Five-Minute Halloween Costumes

soldier boy

The best costumes are those that a child can put together himself, and the following ideas are simple and remarkably easy to assemble, particularly if you go to a thrift shop and gather all the items and let your child choose. For a safe evening of trick-or-treating, buy reflective tape at the hardware store and run a few strips on the back of all costumes.


What you will need:
hard hat
rubber boots
camouflage or tan shirt and pants

Fortune Teller

What you will need:
long flowing skirt (thrift shops are a good place to shop if you don’t have one)
hoop earrings
scarf tied around the head
sash to tie around the waist
Apply bountiful make-up and lipstick for an exotic look

rockstar-birthday-party-on-a-budget-super-fun-kids-party-idea.-who-doesnt-love-a-rockstar-partyRock Star

What you will need:
black pants
black jacket
black shirt
fedora type hat
gold chains around the neck
black boots
toy guitar
long wig (we buy all our wigs inexpensively at thrift shops and wash them in the washing machine before wearing them.)


What you will need:
Go to a thrift shop for:
hunter hat in camouflage or bright orange
camouflage clothing (available at army/navy surplus stores)

Our sons enjoyed adding to this costume by making a bullet belt. They laid empty ballpoint pen caps on a strip of duct tape long enough to go around their waist. Lay another strip of duct tape over the caps to finish. To their eye, this made a fine bullet belt when taped around their waists.


What you will need:
thick black tights or cotton leggings
black long sleeved shirt
black nylon stocking
strips of reflective tape (available at the hardware store)
skeleton mask (optional)

Lay the strips of reflective tape in a skeleton pattern on the shirt and the leggings. To finish the costume, pull the black nylon over your child’s head, and estimate where and the size holes you will need to cut for his or her nose, eyes, and mouth. If desired, your child can wear a skeleton mask to complete the look.


What you will need:
holey jeans
big shoes stuffed with rags
torn shirt
rope belt
bath towel and string for a hump back
old knit ski cap
make up: liquid make-up, corn syrup, cotton balls, eyebrow pencil, small paintbrush

Put on the pants and shoes (you can also use mismatched shoes if big shoes seem to awkward to walk in.) For a hump back, first put on a warm long sleeved shirt, then take the towel and fold it into quarters the long way, then fold in half. Place the folded towel over the shirt, onto the shoulders, and use the string to wrap a harness around it to hold into place (over the towel, across the chest, crossed at the waist then around.) Place the old shirt over the hump. Put on the hat, and get ready for the fun part–the making of a hideous face. Dab the corn syrup wherever you want lumps–the side of the nose and lower chin are good spots, try to avoid near the mouth or the lumps will come off when your child talks. Pull apart the cotton balls and place wisps of cotton over the corn syrup. Water down the make up and paint on over the cotton until it is dampened, then use full strength makeup and paint it on over the rest of the face. You should have a pretty impressive lumpy look.

Use the eyebrow pencil to draw a scar across the cheek (draw lots of dots on either side of a line for stitches.) Outline around the eyes and smudge. Have your child carry a big stick or plastic baseball bat as a prop.

Disguise Recipes

Add zip to ho-hum costumes with the following recipes!
Fake Blood
1 teaspoon red food coloring
few drops blue food coloring
1/2 cup corn syrup

Pour 1/2 cup corn syrup into a jar and add 1 teaspoon red food coloring and a few drops of blue food coloring. Stir it up. There you have it! Put a lid on the jar and it will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Weird Skin

Mix 2 packets of unflavored gelatin with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Add green food coloring if desired, or leave plain. Rub on the face for a creepy texture. Add less water for more texture.

3-Day’s Growth

For an unshaved stubble look, rub corn syrup on the face and rub on coffee grounds.

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  1. Shoot! If I had just read this a day sooner!! Great halloween ideas! I’ll be using one next year for sure! We are a last minute costume family!

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