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Homemade Halloween Costumes

Sam is the mother of two young boys, Juju and Blaze. Their family enjoys going on trips, crafting, learning, and exploring.

It's Halloween and you have no costume. Oh no! Maybe you don't care very much about the holiday, or maybe you didn't have plans until the very last minute, or maybe you're on a very tight budget, or maybe it isn't even Halloween but some random costume party you or your child have been invited to. Whatever the case is, don't freak out--and don't worry! You can have a cool costume without shelling out big bucks.

I have always loved Halloween and dressing up in costumes in general. So over time I have learned how to re-work every day items into costume pieces. Here's a collection of costumes for men, women, and children that you can create with items straight from your closet or by spending just a couple dollars on materials.

Now let's go save your Halloween!

Fantasy Costumes

Fantasy is a go-to theme for many of our costume choices so I've created quite a few that fit in this catergory.

Made these hats and fairy costume seriously last minute!  The kids loved them and everyone thought they looked awesome.

Made these hats and fairy costume seriously last minute! The kids loved them and everyone thought they looked awesome.

Last Minute Fairy Costume

Suggested Items

  • Wire Hanger Wings
  • Fairy-like Dress
  • Shiny Sheer tights
  • Elemental Accessories (flowers for a flower fairy, snowflakes for an ice fairy, etc.)
  • Cute shoes
  • Glitter Make-up

Step 1. Check out my Hub on how to make wire hanger wings and fairy dust necklaces to make some quick and awesome fairy accessories. Once you have your wings, it doesn't really matter all that much what else you wear.

Step 2. Pick an element. Do you want to be a Spring Fairy or a Winter Fairy? Or maybe you want to be some other type of Fairy like a Water Fairy, or a Wind Fairy, or even a Space Fairy. Use this as inspiration to gather your accessories and sell your costume.

Step 3. Check out YouTube for some awesome fairy make-up looks to finish off your costume.





Hair clip

Hair clip

Bunching up flowers on flower crowns makes them look fuller and prettier.

Bunching up flowers on flower crowns makes them look fuller and prettier.

I extended the visible length of the head band by placing the leaves so that they would go past where the headband ended.

I extended the visible length of the head band by placing the leaves so that they would go past where the headband ended.

Re-Vamped Fairy Costume

This how-to was based on a costume I quickly made for my niece for a costume party my sons and their cousins went to.


  • Old princess dress/nightgown/simple dress
  • Sheer fabric (I used an old curtain)
  • Fake flowers (make sure to pick ones with leaves!)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

We used an Elsa nightgown to make this fairy dress. This is a neat costume because if you can use costumes or nightgowns you may already own, or make this costume cheaply by buying something simple from a thrift store. This particular dress had a sheer layer over the satiny nightgown which made it fuller and added a bit of sparkle. I think a simple dress would have worked just as well and if you add several layers of fabric it will make the dress fuller. I apologize for not taking pictures of the process, this was truly a last minute costume and to be honest I wasn't all too certain it was going to work out. However I LOVED the final product and--more importantly--so did Maddy and her mom.

Step 1. Cut fabric roughly the width of the waistband of the dress to the edge of the dress, keep the length nice and long.

Step 2. Hot glue the fabric pleated along the waistband of the dress, making sure to leave a bit of slack between each pleat if the dress is elastic, otherwise it will have no stretch in it and may not fit. Since this dress had a sheer top layer, I added the fabric underneath it. Glue down the seams in the back. Repeat for as many layers as you would like to add. I believe I added two because there were snowflakes on the fabric underneath and I didn't want them to be easily seen since she was a spring fairy.

Step 3. Take the plastic leaves of the fake flowers and glue them along the waist band and edges of the dress to hide any rough edges.

Step 4. Cover up any decals (such as Elsa's face in this case) or flaws (such as tears or stains) with leaves and flowers. Create a pattern and hot glue as many flowers on as you like (or have).

When I was done I also glued down the cut edges of fabric at the bottom of the dress to the back of the flowers I added at the hem to keep them from fraying too much.

Maddy had her own wings, but if you would like to make your own I mention my Hub on how to make them in the section above. I also mention my Hub on fairy accessories, but here's how I made her hair clips. I will also run through how to make the flower crowns below.


  • Fake flowers with leaves
  • Hot glue
  • Single prong hair clips (I have a lot, a bobby pin or other hair clip could work just as well if that's what you have)
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock (optional)

Step 1. You can either start by gluing card stock on to the clip or work on the card stock first and add it later. Or you can forego the card stock all together and just create a base by gluing a couple leaves together.

Step 2. Add leaves and flowers, don't make it too heavy!

Flower Crowns

Adding ribbons to the ends of crowns is a simple detail that adds a lot.

Adding ribbons to the ends of crowns is a simple detail that adds a lot.


  • Fake flowers with leaves (LOTS OF THEM)
  • Card stock
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Headbands like this one
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Mardi Gras beads (optional)
  • Flat glass marbles (optional)

Step 1. Cut out an oval strip of cardstock and glue it on to the headband. This will give you a wider base to work with. You can skip this part if you want a skinny flower crown.

Step 2. Glue down leaves on to the cardstock, you can cover the headband entirely if you like, but definitely do the front and sides. You can do a wild pattern, or keep it symmetrical. I like symmetry so that's what I usually try to go for but it all depends on your personality and the feeling you're going for. You can skip the leaves if you like, but I think it makes the crowns feel more luxurious.

Step 3. In my opinion, when it comes to flower crowns, more is more. Keep flowers closely bunched together. Look at wedding bouquet pictures for inspiration and guidance. The nicest looking bouquets are the ones that appear full, with flowers closely together. If you are using different kinds of flowers see how your flower will look in the crown before gluing it down.

Step 4. Embellish. I like to add strands of ribbon at the ends of my flower crowns. You can also add Mardi Gras beads to the end, or loop them around the flowers in your crown for added effect. Frost the tips of the petals with glitter and glue for more sparkle and charm. Flat glass pebbles are also nice for embellishing. Use pretty findings from around the house. The sky is the limit.

Wonderland Hatter Hats

Okay, so these hats actually took some time to create, I wouldn't exactly call them last minute. However, since they were so detailed, I just ended up putting the boys in clothes they already had in their closet that coordinated with the hats. The whimsical hats really worked well to transform every day clothes into Wonderland attire.

I made three hats; Mad Hatter hat, White Rabbit hat, and the Cheshire Cat hat. Each of the boys were so suited to each hat and having the boys in mind while I made them I think really helped me create something that reflected their personalities. I'm going to describe the general process of creating each one and offer tips on how you could decorate them.


  • Card stock
  • card board
  • Hot glue
  • Fabric or paint or just use colored card stock
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Mardi gras beads
  • Tape measure
  • Fake flowers and other decorative items

Step 1. Make a sketch of what you would like the finished hat to look like. You don't have to stick to it, but it will help guide you. Use this as an opportunity to plan out the colors you will use and materials you will need. You could also pick out an outfit you would like to wear from your wardrobe and plan the hat around it.

Step 2. Measure the circumference of the head you are making the hat for and add a few centimeters.

Step 3. Create a hat out of your card stock following the instructions in the video above and use your own measurements. Use cardboard to reinforce the top of the hat and the brim. Alternatively, you could just buy one of those plastic top hat party favors and skip ahead.

Step 4. At the time I made these I just so happened to have lots of fabric, no paint, and no colored card stock, so I made things very difficult for myself and covered the hat in fabric I cut out into large pieces and hot glued on. I then used Mardi Gras beads and detailing to cover up my rough edges and seams. It was very tedious. If you don't have time or patience for it, I would recommend using card stock in the colour you want, or spray painting/paint your hat your desired colour.

Step 5. Now time for the fun part! Time to detail, decorate, and make this hat your own. For the white rabbit I used felt fabric for the ears and added lots of flowers to tell the story of the white rabbit racing through the garden. For the cheshire cat, I used cardboard triangles, felt fabric, and an old knitted cap to create the cat ears. I added flowers and a few stray feathers to elude to the cheshire cat's sneaky nature and how dangerous that could make him (the feathers being from a bird he caught while prowling through the garden). I also added some Mardi Gras beads for whiskers. For the Hatter I used craft feathers to create an entire wing and stuck Joker cards in the ribbon to elude to the Hatter's over the top and playful nature.

This is another instance where more is more. Add stuff until your satisfied, especially if you plan for this to be the focal point of what you are wearing. Pair with coloured contacts, makeup, and coordinating accessories.

Last Minute Pirate Costume

Unisex Suggested Items

  • Button-down shirt
  • Vest
  • Colourful or striped pants
  • Industrial Boots
  • Bandana
  • (optional) Eyepatch
  • (optional) Sword
  • (optional) Pirate Hat
  • (optional) Long Coat
  • (optional) Makeup
  • (optional) Waist Scarf

Female Suggested Items

  • Corset
  • Fishnet Tights
  • Full Black or dark skirt
  • Knee High Boots
  • Costume Jewelry
  • Waist Belt

This is my go-to costume when I'm down to the wire. Mainly because I have always seemed to be drawn to piratey/gypsy like clothes anyway...This costume works well for the whole family!

Step 1. Plan out your outfit and get dressed. Look at TV pirates and other pirate costumes for inspiration. If you don't have a hat, a bandanna will work just fine.

Step 2. Once you're all dressed take your outfit a step further by doing facepaint or makeup. This is especially cute on little kids!

Step 3. If you have an eye patch or other pirate accessories, awesome.

That's it. Really.

Shell barrette made with tiny mirrors, shells, a foe pearl necklace, and hot glue.  Layered accessories pillaged from sunken ships and rhinestone scales.

Shell barrette made with tiny mirrors, shells, a foe pearl necklace, and hot glue. Layered accessories pillaged from sunken ships and rhinestone scales.

DIY mermaid tail with a cardigan tied into a crop top.

DIY mermaid tail with a cardigan tied into a crop top.

DIY Bodycon Skirt

Mermaid Costume Tutorial

Last Minute Mermaid Costume


  • Shimmery Fabric*
  • Tulle
  • Cheescloth
  • Button-up Cardigan or shirt
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue or Fabric Adhesive
  • (optional) Costume Jewelry
  • (optional) Seashells
  • (optional) Needle & Thread or Sewing machine
  • (optional) Rhinestones & Eyelash Glue
  • (optional) Makeup
  • (optional) Wig

This was my 2013 costume. It took me forever to decide what I wanted to be and when I finally did, I had a super slim budget and only a day to work on it.

*I spent about $5 in total on the fabric for this costume. All I needed was a yard of shimmery fabric, a yard of tulle, and a yard of cheesecloth. But if you have a shimmery bodycon skirt or dress in a mermaid colour you can use that instead easily. You can also use an old t-shirt or something else with stretchy fabric that you don't mind cutting up.

Step 1. First I followed anneorshine's tutorial to make my long mermaid tail skirt. I was a in a bit of a rush and forgot to buy fabric adhesive so I actually ended up hot gluing the whole thing together ( O_O ). I was a little nervous it was going to fall apart, but it actually held together well. However, I wouldn't recommend this method if this is a costume you want to keep!

Step 2. I then followed Martha Stewart and Christian Soriano's Mermaid tail tutorial. (That seashell mermaid bra they made was pretty awesome too, so if you have more time and the materials needed to do it, go for it!) Soriano recommends getting yards and yards of tulle for this costume...I suppose you could do that, but I didn't. I used cheesecloth to add volume in the bottom layer, and added the tulle on top for shimmer. I also didn't iron it down because I didn't have one available to me where I was working on this--but I did twist the fabric.

Step 3. This is optional but I took some seashells from my collection and some costume pearls and hot glued them on a barret for a mermaid hair clip. I wanted to have a long coloured wig, but it wasn't in my budget to buy the one I liked (maybe next year).

Step 4. For my top I took a white button up cardigan and just tied it. Yep. Then I took lots of necklaces from my jewelry box and layered them.

Step 5. Last was the makeup. I have pretty sensitive skin so I am always afraid to do too much with makeup, so mine was pretty simple. Although I did add some rhinestones with just a little eyelash glue (a little goes a long way!). There are so many awesome mermaid makeup tutorials on YouTube though, so if you're more into makeup you should look it up and see what you can do.

That's it! Enjoy your under the sea party!

DIY Djinn/Genie Costume

Djinn outfits

Djinn outfits

I love the manga "Magi: Labyrinth of Magic" so one year I decided to make costumes modeled after the Djinn.

Recommended Items

  • Sweatpants
  • Suitable top
  • Gold jewelry and bangles
  • Gold flats or sandals
  • Scarf complimentary colour or same colour as pants
  • Colorful wig
  • Coloured contacts
  • Face paint

The Djinn in the show follow a blue, red, black, and gold colour scheme--but you can use bright colours to give it more of the look people have come to associate genies with. Before you begin collecting your costume pieces, decide on your colour scheme. Taking a quick look at what items you already have in your wardrobe may help you decide.

For my costume, I took a pair of my husband's sweatpants and tied them tight around my ankles using rubber bands. I then tied a black piece of jersey fabric around my waist, but a belly dancing scarf would have been nicer. I just didn't have one in the colour I needed and ran out of time before I could get one.

I had a red bohemian top, but a tank top, crop top, or any shirt in that matches the colour scheme would have worked just as well.

I bought gold flats and glue plastic ruby coloured stones to the tips. I bought gold bangles and earrings and made lots of gold chained jewelry (more on that below).

I topped it off with a blue wig and painted a few extra eyes on my face since the Djinn I modeled my costume after has six eyes. I also bought coloured contacts from LensVillage, my favorite place to buy coloured contacts.

For my husband's costume, I made him a chest piece with cardboard and scale pieces cut out of faux leather scales. I made his pants out of jersey fabric. I was supposed to make mine too, but ran out of time--which is why I ended up stealing his sweats instead (the BEST decision ever honestly. I was so warm and comfy all night!).

He topped his off with a wig, black sclera lens, horns, and more of my handmade jewelry.


  • 25mm Flat round acrylic jewels in Red
  • Gold jump rings
  • Gold plated chain
  • 25mm Round blank cabochon pins
  • 25mm Flat round clear cabochons
  • 25mm Flat round double sided adhesive stickers
  • Red, black, and brown sharpie markers
  • Gold lobster clasps
  • Craft or super glue
  • Gold beads (optional)
  • Fake nose ring (optional)

I made the jewelry by attaching chains to the cabochon pins in various designs to create headdresses (didn't end up using because it didn't work with the wig), hip chains, body chains, and necklaces. To create the pinks with the eyes I first drew a black dot at the center of the clear cabochon and outlined it in black, then coloured the piece with the red sharpie, then shaded the center and outline with the brown sharpie to make it look more eye like. Once it was dry I used the adhesive stickers to add it to the pin.

One of my cabochon pins came broken so I hot glued it to one of the gold bobby pins I had bought a pack of along with my gold jewelry.

I used big gold beads to embellish the jewelry a bit.

I chose gold chain with larger links because I wanted to elude to the sort of prisoner status of a Djinn, despite them seeming so mystical and all powerful. Even though I have jump rings listed here, I didn't really use them all that much since I could easily bend and adjust the links in the chain to suit my needs.

Knight Costume

Hot glue
Fabric in the colour you want your surcoat and coat of arms to be
Grey undershirt
Grey pants
Needle and Thread

I had a lot of leftover jersey fabric from another project so that's what I used to make my son's costume, but I had to sew two layers of it together so it would work properly. I would suggest picking out a stiffer fabric that will not fray to get this project done quicker and easier than I did it.

Step 1. First you will make the surcoat by making a poncho-like piece of clothing with your fabric. If you have a stiff fabric that won't fray, like felt, you can cut it twice the length you want it, fold it in half, and cut a hole in the fold for the head to come through. For other types of fabric, you will have to do what I did and measure out two piece of fabric the same length, sew them together along the edge, cut a slit in the middle for the head, and stitch the circle around.

Step 2. Design you coat of arms. I kept mine simple and just did a green dragon. I found a graphic I liked online, printed it and used it as a pattern for the dragon. I then cut the dragon out of felt and stitch it on the surcoat. I did this on both front and back. If you trick-or-treat at night in a place that's not so well lit, this may be a good opportunity to put some reflective fabric on the costume for safety.

Alternatively, you could hot glue the coat of arms on or use fabric paint instead.

Step 3. Belt it and add accessories. Swords and other knight accessories aren't too hard to come by during Halloween, but I've add a little step by step guide on how I made my son's knight gear below. It does take some time though.

Last Minute Way:


  • Grey sweater/long sleeve
  • Grey pants
  • Pull over sweater, hoodie, or vest
  • Fabric paint OR Fabric, Scissors, Needle and Thread/Hot Glue

Cut off the sleeves of your sweater or hoodie then paint or sew on a coat of arms on the chest and back, if you have time. Pair with facepaint that looks like a helmet or knight accessories from the store or following the tutorial here.

DIY Sword, Sheath, and Shield


  • Cardboard
  • Poster board
  • Hot glue
  • Duct tape/packing tape
  • Silver reflective tape (or whatever colour you want the blade to be)
  • Coloured duct tape in the colour you want
  • Coloured tape for decaling (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Paper and pencil

Step 1. Create a stencil for your sword, sheath, and shield using your paper and pencil. Make sure your sheath is a little wider than your sword so it will fit.

Step 2. Trace and cut out two sword piece and two shield pieces from cardboard. Try to cut the pieces so that the corragation of the cardboard is going in different directions on each piece, this will make it stronger.
For the sheath, cut out two poster board pieces.

Step 3. Hot glue the sword pieces together and the shield pieces together, you could stop here and hot glue a cardboard handle to your shield if you like the cardboard knight look.

Step 4. Completely cover the sheath pieces in decorative duct tape on one side. I used a reflective duct tape so it will be safer when we go trick or treating (and because it was pretty). Lay the untaped sides against each other and tape them together along the seams.

Step 5. Duct tape the edges of your sword and shield to smooth them out. Cover the sword with the silver/blade coloured tape you choose and the hilt with your other decorative tape. Cover the shield in any pattern you choose. This seems like a daunting task but I actually ended up making two swords and two shields because my son left his at his Gma's house right before Halloween. It didn't really take too much time or effort to make--just a lot of tape.

Step 6. Use either regular duct tape/packing tape to make handles for the shield and a belt loop for the sheath. I did this by layering several pieces of tape together then taping the loop to the back of the shield/sheath. For the shield I created a large loop for him to stick his arm through and a small loop for him to grab on to with his hand.

Step 7. Make a helmet if you're feeling ambitious! Otherwise, you can use face paint to finish off the look. Slide your sheath on to your belt and get ready for battle.

DIY Knight's Helmet

So, the initial plan for Blaze's helmet was that I was going to paint it on his face--but of course, Blaze, being the little Aries that he is, decided to have a melt down an hour before we went trick or treating because he did not have a helmet. The costume did feel incomplete without one and I do like a challenge--so, somehow, I whipped one together just in time to go trick or treating. I did not document the process and I honestly can't remember how I made it, but it was something similar to the video above plus massive amounts of duct tape instead of paper mache.

Dragon Hoodie


  • Pullover hoodie
  • Felt or fleece for scales and horns
  • Needle and thread or hot glue
  • Cotton or some sort of filler
  • Fabric in same colour as hoodie (preferably the same kind of fabric)(optional)

I apologise again for not having too many images of the process of this. I actually worked on it during my commute to and from work so it would have been a bit awkward taking pictures. I'll walkthrough the process as best I can.

Step 1. Trace and cut out a whole bunch of scales for your dragon. Then stitch or hot glue two pieces together to make the scales stiff so they will stand up straight. I would suggest sewing the scales if you are using fleece and hot gluing the scales if you are using felt, but do what looks best to you.

Step 2. Pin scales down the center and back of the hoodie. I'm not sure what the best method of doing this is, but I just sort of made a pocket for the scales by pinching the fabric of the sweater over the bottom of the scale. I tried to keep it consistent. This part was the biggest pain of all. If you can think of a better way to do this please share!

Step 3. If you have a sewing machine you could probably sew all the scales down. I had to do it by hand. I'm sure hot glue would have worked just as well.

Step 4. For the horns I cut out cones with rounded bottoms and stuffed them. Then stitched them to the top of the head.

Step 5. This is optional but if you have fabric the color of your hoodie you can add a tail by creating a cone and sewing it to the back of the hoodie then adding scales. You could also add a little fabric around the horn to make it seem like it is protruding from the dragon's skin. You can removed the front pouch of your hoodie (if you have one), cut off the sleeves, or crop it if you would like to add these details but don't have the fabric for it.

Recognizable Characters

Here are some tutorials for costumes I made over the years of iconic characters.

DIY Angry Birds Hoodie Costume


  • Pullover sweater with hood (in color of Angry Bird you want to make)
  • Sturdy sewing needles/sewing machine OR glue gun
  • Thread (preferably in same color as felt add ons)
  • Colored felt (in colours of accents of Angry Bird you want to make)
  • Pins/Safety Pins
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Paper & Pencil
  • Reference image of desired Angry Bird

My boys love Angry Birds, but I hate the Angry Birds costumes sold in the US. They are just bleh all around. I waited too long to buy a costume from elsewhere, so I ended up making theirs on my own (last minute, as usual). I'm really happy with how they turned out, and the boys are happy they get to wear their hoodies all year round.

Step 1. Make a sketch. Look at the bird you would like to make a hoodie for. Most people choose Red because he is the main character. My boys wanted Red and Bomb, so I made a sketch of what their feature would look like on a hoodie.

Step 2. Collect the materials. For the sake of time, I decided to focus only on the facial features of the characters and not the spots and such on their body. So I collected only what was needed to complete their faces. I also ordered Rabbit Skins (name of brand, not what they're made of haha) hoodies through Amazon.

Step 3. Cut out shapes and pin them to the hoodie. I tried on the hoods to make sure the pieces were even before I sewed them. I recommend using at least two layers of felt for a more opaque/professional look. Layering also makes pieces, such as the feature on Bomb's head, stand up more firmly. For the feather I used 4 layers of felt. If you plan to add tail feathers this type of layering will help a lot. (Check out the pics on the right for some tips on how I went about this.)

Step 4. Sew pieces onto hoodie. If you are not good at sewing or would like to get this done quickly, you could glue the felt pieces onto the hoodie. I knew that my boys were going to want to wear these for as long as they could, so I needed to make sure they would last. So, I sewed the peices onto the hoodies carefully. I chose to use thread the same colour as the felt so that the stitched could not be easily seen. (Check out the pics on the right for some tips on how I sewed my pieces on.)

Step 5. Go get those piggies! Enjoy the hoodie as it is or embellish it however you like. At one point I wanted to add wings to the arms of the hoodie, but since I was so pressed for time (and was party of a wedding happening the day before Halloween), I really wasn't in the mood to add too many extra details.

Casey Jones, April O'Neil and two Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Casey Jones, April O'Neil and two Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crew

This year I had to switch my family's ensemble costumes at the last minute. The Ninja Turtles costumes required some craft skill but April O'Neil and Casey Jones were pretty easy and mostly used things we already had in our wardrobe.

Toddler Leonardo the Ninja Turtle WIP

Toddler Leonardo the Ninja Turtle WIP

Toddler Mikey the Ninja Turtle WIP

Toddler Mikey the Ninja Turtle WIP

Completed Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back view of Shell

Completed Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back view of Shell

Completed Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles.  It wasn't after I took this photo that I realized Leo's shell was on upside down groar.

Completed Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles. It wasn't after I took this photo that I realized Leo's shell was on upside down groar.

Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles

I call them that because these costumes were made for toddlers, but I'm sure you can adapt the costume to any age.


  • Matching loose pants and tank top
  • Hooded Sweatshirt in desired ninja turtle colour (red = Raphael, blue = Leonardo, orange = Michelangelo, purple = Donatello)
  • About a half a yard of fabric in ninja turtle colour (red, orange, blue, purple)
  • Ninja weapon of desired ninja turtle (katana = blue, nunchaku = orange, bo staff = purple, sai = red)
  • Brown fabric
  • Fabric paint in green, yellow, tan, brown, and white
  • Needle, thread, or sewing machine
  • Paint brushes
  • Some cardboard
  • Elastic band

Originally, my oldest son was going to be Kid Trunks from DBZ, but of course--after I had finished sewing his costume--he decided he'd like to be a ninja turtle instead. So instead of spending more time and money on making or buying a completely new costume. I decided to re-purpose the costume I already made him and sew a matching costume for his little brother with the fabric I had left. You do not need to sew your own costume, but it might help. It's easy to sew this outfit for toddlers because they are so small. With one yard of fabric I was able to make two matching ninja pants and sleeveless shirts.

If you do not want to sew, all you'll need is a tank top and a pair of loose pants (sweatpants are good) in ninja turtle green. Make sure the tank is a large fit, because it is meant to go over the sweater and whatever layers you may want to put on your little one.

Once you have your pants and shirt, you will need to paint the ninja turtle chest on the front of the tank top. Before you begin slide some cardboard inside the shirt to protect it from paint that might leak through.

If you are not confident in your painting skills--don't worry! You can paint a giant yellow rectangle on the front of the shirt and then use brown paint to create lines that divide the rectangle into six equal parts. This will create the same visual effect of a ninja turtle six pack. When you're done, set the shirt aside to dry.

When the shirt is done drying, you may want to paint a turtle shell on the back if you don't want to sew one.

To make a turtle shell you will need to cut out two pieces of brown fabric in an oval turtle shell shape. Then sew and stuff will some fabric. Don't stuff it too much, just enough to flatly fill the whole thing. Then sew it closed.

After that, you will need to sew an inch around the shell to create the rim. These can be large stitches, but tight, so it puckers a bit.

Using the fabric in the colour you want, sew the back part of the belt around the back of the turtle shell. In the front, stitch a piece of elastic band through the front part of the belt and then sew to the shell, making sure to line it up with the part of the belt you already stitched. This is to help secure it in place. I also added two shoulder straps to keep it up because I found that the shell started to slide down when my boys ran around.

After that you're done! To allow your little one to wear their costume without having to worry about them being cold, put thermal layers underneath the sweater. You may also want to make or buy a hat in the appropriate color if it is particularly chilly.

Additionally, you can make armbands, legbands, wristbands, masks, and headbands, in the appripriate colours (or brown). I paired my son's outfits with brown boots, but green is a good option as well or the turtle's official colour.

Casey Jones

Casey Jones

Casey Jones and the Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles

Casey Jones and the Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles

Casey Jones

Essential Items

  • Hockey Mask
  • Hockey Stick
  • Athletic Tape

Suggested Items

  • Baseball Bat
  • Golf bag or duffel bag to carry weapons
  • Cutoff denim vest
  • T-shirt over thermal
  • Flannel
  • black bandanna
  • Ripped Jeans
  • Converses
  • Combat Boots
  • black wig
  • Skull facepaint (new Casey design)
  • Football padding

Casey's outfit is fairly easy. You just need to think of 90's grunge and any combination of that will work as long as you pair it with a hockey mask, and a hockey stick that looks like it's been repaired with athletic tape. It's hard to go wrong with this costume, especially if you partner up with a Ninja Turtle or April O'Neil. Anyone familiar with TMNT will be able to piece together who you are with no problem.

April O'Neil and Leonardo

April O'Neil and Leonardo

April O'Neil

Those familiar with the old TMNT cartoon may not know this character design, but it's April's current look in the newest cartoon on Nick. I decided to go with this look because it was easy to put together and I had nearly all the items I needed already.

Here I'll describe how to dress up as three different versions of April O'Neil, all of which are not too difficult to pull together.

2014 Movie April O'Neil

Essential Items

  • Yellow Jacket

Other Items

  • Jeans (Black or Dark Denim)
  • T-Shirt (Preferably Grey)
  • Hoodie (Preferably Burgundy)
  • Tall Black Boots
  • Reddish Brown Wig
  • Blue Contacts

2012 Cartoon April currently on Nick

Essential Items

  • Yellow shirt
  • Yellow Headband

Other Items

  • Black long sleeve
  • Brown cuffs
  • Denim Shorts
  • Black leggings
  • Blue and white striped socks
  • Black Boots

Old School Cartoon April

Essential Items

  • Yellow Jumpsuit

Other Items

  • Red Wig
  • White Boots
  • Microphone or Old School Video Camera

Last Minute Tips

Okay, so you need a costume TONIGHT and you don't have time for everything I mentioned above. Here are some tips to help out!

Facepaint works well on its own or can be used to give a simple costume more WOW.  Tutorials are easy to find on Google and YouTube, no experience necessary!

Facepaint works well on its own or can be used to give a simple costume more WOW. Tutorials are easy to find on Google and YouTube, no experience necessary!

Face Paint

Face painting is a perfect way to dress up a costume more or to make up for having no costume. Tutorials are so easy to find now on Google and Youtube and thanks to all the amazing makeup bloggers, new tutorials are springing up every day.

If you don't have too much artistic skill, don't worry. You may not be able to do a realistic rendering of the Night King from GoT but you should be able to pull off a decent dragon like the dragon face paint I did for my son here using only a basic face painting kit which can be found almost everywhere around Halloween or every day at a local costume shop (my town has one, doesn't yours???)

If you can't find a face painting kit makeup works too--and sometimes even better! If you are not willing to sacrifice your makeup for the cause or are like me and have an eyeliner laying around somewhere but no real makeup--figure out the design and colors you need first and then stop by your local dollar store and pick up cheap cosmetics.

I do not recommend this tip to those that have sensitive skin. You know who you are. (I am one of you *sad face*)

A tiara instantly transformed my sister into a princess!

A tiara instantly transformed my sister into a princess!

The Power of Accessories

If you have a character hat, tiara, wig, or some other costume prop of some sort you can use it as the foundation for your costume.

With character hats, just dress in the colour of your character or in an outfit that is similar to what your character wears.

If you have a crown or a tiara, dress up in your fanciest clothes and wear some regal-looking costume jewelry if you have any.

Have a cool coloured wig? Take a look at some K-Pop videos and dress up like a K-Pop idol.

Have a cowboy hat? Be a cowboy!

You'll be surprised by how many options you have once you go through your wardrobe and think creatively.


Samantha Harris (author) from New York on October 02, 2017:

Updated with a lot of new stuff including djinn/genie, more fairy stuff, and Mad Hatter hats.

Samantha Harris (author) from New York on October 27, 2014:

Added Ninja Turtles, April O'Neil, and Casey Jones

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