponies is one of the hottest kids show on television today,” Kate says. “Any little girl who wants to be the leader of the pack will want to don a Rainbow Dash costume!” A few items to create this look are:

1. Turquoise shirt or sweatshirt, plain or with a My Little Pony graphic. And if you want to really get crafty, print Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark onto transfer paper and create a personalized iron-on for the top!
2. Turquoise pants or tights
3. Handmade or readymade rainbow tutu and leg warmers
4. Handmade or readymade wings (because she is a Pegasus pony)
5. To really pull it all together, consider a rainbow wig!

Do-It-Yourself Duck Dynasty

“Duck Dynasty has made huge waves in reality TV,” Kate explains. “This year, everyone will be sporting shaggy beards and camouflage.” Fan favorite Uncle Si is an easy and fast costume to make at home. Here’s how:

1. Camouflage top, bottom and hat
2. Pair of fake glasses, or remove the lens from some old sunglasses
3. Toy rifle and/or stuffed duck dog toys
5. Readymade beard and blue plastic cup.
6. Optional: Use some black makeup under the eyes


Not-Store-Bought Ninja Turtle

“Another easy costume you can make is a turtle,” Carly says. This costume is a great option for smaller kids who might not want a really elaborate costume. To create this costume:

1. Dress your child in all green
2. Paint two disposable aluminum roasting pans green to serve as the turtle shells in front and back.
3. Cut holes in each and attach with shoelaces.
4. Create a bandana out of some colored felt and grab a sword from the toy box to easily turn it into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume.


Zany Zombie

“Zombie costumes are the easiest to make by simply taking an old suits or dress and distressing them,” Larry says. “To make it even better, think creative and different—a mail man zombie, Fed Ex delivery guy zombie, or even a police zombie.” Create your own with these simple steps:

1. Go through your closets or hit the local thrift store to find clothes to serve as the base of your costume. Be sure to choose something that you don’t mind cutting, ripping or otherwise altering.
2. Use scissors or razors to create tears and holes, fray the knees, pull strings and make it look as distressed as possible.
3. Rub the clothing in dirt, splatter it with paint or fake blood—anything you like to create the desired effect.
4. Use face paints, airbrushing, fake contact lenses, put leaves in your hair or wear a wig to look truly undead.

Larry says the overarching benefits of creating with your child last far beyond trick-or-treating. “Many parents work on various projects with their kids, such as painting, pottery or science fair projects,” he explains. “Making a costume could be as much fun and more, because it actually teaches practical skills such as sewing, crafting and ingenuity.”

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