Halloween costume ideas for kids

little girl cat costume
Do you go misty-eyed at the thought of your street with pumpkins peeping out from every window to welcome eager treaters? Or do you wonder why we take our rosy-faced cherubs and turn them into pale-faced ghouls? Whatever your take on the fright fest, your children will almost certainly want to join in and that means one thing - Halloween costumes. 

So the next question is: buy or make? Is it more fun to cobble something together, or can the supermarket do it better and cheaper than you? These Mumsnetters say:

  • The thing adults forget is that kids DO like plastic tat! They like dressing up and feeling part of a celebration. Themildmanneredaxemurderer
  • I think it's just easier to buy them. I'd love to say I make them but daughter was one of four Asda skeletons in her class. Mugglewump

But if you decide you want to throw yourself into the spirit <boom-boom> of the occasion, Mumsnetters aren't short of inspiration for costume ideas.

  • Black leggings, black T-shirt, ears on a headband, whiskers, stocking made into tail = cat. 
    Black leggings, black T-shirt, eight stuffed stockings sewn on strategically = spiderJaneite

spider costume

  • I couldn't get newborn costumes, so I dyed a babygro black, added some white fur and a tail and put white socks and mittens over it, made some ears and voila, a cat! She was six weeks old though and slept for most of it (quite apt as a cat I thought). lola0109

'Reversioning' existing dressing-up gear can cut costs. Turn your imagination (and harness your children's) to things such as leotards, leggings, pillowcases, black eyeliner or face paints and fabric paints and you can go pretty much anywhere - bat, ghost, witch, wizard, monster...


Simple costume ideas

  • boys dressed as mummiesBuy cheap netting or tulle, cut it into strips and tie them onto a piece of elastic round your child's waist - voilà, one gothic fairy. 
  • A longsleeved white top and white leggings, or jogging bottoms, with a base of white face paint and black eye make-up is an easy-peasy ghost costume.
  • Wrap your child in bandages, kitchen roll or toilet paper for an easy Egyptian mummy costume.
  • A black all-in-one can have white bones drawn on to make a skeleton.
  • Hairspray and a bit of back-combing help to make a monstrous impression.  


Here's one I made earlier

Plenty of costumes can be created with a Blue Peter approach...

  • My son wore a cardigan my mother knitted for him that is a violent green with colourful dragon spines down the back and pretended to be a dragon. Morloth
  • My son once won first prize in nursery for his Halloween costume. It was one of my old white T-shirts, with a skull drawn on it in two minutes. He was the only one with a homemade costume, that was why he won. madness

There's no rule that says your child has to look like an extra from a horror film to go bump in the night. In America, which gave us the modern-day trick or treating malarkey, children wear any kind of costume - the point is just to dress up and go 'treating'.

  • We used to live in Bermuda, which does it US style. The costumes are whatever you want - not gory stuff but fairies, pirates, fancy dress in general. We need RULES on how to do it "properly" here! TheWheelsOnTheBusHaveFallenOff
  • I'm going to ease off celebrating the more ghoulish aspects of Halloween, concentrate on the pumpkin faces, apple bobbing, treats, jokes not tricks, and dressing up but with no fake blood or the more extreme masks. Tigermoth


More Mumsnet costume ideas

  • I found a bat costume in a charity shop for £2, customised it with (much) bigger wings from an old umbrella and some DIY ears. I had fun, anyway. Tangle
  • My niece went as a zombie/witchy schoolgirl. She had a school shirt and tie on, bunches in her hair, stripy tights and those lenseless chunky framed glasses that are around, plus, the white face, dark circled eyes and blood trickling from her mouth. moominmarvellous

 school girl zombie costume

  • I did a mummy costume for my son but I made him a large Egyptian collar and wrist bands out of cardboard. Sprayed them gold and stuck fake jewels etc on them. He also wore some gold lamé over his head. He went as King Tutankhamum but a girl could go as Cleopatra. 4plus1 
  • Make a last-minute pumpkin mask

Last updated: 20-Oct-2014 at 4:03 PM