Costumes Your Kids Can Help Make

Send your proud trick-or-treaters out in costumes they helped create.

  • Frances Janisch

    Three-Ring Circus

    Step right up to the greatest show of homemade costumes on Earth!

  • Francis Janisch

    Clown

    With a collar made from coffee filters and a finger-painted hat, this little baby can make anyone smile!

    Collar
    What you'll need
    8"x10" piece of white felt, scissors, coffee filters, hot-glue gun, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Cut a U-shape out of felt measured to your child's neck size. 2 Fold coffee filters into quarters. Apply glue to the triangle tip, and hot-glue folded filters to felt, starting at the bottom. Work in layers until you've covered the felt and reach the desired puffiness. Trim as needed. 3 Glue Velcro on back as closure.

    Hat
    What you'll need
    Vanilla pudding, food coloring, 15"x15" piece of white felt, cone-shaped party hat, scissors, stapler, hot-glue gun, yarn, elastic
    Make it 1 Mix pudding with food coloring to desired colors. Let child finger-paint felt. Let dry. 2 Wrap painted felt around hat; glue and trim. 3 To make pom-poms, wrap yarn 60 times around 3 fingers and cut end. Cut a 3" piece of yarn. Carefully remove wrapped yarn from fingers and tie 3" piece tightly around center. Cut through looped ends, and trim the pom-pom into circular shape. 4 Glue pom-poms on top and in center. Glue ends of elastic to inside edge of hat.

    Shirt
    What you'll need
    Felt in multiple colors, scissors, one-piece, hot-glue gun, puffy paint in 2 colors
    Make it
    1 Cut felt shapes; glue to one-piece. 2 Add puffy paint dots to sleeves; let dry.

  • Make a Clown Collar Costume
    Make a Clown Collar Costume

    This easy-to-craft collar will make your kid's clown costume even more hilarious this Halloween.

  • Francis Janisch

    Ringmaster

    Let your pint-size circus captain decorate his stately top hat.

    Coat
    What you'll need
    1 sweatshirt (slightly large on your child), scissors, 1?"x16" piece of cardstock, hot-glue gun, spool of 1?"-wide ribbon, glitter paper, 24"x24" white felt, gold puffy paint, 8 milk-jug caps
    Make it
    1 Cut off bottom hem and set aside. 2 Download template and enlarge it to the width of sweatshirt. Lay on front of sweatshirt, trace, and cut. 3 Cut a large triangle from back of sweatshirt, about 9" up from the center edge. 4 Measure the cut-off hem around the collar of sweatshirt and trim the hem to that length. Slide cardstock inside hem; fold ends over to seal, and secure with glue. Glue band to existing neckline. 5 Cut a 2" slit from center of collar down front of sweatshirt. Trim sleeves to fit child's arms. 6 Fold ribbon in half around the edge of the sweatshirt's bottom and glue to trim. 7 Cut 4 2" circles of felt. Cut 4 1" circles of glitter paper and glue to the center of each felt circle. Place embellishments over ribbon ends to hide raw edges. 8 Decorate ribbon with gold puffy-paint swirls. 9 Download lapel template and trace twice onto white felt. Glue 8 strips of ribbon to lapel, 4 on each side as shown, folding an inch of ribbon around inside edge. Trace milk-jug caps on back of glitter paper; cut out and glue to caps. Glue to ribbon ends on felt lapel. 10 Hot-glue lapels to front of coat, just under the 2" slit. Decorate edges with gold puffy paint. 11 Glue a piece of ribbon around collar. Cut 2 pieces of felt the length of collar and ?" wide. Decorate with puffy paint, let dry, then glue above and below the ribbon.

    Hat
    What you'll need
    Dinner plate for circle template, 2 pieces of black posterboard, scissors, bowl that fits your child's head, stapler, glue, white paper, crayons, ribbon
    Make it
    1 Use the plate to trace 2 circles. Cut out. 2 Place bowl in center of circles and trace. Cut smaller circle out of each, making 2 donut shapes. Reserve one of the cut-out circles. 3 Cut an 11"x23" rectangle from the posterboard. Make a fold 1?" from top long edge and another 1?" from bottom long edge. On each side, cut slits to the fold at 1" intervals. 4 Bend rectangle into cylinder and staple along edges. Bend slits outward at a 90-degree angle and glue between two donut shapes. Bend top slits inward at a 90-degree angle and glue reserved small circle on top. 5 Add a colored band and fringed ribbon for embellishment.

  • Make a Ringmaster Coat Costume
    Make a Ringmaster Coat Costume

    Craft the coat for your kid's ringmaster costume from a tired sweatshirt!

  • Francis Janisch

    Cotton-Candy Vendor

    A crayon-colored cardboard box is the perfect carrier for every kid's favorite treat.

    Box and Cotton-Candy Cones
    What you'll need
    Cardboard box (approximately 16"x20"x6"), brown paper, tape, scissors, 1" bottle top, pencil, sharp knife, red and white crayons, 30"-long piece of ribbon, hot-glue gun, white paper, water, food coloring, cotton balls, wax paper, patterned paper, double-sided tape, 2" Styrofoam balls
    Make it
    Box
    1 Cover cardboard box in brown paper and tape to seal. 2 Use bottle top to trace circles approximately 2" apart in top of box. Use knife to cut circles out of box. 3 Let child color stripes around box. Glue ribbon to each side at center. 4 Cut letters from white paper and glue to the front.
    Cones
    1 Fill 2 bowls with 3 cups of water each. Add 20 drops of red food coloring to 1 bowl and 20 drops of blue food coloring to the other. 2 Fluff cotton balls, dip in colored water, and place on wax paper. Repeat, making approximately 5 cotton balls per cone. Let dry overnight. 3 Trace the cone template onto patterned paper and fold into a cone shape. Secure with double-sided tape and trim if needed. 4 Glue Styrofoam ball in cone. Glue cotton balls on Styrofoam ball. Place cones in holes of box.

    Hat
    What you'll need 6"x24" posterboard, stapler, pink paper, scissors, dyed cotton ball, glue
    Make it
    1 Fold posterboard in half lengthwise. 2 Make a fold 4" from each end, and staple ends together. 3 Cut a scalloped circle from paper, and embellish with cotton ball.

  • Francis Janisch

    The Royal Family

    The king and queen reign over their court in costumes they helped craft.

  • Francis Janisch

    King

    Give your little monarch the honor of making his crown from felt, candy buttons, and star stickers.

    Cape
    What you'll need
    6"x21" piece of blue fabric, Stitch Witchery, red adult's fleece pullover, hot-glue gun, 2"x23" piece of yellow ribbon, small rectangle of black felt, 1 yard each of blue and red felt, scissors, gold trims, found materials (milk caps, assorted pieces of felt, candy buttons, assorted ribbons, etc), gold plastic beads
    Make it
    1 Make a 1" fold along both long edges of the blue fabric and secure with Stitch Witchery; adhere to fleece shirt using glue. 2 Secure yellow ribbon to middle of shirt with glue as belt. Glue 2"x3" black felt rectangle, cut to look like a buckle, to center of yellow ribbon. 3 Cut red and blue pieces of felt into rounded cape shape (cape should fall from shoulders to knees). Lightly glue red and blue felt together at top edge to make cape. 4 Scrunch each corner of cape and glue a corner to each shoulder. Attach with glue across back of neck. 5 Cut small circles out of found materials. Cut several 2" strips of ribbon. Glue ribbon directly to coat and glue circles on top of ribbon as medals. 6 Apply gold trim to shoulders. Decorate jacket with medals and beads.

    Scepter
    What you'll need
    Wood dowel, 2" Styrofoam ball, hot-glue gun, red and blue masking tape, candy buttons, gold trim
    Make it
    1 Press dowel into Styrofoam ball and secure with glue. 2 Wind red and blue tape onto dowel. Cover ball in red masking tape. 3 Decorate with candy buttons. Glue trim to bottom of ball.

    Crown
    What you'll need
    6"x23" strips of red felt and blue felt, scissors, hot-glue gun, candy buttons, foil stars, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Lay 2 pieces of felt together and cut zigzag along top. Set the excess blue triangles to the side. 2 Glue red and blue felt strips together. 3 Decorate red-felt side with candy buttons, foil stars, and blue triangles. 4 Form a circle that fits child's head and secure with Velcro.

  • Francis Janisch

    Queen

    Her royal highness rules her subjects with a scepter that she made from aluminum foil and silver chenille stems.

    Bib Necklace
    What you'll need
    12"x12"piece of white felt, scissors, candy buttons, hot-glue gun, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Print bib necklace template and cut the shape from felt. 2 Arrange candy in a pattern and carefully hot-glue it onto felt. (Any glue with water in it will melt the candy, including white, tacky, and fabric glue.) 3 Attach Velcro to back of bib.

    Cape
    What you'll need
    Potato, kitchen knife, black acrylic paint, scissors, 6"x26" piece of white felt, 27"x17" piece of red felt, hot-glue gun, candy buttons, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Cut potato in half, and carve 2 sides into abstract shapes. 2 Firmly press potato into paint and stamp on white felt. Let dry. 3 Cut scalloped edge from stamped felt, then from red felt. Glue printed collar to top of cape shape, and fold over. 4 Glue candy buttons onto felt. Attach Velcro closure at neck.

    Scepter
    What you'll need
    Wood dowel, 2" Styrofoam ball, hot-glue gun, aluminum foil, silver chenille stems, candy buttons
    Make it
    1 Press dowel into Styrofoam ball and secure with glue. 2 Cover in foil, wrap silver chenille stems around the ball, and glue on decorative candy buttons.

    Crown
    What you'll need
    Silver chenille stems, scissors, hot-glue gun, candy buttons, foil stars
    Make it
    1 Twist 2 chenille stems together to form a circle that fits child's head. 2 Cut stems in half and twist onto circle to make 3 layers of loops. Trim where needed. 3 Decorate with stars and candy buttons.

  • Francis Janisch

    Animal Kingdom

    These woodland creatures leave their enchanted forest for the night to go on a hunt for candy.

  • Francis Janisch

    Fox

    Looking dapper in a vest that he decorated, this sly guy loves a stealthy hunt for candy.

    Mask
    What you'll need
    ? yard of light-brown felt, ⅛ yard of cream felt, 6"x6" square of dark-brown felt, scissors, hot-glue gun, 3 buttons, brown embroidery floss, needle, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Download mask template, trace onto felt, and cut. (The face is light brown, the snout and small ears are cream, and the large ears are dark brown.) 2 Glue ears and snout onto light-brown felt. Glue button on snout (nose) and 2 on either side (eyes). 3 Stitch embroidery floss through felt 3 times on either side of nose and knot. Trim each whisker to about 2". 4 Cut a 3"x23" strip from light-brown felt and glue face to center. Secure back of strip with Velcro.

    Vest
    What you'll need
    Brown-paper grocery bag, scissors, hot-glue gun, crayons
    Make it
    1 Cut grocery bag at corner and flatten. 2 Download vest template and trace 2 front panels, 2 pockets, and back panel onto bag; cut out. 3 Glue top edges of front panels to top edge of back panel. Cut 2 4"x6" pieces of brown paper and glue them to the inside of the vest, just above the hip. 4 Have your child color vest with crayons. Glue pockets to the front.

    Tail
    What you'll need
    1 pair of adult suit pants, scissors, hot-glue gun, ⅛ yard of cream-colored felt, cotton batting, safety pin
    Make it
    1 Fold pants inside out and cut off one leg. Cut the front and back of the pants leg into the shape of the tail, about 28" long and 8" wide (includes 2" seam allowance), as shown. 2 With right sides of fabric face to face, glue along edges, leaving top open. Turn right side out. 3 Cut zigzag shape from an edge of felt. Fold felt around bottom ? of tail and secure with glue. 4 Stuff tail with batting, then fold top over, and glue closed. 5 Tuck tail into child's pants and secure with pin.

  • Francis Janisch

    Wise Owl

    This woodland bird stayed up all night painting her beautiful feathers.

    Wings
    What you'll need
    ? yard of brown felt, scissors, brown paper, acrylic paint in several earth tones, paintbrush, hot-glue gun, sweatshirt
    Make it
    1 Fold felt in half and cut into 2 oval arm shapes, each about 4"x12". 2 Let your child paint brown paper; let dry. 3 Trace feather template onto back of paper and use scissors to cut feathers out, about 22 per "wing." Fold each feather in half to add dimension. 4 Starting from bottom, glue feathers in layers directly to arm shapes. 5 Glue or safety-pin feather-covered arms to sweatshirt.

    Glasses
    What you'll need
    ? yard each of felt (brown, green, and cream), scissors, needle, thread, round sunglasses (lenses removed), hot-glue gun, orange felt scrap
    Make it
    1 Cut 2 strips of brown felt measuring 2"x 11", 2 strips of cream felt measuring 1?"x 11", and 2 strips of green felt measuring 1"x11". 2 Stack 1 piece of each color, lining up bottom edges and baste about ?" from edge. Make a ruffle by pulling thread carefully and knotting end. Repeat for other ruffle. 3 Glue 1 ruffle to rim of sunglasses around each eye. 4 Cut a 2"x2" square of orange felt and glue to center of eyes, to create a nose.

    Graduation cap
    What you'll need
    3"x17" piece of brown cardstock, stapler, 8"x8" piece of brown cardboard, crayons, nail, hot-glue gun, embroidery floss, scissors, colored masking tape
    Make it
    1 Roll cardstock into a cylinder and staple. 2 Let child color cardboard and use nail (parent) to make hole in center for the tassel. 3 Glue cardboard square to cardstock circle. 4 Make tassel by wrapping embroidery floss around 4 fingers about 30 times. Cut a 6" piece of embroidery floss, slip through top of looped floss, and make a knot. Cut another 3" piece of floss and tie around wrapped floss toward top. Trim end so all threads are same length. Put end of 6" floss through hole in top of cap and knot. 5 Decorate hat with colored-paper circles and colored tape.

  • Francis Janisch

    Butterfly

    A sweet, delicate creature sparkles with wings that she made from tissue paper and glitter.

    Tutu
    What you'll need
    Elastic, hot-glue gun, 6 yards of tulle, glitter paper, scissors
    Make it
    1 Knot or glue elastic to fit around child's waist. 2 Cut tulle into 29"x4" strips. Fold top 3" of tulle over and make a 1?" slit into the fold. 3 Around the elastic, insert long end through slit and carefully pull. Repeat until elastic is covered with tulle strips. Scrunch with hands to fluff tulle. 4 Cut 2 small circles from glitter paper. Apply glue to each and secure to the skirt by sandwiching tulle between them. Repeat until the skirt is decorated as desired.

    Wings
    What you'll need
    Acrylic paint, liquid starch, thick tissue paper or rice paper, scissors, 1 piece of posterboard, hot-glue gun, glitter paper, 2 1?"x18" pieces of ribbon
    Make it
    1 Mix 2 parts acrylic paint with 1 part liquid starch. Let child paint rice or tissue paper and allow to dry. Once dry, cut into 2" shapes of your choice. 2 Fold posterboard in half horizontally. Print wing template and use a pencil to lightly trace it. Cut shape out carefully and unfold. 3 Using liquid starch, glue painted paper to wings. Let dry. Trim edges if necessary. Repeat on the back of posterboard. 4 Trace circles on glitter paper, cut out, and glue to wings. 5 Glue ribbons to midsection of the wings about 6" apart. Using a sharp pair of scissors, carefully cut a thin slit at the base of wings. With wings against child's back, wrap ribbon over shoulders, thread through slit, and tie in back.

    Antennae
    What you'll need
    Tulle, scissors, silver chenille stems, hot-glue gun, headband
    Make it
    1 Wrap thin strip of tulle around 3 fingers 60 times. Cut a 3" piece of tulle and tie tightly around center of wrapped tulle. Use scissors to trim tulle into a circular pom-pom shape. 2 Glue each pom-pom to a chenille stem. 3 Wrap chenille stems around headband approximately 3" apart to secure. Cut off sharp ends of the stems.

  • Make a Butterfly Tutu Costume
    Make a Butterfly Tutu Costume
  • Francis Janisch

    Superheroes

    These two crafty victors are here to save the day!

  • Francis Janisch

    Miss Star

    This happy heroine used her super-creative powers to paint her own T-shirt to wear under her pom-pom cape.

    Cape
    What you'll need
    27"x17" piece of fleece, scissors, ? yard of cotton material, fusible interfacing, iron, hot-glue gun, yarn, yellow puffy paint
    Make it
    1 Fold fleece in half lengthwise and cut a scalloped edge. 2 Fuse interfacing to cotton material and trace slightly smaller scalloped cape for cape interior. Center fused fabric on fleece cape and glue. 3 To make the pom-poms, hold 3 fingers together. Wrap yarn 60 times around fingers and cut end. Cut a 3" piece of yarn. Carefully remove wrapped yarn from fingers and tie 3" piece tightly around center. Cut through looped ends and trim pom-pom into circular shape. Glue one pom-pom to each of the scallops along the edge. 4 Cut 2 strips of fleece, approximately 1?"x6", and glue to top front of cape as ties. 5 Help your child draw stars onto back of cotton material and cut out. Embellish back of cape by gluing stars directly to fleece. Trace along edges of stars with yellow puffy paint; let dry.

    Belt, Armbands, Headband
    What you'll need
    Scissors, hot-glue gun, ? yard of fleece, yellow puffy paint, ? yard of cotton fabric , fusible interfacing, iron, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Cut 2 2?"x23" strips of fleece (for belt and headband) and 2 2?"x7" strips (for armbands). 2 Embellish center of each strip with fabric stars outlined in yellow puffy paint. 3 Measure child's waist/head/wrists, trim, and secure Velcro to fleece with hot glue.

  • Francis Janisch

    Mr. Flash

    For every lightning bolt this hero adds to his costume, he saves the day that much faster.

    Cape
    What you'll need
    XL adult blue T-shirt, scissors, gold fabric paint, paintbrush, 9"x12" piece of yellow felt, hot-glue gun, gold puffy paint, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Lay T-shirt flat and cut off sleeves. Cut along side seams and shoulders on each side of T-shirt, leaving collar intact. Cut corners of bottom edge to make rounded cape shape. Put remaining fabric aside. 2 Paint edge with gold fabric paint; let dry. 3 Cut large lightning bolt out of yellow felt. Glue to back center of cape and cut zigzag along painted cape edge. 4 Let your child use the puffy paint to make small lightning bolts on inside of cape. 5 Cut vertical slit in center of collar and add piece of Velcro on each end.

    Hat
    What you'll need
    T-shirt sleeve, hot-glue gun, 9"x12" piece of yellow felt, scissors, gold puffy paint
    Make it
    1 Use glue to hem raw edge of sleeve. 2 Trace wing template twice onto yellow felt and cut out. 3 Decorate with puffy paint dots; let dry. With seam in the back, glue wings to each side of cap.

    Shoes
    What you'll need
    9"x12" piece of yellow felt, scissors, gold puffy paint, hole punch
    Make it
    1 Trace wing template twice onto yellow felt and cut out. Decorate with puffy paint; let dry. 2 Remove laces from sneakers and mark on each felt wing where 2 holes should be. Punch holes and lace 1 wing onto each sneaker.

    Arm Cuffs
    What you'll need
    Remaining T-shirt fabric, fusible interfacing, iron, scissors, 9"x12" piece of yellow felt, hot-glue gun, Velcro
    Make it
    1 Iron fusible interfacing to 5"x7" rectangle of T-shirt material. Cut rectangle in half, making 2 rectangles that measure 2?"x7". 2 Trace wing template twice onto felt and cut out. Draw 2 small lightning bolts onto felt. Cut out shapes and glue to backed T-shirt material. 3 Measure child's wrist and glue Velcro to ends of cuffs.

    Originally published in the October 2011 issue of Parents magazine.