Wednesday, August 6

Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween Costumes: Part 1

Who doesn't love fall and Halloween? 
Around our house, we get really excited thinking about the coming pumpkin recipes, fall leaves, corn stalks, stews, college football and all things autumn. 

We host a Fall Party every year and encourage everyone to come in costume, it's great fun. 
We also wear our costumes to Fall Festivals and our local Circleville Pumpkin Show, no really, we do.

Every year since the kids were little,  I have made their Halloween costumes, and every year I started in August. 
Now I know some people are not very organized, or don’t want to think about Halloween costumes in August.  But for us we have found it is less stressful to decide on a costume in August. We then spend the next few weeks gathering together the needed items or props.

A Zombie, Abdominal Snowman, Cat and me, a Gypsy
Was I especially crafty?  No not especially, not really.  I taught myself as I went along, learning from a lot of mistakes.  But as the kids got older, I started looking for parts and pieces to use with the Halloween costumes.  Buying a skirt, dress or cape instead of sewing them made it much easier and saved lots of time, money and sewing. 
Many of the first costumes were made completely from scratch with patterns and material, but as time went by, just as many were pieced together from homemade and purchased items.

Even non artsy-crafty moms can put together costumes from things around the house or found at thrift stores, yard sales or discount stores. We are on the look out for items that can be used for costumes all year long. 
I am not against store bought costumes; they have actually improved quite a bit, (minus the trampy ones, I really dislike the trampy ones).
But store purchased costumes can be quite pricey, are not really high quality and you run the risk of you or your child having a costume just like everyone else.  Who wants that?

Depending on where you live, remember it can be chilly in October.  Choose costumes that are warm or ones you can wear clothes or thermal wear underneath. 
Please overlook that a few of these photos were taken years ago and/ or taken with a film camera. 
Here's a few we have done.  

Indiana Jones:  My nephew Adam wore a leather jacket, an across-the-body leather bag and carried a whip.  The key costume prop that set this off was the hat.  Everyone knows Indy's hat.

Indiana Jones

Katniss Everdeen:  This one was also easy.  My daughter Alexis found a jacket at a second hand store that looks really close to Katniss’s in the movie.  She also wore her hair in braids, wore black boots and carried a bow.  One of the key props was the mocking jay pin purchased at a costume store. Every once in a while she would stop and hold up  three fingers, she does get into the costume role every year.
Hunger Games:  "I volunteer as tribute!"

Indiana Jones meets Katniss Everdeen at the Circleville Pumpkin Show in Ohio

Cowboy or Cowgirl: Start by looking for second hand cowboy boots, purchase a bandanna for .99 cents at a local craft store, buy a toy holster and gun or use a squirt gun. Wear a plain white shirt or plaid shirt,  blue jeans, and you’ll definitely need a cowboy hat.  Sometimes you can find a muslin shirt (gauze type material), brown leather skirt (girls) or chaps at a second hand store.

Cowgirl and Court Jester (minus her hat with bells)

Mummy:  Purchase white bandage gauze and wrap up you or your child.  I used markers to add smudge marks to the gauze to give it an aged appearance.  I also dressed my son in a white sweat shirt and pants before wrapping.  You can pin the gauze in place or sew onto the sweat pants and shirt. Leave a few pieces hanging for the aged effect. Face paint works great for a long dead appearance.
My son as a Mummy  (He is now 22!)

Cave Girl or Boy.  Purchase animal print material at a local fabric store.  Lay the fabric in half, cut out a circle for your head. Cut the bottom and arm areas to make it appear rugged.  Pull the material over your head; tie with a rope around your waist. Put smudge marks on your face, black out a tooth, rat your hair and add bone earrings, necklace and a rough stick for a club, done!  Barefoot is optional.
My daughter Jami as a Cave Woman, that face!, haha

Huntsman or Mountain Man:   This is great costume and easy to put together too.  Find or purchase a muslin shirt (it’s an off white gauzy type material), add a leather sash tied around the waist and sew or pin furs around the shoulders.  Furs can be purchased at a local craft store.  Wear brown pants and carry an old (unloaded) rifle or carry a buck knife.  A coonskin cap and small leather pouch or beads around the neck are great additions.  A man with a beard really sets this costume off.

Mountain Man at a campout

Mountain Man and Skeleton

Skeleton:  Purchase a black sweat shirt and pants.  Using white paint, paint skeleton bones onto the sweat outfit.  Either freehand or stencil the skeleton, it just depends on how much time you want to put into it. Don't forget to paint a little red (or orange for fall) heart.  Adding bone jewelry or accessories, and face makeup helps too.
Couldn't someone tell me my shirt was crooked? 

Beauty Queen:  Any prom dress or formal gown will work.  Add high heels, a tiara, jewelry and sash. Curl your hair or pin it up in a formal style. Practice a rolling stiff hand wave and large smile.  You got it!
Autumn Beauty Queen
Middle/ Dark Ages Costume:  This is a combination of different layered clothing, all in shades of brown, black or cream.  A vest is usually always used with this costume. Extras like boots, an ax, cloak, bones, furs, gloves, leather belt, a bow or similar props are optional but make the costume awesome!
Viking or Dark Ages costume
Middle or Dark Ages costume

Nerd: A pair of glasses, a dress shirt with a pocket for pencils and a bow tie or neck tie. High waist-ed pants or short pants and a crew cut hair style work great too.  Wrap a piece of tape around the nose piece of the glasses for added effect.

Geisha Girl:  Pin your hair into a bun with chop sticks and purchase a geisha style dress from a second hand store. Paint your face with white face paint and heavy makeup or just use a black eyeliner to shape the eyes. 
Geisha Girl without the white face makeup

And don’t forget your pets!


I will add another post or two with more costumes ideas when I get time. 30 plus years of costumes and multiple kids add up to lots of costumes!

I hope you enjoy fall and have as much fun as I do! 


Me, with 3 of my sisters, 2 of my daughters and 1 grand-daughter at the Circleville Pumpkin Show, Ohio


Anonymous said...

Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year. We don't do many costumes but love the food. Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed it. Great photos too!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

I agree on the food! Pumpkin bread, pies, cookies, hot stews and soups, snacks to eat while watching Saturday football, all just wonderful!

Anonymous said...

It's not my first time to pay a quick visit to your web page. I try to visit to check for new posts from time to time. Really like this one as I have a blog on Halloween and Halloween history!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Great! We love just about anything fall and Halloween!

Anonymous said...

Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

That's great, so glad to hear my posts are of some help. Thanks for the complement!

Anonymous said...

Really love these Halloween costume Ideas and your homemade costumes. Great easy and quick ideas!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...


Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks glad you think so!

Anonymous said...

These are great! We have made a few of these ourselves. Love that your costume ideas are really good without a lot of over the top needed supplies. I'm going to start looking for parts to ours for this coming fall. Have you seen some of the ideas on Pinterest? Judy

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Oh my gosh I love Pinterest. To me it is the modern day magazine, haha. And I have a "secret" board of costume ideas on there!

marie dia said...


These are very beautiful Halloween Costume. I liked these Costume very much.Thank you very much for sharing great post with us.

Anonymous said...


These are very beautiful Halloween Costumes. I liked these Costume ideas very much.Thank you very much for sharing great post with us. Maria Dia

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a nice Images. Sarah Anderson