DIY: Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween!

Are you stuck for a last minute costume?

I find myself reflecting on my childhood costumes as today's children prance around in store-bought costumes.  When I was a kid, my mother bought me one, yes one, store-bought costume. It was cheap junk. She always said we could come up with something better at home. That year I was a princess, and the mask was frightening, hot, and I didn't wear it very long because of my glasses.

I had one other store-bought, hand-me-down costume, but it actually was made up of two costumes.  I was a skeleton, the outfit, and a clown, the mask. Back then, it was funny. Today a skeleton clown is frightening.

I've tried to recall as many of my costumes as possible, but some years have faded in my memory. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of these.  There was a photograph of me in the cowboy costume, but I don't know what happened to it. Probably one of my siblings has it because all four of us were in the picture.

All of my costumes, except for the two mentioned above were made from things we had on hand.

  • Cowboy (age 3), I think my mother made it
  • Skeleton Clown (age 4) , a combination of two hand-me-down costumes
  • Ghost (age 6), everyone has a white sheet
  • Princess (age 7), store bought
  • Rice Krispies Cereal Box (age 8) see paragraph below
  • Gypsy (age 9), lots of bracelets and a big skirt
  • Hobo (age 10), baggy clothes and a stick with a bundle tied on the end
  • A Man (age 11) white shirt, black pants, my dad's hat, and I clipped a few strands of my hair to make the mustache

Of all of my costumes, I think my favorite is the Rice Krispies box. I didn't know what I was going to be until the day of Halloween.  I came home from school and rummaged around the basement, looking for ideas.  I found a large box, covered it in blue wrapping paper, and drew Snap, Krackle, and Pop on the paper.  I added a door, to give me a place to reach out and receive the cereal's "ingredients" (candy).  Unfortunately, it was a cold night, and my mom made me wear a beret.  Some people thought I was an artist because of the beret. Good grief!

After the fifth grade, I quit trick or treating.

Teenagers trick or treat today.  My sister and a friend and I tried it one year. We went to a neighbor's house, got on our knees, rang the doorbell, and when the neighbor came to the door, cried: "Trick or treat!"

She didn't give us anything.  She just laughed.

As a high school senior, I was one of the 3 Musketeers for the Halloween dance.

Of course, I carried on the DIY tradition with my children:

People always wanted to know where I got the costumes for my children. They were shocked to learn I'd made them or threw them together with things from home. I'm especially proud of the Energizer Bunny, by the way.

I haven't dressed up much, lately. I do have a giraffe mask (given to me) that I sometimes wear when I answer the door on Halloween

What's your favorite or most inventive Halloween costume? Please, please share in the comments. Photos are welcome.


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