It’s time to get creative, grab a few materials and dress up the kids, the dogs and your own wicked self for some Halloween fun with these easy, no-sew costume ideas.

Halloween costumes can be costly, but homemade costumes save money, are unique, and don’t have to be hard to make. First, you need a few supplies. Depending on the idea you choose, you’ll probably need a hot glue gun, scissors and either some fabric or paper. Tulle fabric is lacy and perfect for fairies and ghosts! Felt is versatile and easy to glue. The rest is as limitless as the ideas in your head and online.

Some of the best ideas come from your own life experience. Think about pop culture, literary heroes and your favorite childhood fun at Halloween. If you need inspiration, head to your nearest thrift store, online and even search through a few of your closets at home. You might find an object you no longer use that works great for a costume.

Speaking of, have an old hoodie you no longer use? An oversized black hoodie or robe might turn into a grim reaper costume once you add some black draping below and a few props. Or make a Disney character costume for your kids, like Olaf, by gluing on felt eyes, nose, hair, or ears.

Have an old karate uniform? Turn it into a karate kid, ninja or Confucius costume. With plenty of pictures to go on, you only need accessories (like a bandana for the kid, or fortune cookies for Confucius). Customizing your own fortunes for a party or work – very wise!

Remember that alternatives to fabric and sewing lie around your house or in your nearest discount hobby shop. Wrap wire from hangers or insert it into fabrics and pillowcases for stiffer objects like wings, or make your own objects like armor and wings out of foam core. The material is versatile, easy to cut and paint. Most of all, it’s lightweight. So once you figure out how to mount it, the rest is easy.

Keep it simple and creep it up. Use all found and existing items, such as your own clothes or thrift store and borrowed items to dress like your favorite zombie or vampire. Just add dirt, fake blood, leaves, grass, or other fun and splurge on make-up or hair. For example, if you have long hair, put it up in a bun and buy plenty of plastic or rubber snakes for a realistic Medusa. Snakes can come out of pockets and hats too!

Dress up your pets with felt hairbands. Glue on felt teeth and ping pong balls for monster eyeballs. You have a scary monster. Or dress the dog in kids’ clothes (you know they love it), using a black shirt to inspire a vampire or stripes for an escaped prisoner. Black and white stripes and a yellow flag tucked under the collar? You’ve got yourself a referee.

Let everyone know your little one is the sunshine of your life with an oversized yellow sweatshirt, orange and yellow felt, yellow ribbon, pipe cleaners, yellow socks, and fabric glue. Cut the sleeves off of the shirt and let it drape down like a dress. Make it neater by gluing under or trimming the raw edges. Cut sun rays from yellow felt and a large round circle to fit the front of the shirt. Glue the rays on, covering them with the circle (marking it all off, of course). Use fabric paint or orange felt and pipe cleaners to draw the smiling sun.

Of course, nothing beats a cardboard box. And heck, it can keep your little trick or treater warm and store extra candy. With a little paint and ingenuity, you can create a walking box of theater popcorn, a washing machine, a pair of fuzzy dice (OK, two boxes), favorite candy, smartphone, and just about any robot or superhero.


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