Costume Odds and Ends
Take your recycling to a whole new level and create cheap, fun costumes from stuff you have lying around the house!
Balloons- Make a costume out of balloons and let them go out as a bunch of grapes. Put them in a green or purple sweatsuit and tape on matching balloons. Fun and easy!
Coffee cans- Make a top hat! That's what I did in the picture above. I just spray painted a large can and the top of a one gallon ice cream bucket, making them black. I then cut a hole in the ice cream bucket lid, and hot glued it to the can. It was not a comfortable hat, but it did work well as a prop, and cost just pennies (for the paint) to make.
Toilet Paper Rolls - Make a judge's wig out of toilet paper rolls! Save them up and staple together into a colonial-style wig. You can even spray paint it white, if needed. All they need is a gavel and a black graduation-type gown and the look is complete!
Sean as Abraham Lincoln. If you look closely, he is holding up the Gettysburg address in one hand and his black hat (made from a coffee can) in the other hand.The girl next to him is a sunflower.
Juice Can Lids - Someone in the Tightwad Gazette suggested drilling holes in juice can lids and connecting them to make a suit of armor. I've been saving my lids for a while, but don't know how much work this project would entail, seems a little daunting!
Cardboard boxes - Perfect for robots, computer, fuzzy dice, dominos or a food items. Go as a soup can, box of candy, french fries (use cut foam for fries), take out pizza, etc.
Foam-If you have access to an old foam couch cushion or a large piece of foam, the possibilities are really endless. Use foam to make french fries, or sandwich bread (I know a girl who came to school as a ham and cheese sandwich one year). You can paint or color the foam for just about any purpose, or use it as padding in a costume. I think foam was used for the petals in the sunfower costume shown above.
Sheet- Make a traditional ghost costume or be a mummy. Tear an old sheet into 2 inch-wide strips. Soak the strips in weak tea to discolor them (for that old mummy look). Have "the mummy-to-be" wear tight-fitting but warm white clothing. Wrap the strips around the legs, arms, etc. You can secure the fabric strips with masking tape or safety pins (I would not do this costume on a younger child). You could also try wrapping the kid in toilet paper, but it won't last long! If you have access to lots of gauze, use that instead.
Newspaper- Create paper mache masks and accessories for you kids' costumes, or have them create the masks! We are going to try making an astronaut's helmet from paper mache this year. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but it was the only way I could figure out the head piece to my oldest son's costume. You can also make flowers from newspaper by sponge painting the newspaper and then cutting petals out and assembling. For roses, paint, let dry, and then roll into a rose shape, starting on the inside. Glue closed.
Foil-Great for robots, astronauts and space creatures. Try it for swords and on knights as well.
Knobs, nuts, and bolts- perfect for a robot or a TV set costume.
Ideas Using Black Clothing
Costumes from Sweatsuits
More Kid Costume Ideas from Their Closets
Kid Costumes from Adult Clothing
Costumes from Overalls
More Costume Ideas
About the Author
Kim Tilley, a tightwad at heart, is the mother of three active boys and the founding editor of Frugal-Moms.com. Frugal by force and later by choice, Kim cut her income by 60% to stay at home with her children and discovered that anyone can live better for less. Her work has appeared in print publications such as The Tightwad Gazette. In her free time, she entertains herself by chasing kids and finding ways to create something from nothing!
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