Halloween is just a few short weeks away, and if you're too busy to spend hours hunched over a sewing machine, or you just don't have the craft skills, don't despair! Your child doesn't have to be a ghost and you don't need to recycle last year's costume. Here's a rundown of 10 cheap, easy Halloween costumes that are also pretty darn cool for something you threw together in 10 minutes and cost practically nothing.
The robot: When my own little guy wanted to be this two years ago, we got two flat cardboard cartons from the Costco checkout and attached them with a duct-tape "hinge" at the top (he was little so we wanted him to have his arms free and a regular box wouldn't work). Then we covered the sides with foil, taped them down, and drew the "control panels" on the front and back with a Sharpie. We covered his bike helmet with foil as well and added pipe-cleaner "antennae" to the top. He loved it and asked to wear it again this year!
Weatherman: Attach lighting bolts and raindrops cut from blue and silver paper to a plain umbrella. Tie them with fishing line to the spokes of the umbrella and glue some to the outside. Dress in raincoat and boots. (Good Morning America)
Raining cats and dogs: Similar technique, different idea: Cut out cat and dog shapes from cardboard and sticky felt. Attach them to the inside of a clear child's umbrella; dangle some off the ends with fishing line. Also use raincoat and boots. (Parenting)
Crayons: These would be so cute for a group! Get a solid-colored sweatshirt and sweatpants, or find solid-colored pajamas (thrift stores are great sources for those). Use black sticky felt to make the bands around the end of the crayon and to cut out the words "crayon" and the letters of whichever color you're using, and attach them to the suit. Cover a party hat in the same color construction paper. (Good Morning America)
M&Ms: This could not be easier -- it doesn't even need a photo! Take a brown paper garbage bag, or get a length of brown felt and glue it at the sides (leave arm holes). Cut out a lower-case "m&m" in white fabric and glue it on. You can even do the same with yellow and brown for the peanut variety and have a great sibling costume! (Living on the Cheap)
Recycling: Tape old 2-liter soda bottles or water bottles to a clear plastic garbage bag (like many communities use for recycling), and stuff the bag with torn newspaper and crumpled magazine pages. Tape it at the bottom and top so it stays on.
Sun: Make a sun shape out of yellow felt for the middle and orange felt for the rays. Glue it to an oversized yellow sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. Accent with yellow socks or rain boots. (Parenting)
Rubik's cube: Cover the sides and top of a box with red, orange, blue, green, and yellow paper. Use black electrical tape for the lines. Cut a hole out of the top. (Parenting)
Jack in the box: A mom named Kim from Minneapolis-St. Paul on the Cheap made a jack-in-the box costume for her little one. Hers was pretty fancy ... you can simplify with a cardboard box painted with poster paints and decorated with construction-paper stars. Glue fabric straps to the inside to go over your child's shoulders, make a handle out of a wire dry-cleaning hanger, and dress them in a festively-colored sweatshirt and a party hat. (Living on the Cheap)
Fork in the road: Let's say you totally forgot until this morning that the school Halloween party is today. Time for desperate measures! Take a plain T-shirt, draw a road on it with a black Sharpie, and glue on a fork. Yep, you're a fork in the road. This was my husband's idea one year, and everyone thought it was funny. Or you could glue on a few toy cars, if your child will give some up.
What's your best-ever homemade Halloween costume?