When Lynn’s three children were young, she made their Halloween costumes, preferably from materials she didn’t have to buy. Admittedly there were a few misses, like the year the Star Wars craze had her whipping up identical outfits out of burlap including a piece that completely covered the children’s faces since these creatures were featureless. When she insisted the kids wear the face pieces only for pictures and not for trick-or-treating, all three had a melt-down which included furious shouts of, “WE’RE NOT JAWAS IF WE HAVE FACES!!!”
The point is that buying cheap costumes that barely last through one night and that are made from plastic or other fabrics laden with chemicals, in no way adds to the fun of Halloween. Making them, however, can.
Once your child knows what she wants to be, make a rough sketch so you agree on how she wants it to look. Also check online to find variations on the theme. Sometimes a child has absolutes in her mind, but will loosen up when she sees the alternatives.
Next go around the house and locate what you already have on hand. Remember to think about what you can do with trash or other (clean) recyclables! To fill in what’s missing check with friends and family.
No one has what you need? Make a trip to a nearby thrift store or attend a costume swap where you can pick up accessories as well as complete costumes.
If you are purchasing fabric to fill in, look for natural, untreated materials like wool, silk, 100% organic cotton or hemp. Or go with Lynn’s old stand-in, burlap. EcoFleece, made from recycled bottles, is another great option.
As Lynn’s children got older, a big part of their Halloween was coming up with their own costumes.
They had nothing but creativity to spend and the results were fun and sometimes, hilarious, like the Mr. and Mrs. Circle costumes Corey and her friend made out of flattened cardboard.
The important thing is to remember that you don’t have to break the bank (or spend a penny for that matter) to come up with an EEK-o-friendly costume.
Find inspiration here, then tell us about your costume plans, below.