Julie Gilkay: 6 homemade Halloween costume ideas to scare up some fun

Oct. 11, 2013
'Duck Dynasty' anyone?
'Duck Dynasty' anyone? / AP
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'Duck Dynasty' anyone? / AP


Building your own Halloween costume is part creativity, part feasibility and all personality.

The best ones aren’t pulled from a bag but rather built in the brain. They are the ones you ponder and put together after finally crafting the perfect picture in your mind.

Only once since my kids have been trick-or-treating have we ever bought a premade Halloween costume. Sure, it was easy and relatively cheap, but it was boring, bland and not nearly as fun. After all, no Halloween should be complete without a trip to the thrift store.

If you and your kids are still looking to put together their costumes, I’ve got some ideas to get you started. And I promise they are inexpensive, simple and kid approved. Most you can pull together from your closets at home and the racks at Goodwill. All treats indeed.

Duck Dynasty

What you need: This is setting up to be the hot costume of the year for both kids and adults alike. Everyone, it seems, loves the Robertson family. All that is needed is some camo, a beard, boots and a bandana, and a complete transformation is under way. Happy, happy, happy!

Get groovy

What you need: Lucky for us, bell bottoms are still around and easy to find. Dress them up with anything tie-dyed, big sunglasses and all the peace sign jewelry or accessories you can get your hands on. Just be sure to hold straightened locks into place with a head band or scarf. Scrap the usual orange plastic pumpkin for toting candy and get your hands on an oversized brown leather bag instead. Bonus points for fringe.

Spaghetti and meatballs

What you need: Run with the “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” theme and wear your food. Dress top to bottom in a solid red sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks and shoes. Make a wig out of a cotton mop head and glue some brown pompons onto it for dramatic effect. Wear a colander as a hat, and eat it up!


What you need: Recycle a first Communion dress and veil and combine them with white gloves, a bouquet made from artificial flowers, white tights and shoes. Pull it altogether with an updo, some bedazzled earrings, and here comes the bride. Cold outside? There’s enough room underneath for layers. Plus, a fancy sweater would be fitting and perfect for warmth.

Mad scientist

What you need: Grab a white lab coat from that tub of dress-up clothes or head out to find a used one. Put some mousse in the hair, a red bowtie around the neck and some black eyeglass frames. Find a flask to carry around (Target has some with their seasonal candy) and fill with carbonated green soda.


What you need: Recreate the beloved Disney princess by putting a used yellow dress to work. Add the extra poof underneath with crinoline crafted from tulle. Top off the look with some white gloves, dressy shoes and carry either a rose or a Beast stuffed toy (look online). Don’t forget to curl the little beauty’s hair.

If all else fails, grab a white sheet and some scissors and go scare up some fun.

— Julie Gilkay: 920-993-1000, ext. 319, or jgilkay@postcrescent.com. On Twitter @JulieGilkay. She is the mother of Ben, 12, Grace, 10, and Lucas, 8. Follow her blog at postcrescent.com/MomToMomBlog and read her columns Saturdays in Family First or online at postcrescent.com/FamilyFirst.

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