It can be easy and fun to grab a costume at the store, but sometimes a non-traditional costume is or a craft project is more fun for the children. Creating a unique costume, especially if the child is old enough to help, can be a great way to spend time together and also allows the child to use their creativity and experience pride in their work.

Here are a few ideas for you to consider this Halloween:

1. Food truck chef. Gather large cardboard pieces or tape a few pieces together to create a large box. Use paints and other items to draw the outline of the food truck. Create a cut out for the child in the space of the order window. Let the child pick their favorite foods and draw, then paint the menu and food truck name. Attach shoulder straps to the cardboard and size them so the child is in the window frame with the straps holding the cardboard cut out up. Dress the child in a chef uniform and for fun, add a chef hat.

2. Lumberjack. This is a great costume for adventurers and kids who enjoy the outdoors. Just grab a pair of boots, jeans, a plaid shirt, suspenders, and a warm hat. To create a lumberjack ax, use cardboard and spray paint the handle brown and the ax blade gray or silver. If desired, add a cloth beard or use face paint to create facial hair.

3. Zookeeper. Younger children love this costume and it’s easy to pull together. Grab khaki pants or shorts and a khaki shirt with pockets. Sew or iron on animal patches that can be purchased at a craft store. You can stencil on the child’s name for customization. Then, add a brown belt, boots, and have the child carry their favorite stuffed animal.

4. Scuba diver. For water enthusiasts, becoming a scuba diver is fun. First, dress the child in black pants, a black long sleeve shirt, and a black skull cap to represent a wetsuit. Then take two 2-Liter soda bottles and paint them grey, adding a few black stripes. With black ribbon or rope, tie the water bottles together with the top end up and create two shoulder straps so they rest on the child’s back. Add a mask (or for younger children – face paint a mask) and the costume is complete.

minecraft figurine

5. Lego or Minecraft. These costumes are built using cardboard boxes held together with masking tape. Using spray paint, create the base color and add circles for Legos and alternating checkered boxes for Minecraft. Once built, have the child dress in black pants and shirt or match the dominate color of the costume. Cardboard can be used to create a sword or other accessories for individualized themes.


6. Up movie by Disney. Start by building and decorating a small cardboard house, about the size of a dinner plate. To the house, add 12-15 multicolored helium-filled balloons. Under the house, attach a string that connects to your wrist. To finish the costume, you can dress like Carl Fredricksen or Russell. For Carl, grab a grey wig, glasses, and cane, while wearing a white shirt, bow tie, grey sweater, and brown pants. For Russell, you’ll need a yellow shirt, orange neckerchief, brown pants, a yellow hat, and a brown sash with patches.

7. Green army man toy. This classic toy can be recreated with a lot of spray paint and we recommend getting low-cost paints and a shirt from a second-hand store. Use the spray paint on the boots, pants, jacket, belt and helmet so the entire costume is the same shade of green. To accessorize, paint green toy binoculars, compass, plastic gun, and hand grenades. Use green body paint for face and hands to complete the costume.

Jack-O-Lantern and leaves

8. Harry Potter. A pop culture favorite, this costume can be pulled together with brown pants, a button-up shirt, a sweater vest, and a scarf. Just add big wire-rimmed glasses and using eyeliner, add the famous lightning bold scar.

9. Knights. Gather grey pants with a matching long sleeve grey shirt or sweatshirt with a hood. Find an old white shirt and cut off the sleeves to create a vest. Use fabric paint to create a family crest on the white vest. Then, use cardboard to make a shield, sword, and feather topped helmet.

10. Bubble bath. Start with white shoes or slippers, white leggings, and a long-sleeve white shirt. To create the bubbles, add white balloons, with a few clear and pink balloons. Inflate the balloons to different sizes so some are small while others are larger. Attach a rubber duck and the look is complete.