You could spend hundreds of dollars on an organic free-trade toxin-free biodegradable Halloween costume–or you could just make one yourself.  Do-it-yourself Halloween costumes (formerly called “last-minute Halloween costumes” or “lazy parents’ Halloween costumes”) may seem like the latest thing in green parenting, but really they’ve been around for years. 

Keep in mind that I’m not talking about a lovingly handmade Halloween costume that takes hours hunkered over the sewing machine.   I’m talking about ransacking the house for interesting odds and ends, putting them all on your child, and winding up with a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume that requires no raw materials.

Here are some ideas that I may or may not have tried on myself or my child:

  1. Hobo.  This is a DIY classic, and easy to pull off using Dad’s  beloved pilled sweaters and garish ties from 7th grade.  With a little ingenuity, “hobo baby” could also be accomplished with the contents of his or her own wardrobe.
  2. Ragamuffin.  Variation of hobo, above.
  3. Hippie.  Another classic.  “Hippie baby” would be especially funny if you could find some miniature John Lennon glasses to complete the look.  Try tie-dying some baby’s old white onesies using grape juice.  (Note: I have not actually tried this, but I am only partially kidding.)
  4. Swimming bear.  All you need for this ensemble is a bear hat and swimming suit, which can be pulled over several layers of warm clothing.  My cousin thought this one up herself in her younger years.
  5. Cold-weather bandit.  As you can see from the photo, you will need a parka, some patterned pants, a Zorro mask, and a cape.
  6. Robot.  Dress your child in gray clothes and affix a metal colander or sieve on his head.  Voila!
  7. Glad bag.  This same ingenious cousin who invented the “swimming bear” decided to masquerade as a garbage bag one year.   In this day and age, it may be better to go as a canvas bag instead.


More ideas: “George Washington” and . . . a big pumpkin with a small head?

As for Audrey, she’s thinking of being “Baby of the Eighties” or perhaps “Punk Rock Baby.”  I hope this list has inspired everyone to create a green Halloween costume that will be gentle on the planet and the pocketbook.   For more inspiring Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer

Please let us know if you have any creative DIY Halloween costume ideas to add to our list, and don’t forget to join us tomorrow evening for Thrifty Green Thursday!