Oct 24, 2023

Affordable and Sustainable Halloween Costumes

Jane Magnani
Jane Magnani
Affordable and Sustainable Halloween Costumes

Halloween is soon approaching, and it is such a fun time when our children can transform into their favourite spooky or not-so-spooky characters, let their creativity run wild, and indulge in delicious sweet treats. 

Now, in a world where the cost of living keeps rising, many families are feeling the financial pinch. However, that doesn't mean we have to skip celebrating this spooky holiday with our children. 

So, why not embark on a DIY costume adventure with your little one? Shop-bought costumes, as we know, can be frightfully expensive, and they often just end up in the back of the closet after a single use!

Creating your own costumes will not only be a fantastic bonding experience, but it'll also result in a costume with sentimental value. In addition, it is a fantastic way to promote a range of skills and qualities in your child.

Repurposing Materials and Objects

Repurposing everyday items into Halloween costumes is more than just a money-saving trick; it's a wonderful way to promote a range of skills and qualities in your child!

It encourages imagination and creativity as they must think beyond the ordinary, turning everyday objects into something completely different. As they deal with the materials and think of different ways to reuse an item, your little one stretches their creativity and engages their problem-solving skills. 

Additionally, your little one learns resourcefulness by helping them make the most of what's available while reducing waste. Through repurposing, children develop a keen understanding of sustainability and the significance of reusing materials, fostering environmental awareness. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Black Rubbish Bags

Witch's Costume

  • Start with a black rubbish bag.

  • Cut a hole at the top for the head and two on each side for the arms.

  • This creates a black dress or gown.

  • Accessorise with a witch's hat and broomstick for the complete look.


  • Cut the black rubbish bag into a rectangular shape.

  • Attach strings or ribbons to the top corners for tying around the neck.

  • This makeshift cape can be a quick vampire costume addition.


  • Cut the rubbish bag into a wing shape with enough length to attach to your child's arms.

  • Stick lollipop sticks or twigs to the outline edges to make the wings heavier and move better. 

  • Attach elastic bands to the top corners for your child to slip their arms through.

  • With these wings, your little one can become a spooky bat or another flying character.

Spider Costume

  • Cut the rubbish bag into a circular shape and stick it on a circular cardboard.

  • Get some old tights or large socks and fill them with crunched-up newspaper. Use them to make eight spider legs and attach them to the black circle.

  • Attach the circle to your child's back, and they become a creepy spider.

Gown or Robe

  • Cut the black rubbish bag into the desired gown or robe shape.

  • It can be the base for various costume ideas, from witches to superheroes.

Old Bed Sheets or Fabrics

Ghost Costume

  • Cut a white sheet into a large square.

  • Cut out holes for the eyes and mouth.

  • Let your child wear it as a classic ghost costume.

Mummy Costume

  • Tear the old sheet into long strips.

  • Wrap the strips around your child.

  • Add dark makeup for an eerie mummy effect.

Zombie Costume

  • Rip the sheet into shreds.

  • Tear and stain the fabric for a distressed look.

  • Apply pale makeup for that undead appearance.

Cardboard Boxes

Depending on the size of your box, you can create different exciting costumes; large boxes can be used as costumes, and small ones can be used for making masks and spooktacular heads!


Frankenstein's Monster

  • Cut out two circles for eyes; if you have a young little one, cut out a square in the middle of the box, creating a TV-like shape so your little one can see properly. Just paint their face green for extra effect!

  •  Paint the box green.

  • Cut a toilet roll into two and paint them black.

  • Using black paint or markers, decorate the head, adding the hair and creating a stitched-together appearance.

  • Stick the black toilet roll (bolts) on the neck.

Monster Head

  • Create a unique monster head by cutting two circles for eyes and decorating it with your little one choice of colours and materials.

  • Add features to mimic a monster, such as adding more eyes, antennae, etc., with compound eyes, antennae, and segmented features to mimic a monstrous bug.


  • Cut arm and leg holes in a cardboard box to create a robot body. 

  • Paint the box using your chosen colours. 

  • Attach foil, bottle cups, or empty yoghurt pots for buttons and switches. 

  • Add foil-covered toilet or paper towel rolls or bubble wrap as robot accessories.

Haunted House

  • Create a spooky haunted house using a large box. 

  • Cut arm and leg holes in a cardboard box

  • Paint it with eerie details like cobwebs, ghosts, and bats. 

  • They can add spooky touches, like a ghostly “Beware” sign or a “Scary monster hiding inside”. 

  • Add a chimney made from cardboard, and your little one can wear it as a haunted house they "carry" around.


We discussed creating Halloween costumes by reusing and repurposing materials and everyday clothing.

Still, it is helpful to remember that, in most cases, costumes are worn over warm layers due to the chilly Halloween weather, and the real magic lies in the face painting! While various face painting options are available, you can achieve beautiful or eerie facial transformations using everyday makeup items!

Items like lip liners, eyeliners, powders, lipsticks, etc, will help you get creative with what you have on hand to create your spooky look. Your little one will look Spooktacular as a cat, werewolf, doll, or other animal or creature!

Just remember to be cautious with make-up around the eyes and mouth and to do a patch test to check for allergies or skin sensitivities. 


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