Easy, Nifty Halloween Costumes

Putting a sheet over you stopped cutting it many Halloweens ago when it comes to costumes, especially if you and your kids want to out-do what you did the year before.

So, on The Early Show Wednesday, FamilyFun magazine contributing editor Deb Geigis Berry shared ideas for fun, creative costumes you can make yourself without much fuss, and others that you can buy.

HOMEMADE COSTUMES

Cyber Power Princess

These are really simple costumes to make. It could be done in a couple of hours, with no sewing! They're made mostly of Mylar tissue paper and duct tape, believe it or not. Duct tape is used as the waistband. So, by just making a few simple cuts in the Mylar, and then fastening the wristband and the wig, you've got a great, original costume. Berry got the wig at Oriental Trading store for $6, but you can find the same kind of thing at the dollar store. Princess has always been one of the most popular costumes, and this one is the trend toward all the technology that kids love, but it's a twist by bringing her into the 21st century.

Road Trip

This is the one you pick if you're absolutely shortest on time, because it only takes an hour and you can use existing clothes. You just start with a sweat suit and take yellow electrical tape and make traffic lanes on the right and left side. Then, you take toy cars and use adhesive-backed Velcro and attach them to the outfit. You can download highway sign templates from the FamilyFun Web site. You child can become a walking highway, and this one is perfect for little speed demons.

Funky Pharaoh

This goes well with the next costume, the Greek Statue. Kids are fascinated with all things Egyptian. There's no sewing involved with this one, and you could do it in a couple of hours. You could use an old sheet, but you just need white cotton fabric. You're just embellishing the gown part with belts and gold lame, and something on the neckline. You and your kids can cut out some of the basic shapes, then use fabric glue or a glue gun to tie it all together. You can get the pole to use as a staff at a garden store, and embellish it with a craft store snake. And you can use your child's summer sandals for the shoes.

Greek Statue

This is terrific if you have a brother/sister team, with the Funky Pharaoh as the other part. Girls go crazy for the grape leaves garland on the head. You glue the fabric to make the Grecian look. Use the grape stuff at craft supply stores, and just pin them on her head and even on her shoulder, so she looks "antiquey" and wonderful. And it's so helpful for parents to know that these are no-sew costumes. You can use their own sandals and embellish them with ribbon that you tie up the leg. Crisscross the ribbon over flip-flops to create the Grecian look. This whole costume is basically a sheet with a hole cut in the top for the head; the glue is only for the embellishments.

Lego

Who doesn't love Lego? This costume is basically a large cardboard box. It takes under an hour to create, but you want to measure the child's head and shoulder length so you can get the box in the right dimensions. The box is painted red and the head is just a baseball cap backwards, with a small, shallow box attached. It fits the child's head to that cap, so it covers most of the back of the baseball cap, and then on top is the cup or a margarine container. So, it's basically two boxes. And the child should be uniformly colored, so make sure they then have that same color shirt and pants and shoes. And be sure to do it in a well-ventilated area, because it's spray paint that's used to paint the boxes.

Astronaut

What's really cool about this astronaut costume is the helmet and, believe it or not, it starts with a plastic bucket! You'll need to have parental supervision for this costume, because you're using a hammer and nails. You make the pilot hole in the helmet and make an oval shape with wire cutters, then cut off foam board for the inside of the helmet braces so the helmet stays on the head. It looks complicated because the list of materials to make this is long, but it takes under an hour. Then, the space boots are rubber boots, and the main part is made from a milk jug, plastic tubes, blind spot mirrors and reflectors (Dad might want to help make this one because he gets to go to the auto supply store), a white turtleneck, and sweat pants. The kids can really have fun using the stickers to decorate and duct tape for embellishments on the astronaut's costume. Plus, this is a good one for cold weather, because you're starting with a base of a turtleneck and sweat suit.

STOREBOUGHT COSTUMES

There's no reason you can't create these at home, if you want, but if you're really in a bind and don't have time to make a costume, you can always pick one up at the store.

There are always so many store-bought costumes that look really great and are popular, but this year, some of the most popular costumes are based on big movies.

Superheroes are as popular as ever, and the Superman costume is great because of the recent movie. And, if you invest in this, they'll probably be wearing it a lot longer than Halloween.

Another thing Berry loves about store-bought costumes is that they're really such classics. She has photos of her husband when he was younger dressed as Superman!

Another hot, movie-based costume is that of a pirate. Clearly, people have been dressing as pirates for Halloween for years, but this year it's a really popular costume because of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which was such a huge hit. You can look like Jack Sparrow, or go the more traditional route. Plus, these aren't just for boys: A lot of girls love the whole pirate thing and can get in on the action, too.
  • Brian Dakss

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