It feels like you barely get the kids back to school, and it’s already time to start gearing up for Halloween. And everyone knows that a fantastic costume is essential to a happy Halloween. So make sure your kids’ costumes this Halloween gold-star worthy–without making yourself crazy– with these strategies.
Don’t despair if you’re not a DIY queen. Store-bought costumes have come a long way from those chintzy plastic-mask-and-bib getups when we were kids. (Note: Check out the totally cute collection at BB&B!) You don’t even have to buy an all-in-one costume, if you want to get a little creative. Pick up a few costume accessories and pieces a la carte, so you can pair your daughter’s ballet class tutu and leotard with a pair of butterfly wings and a sparkly wand and voila—instant fairy!
Recycle and reuse. A one-time-use only costume feels a little wasteful—but odds are, your kiddos are only going to want to be that superhero or princess once. So look for costume pieces you might be able to reuse after the fact. A red tablecloth makes a great superhero cape now—and a festive addition to your holiday table in a month or two. White sheets make togas for goddess or ghost costumes, and you can pair an old college graduation gown and a burgundy and yellow striped tie for a Harry Potter getup. An overturned (and empty) bubble vase becomes the perfect crystal ball for a fortune teller.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Sometimes, it’s just one extra little detail that really makes the costume—whether it’s a length of chain (bought at the hardware store) for a ghost to rattle or a long, stripey scarf and a jazzed-up silver pen to become Doctor Who. Get the details right to help you or your kiddo stay in character.
Make it a team effort. Consider coming up with a theme for the whole family. Pull out a beige belted bathrobe and a pair of brown sweats to turn your guy into a Jedi, and sport a pair of buns and your favorite metallic belt to become Princess Leia. (And don’t forget the dog, too!)
Think clever and creative. Costumes don’t have to be elaborate to win top prize—and often a more clever and unique costume catches the judges’ eyes in a costume contest. You know there’s bound to be a few witches, vampires and superheroes at any Halloween party, but what about a jellyfish? (You can be one by dressing in blue, then carrying around a clear umbrella with ribbons trailing beneath it.) If you or your child are game, consider a visual pun—pair a chef’s hat and apron with your iron, and you become an “iron chef.”
Give it a safety check. We hate to sound like party poopers, but don’t forget to give your costumes a quick dry run to ensure that everyone stays safe when they’re trick-or-treating. Look for hems that may trip up an overeager princess, masks that make it hard for your superhero to see, or a pointy sword that could poke another trick-or-treater’s eye out. And consider two stellar accessories for the annual Halloween prowl—reflector tape and flashlights to make kids more visible on darkened streets. That’ll ensure that there are no tricks—just treats—this Halloween.
What everyday item have you turned into a Halloween costume?