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Last-minute Halloween costume ideas for kids

Halloween kid costumes

Need to cobble together a Halloween costume in a hurry? Fear not – you'll find everything you need for a spooky ensemble lurking around your house

Raid the wardrobe for anything black

  • Cat: black leggings, black t-shirt, ears stuck on a headband, stocking made into a tail, whiskers drawn on with eyeliner
  • Spider: black leggings, black t-shirt, eight stuffed black stockings sewn on strategically

“A black all-in-one can have white bones drawn on to make a skeleton.”

baby in skeleton outfit

“I couldn't get newborn costumes, so I dyed a babygro black, added some white fur and a tail, added white socks and mittens, made some ears – and voilà, a cat! She was six weeks old, though, and slept for most of it (quite appropriate for a cat, I thought).”

Dig through the kids' craft box


“Cut cheap netting or tulle into strips and tie them onto a piece of around your child's waist – voilà, one gothic fairy.”

“Cut out triangular strips of card, wrap in tinfoil, safety pin to an old long-sleeved shirt – Edward Scissorhands.”

Follow our simple video guide to make an easy pumpkin mask with a paper plate, card, pens and glue

“I made my son a large Egyptian collar and wristbands out of cardboard. Sprayed them gold and stuck fake jewels etc on them. He went as Tutankhamun; a girl could be Cleopatra.”

Wreak revenge on the contents of your laundry basket

ghost costume
  • Ghost: make use of old white sheets or pillowcases (or greying 'white' clothes) and just add white face paint and black eye make-up.
  • Frankenstein: cut and fray old clothes, team with green face paint and draw on stitches

Delve into the toy box

toy box
  • Medusa: glue rubber snakes to a headband for your child's hair
  • Giant: give your child toy cars/dolls to carry around

If they have a dinosaur costume, make them Godzilla. Monkey onesie? King Kong.

Find inspiration in everyday things

bat wings

“Make bat wings with an old black umbrella.”

“Wrap your child in toilet paper for an easy Egyptian mummy costume.”

Relive your teen hair-and-beauty regime

Halloween hair

“Hairspray and a bit of back-combing help to make a monstrous impression.”

Go BIG on the eyeliner, red lipstick and face powder (or talc) to spook up existing fancy dress costumes: fairy/bride/doctor's outfit + white face and black eyes = zombie version.

“For a zombie/witchy schoolgirl, wear some old uniform and add a white face, dark circled eyes and fake blood.”

And finally, remember: it really is the thought that counts

“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 (by me, in two minutes). He was the only child with a homemade costume, which was why he won.”